Subject: UNOTIL Daily Media Review 04 July 2005


Daily Press Review

Compiled by the Public Information Office from national and international sources

Daily Media Review Monday, 04 July 2005

Village Chief Elections

It is reported that the Village Chief [and Village Council] elections held in Aileu, Ainaro and Maunfahi on Saturday 2 July were democratic and peaceful. The provisional results of the elections indicate that Fretilin and individuals candidates received highest numbers of elected positions. It is reported that voters were very enthusiastic to participate in the democratic process. (TP, STL)

Timor Sea Negotiations with Woodside Difficult: Ramos-Horta (TP, DN)

Minister of Foreign Affairs Jose Ramos-Horta has reportedly said that the difficulties regarding the Timor Sea negotiations are not with the Australian Government but with the Woodside company. Ramos-Horta reportedly told the media that the negotiations between Australia and Timor-Leste are almost concluded and that the problem is now with the Woodside Company in relation to the pipeline.

Government Reshuffle Plans

A new and enlarged government in East Timor and the first rotation of Dili`s overseas diplomatic corps will be announced "within days", says Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri.

In comments to Lusa Thursday, Alkatiri said he was still holding contacts over the creation of the new executive, due to be unveiled this month with the main aim of decentralizing power in the new nation.

Alkatiri said he would prefer the announcement of the new Government - with a state secretary for each of Timor's five regions - to be made after the vote in the Dili Parliament July 11 on his government`s budget plans. However, he said that he still needed to discuss with the Dili Finance Ministry the cost implications of announcing the new Government either before or after the budget vote.

Alkatiri originally outlined plans for Dili's revamped Executive in May, saying the shakeup was part of his government's efforts to decentralize power and streamline the administration of the new nation to meet targets for its National Development Plan.

Dili's Prime Minister told Lusa recently that it was proving "very difficult" to decentralize Timor's administration. The five new state secretaries for each of Timor's regions will coordinate grass-roots development, particularly investment programs to be regionally implemented, Alkatiri said.

Dili's Government rejig will also be accompanied by the first rotation of Timor's foreign-based diplomats since independence in 2002. As part of the reinforcement of Timor's overseas diplomatic presence, new Embassies are being opened in Japan and Thailand. New Consulate Generals will also be created in Macau, Sydney and Manila.

STL and Timor Post reported that Olimpio Branco, the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs will take up the position as Ambassador to China as Minister Ramos-Horta reportedly told the media. (Lusa, STL, TP)

Ximenes: JSMP Creates Confusion

The President of the Court of Appeal, Claudio Ximenes, reportedly said the information disseminated to the public by the Justice and Monitoring System Program, JSMP is creating confusion among the community, creating problems and affecting the work of institutions in Timor-Leste. According to Timor Post on Monday, Ximenes has said that such concerns have been presented to the Head of UNOTIL, SRSG Hasegawa, President Gusmão, President of the National Parliament and Prime Minister Alkatiri. (TP)

General Situation Good

PNTL Commander Paulo Martins has told the media that the border situation is generally good. He added that on 14 June, the PNTL Border Patrol Unit met with TNI officers in Atambua. During the meeting, the Indonesian authorities agreed that PNTL stationed at the border should maintain good relations with them. Another meeting had been held in Oecussi on 15 June, and an Indonesian official from Jakarta had also participated in the meeting to discuss the border situation between the two countries.

In a separate article in Timor Post on Saturday, Martins said two PNTL officers had been identified as being allegedly involved in beating up members of the Aituri Laran community. According to the PNTL Commander, another two suspects had been detained in relation to Becora case and PNTL have received orders to arrest another four currently in hiding. (TP)

Government Sends Food to Ataúro Island

The Government has sent food to some sub-districts of Ataúro to relieve those affected by food shortages. The Secretary of State for Labor and Solidarity, Arsenio Bano said the Government plans to send another 10 tonnes of food. He said an assessment had been conducted and the Commission looking at food shortages will coordinate with international NGOs and donor countries for assistance. (TP)

F-FDTL to Design New Uniform

Lere Anan Timor, F-FDTL Chief of Staff told the media that he has requested a Timorese expert presently living in Indonesia to design a new uniform for the Defence Force. Anan Timor said that the uniform issue has been a great concern to the National Defence Force for a long time now, adding that it would be manufactured in Indonesia to expedite the manufacture process. (TP)

East Timorese President arrives in Australia for five-day visit

East Timorese President Xanana Gusmão began a five-day visit to Australia Sunday that is expected to focus on carving up billions of dollars in potential revenue from oil and gas reserves in the Timor Sea. Gusmão arrived at the southern Australian city of Hobart accompanied by his Australian-born wife, Kirsty Sword Gusmão.

During his visit, Gusmão is expected to meet with Prime Minister John Howard, Foreign Minister Alexander Downer and Governor-General Michael Jeffery, the British Queen's representative in Australia.

Government officials say they are on the verge of finalizing a deal that will allow Australia and East Timor to share revenue from the undersea oil and gas deposits, despite failing to resolve a long-running argument about where a common maritime border should lie.

Under the deal, East Timor will postpone for 50 years its claim to a greater share of the Timor Sea bed in return for an increased share of the oil and gas revenues.

The value of the deal has been estimated at between US$2 billion (AUS$1.67 billion) and US$5 billion (€4.18 billion) to East Timor, depending on oil price movements.

TL Waiting on Indonesian Position on International Tribunal: Gusmão

Before leaving for an official visit to Australia on Sunday, President Gusmão said that Timor-Leste will wait for the Indonesian Government position on the UN recommendation for the establishment of an International Tribunal (sic). "We will still hold a meeting scheduled for 8-9 July in Jakarta. When Indonesia responds then the Government of Timor-Leste will make its position public". President Gusmão stressed that he will ask the Governments of Timor-Leste and Indonesia to focus on the Truth and Friendship Commission, adding "My interest is to ask the Government to request the teams of the Governments of Indonesia and Timor-Leste to continue to amend what is missing in order to find a good solution." (STL)

Indonesian Republic Unable to Prosecute Human Rights Violators

Timorese Human rights lawyer, Aderito de Jesus has reportedly stated that the Indonesian legal system has no capacity to try those who committed crimes against humanity in Timor-Leste. "This was demonstrated by the fact that the UN through the Commission of Experts demanded the establishment of an International Tribunal for the mayhem of 1999".

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