Subject: UNOTIL Daily Media Review 12 July 2005


Daily Press Review

Compiled by the Public Information Office from national and international sources

Daily Media Review Tuesday, 12 July 2005

PM Alkatiri Opening Statement on State Budget Discussion

In his opening statement for State Budget discussion for the fiscal year 2005/6 Prime Minister Alkatiri said the budget would create incentives for economic activities in the private sector and job opportunities outside the capital Dili with a focus on the regions which so far have received less attention. PM Alkatiri said it would be a budget which would aim for justice and fairness, regional balance and the economic development of the women and men of Timor-Leste. He pointed out that the new fiscal year began without a budget but with many experiences gained through each day, noting that, like a school, those who did not learn will not move to the following phase in the way those who have demonstrated better actions would be placed to better serve the people.

The Prime Minister pointed to the approval of the Petroleum Fund and the swearing in of the Provedor of Human Rights and Justice, fulfilling the constitutional imperatives, which took two years. On Defence and Security Prime Minister said there were significant steps taken, noting that the disturbance of 4 December 2002 and its consequences called for attention to be paid for interventions in such circumstances and the necessity to provide the security agencies with technical competence, professionalism and ethics to deliver good services to the people. The Prime Minister cited the behaviour of the national security agencies during the 19- day Church demonstrations protest as a good example.

PM Alkatiri said that the Development Partners approved the budget based on government policies but some Development Partners were concerned about the capacity of the government to execute the budget. In response, the Prime Minister said that such concerns do not reflect the present reality, with hitherto efforts already having further developed ‘our’ capacity. (TP, DT, DN, TVTL, RTL)

Government Structure is Not a Priority: Alkatiri (STL)

Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri reportedly told the media that to focus on plans for government restructure is not an immediate priority, adding that he would rather focus on the debate on the budget for the fiscal year 2005/6. Alkatiri stressed that once the budget is finalised then all such matters can be addressed. (STL)

Church Support Natural Family Planning Program

The Church position on family planning has not been an issue until recently as stated in a letter from Bishop Basilio do Nascimento as discussed in the media. The letter reportedly says that the Church supports family planning programmes provided that such programmes follow natural methods and are not obligatory. The Church is also of the opinion that before proceeding with the program there should be education regarding the advantages and disadvantages of such programmes. According to Domingos Sousa, Director General of Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, the family planning programme could be part of the school curriculum provided that this is first agreed with the Ministry of Health and the Church due to the prospect for sensitivities. (TP, DN, STL, TVTL)

Solution for Indonesian Assets in TL Pending Technical Aspects

Indonesian Ambassador to Timor-Leste, Ahmed Sofyan stated that the Joint Commission meeting between Indonesia and Timor-Leste last week in Jakarta, aside from discussing cooperation on the land border, also discussed the assets of Indonesian individuals [left behind during 1999]. In addition, Sofyan reportedly said that politically the matter had been addressed and that the Indonesian side is awaiting a technical solution. (TP)

Indonesia Ambassador to TL Disappointed with SRSG

Indonesian Ambassador to Timor-Leste, Ahmed Sofyan was reported as saying that he is disappointed with SRSG Hasegawa for instructing UN staff not to utilise Merpati airlines. According to Sofyan, SRSG Hasegawa does not have the authority for such a ban and it is instead a matter for the Governments of Timor-Leste or Indonesia. In relation to the ban, Sofyan reportedly suggested that “imagine of someday Hasegawa would also ban the taxis operating in Dili which is under the authority of the Dili District Administrator […] as UNOTIL only deals with Capacity Building and not with flights, borders or police matters”. He added that UNOTIL apparently governs the administration in Timor-Leste stressing that he only recognises the Government under Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri who has the right to issue such bans rather than Hasegawa.

The Indonesian Ambassador in Timor-Leste noted that the Head of UNOTIL should have presented any comments to the Indonesian Government if there were any problems or present advice to the Government of Timor-Leste not to fly with Merpati rather than ban UN staff to fly Merpati. He hopes that the UN can soon clarify the ban because from his point of view, even though the ban has been issued, until now no one has experience any accident. Sofyan admitted that the ban was raised during the talks between Timor-Leste’s Foreign Minister Ramos-Horta and his Indonesian counterpart, Hassan Wirajuda in Jakarta last week. (TP)

Fretilin Suspends Two Members of Central Committee

Reiskadalak and Vicente ‘Maubusi’ Ximenes have been suspended from Fretilin Central Committee and as members of the Permanent Secretariat, the media reported on Tuesday. The suspension followed a meeting on Sunday attended by the Party President Francisco Lu’Olo and Secretary General, Mari Alkatiri. According to the media, Deputy Secretary General Jose Reis reportedly said on Monday that a letter had been presented to the Fretilin National Jurisdiction Commission to expel them for lack of discipline. Meanwhile, Reiskadalak is reported as saying that both himself and Vicente ‘Maubusi’ Ximenes cannot be accused of indiscipline and no one has the power to expel them from the Fretilin Party unless it is through the Congress. (TP, STL, DN, DP)

Judicial Officers Participate in Training Program

About 40 judicial staffs from the Court, the Office of the Prosecutor-General on Tuesday began a four-month training programme, which was officially open by the Chief Justice Claudio Ximenes. He reportedly said that training plans for the future would include assistance to public defenders staff. It was also reported that Ximenes said that the government also has plans to provide better training to private lawyers. STL reported that the number of participants as being 30. (TP, DN, DT)

STL Editorial

STL editorial today focusses on the planned new government structure noting that there are pro and cons. Those in favor comment that the changes will help the government to implement government plans. But those against, see restructuring as simply an attempt by the government under Alkatiri to share position with allies in order to strengthen power before the 2007 general elections. (STL)

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