Subject: Timor-Leste Local Media Monitoring Feb 23, 2004

Timor-Leste International and Local Media Monitoring Feb 23, 2004

East Timor: Gusmão sets up inquiry commission into army indiscipline

President Xanana Gusmão, acting in response to acts of indiscipline in East Timor's fledgling army, swore in a commission of inquiry Friday to evaluate the Defense Force. Gusmão, who will preside over the commission, set a four-week deadline for the team to report its findings and make recommendations. The commission is composed of cabinet members, lawmakers and five foreign diplomats, including the Portuguese ambassador, who will act as advisers. The president's initiative came in the wake of mounting friction between the Defense Force and the National Police and a rampage last month during which soldiers wrecked the police station in the eastern town of Lospalos.


Bishop Belo wants to be the next President

STL reports on an article published on "Semanario", a weekly Portuguese newspaper, and reprinted on today's edition of STL that the former Administrator of Diocese of Dili, Bishop D. Ximenes Belo, wants to run in the next presidencial elections. The article says that the bishop to be able to run he first needs authorization from the Vatican, and secondly he needs the support of the people. According to STL sources closed to D Ximenes Belo said that the former Bishop has not given any interviewed or statement to any newspaper regarding his running for presidency.

Cloud over army role in East Timor

The rumours started four years ago. SAS troops in conflict with and Indonesian-backed militia group near Suai on October 6, 1999 had overstepped the rules of battle. They tortured East Timorese militiamen, the rumours said. They had kicked corpses. They had taken photographs as trophies. One militia man had been executed. Eleven months later, the Australian Defence Force opened an investigation into 19 allegations of misconduct, without saying what the allegations were. Last April the chief of the Australian army, Lieutenant-General Peter Leahy, said the investigation was complete. There had been no execution. Thirteen of the allegations were unsubstantiated, four were substantiated and required improvements in management. Investigations were made, but the full report of the investigation was never released. The only charge brought was dismissed as witness wilted and sought levels of anonymity the court would not grant. None of the allegations was ever tested in court.

There'll be no one left to sweep the floor says PM

The Prime Minister, Dr Mari Alkatiri, said that to find work nowadays, the youth of Timor-Leste needed to develop their skill "in every area of the trade". He said that it is important for youth to follow technical studies in mechanics and electricity. Dr Alkatiri said that if every graduate decides they must have a job at the office, then there will be no one to clean the floors, and this country will not survive. He said that the Government has a National Development Plan to create jobs for the people, but, he said, the Government alone cannot do this unless the private sector also takes the initiative. Dr Alkatiri also said that one of the major problems the Government faces is a lack of discipline within the work place. He said that the Government is waiting for the Parliament to approve the draft law that regulates the public sector so it can then deal with undisciplined civil servants.

Timor Post

Konis Santana school inaugurated by PM

During the Konis Santana school inauguration in Lospalos, this weekend, The Prime Minister, Dr Mari Alkatiri, said that the people of Lospalos should be proud and honored to have a school named after a hero "Konis Santana". He said that the school rehabilitation which cost USD$ 349,999 was financed by Government budget and not from TFET. Dr Alkatiri said that the objective is to follow the National Development Plan and to show that Timor-Leste has also capacity to develop a better future of this country.

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

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