Subject: Local Media Monitoring - May 5, 2003




1. During his "Open Government" visit to the District of Same on Friday, Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri said that the Government will hold elections in 2007, according to the Constitution. "The Government has no intention to undertake an early election as urged by some groups" said Mr Mari Alkatiri. (the Prime Minister didn't mention which groups) The Prime Minister also mentioned the "December 4, 2002 incident" and reiterated that if it happens again, the Government will not tolerate lawlessness. He said all exit points (border, ports and airports) will be sealed off. In reference to the media, Mr Mari Alkatiri said that the national radio and television are opposing the Government, even though they receive a substantial financial support from the Government.

2. The Interior Minister, Mr Rogerio Lobato said "we can choose friends, but not neighbours". Mr Lobato was speaking at the graduation ceremony of the PNTL (Policia Nacional de Timor-Leste) on Saturday in Batugade. The PNTL commander, Mr Paulo de Fatima Martins also gave a speech during the graduation ceremony. He said that border control police will be equipped with 300 horses to help them with their work in the remote areas near the border.


1. In the welcome speech to the "Open Government" delegation visit, the Sub-District Administrator of Fatuberliu, Mr Tobias Hornai, said that the community of Fatuberliu is facing tremendous difficulty because of no road accees to market the community's agricultural commodities. He said this was the major impediment to boosting the district economy.

2. In response to the Fatuberliu community's appeal to the national leaders to be united and avoid an internal "cold war", Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri said that the Opposition Parties are ambitious. He said they can not afford to wait any longer to become prime minister and ministers. Mr Mari Alkatiri said that Opposition Parties always blame the Government even though what the Government is doing is correct.

3. Rui Menezes, a Democratic Party representative in the Parliament, has criticised the style of democracy being applied in the National Parliament by the ruling party. Mr Menezes said that "democracy" in the Parliament is being guided by the majority (ruling party) and within the ruling party there are some people with an authoritarian mentality, camouflaged as democracy. In support of his argument, he said that all bills and regulations approved by the Parliament had been done even though they did not reflect community aspirations. He also cited the controversial articles 11 and 12 of the Immigration Law as an example.

4. There was a short story on page one about the sixty four border patrol police that graduated on Saturday in Batugade.

5. Mr Cancio Xavier from Public Defender's Office said that the political parties which existed in 1975 must take responsibility for the 1975 conflict. He made these comments on Friday to STL about the Reconciliation, Reception and Truth Commission Public Hearing into the events surrounding the 1975 conflict.

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