Subject: Daily Media Review 8 October 2003


Dili, 08 October 2003 Daily Media Review

President Xanana Starts Visit to Europe

President Gusmão left Dili Wednesday for a visit to Europe. The first stop will be Rome where he is scheduled to meet with Pope John Paul II for the first time. While in Rome, the President will also meet with Italian officials. From Rome he will travel to London where he is scheduled to meet government representatives, being received by Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace. From London Gusmão will travel to Belfast where he will stay for two days and meet with the Irish Prime Minister and address the Amnesty International Annual Lecture at Queen's University on "Peace, Justice and Reconciliation". He will also take the opportunity during this brief visit to meet with the Timorese currently working in Northern Ireland. From Ireland the President will travel to Belfast and will return to Timor-Leste on October 21. (Office of the President)

Portugal and Australia would like a Resolution on Militias Problem

Portugal and Australia considers that the resolution of the militia problem in West Timor is essential to Timor-Leste's stability, reported the Portuguese news agency Lusa. The news agency quotes the Portuguese Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Antonio Lourenço dos Santos as saying "The stability of Timor-Leste is a question which is related to security and stability in the region, and in this sense, Australia is directly interested in the stability of Timor-Leste and in a resolution that focus in the potential stability". Santos also noted that the present situation could be disturbed if the UN military presence in Timor-Leste is completed by the middle of next year, as scheduled. (Lusa)

Alkatiri on Cooperation with Indonesia

PM Mari Alkatiri told the media on Wednesday after attending the graduation ceremony at Dili's University that bilateral ties with Indonesia are important, but this does not mean bowing to the Indonesian government. Alkatiri made the statement following Bishop Belo's reported concerns regarding Timor-Leste's military cooperation plans with Indonesian. (TP/STL)

First University Graduation after Independence

The first university graduation in Timor-Leste took place on Tuesday in Dili. About 384 students from the Faculties of Agriculture, Political Science, Pedagogy and Technical Engineering were graduated at the National University in a ceremony attended by Prime Minister Alkatiri, the Speaker of the National Parliament Francisco Guterres and Minister of Education Armindo Maia. The majority of the students were attending the University of Timor during the Indonesia occupation, and had their studies interrupted due to the 1999 events. According to the media out of the 384 graduates, 220 are now working for government in the areas such as Border Control and Land and Property, for UNMISET and for NGO's. (TP/STL)

Serious Crime: 17 People Indicted

The Acting Deputy General Prosecutor for Serious Crimes filed a Crimes Against Humanity indictment with the Special Panel for Serious Crimes in Timor Leste on Tuesday have charging 17 Indonesian and Timorese members of the Indonesian army for allegedly playing a role in deadly attacks on independence supporters and other civilians in 1999. The indictments filed at Dili District Court, charge the 17 individuals with crimes against humanity, including murder, torture and persecution. They bring to 367 the number of Indonesian security officials and local militia members charged in the 1999 atrocities. (SCU)

Joint Children Project Launched in Dili

The Bishop of Baucau and Dili Diocese Basilio do Nascimento and UNICEF Special Representative Yoshiteru Uramotoilio on Wednesday launched the Pastoral da Criança Project in Timor-Leste and signed a Project Agreement between UNICEF and Dioceses of Dili and Baucau for a 3 year period. The Minister of Health Rui Araújo and the Brazilian Ambassador were present at the event. Pastoral da Criança is a joint collaborative project between the Catholic Church, Pastoral da Criança of Brazil and UNICEF with the Ministry of Health and aims to mobilize the community to promote maternal and child health and nutrition. The project will help families and communities to better understand how to prevent diseases and promote better health care practices amongst children and women in rural areas. The Pastoral da Criança has made considerable achievement in the last two years since it was introduced by the Church of Timor, with assistance from the Ministry of Health. From the beginning, this initiative has been receiving support from the Brazilian Council of Bishops (CNBB) and the government of Brazil. (UNICEF)

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