Subject: Timor-Leste Local Media Monitoring Jan 6, 2004

Timor-Leste International and Local Media Monitoring Jan 6, 2004


ACU supports education in East Timor

Australian Catholic University Vice-Chancellor Professor Peter Sheehan has led a delegation to welcome the first group of 53 enrolling students at the opening of the Catholic Teachers College at Baucau, East Timor in November. The students will study a three year Bachelor of Teaching degree, validated by ACU National. Affirming ACU's commitment to education in East Timor, he said: "Education is at the heart of nation-building and will lay the foundations for the future peace and prosperity of East Timor." "Support for the Bachelor of Teaching program is a contribuition from ACU National to Australia's aid program which focuses building the capacity of the people of East Timor to run an effective, democratic government and administration," he said. The Catholic Teachers College at Baucau, sponsored by the Marist Brothers from the province of Melbourne, was officially opened by the President of East Timor, Mr Xanana Gusmao and the Bishop, D. Basilio do Nascimento.

Aussie troops could stay in East Timor longer

East Timor has called for Australian troops to remain in Dili beyond May next year to increase the capital's security forces. East Timor's Foreign Minister, Jose Ramos Horta, has reportedly called for a two year extension of the United Nations mandate, which expires in May 2004. But East Timor is yet to formally request and extension from Canberra. East Timor has also called for the UN to send a 400 strong paramilitary force, 50 military observers to assist in border security, and 70 civilian advisers for Government ministries to the nation.

Hatobuilico cannot afford to pay electricity

A member of the community in the Sub-District of Hatobuilico, Antonio Soares, said that the population cannot afford to pay the electricity bills because they are poor and the economy is not sustainable. Mr Soares also said that the Government demands that everyone should pay their bills but they don't know the difficulties people are facing. He added that before any decision is made they should pay a visit and see it with their own eyes.

Government needs to support farmers

The Coordinator of the Department of Agriculture in the District of Lautem, Valerio Ximenes, said that people are unhappy because it has been a long and dry summer for them in the fields. He added that the Government should pay close attention to the people's needs because they cannot afford to buy food at the market.

PNTL should not create problems

A member of the Human Rights Association in Timor-Leste (Yayasan Hak), Fernando da Costa, said that the National Police Force cannot create problems for the people otherwise they will be compared with the Police during Indonesian time. Mr da Costa also said that the Police in any conflict that arises, just arrest people without any investigation and keep them in jail more then 48 hours which violates the law. He added that the Police have violated and disrespected the law of Human Rights many times.

Firaku and Kaladi talk of the town

The Brigadier General of F-FDTL, Taur Matan Ruak, said people should not pay any attention to the rumours circulating about Firaku against the Kaladi, because it is done with the purpose to divide the community. He added that the dispute between the two groups (Kaladi and Firaku) has existed since the Portuguese time.

Timor Post

Government overspent in trips

A Member of the National Parliament, Rui Menezes, said that only last year members of the Government spent nearly USD $500,000 in trips abroad and it seems that it was not enough for them. He added that the Government needs to explain to the Parliament about these overhead expenditures just in trips. Mr Menezes also said that the USD$500,000 spend in trips was allocated for one year and the Government was able to spent it in just three months. He added that it's an appalling to see that they have included on the budget for this year an additional USD$250,000 just for trips. Mr Menezes also said that the Government should invest more on programs established by them and pay a close attention to the necessities of the people in rural areas.

Militia sighted in Ermera

During a Plenary Session in the National Parliament a Member of Fretilin Member, Elizario Ferreira, said that in the District of Ermera 70 armed militia members, who that have infiltrated from Cailaco, Maliana, Bobonaro, Hatolia and Atsabe were sighted. He added that this information was collected and put together by the local authorities in Atsabe and Ermera. Mr Ferreira also said that the militias were well armed and came from Atambua and have asked the population food. He added that the militias are concentrating in the areas of Cailaco, Hatolia and Atsabe, and so far the Police have not taken any action since the information was passed on to them November last year.

Irrigation system washed by storm waters

A Member of the Parliament, Joao Goncalves, said that the irrigation system in the Sub-District of Atabae is in danger of being washed away due to the strong water caused by heavy rain that has lasted for a few days. He added that the Ministry of Agriculture should solve the irrigation system problem as soon as possible before 230 hectares of rice fields potentially go underwater. Mr Goncalves also said that 50 meters of the irrigation wall has been washed away by the strong current from Mota Loes river.

CPD-RDTL says will take over when UNMISET ends

The President of the Timor's Popular Party (PPT), Jacob Xavier, said that CPD-RDTL has said to the population in Ainaro that as soon the UNMISET mission ends they will take over the Government. He added that CPD-RDTL must have backing to state that publicly. Mr Xavier said that CPD-RDTL members in Ainaro have said that they have already established their own Government and that they do not believe in the President of Timor-Leste.

Jose Filipe External Affairs World Bank, Dili Office Ph: 723 3110 Tel: 332 4649

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