Subject: UNMISET Daily Media Review 28 January 2005

UNMISET Daily Press Review

Compiled by the Public Information Office from national and international sources

Daily Media Review Friday, 28 January 2005

President Gusmão heads to Indonesia for ‘truth commission’ talks Dili, 27 January - President Xanana Gusmão departed Thursday to Jakarta for talks with his Indonesian counterpart, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, on the creation of a bilateral truth commission on Indonesian atrocities committed in East Timor in 1999. Gusmão, who is accompanied by Foreign Minister José Ramos Horta, will remain in Jakarta through Saturday, officials said.

Before departing Dili, Gusmão told a news conference he would personally deliver to Yudhoyono some US $75,000, or euros 50,000, in Timorese donations for survivors of last month’s deadly tsunami. Gusmão, who launched the aid campaign, asking that his poverty- stricken people “share part of the little they have”, said the drive had even netted “chickens and goats” from peasant donors. (LUSA)

Timor-Leste gives ‘symbolic’ donation for Indonesia’s Tsunami victims Dili, 27 January - President Xanana Gusmão departed Thursday for Jakarta carrying a “symbolic” donation of US $75,000 from his people for the victims of the Dec. 26 earthquake and tsunami disaster in Indonesia’s Aceh province. Gusmão said at a pre-departure press conference in Timor-Leste’s capital Dili that the money was collected through a door-to-door fundraising operation supported by the government, and will be handed to Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono in Jakarta.

“This small country of poor people shows its sincere, heartfelt sympathy and love for those who suffer and are in need”, Gusmão said in the country’s official language, Tetun. “Not too long ago, it was us, the people of Timor-Leste , who received substantial international support following the tragic events of September 1999. Today, we are proud to contribute in our small way, to help alleviate the suffering of our nearest neighbours”, he said.

The day after the disaster in Aceh, Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri provided a token of US $50,000 from the fledgling country’s tiny budget for the relief effort there, winning praise from the United Nations and elsewhere. (AP)

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono: “Solve the problems between Indonesia and Timor-Leste bilaterally ”

Speaking to the press yesterday evening during President Xanana’s visit to Jakarta, Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said that the solution for the pending issues post August 1999 popular consultation between Timor-Leste and Indonesia should be found bilaterally in the framework of the Commission of Truth and Friendship which is yet to be established, and not through other frameworks including sending a Commission of Experts by the United Nations.

Moreover, Yudhoyono said that he and President Xanana had agreed on the idea of solving the pending issues in such a framework. “These are the things that push us to tell the United Nations, and the world that solving the problems in that manner will be the best, and the wisest thing to do”, said President Yudhoyono.

Meanwhile, President Yudhoyono expressed gratitude and appreciation to President Xanana for the assistance of Timor-Leste to both victims of Tsunami in Aceh and North Sumatra and the victims of earthquake in Alor, West Timor. “I am really moved by this gesture this evening. The assistance is offered by our brothers and sisters in Timor-Leste, not only from the part of Government, Church, Parliament, but also of the people. This is truly a very good form of friendship and cooperation”, said President Yudhoyono. (Indonesian Press-KCM and Prim)

Aniceto Guterres: Portugal underestimates our ability to become Judges

Commenting on the recent assessment of judges, prosecutors and public defenders, human rights observer Aniceto Guterres, who is also the Director of Commission of Reception, Truth and Reconciliation (CAVR), argued that if assessments were done based on the Portuguese way of thinking (since those who carried the assessment are all from Portugal and Portuguese speaking countries), certainly no Timorese would be able to become judges, ministers, and prime ministers, adding that this is due to the fact that the Portuguese have stated that Timorese are not “smart”. Moreover, Guterres said that there are currently no Timorese permanent judges and these will automatically be replaced by the international judges thus indicating that Timor-Leste would no longer maintain its sovereignty in judicial matters. (Timor Post)

Parliament debated the Law on Superior Council of Defence and Security

National Parliament’s Commission B in charge of Foreign and Security Affairs last Wednesday debated for the last time the law on Superior Council of Defence and Security with two international advisers from the Office of the President. The Commission’s Vice President Clementino dos Reis Amaral said that the Commission still doubted some points of the proposed law. Therefore, more clarification is needed. Moreover, Amaral said that many members of the Commission raised their concerns over the proposed law’s arcticle 2, section c, regarding the membership, stating that three members of the Council are from the National Parliament. “According to the Parliamentarians, it is better to have President of the Parliament himself, Prime Minister and another person on board instead of having all three from the Parliament,” Amaral added. (Timor Post)

Xanana to invite Indonesian president to Timor-Leste

Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri told the press that he had suggested to President Xanana Gusmão, while visiting Jakarta, to invite Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono to visit Timor-Leste. Alkatiri explained, “The reason why I suggest this is because after our meeting in Bali last month, I noted that the Indonesian President was enthusiastic to visit Timor-Leste as the second foreign country after his appointment as the Indonesian President”. The visit, Alkatiri added, will be for the sake of bettering future relations between the two neigbouring countries. (Timor Post)

Xanana to lobby US to lift military embargo on Indonesia

The President of Timor-Leste, Xanana Gusmao, said his government would lobby the United States' Congress to lift the military embargo imposed on Indonesia in 1999. Following a meeting with the Indonesian House of Representatives Speaker, Agung Laksono, Xanana announced that his Foreign Minister, Jose Ramos-Horta, would lobby the US Congress in February on the issue of the embargo and restriction of the supply of military equipment to Jakarta. The President and Foreign Minister are currently on an official visit to Indonesia. (Xinhua)

Carlos Jeronimo: It Is Still Difficult to Control the Border

PNTL’s Commander of Immigration Unit Carlos Jeronimo acknowledges that his unit still faces difficulties to control all the border areas of Timor-Leste due to some obstacles. One of them, he said, is the geographical condition of the country which is very large, and is not balanced when comparing the borders to the number of officers who carry out their tasks in the area. Jeronimo added that to tackle the obstacles, his unit always tries to cooperate with the community in the border areas. “Immigration Police trust the people who live in the area for improved cooperation. They are always asked to provide information on any border-related problems that might arise,” Jeronimo said. In addition, Timor-Leste’s Immigration Unit has also tried to cooperate with Indonesian Immigration Office in the border as well as the Indonesian Embassy in Dili to better address related issues. (STL)

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