Subject: Timor-Leste Local Media Monitoring May 13, 2004
Timor-Leste International and Local Media Monitoring May 13, 2004
Coffee can cut trade deficit, says PM
East Timor's severe trade balance deficit, with exports only accounting for 5 percent of total foreign trade, could be eased by the boosting of coffee exports, Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri said yesterday. The Prime Minister, presenting proposed legislation to protect and regulate overseas investment in Timor, underscored Timor's "asymmetric" trade patterns, noting that the country's main export was coffee. Timorese coffee is a premium product, with established organic properties, and as only 30 percent of the annual crop is exported, there is room for "significant expansion of coffee exports", the Prime Minister told lawmakers.
Australia plans to leave 100 troops in East Timor
Australia will leave around 100 peacekeeping troops in East Timor if the United Nations extends its mission in the world's newest country for another year as expected, the Government said yesterday. 'Our force size will probably be reduced to about 100,' a spokeswoman for Australian Defence Minister Robert Hill said. 'Maybe some engineers, maybe some headquarters people and some logistics support will stay, and I think we will also provide some of the military liaison people.' 'We haven't seen signs of the militia for a long time. We don't think that East Timor's challenges are external security challenges,' Hill's spokeswoman said. 'Indonesia is being supportive and helpful. The biggest challenges to East Timor in terms of security will be law and order. That includes things like customs and border issues and people movements but not an armed threat.'
Fretilin on receiving end
A Member of the National Parliament, Maria Paixão, was very critical to the majority party at the National Parliament for withdrawing the amnesty law, saying that from the beginning the Social Democratic Party (PSD) has voted against the law. She said that it needs a revision before it can be presented to the National Parliament for approval.
Zero tolerance for corruption, says Inspector General
The Inspector General, Mariano Lopes da Cruz, said that it?s not only for the Government to fight corruption but the entire country needs to stop and denounce corruption that has surfaced within the public administration. He said that corruption can have an affect on the National Development Plan. Mr Lopes said that he has done 47 inspections, all about corruption, and found that the Dili Port has the most irregularities and the Government is trying to find out why it's happening. Mr Lopes said, for example, certain ministerial people use the petty cash abusively using other people?s names to waste Government money for their own benefits. Mr Lopes said that sometimes people fake signatures just to take other people's salary as their own.
Government does not recognize veterans, says L-4
The Coordinator for the Commissão dos Antigo's Veteranos das Falintil (CAVF), Andre da Costa Belo (known has L-4), said that the Government of Timor-Leste, since the restoration of the Republic Democratic of Timor-Leste, has not recognized the ex-Veterans and Ex-Falintil fighters. He said just as an example the Police does not respect the veterans and accuses them of causing disturbances in the country. Mr Belo said that an ex-Falintil was arrested by the Police recently in Hera (outskirts of Dili) without any respect for the man that gave his life for the struggle, and took him to jail without any justice.
Public administration 'paralysed' without diesel
The District Administrator in Manufahi, Same, Filomeno Tilman, said that the public administration has been paralysed for the last two weeks because of the shortage of diesel. He said that in many instances public servants had to fill cars with their own money just to be able to carry out their work. Meanwhile the State Director for the Public Administration, Lino Torrezão, said that Manufahi is not the only District affected with the shortage of diesel but there are also other Districts in the same conditions. He said that his Ministry is looking at alternatives at the moment with the Ministry of Planning and Finance to overcome the problem.
East Timor needs continued assistance
East Timor (yesterday) appealed to the UN Security Council to continue assistance to the nascent nation through the UN Mission of Support in East Timor (UNMISET). The country is still a work in progress in need of assistance in developing its economy and justice system and settling land border issues with Indonesia. It also needs to settle its maritime border with Australia, the latter linked to rights offshore oil and gas reserve. There was no disagreement among the council members that the mission should be extended for a final year, the questions were what the new mandate should be and what mix of military and police personnel were necessary. Timorese officials had said they were concerned the drawdown of troops was too rapid. "I must emphasize the need for substantial and continuing support from our development partners to overcome the formidable challenges before our new nation,' said East Timor's State Minister Ana Pessoa Pinto. ?All efforts at enlightened governance cannot succeed unless we can also advance economically and show visible improvements in the quality of life and the creation of jobs.?
Jose Filipe External Affairs World Bank, Dili Office
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