Subject: Daily Media Review 17 September 2003


Dili, September 17 2003

Daily Media Review

Alkatiri: On the Future Mission in TL

Before departing to China, Prime Minister Alkatiri told the media that the reduction of PKF and the increase of more international police in future UN mission will be one of the proposals to be presented soon to the UN Security Council. Alkatiri said the new mission would be smaller with no military component and that the UN presence in the country would remain politically importan. According to Timor Post, Alkatiri also stated that the number of national police agents as well as F-FDTL, would be increased in the future. (TP, STL, and Lusa)

WFP Appeals for Drought Victims

The World Food Program, WFP, is appealing for nearly $3 million to assist more than 100,000 drought victims in Timor-Leste. In a press release issued o Tuesday, WFP said a severe drought, this year's harvest of corn in Timor-Leste would be 30 percent less than normal. WFP said the situation is especially bad in the northern part of the country where people have been selling everything in order to be able to feed themselves. According to WFP, food assistance is urgently needed during the 'so-called hunger season', which falls between November and March. In this period of the year, just before the next harvest food stocks are practically exhausted. Prospects for the future planting season are worsening, with people eating the seeds meant for planting said WFP. (VOA News)

Investment and Defence: Government Approves Cooperation with Portugal

The Council of Ministers approved on Monday a draft agreement on Reciprocal Promotion and Protection of Investment between Portugal and Timor-Leste. The agreement is expected to establish a regime for investments made in the two States, and it will apply to all investments made by corporations from either country in the territory of the other before and after the agreement enters into force. The Council of Ministers also approved a draft Agreement on Military Cooperation between the Timor-Leste and of Portugal and covers inter alia the training of personnel and the provision of technical advice. The Bill on the Election of Suco Chiefs and Suco Councils was also approved the Ministers. The bill is expected to set out the responsibilities and competencies of chiefs and councils, as well as rules and procedures for the electoral process. It also aims at ensuring the legitimacy and democratization of local government organs with a view to organizing the democratic participation of citizens in solving community problems, thereby contributing to the sustainable and smooth development of the country (TP, Lusa)

Don't Trade Justice for Peace, Prosecutor Pleads

Timor-Leste's Prosecutor General, Longuinhos Monteiro, has warned that the country could face internal political problems if it drops cases against alleged Indonesian human rights violators to advance good relations with Jakarta, reported The Age on Wednesday. "I have always argued that we should keep this process going to avoid internal problems, because if we close the doors of the Serious Crimes Unit, we will have problems", he said, according to the Australian daily. Arguing that Timor-Leste has a moral obligation to victims and to the world, the Prosecutor underlined the contradiction between its need for good relations with Indonesia and the need to judge those accused of atrocities. He said he would drop prosecutions if Timor Leste's foreign policy demanded it. "Until then I'll continue the accusations," he added, saying he felt the Government was not giving him sufficient moral support. He said the UN had indicated it would continue backing the crimes unit, under Timorese control since independence, but only if the Government agreed. The Age also quoted Justice Minister Domingos Sarmento, who said the prosecutor has the Government's full backing "but the area of serious crimes is a UN, not a Timorese Government responsibility". He said it was not necessary to ask for Government approval: "If war crimes have been committed, the UN must establish an international court." (The SMH, The Age)

Bracks Will Open Victoria's Tribute to Balibo five

The Australian Premier of Victoria State, Steve Bracks will visit the Timorese village of Balibó later this year to open a memorial to five Australian television journalists killed by Indonesian soldiers there in 1975. The house in which the five stayed in the days before their death is being turned into a memorial and a community centre with the support of the Victorian Government, two Australian commercial TV stations and many companies. Bracks told the Victorian Parliament on Tuesday that the reconstruction of the house, which was virtually a shell when bought recently, was almost finished. "I believe this is an important initiative to build on the strong relationship we have between the East Timorese people and Victoria," he said. The centre will run computer and sewing courses, provide childcare and vocational, educational and literacy training. It will also house a library and be available for meetings. Bracks said members of the journalists' families would travel to Balibó for the dedication and the opening. (The Age)

MPs Will Visit Switzerland and Norway

A delegation of Timor-Leste's National Parliament comprising member's from Fretilin, PSD, PD, ASDT, UDT, AND PDC will visit Switzerland and Norway on 11October. The delegation will be led by the House Speaker, Francisco Guterres Lu-Olo. Among topics to be discussed during the visit, are the duties and functions of National Parliament and the relationship between Parliaments and the Government, civil society and community. In addition to the visit to Switzerland and Norway, the delegation also attend a meeting of Parliamentarians of Portuguese Speaking Countries in Brazil. (TP)

EU Delegation in East Nusa Tenggara

A delegation of the European Union (EU)`s Representative Office in Timor-Leste will visit Belu district, East Nusa Tenggara province, on September 17-19, reported the Indonesian news agency ANTARA on Tuesday. The delegation will observe the implementation of the assistance program of Japanese government worth Rp53 billion, for East Timorese ex-refugees in Belu district. Belu District Deputy Chief Bria Yohanes told ANTARA that the EU officials` visit is very important, because it could "strengthen the trust of donor countries in Indonesia". (ANTARA)

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