Subject: Daily Media Review 27 October 2003


Dili, 27 October 2003 Daily Media Review

UN Day Celebrations

The UN Day was commemorated in Dili with a seminar organized by UNMISET Public Information Office and the University of Timor-Leste on Friday, focusing on sustainability of peace and security in post UNMISET in Timor-Leste. President Gusmão used the opportunity to appeal to the UN to continue its support to the government of Timor-Leste in the security. Gusmão argued that there are still confused situations in the country and pointed to Lospalos and the enclave of Oecussi as examples. He added that other issues like justice, sustainable economy and the presence CPD-RDTL need to be taken into consideration as well. Among other speakers were Prime Minister Alkatiri, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation José Ramos-Horta and the former Bishop of Dili, Carlos Ximenes Belo who spoke on the role of the past and present role of the catholic church in Timor-Leste. (STL)

Alkatiri: Government Collecting Data on Indonesian Assets

PM Mari Alkatiri stated on Friday that the Indonesian government had misunderstood Timor-Leste government regarding its assets in Timor-Leste. Alkatiri said that so far the government has only managed to collect data on Indonesian destroyed houses, which is not for claiming purposes. He added that TL government does not have a budget to pay former combatant and guerillas, so how would it pay for Indonesian assets. The Timorese Prime Minister said the issue of assets was raised during the Indonesian Parliamentarians visit to Timor-Leste and it is and it needs to be explained in detail to avoid misinterpretation, reported Suara Timor Lorosae. (STL)

USA Will Continue Military Support to F-FDTL

The USA Ambassador, Joseph Grover Rees told Timor Post on Friday that his country would be ready to help Timor-Leste at any time in the future. The Ambassador confirmed that Special Forces from the US are currently training the Timorese Defence Forces in Lospalos. Rees said in another year or so F-FDTL will develop their own capacity, so therefore training will be focused on other areas. (TP)

Bracks in TL

The Victorian Premier Steve Bracks will visit Timor-Leste next week for several official functions. Bracks is expected to arrive on Wednesday and will open a memorial in Balibo village where five ustralian journalists were killed in 1975. He will hand over a community centre called Balibo House to the residents of the village, in memory of the deceased men. (ABC News)

Government Is Trying To Make Asylum Seekers Return Home: Antara

The Timor-Leste government is striving to persuade around 26 residents of Railuli, Bobonaro District, who had sought asylum in Belu district in Indonesia West Timor to return home. "When inspecting the conditions of around 26 East Timorese asylum seekers, a delegation of that country persuaded them to immediately return home, but the call was turned down," Belu district police chief Adjunct Senior Commissioner Agus Nugroho said on Friday. The East Tiimorese delegation of 15 people was coordinated by Timor-Leste's Secretary of State for Labour and Solidarity Arsenio Paixão Bano. (ANTARA)

Asylum-Seekers Advised Not To Burden RI

East Timorese citizens who feel insecure or intimidated in their home country have been advised to seek political asylum in the United States or Australia so they don't need to burden Indonesia, reported the Indonesian News Agency Antara. "The resettlement of East Timorese refugees during the past four years is still being hampered by various obstacles. Unless the flow of asylum seekers is prevented, the Indonesian government will have another headache," said Carlos Fatima vice chairman of the Timor Aswain Union (UNTAS) for Human Rights and Legal Aid, on Saturday. A group of 26 East Timorese sneaked into Nusatenggara (West Timor) to seek asylum in Belu district citing that they had been intimidated by people belonging to the former pro-independence group who still held a grudge against them (asylum seekers) in addition to economic pressures. (ANTARA)

UNICEF TO Provide Books For Elementary School Students In Atambua

The United Nations Children's Fund (Unicef) has confirmed its readiness to provide schoolbooks for 339 students of state elementary school "Wirasakti" in Atambua, Belu District, East Nusa Tenggara province (NTT), reported Antara, while quoted the military commander in Atambua, Col. Moesanip. He said on Saturday the schoolbooks assistance had been expected for the students, who are mostly ex-refugees from Timor-Leste. Wirasakti elementary school was inaugurated on Friday (Oct 24), and specifically ex-refugees children from East Timor. The National Defence Forces (TNI), the Belu district administration, the European Union and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees are supporting it added the news agency. (ANTARA)

Belu Authorities Asking Xanana To See Asylum-Seekers

The military and police chiefs of Belu district are making an effort to persuade East Timorese President Kay Rala Xanana Gusmão to meet 26 East Timorese citizens who have sought asylum in the district, reported Antara on Saturday. "We have coordinated with the military about an effort to ask President Xanana, if at all possible, to see his fellow countrymen here," said Belu District Police Chief Adjunct Senior Commissioner Agus Nugroho in Atambua. He said the request to President Xanana was conveyed through a team of East Timorese officials who recently visited former East Timorese refugees still living in East Nusatenggara (West Timor). (ANTARA)

PM Denies Political Meddling after Dili Police Chief Resigns

Prime Minister on Friday denied allegations of political is still under the United Nations, maintaining that the international and national security forces must abide by the instructions of the Government. In a statement to Lusa Agency, Mari Alkatiri pointed out that the security structures of the current UN mission are to collaborate with the Government and cannot disobey its instructions. Insiders of the United Nations police have confirmed that the Dili Police Commissioner, António Leitão da Silva, (Portugal) tendered his resignation, citing "political interference in operational issues". It is only one month left before police authority for the district is handed over to the National Police of Timor-Leste. "There is no political interference. I am the Government, I make political decisions and operational units must comply", Alkatiri said. According to the Prime Minister, the problem is about some elements of the UN "who refuse to change their mentalities" after transition from UNTAET to UNMISET. "UNMISET is not UNTAET. The mission is here to support the Government and it must comply with the directions of the Government. It cannot override a decision made by the Government", Alkatiri said when referring to the difference of mandates of the two UN missions in Timor-Leste. (Lusa)

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