Subject: Timor-Leste Local Media Monitoring April 15, 2004

Timor-Leste International and Local Media Monitoring April 15, 2004


Timor Sea policy change needed

A new campaign to pressure the Australian government into changing its policy over gas and oil production in the Timor Sea has been launched in Melbourne. The Australian Parliament passed laws putting an agreement between Australia and East Timor to develop oil and gas resources into effect last month.

The Timor Sea Justice Campaign says there are no permanent maritime boundaries between Australia and East Timor, and Australia is currently taking 72 per cent of the money from the Timor Sea Gas and Oil reserves. Campaign spokesperson Dan Nicholson says Australia will take more than 10 billion dollars over the next 30 years, with most of it coming from operations in fields which are closer to East Timor than Australia. He says they hope to change the government's mind ahead of talks between Australia and East Timor in Dili on April the 19th.

UN refuses to publish Timor report

A human rights expert has called for new charges to be laid against senior Indonesian leaders, based on war crimes evidence salvaged from smoldering barracks during their army's 1999 retreat from East Timor. Canadian Geoffrey Robinson made the call in a report. It is the most damning and rigorous assessment to date of the violence accompanying the UN referendum in which East Timorese voted overwhelming to end over two decades of Indonesian occupation.

The Geneva-based UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights contracted the report in 2002, but the UN has refused to release it publicly since completion in July 2003. Robinson called for charges against 75 Indonesian officers and politicians, including figures not previously implicated. These include three members of the 1999 cabinet and the present minister for National security in the Megawati government, retired general A.M. Hendropryono.

Ministry of Health burns drugs out of date

The Minister of Health, Dr Rui Maria de Araujo, said that 8 containers containing out of date drugs (medicine) will be burned in Tibar (outskirts of Dili) today. He said that most of the drugs that have expired are aspirins, paracetamol and antibiotics. Meanwhile four ambulances (donated by Australia during the transitional period in 2000) have stopped servicing. The Minister of Health said that the main reason for the four ambulances not to run is that they don't have spare parts for the ambulances, and the maintenance costs too much.

Eye specialist from Australia treated 65 patients

A catholic Sister in the Sub-District of Bobonaro, Maria Rosa Tilman Pereira, said that an eye specialist from Australia was able to restore the vision back to 65 members of the population in the Sub-District of Bobonaro. She said that people are happy and thank the eye specialist for his generosity. Sister Pereira said that the eye specialist was able to supply glasses for as little as USD$2 to patients with weak eyesight.

Timor Post

Oxygen plant for Timor-Leste

The Minister of Health, Dr Rui Maria de Araujo, said a project presented by his Ministry has been approved to establish an oxygen plant (factory) in Timor-Leste to supply to the entire country hospitals. The minister said that his Ministry is currently working with a private sector to establish the oxygen plant.

FM praises Mozambique's backing of independence struggle

East Timor's Foreign Minister, Jose Ramos Horta, has paid tribute to Mozambique's support of his country's long independence struggle against Indonesia. Speaking at the inauguration of Timor's new embassy in Maputo, Ramos Horta said Dili had chosen Mozambique for its first African diplomatic mission because of its historic solidarity with the fledgling Asian nation.

35 farmers in training for better quality of rice

The National Director for Food Production in the Ministry of Agriculture, Deolindo da Silva, said that 35 farmers from the Districts of Manatuto, Baucau and Lospalos are receiving training from the Ministry of Agriculture on how to produce better quality of rice. He said that the objective of the ministry of Agriculture is for the farmers to identify the better quality rice seeds for them to plant. Mr da Silva said that the training will facilitate the farmers in future to identify the seeds and pass or share their knowledge with other farmers.

Jose Filipe External Affairs World Bank, Dili Office Ph: 723 0554 Tel: 332 4649 Email:

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