Subject: Timor-Leste Local Media Monitoring

Timor-Leste International and Local Media Monitoring May 26, 2004

Timor Post

Timor-Leste-Indonesia relations growing

The head of the Indonesian mission in Timor-Leste, Fauzi Bustani, said that relations between Timor-Leste and Indonesia are growing steadily, pointing to the high number of official visits to both countries. Mr Bustani said that increasing economic ties is also a sign of good relations between the Indonesian and Timor-Leste Governments.

11 hunger strikers in hospital

Eleven hunger strikers who had been protesting in front of the Australian Embassy in Dili, about the Australian Government?s position over the Timor Sea natural resources, were taken to the National Hospital and are under intensive care. According to the national local newspaper, Brazilian and the Pakistani PKF soldiers have been providing health assistance to the demonstrators on hunger strike.

Educate yourselves instead of being lazy, says PM

During a speech for the inauguration of a bridge in the District of Same, the Prime Minister, Dr Mari Alkatiri, said that the Timorese should educate themselves to help develop the country instead of being lazy. The Prime Minister said that the government alone cannot do the development without everyone?s involvement in the process. Meanwhile the President, Xanana Gusmão, said that the Government has set up as one of the priorities the road and bridge repair as part of the development of the nation, and everyone should be happy about it. The President said that it is very difficult to decide which is the top priority for this new nation, when just about everything needs urgent attention.


Police used violence during investigation, says Pereira

A Member of Fretilin at the National Parliament, Ciprinana Pereira, said that during an investigation a Police Commander in Atauro, identified only by his initials ML, used a chair on top of a toe of the suspect just to obtain information. In addition the suspect was submitted to brutality by the Police Officer. Ms Pereira said that the Police should not resort to this kind of brutality because it is a gross violation of human rights.

Let tribunal draw boundary marker

East Timor celebrated its second anniversary as a nation on Thursday (last week). The people voted for independence from Indonesia in 1999 and the territory was under the administration of the United Nations until its independence in May 2002. Yet the newest nation in Asia is still the poorest and it is likely to remain so. At this year?s ceremony, President Gusmão called for the international community to help in providing educational and vocational opportunities. In the long run this is the best path to self-sufficiency, but East Timor does have one resource which could help break the poverty cycle in the near term: there are vast oil and natural gas fields off the coast in the Timor Sea, between East Timor and Australia. Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer recently advised East Timor to calm down and ?think about the bilateral relationship and make sure they negotiate with an eye to international law?. If international law is the issue, why not take the next logical step and avoid possible acrimonious bilateral negotiations? Let the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea decide on where the proper boundary should be drawn.

Jose Filipe External Affairs World Bank, Dili Office

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