Subject: UNMISET Daily Media Review 3 March 2005

UNMISET Daily Press Review

Compiled by the Public Information Office from national and international sources

Daily Media Review

Thursday, 3 March 2005

Xanana and team discuss Truth Commission

Discussion surrounding the Truth and Friendship Commission continues, even though within a short time the Timor-Leste and Indonesian governments are expected to sign an accord on the Commission. President of the Republic Xanana Gusmao, President of the National Parliament Francisco Guterres and Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri yesterday held a detailed discussion about the Commission in an attempt to explain the Commission to the community and civil society.

President Xanana will today discuss the terms of reference of the Truth and Friendship Commission to the National Parliament. Eventually five East Timorese will sit on the Commission. (Timor Post, STL)

Earthquake too deep to cause damage

An undersea earthquake measuring 7.1 on the Richter scale has been felt across Timor-Leste's capital Dili, Australia's Northern Territory and parts of Indonesia. The epicentre of the earthquake, which struck last night, was located 500 kilometres east of Timor-Leste in the Banda Sea. There have been no reports of injuries and experts say there is no risk of a tsunami because of the depth of the underwater quake. (ABC)

Heavy rains pound Dili

Dili District Administrator, Ruben Braz de Carvalho, has asked the people of Dili not to plant their crops or throw their rubbish into the drains. He said that heavy rains on Tuesday and Wednesday caused flooding in Dili because the drains, already full with rubbish and food crops such as watercress, cannot handle the amount of rainwater, causing water to over flow onto the roads. Apart from causing damage to newly repaired roads and bridges, the large amount of heavy rain also damaged some homes. Ruben said that the District Administration will soon begin to clear all the drains in Dili to avoid flooding. (Timor Post)

PNTL enthusiasm still weak

The enthusiasm by PNTL to implement laws and regulations, in order to regulate this security institution, has been weak, according to Aniceto Guro Berteni Neves from Yayasan Hak. Speaking after a meeting with UNMISET representatives concerning the PNTL disciplinary regulation, Neves told Timor Post that in his opinion the weakness to truly implement these regulations is because of the low level of knowledge held by PNTL members themselves about policies relevant to the PNTL. According to Neves, there is a direct relationship between an understanding of the laws and the enthusiasm to implement them. Neves said that the PNTL disciplinary regulation was promulgated in June 2004 but it is still not being implemented effectively within the institution.

The UNMISET representatives reminded participants at the session that apart from Timor-Leste laws, Timor-Leste has also ratified several international human rights conventions, and it is important to consider how they are being implemented as well as to ensure that the government has mechanisms to handle cases of violations that arise. (Timor Post, STL)

National Parliament discusses Investment Law

The Government and opposition parties began discussions on the investment law in the Parliament on Wednesday. Secretary of State for Tourism, Environment and Investment, Jose Texeira told STL that his role is to explain both the National Investment Law as well as the Foreign Investment Law to the Parliament so that they may be well informed when it is time to approve the laws. Texeira said that he considers approval of these laws to be urgent in order to generate a greater degree of investment Timor-Leste. (STL)

Parliament supports re-opening of 4 December case

The intention of the Prosecutor General to re-open the 4 December case if the UN Police does not present a more detailed report regarding the incident has received support from the Fretilin and KOTA parties in the National Parliament. Head of the Fretilin faction in the Parliament Francisco Branco said that those responsible for the violence must be held accountable and brought to justice. Branco told STL it seems that UNPOL has washed its hands clean of the case and have no intention of investigating the matter further. From KOTA, Clementino dos Reis Amaral requested that the case not be forgotten but that the PNTL should work together with the Prosecutor-General's office to finalise the case. Clementino added that it is possible that the incident was engineered by top political leaders and therefore making it impossible for UNPOL to bring them to court. (STL)

Weak bureaucracy recipe for corruption

A weak bureaucracy and political system can bring about corruption, according to Rui Meneses, a member of Commission C in the National Parliament. Excessive bureaucracy, where people cannot afford to wait a long time and go through unnecessary procedures to obtain documents can lead to opportunities for corruption, where money is paid to speed up the process. Meneses added that salary size is another factor that creates a need for corruption. Even though the salary of civil servants in Timor-Leste is high when compared to those in other regional countries, it is low when compared with daily consumption costs. He added though that if the civil servants have adequate morals, ethics and mentality then a low salary should not be a reason for corruption. (STL)

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