Subject: Timor-Leste Local Media Monitoring January 5, 2004

Timor-Leste International and Local Media Monitoring January 5, 2004


Lack of jobs creates problems

A Member of the National Parliament, Alexandre de Araujo Cortereal, said that the recent problems that occurred in Timor-Leste are caused by frustration and lack of job opportunities for the people. he added that the Government should accelerate the adoption of the investment law. Mr Cortereal said that it is also important that the Government gives guarantee to the investor in terms of security for them to be able to invest and create jobs that are desperately needed.

Patients without food in Aileu hospital

A midwife from Aileu Hospital, Manuela Antonia Ximenes, said that since the beginning of December last year until now the hospital administration cannot afford to buy food to be able to feed the patients, because there is no money for it. Mrs Ximenes also said that at the moment the food is delivered by a restaurant in Aileu but so far they have not paid the bills. The administration finds it very difficult to find ways to finance their needs at the Hospital.

RESPECT programs in socialization

The District Administrator of Lautem, Olavio da Costa, said that he's ready to start setting up meetings with members of population at the Aldeia and Suco level, to discuss broadly and find out their views and concerns to be able to set up the RESPECT programs. He added that priority will be given to those at the Suco level as an incentive for them to develop their capacity.

CPD-RDTL distributed new ID cards

The National Police Officer in the Sub-District of Bobonaro, Atanasio Barreto, said that the CPD-RDTL has started making and distributing their personal ID cards to the population, by saying that their ID card is the national one and not the one given during UNTAET time. Mr Barreto also said that the CPD-RDTL have said to the population that if they do not register through them they will not be considered as Timorese in future and will be labeled as traitors. He added that members of the Police Force have started an investigation and have already confiscated few cards from the population. (no mention if any arrests had been made).

A sense of duty

From the rocky, tree-shaded summit of "Mount Everest", 1980m up in the cool, moist highlands of Bobonaro ranges in East Timor, Lieutenant-Colonel Glen Babington surveys his domain. The view from this Australian manned mountain redoubts sweeps dramatically down a precipitous slope towards the great green gorge of Maliana pass and away to a broad flood plain stretching away to the northern coast of East Timor. Far below in the hazy middle distance, beyond the rusty crimson roofs of the town of Maliana, surrounded by green paddy fields, you can see the regular lines of the Australian base at Moleana ? the main military base for operations in the western sector of East Timor. The Moleana base, a small township in itself, with its long lines of prefab cabins, helicopter airfield, massive heavy equipment sheds, electricity generators and sewage system, will be deserted but remain a physical testament to the $2 billion Australia has spent supporting East Timor since late 1999. In less than 20 weeks Australia's great military adventure in East Timor will be over. From a high of 5,700 in late 1999, fewer than 500 Australian servicemen and women remain in the country. At midnight on May 20, when the UN peacekeeping operations officially ends, Australia's largest overseas military commitment since Vietnam will wind up. A few dozen Australian military trainers and observers will remain in the country, together with police and civilian advisers. But for the foreseeable future, whether we like it or not, East Timor will rely on Australia as the implicit guarantor of its security. Full membership of ASEAN for East Timor would transform its security outlook, but that essential goal is still years away. For some senior members of ASEAN, East Timor is seen as largely Australia's problem.

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Jose Filipe External Affairs World Bank, Dili Office

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