Subject: Daily Media Review 20 June 2003

From UNMISET Dili, June 20, 2003

Daily Media Review

President Gusmão: "I Have Not Forgotten Former Falintil Members Difficulties"

President Xanana Gusmão said that the financial assistance of US $4 million to the Government by the Japanese Government is not just to help the former members of Falintil or Combatants, but to support the widows and orphans as well. Gusmão made this remark upon his arrival from overseas on F-FDTL Chief of Staff, resignation statement. The President said that Lere had made such statement (that if assistance to former Falintil combatants was not provided he would resign, but would not hand over his gun) without being aware of what is happening, "Maybe he feels too much pressure on this matter, said the president. But Xanana believes that Lere did not meant what he said and does not believe that he is quitting the Armed Forces. Gusmão added that it's going to take some time for Comissão de Associação dos Antigos Combatentes and Comissão Associação Combatentes das Falintil (CAAC-CACF) to fully implement its work. The commissions are now reconciling data to be given to the government, which will then present it to the Parliament. The President said in 2001 himself and former combatants members received US$100 per month for five months and this kind of support eventually ends and the next focus would be on how to help someone or a group. (TP)

Political Leaders Comment Lere's Statement

The statement made by F-FDTL Chief of Staff, Colonel Lere Anan Timor on Thursday had raised comments from many political leaders. Francisco Guterres, Speaker of Parliament, said that Lere's decision to resign would not be a good solution to solve the problem. MP Mariano Sabino (PD) said that F-FDTL Chief of Staff's statement is to remind the government to do something about the problem; The political commentator Julio Tomas Pinto is of the opinion that the government must address the former Falintil and clandestine members prior to UNMISET's end of mission. According to him, the question could lead to security problems in the country. (STL, TP)

President: "Please Believe In Our People"

Lisbon's "Diario de Noticias" carried on Thursday an interview with President Xanana Gusmão who says the international community should not be frightened by the events of 4 December. He asks the international community not to think that the Timorese are constantly in conflict and also not to have the idea that they" matured." He adds that they have proven that during hard times they know how to behave, have faith and organize themselves. Asked by the journalist if the message he was trying to get across to the international community was that they should trust the Timorese and that Timor knows where it wants to go, he said "my message is: believe in our people! I have already said it publicly, believe in them!" The Timorese have already proven to be a success story of the UN. "If it were not for the people's ability to understand, the UN mission would have never been a success." Asked why he said it is important that the international community forgive Indonesia's external debt, Xanana Gusmão feels that if during the other regime, of dictatorship, the external debt was forgiven, why should the innocent, who are making big efforts for democratization, have to pay? The Timorese President believes that just like all democratization processes, Indonesian democracy runs a risk, since it is fragile. (Diario de Notícias)

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