Subject: Timor-Leste Local Media Monitoring April 14, 2004
Timor-Leste International and Local Media Monitoring April 14, 2004-04-13
Australia Labor blames "Bullying" Govt for Timor Gas row
Australia's major opposition Labor Party on Tuesday blamed the government's "bullying" tactics for East Timor's refusal to ratify a revenue-sharing agreement covering the AUD$6 billion Greater Sunrise gas development in the resource-rich Timor Sea. Labor spokesman for mining and energy Joel Fitzgibbon accused the conservative government of not acting in good faith in relation to maritime boundaries with its impoverished northern neighbour. The Australian Parliament passed the unitization agreement bill last month. "Billions of dollars worth of projects critical to Timor's and Australia's economic wellbeing now have a big black cloud hanging over them," Labor's Fitzgibbon said. He said the Liberal-National coalition government should stop delaying boundary negotiations and settle permanent boundaries within a reasonable timeframe. East Timor contends its maritime boundaries with Australia, set during the 1970s, should be redrawn under current international law. Australia and East Timor are due to hold negotiations on a permanent maritime boundary in the Timor capital of Dili between April 19 and 23.
Ninjas reappear in Dili
The Minister of Interior, Rogerio Tiago Lobato, said that people dressed up in ninjas clothes have terrorized people in the outskirts of Dili, Bidau Massau. The Minister said that according to the information the ninjas have a list with names of people they want to kill or beat up. Mr Lobato appealed to the population to support the National Police with any information of the ninjas whereabouts, because these people are criminals. The Minister said that the National Police has arrested one of the alleged ninjas. The Minister said that these people want to show to donors that the country does not have stability, and the international community will not invest in the country.
Do not try to cause violence, says PM
The Prime Minister, Dr Mari Alkatiri, said that after May 20 the situation in Timor-Leste will be under control when the Government takes full control of everything. The Prime Minister appealed to disregard rumours that people are spreading. Dr Alkatiri said that he guarantees the people that the situation in Timor-Leste will be under control, and people cannot do anything they like just because of human rights and get away with it. The Prime Minister said he's not threatening anyone or groups but stability and peace has a high price.
Djafar Alkatiri resigns
The Chief of Staff in the Office of the President, Agio Pereira, said that the Ambassador of Timor-Leste in Malaysia, Djafar Alkatiri, has sent a letter of resignation to the President. Mr Pereira said that the reason for his request is due to high demand and heavy workload at the Embassy. Mr Pereira said that the President has not made any decision on Mr Alkatiri's request for resignation.
Protests against Australia start today
The National Movement Against Australia starts protesting today in front of the Australia Embassy in Dili (about the disputed boundaries) in Timor Sea, and shouts out against the Australian theft of Timor-Leste natural resources. The protesters have received moral support from the National Parliament, and some members are taking part. A Member of the National Parliament, Manuel Tilman, said that we participate in the rally as Timor-Leste citizens to defend the national interest of the Timor Sea resources, and its not only the interest of a group or two. He said that it is important that the entire people participate in this protest. Meanwhile the President, Xanana Gusmao, has not decided to speak at the rally in front of the Australian Embassy, according to the Chief of Staff in the President Office, Agio Pereira. Mr Pereira said that the President has said that if people want to protest let them protest but avoid confrontation or cause problems. Mr Pereira said that the President said that the protest is not against the people of Australia but is against the Australian government policies.
President Gusmao readying visits to Portugal, South Africa
President Xanana Gusmao of East Timor will visit Portugal and South Africa later this month to attend historic landmark celebrations in the two countries, an official announced Monday in Dili. The President is expected to be in Portugal for a week-long visit coinciding with events marking the 30th anniversary of the democracy-restoring April 25 Carnation Revolution that signalled the end of Lisbon's overseas empire, including Timor. On April 26th, the Timorese leader will fly to South Africa, which will be celebrating the 10th anniversary of white-minority rule.
Jose Filipe External Affairs World Bank, Dili Office
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