Subject: Timor-Leste Local Media Monitoring March 16, 2004

Timor-Leste International and Local Media Monitoring March 16, 2004

Timor Post

IRI book an offence to the people of this country

The President of the National Parliament, Lu Olo, said that the book launched by the International Republican Institute (IRI) portraying the Timorese people as monkeys is an offence to the people and its leaders. He said that the book has diminished the dignity of the President, the National Parliament and the Government. Mr Lu Olo said that IRI has shown no respect whatsoever to the people of this country. He said portraying someone as a monkey is very offensive. Meanwhile the President of Timor-Leste, Xanana Gusmão, has said he refuses to have the book in his office and he has written a letter saying he does want to have is name associated with the book. The Office of the President stated that the President supports the promotion of democracy, but any program to do so must the appropriate criteria and cultural values, and cannot offend the sensibility of the people.

SPP under the responsibility of MAFF

The General Director for the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Cesar Jose da Cruz, said that the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (MAFF) is studding the possibility of establishing a "Training School for Agriculture" (SPP) in conjunction with the Department of Education. He said that the curriculum would be drafted by the Ministry of Agriculture and it would be responsible for the school. Mr Da Cruz said that the Ministry has already two schools functioning in Natarbora and Maliana, and is supporting the private agriculture school in Fuiluro.

Cheaper electricity when everyone pays, says PM

The Prime Minister, Dr Mari Alkatiri, said if everyone starts paying their electricity bills, he will guarantee that in three or six months everyone, will benefit from cheaper rates. He said that the Government is not seeking profits, but needs to have money to be able to pay for the diesel to run the electricity generators. Dr Alkatiri said people should not expect the Government to allocate money from other sectors to pay for diesel.

People are waiting for lady bird

The Director for the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fishery in the District of Baucau, Lourenco Borges Fontes, said that the number of lady birds have doubled but they have not released it yet. The lady birds will combat the disease that is killing coconut tress in the Baucau area. Mr Fontes said that the population had contributed a lot of suggestions and a meeting had been called by the chefe sucos to inform people that the lady birds can't be released until the end of the wet season.

TL has 3% of people infected with HIV/AIDS

The Technical Officer for the Asia Regional Health Surveillance, Elisabeth Pisani, said that according to data released by Family Health International and the Ministry of Health, shows that of 100 women tested (Timorese and Indonesian sex workers) 3% of them had HIV/AIDS. She said the tests were done amongst a wide range of people, including army (F-FDTL) and taxi drivers. These results were negative. Ms Pisani said that 1% of gay men tested in Timor had tested positive.


Political statement against Horta by PSD

During a Plenary session, a member of the Social Democratic Party (PSD), Maria Paixão, said that the statement made criticising the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Dr Ramos Horta for not being neutral in the alleged case of bribery by ConocoPhillips to the Prime Minister, was reflective of her party's views. Mrs Paixão said that Dr Ramos Horta should be neutral, but instead had thrown fuel on the fire for political parties to fight each other. She said that's not the role of a person who has won the Nobel Peace Prize.

School Directors from 13 Districts meet in Dili

The Director of the Catholic Pre-secondary School, Cesario Magno Sarmento, said that the objective of the school directors' meeting was to debate the education project and plan for their annual activities. The meeting will last five days. Mr Sarmento said that School Directors are always demanding for their rights but it's important for them also to understand their own obligations.

CEP handover to local Government in Oe-Cussi

The Manager of the Community Empowerment Project (CEP) in the District of Oe-Cussi, Agostinho Piot, said during a meeting with the local population that in March, CEP will start handing over assets to the local government structure in Oe-Cussi, including money that has not being used in projects. Mr Piot said that from the beginning, CEP had to confront many problems and issues, but at the end, it left many people with some experience in management.

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

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