Subject: Timor-Leste Local Media Monitoring June 2, 2004

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Timor-Leste International and Local Media Monitoring June 2, 2004

Timor Post

National police accused of raping girl

Today's edition of the paper says that nine members of the National Police Force of Timor-Leste (PNTL) appeared in Dili court accused of involvement in the rape of an 18-year-old girl. The Police Commissioner, Paulo de Fatima Martins, said that according to the victim's testimony, a man told her that he was taking her to a police station but instead drove her to the area of Tasi Tolu together with the nine Police officers, who later raped her. According to the newspaper the nine police officers had been suspended from their duties while an investigation was underway and before they appeared in court. The newspaper says that the incident occurred on May 10 and was only reported by the victim recently. Meanwhile the Police Commissioner said that the nine police officers were detained by the Rapid Intervention Unit after they were released by the court. Mr Martins said that the National Police felt that they should be detained for the sake of the young girl's wellbeing. Mr Martins said that the criminal behavior of the nine men has diminished the credibility within the Police Force.

Custom-house under better control, says PM

The Prime Minister, Dr Mari Alkatiri, said that the custom-house is delivering better service now than in 2001, and the annual revenues were just turning USD 9 million dollars. The Prime Minister said that the system is operating better and the revenue is over USD16 million dollars.

Students with qualifications is important, says Maia

The Minister of Education, Culture, Youth and Sports, Dr Armindo Maia, said that his Ministry plans to have better qualified students when they finish their studies at the secondary school or University. The Minister said that he cannot accomplished this yet because there is no law for the curriculum.

Management education is very important

The Vice-Minister of education, Rosalia Corte Real, said that the training activities taken by the NGO Klibur Mata Dalam to all the cooperatives is very important for the future contribution to the economy of the nation. The Vice-Minister said that it's important nowadays because Timor-Leste is depending on other nations economy.

Catholic radio shuts down due to lack of funding

Today's edition of the paper says that the Catholic Radio Station Radio Timor Kmanek (RTK) will soon close down due to lack of funds. The newspaper says that RTK's 27 staff were asked to stop working while the Diocese of Dili ponders the future of the radio station. RTK is directed by father Adriano Ola, and the Radio station was established in February 1998. Meanwhile a Member of the National Parliament for Democratic Party (PD), Rui Menezes, said that the Catholic radio station should not depend only on funding for its survival and look for alternatives, otherwise all the media will die in Timor-Leste.

Sandalwood handed over to Ministry of Agriculture

Forty tones of sandalwood confiscated by the authorities from illegal traders in the districts of Aileu, Manatuto, Baucau, Lautem, Bobonaro, Liquiça, Oe-Cussi and Covalima were handed to the Ministry of Agriculture. The Minister of Agriculture said that the sandalwood would be sold later and the money would be used by his department for reforestation programs. The legislation forbade the sale of rare sandalwood established during the UNTAET period.

Suara Timor Loro Sa'e (STL)

Psychiatric assistance needed at the National Parliament, says Paixão

A Member of the National Parliament for Social Democratic Party (PSD), Maria Paixão, said that Members of the National Parliament need psychiatric treatment before making any political statements. Mrs Paixão said that all Members of the National Parliament, according to her judgment, are all crazy and need medical assistance. The Vice-President of the National Parliament, Francisco Xavier do Amaral, thanked Mrs Paixão for her advice, without adding any suggestions.

Government cars not for private use, says Jesus

During a visit to the District of Manufahe, Same, the Secretary of State for Electricity and Water, Igidio de Jesus, said that public servants cannot and should not use the Government's cars for family outings on the weekend. He made an appeal to the people in Manufahe to report the use of Government cars by civil servants. Apart from restraining the use of Government's cars, the Secretary of State for Electricity took the opportunity to appeal to electricity consumers to pay for the electricity they use, and thus contribute to the National Development Plan established by the Government.

Dili District Court

The newspaper reports that Australian researcher and journalist King-McKinlay, accused of subversion and illegal possession of ammunition, was conditionally released. He is currently awaiting trial before the Dili District Court. The accused was initially detained for questioning due to a breach of his visa conditions but after a raid on his house the charges were increased to subversion, which carries a maximum sentence of 7 years imprisonment under the Indonesian Penal Code.

Government of Indonesia contributes to TL development

The Secretary General for Commerce and Industry, Rui Manuel da Costa Castro, said that the Republic of Indonesia is very important to Timor-Leste as a neighbor and should have been included on the list as one of the major donor countries. He said that most of the imports from Indonesia are tax free, and traders can afford to sell at lower prices. Mr Castro said that but to the contrary, the tax imposed by the Government of Timor-Leste on the imported goods are higher, and thus forces the traders to sell it at high prices.

Jose Filipe External Affairs World Bank, Dili Office

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