Subject: UNMISET Daily Media Review 9 March 2005

UNMISET Daily Press Review

Compiled by the Public Information Office from national and international sources

Daily Media Review Wednesday, 9 March 2005

Timor Sea boundary negotiations end with agreement to continue

The latest round of negotiations between Australia and Timor-Leste on how to divide billions of dollars in revenue from sea bed oil and gas have ended today with an agreement to hold more talks soon. Timor-Leste’s head negotiator, Jose Teixeira, declined to comment on how the negotiations in the Australian capital, Canberra, have progressed over the past three days. “We’ve agreed to further talks soon,” Teixeira told Associated Press.

Australian Prime Minister John Howard and his Timorese counterpart, Mari Alkatiri, exchanged letters to ensure negotiations could proceed, said Teixeira. However, he did not describe the details of the letters. (AP)

Indonesia and Timor-Leste seal deal on atrocities

Indonesia and Timor-Leste have agreed to set up a commission to deal with atrocities surrounding Timor-Leste’s 1999 vote for independence. Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, Timor-Leste’s President Xanana Gusmão, and Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri, inked the creation of the Truth and Friendship Commission at the presidential palace in Jakarta.

Yudhoyono said the body, which will start its two-year mission in August, was the best medium for the two countries to come to terms with and move on from the bloodshed surrounding Timor-Leste’s breakaway from Indonesia.

“Indonesia puts forward, focuses on and chooses the Commission of Truth and Friendship as the best and the most feasible means to solve the problems between Indonesia and Timor-Leste,” Yudhoyono told reporters. “We made our decision obviously after we considered all related aspects. We would like to build better friendship and cooperation with Timor-Leste and we adhere firmly to that,” he added.

President Gusmão said the Commission’s “mammoth” task was to uncover truth, not seek retribution. “I’m not a judge, I’m not a human rights advocate or lawyer. We are not looking for defendants. We are looking for truth,” he said. (AFP)

Parliament refuses endorsement of Truth Commission resolution

Members of the National Parliament have emphatically refused to endorse the resolution regarding the Truth and Friendship Commission, which was signed today by the Indonesian and Timor-Leste governments. The MPs claimed that they would like to receive more information about the vision, mission and objectives of the Commission. Members of both Fretilin and the opposition parties expressed their full support for the government in establishing the Commission, but said that they would prefer to wait for the two governments to sign the relevant documents before they endorsed it. Some of the members expressed their view that to endorse the resolution before the two governments had signed would denigrate the authority of the Parliament, but that they could endorse it later upon the request of the government. (STL)

Timorese women possess development capacity

Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri gave a boost to women in a press conference yesterday, marking International Women’s Day. The Prime Minister said that Timorese women have the ability to be involved in development, which can be seen by the fact that many work in important positions alongside men, such as in the government, National Parliament, courts and non-governmental organizations. Prime Minister Alkatiri took the opportunity to congratulate Timorese women as well as women all over the world. (Timor Post)

Malnutrition and hunger interlinked

A nutritionist from the Ministry of Health, Dirce Maria Soares, said that when we speak of malnutrition we also speak of hunger. Speaking to the Timor Post on yesterday, she said that if some of the Timorese population are only eating once per day then there would certainly be incidences of malnutrition, especially among children. Dirce said that the Ministry of Health would soon begin nutrition programs, which will involve identifying children suffering from malnutrition and then having them treated. (Timor Post)

Fretilin defends Provedor candidate

Head of the Fretilin faction in the Parliament, Francisco Miranda Branco, said that even though many people say that Fretilin’s new candidate for the Provedor position, Sebastiao Diaz Ximenes, is a former autonomy supporter, he would not be afraid to investigate corruption cases if he were to be selected for the post. Branco said that it’s unfair to question Sebastiao’s background as an autonomy supporter when other current members of Parliament such as Mario Carrascalao and Clementino dos Reis Amaral also have similar backgrounds. He added that Sebastiao is not guilty of committing any crimes.

The head of the Democrat Party, Mariano Sabino, said that the important thing to consider is not whether the person was previously pro-autonomy, but whether they have a commitment to neutrality, good governance, human rights and anti-corruption. (Timor Post)

Round II of Suco elections to begin

The Director of the Technical State Administration Secretariat (STAE), Tomas do Rosario Cabral, yesterday formally announced the second round of village chief elections to be held in Lautem, Baucau and Manatuto districts between 17 and 23 March. Speaking to the press, Cabral explained that three political parties have submitted over two thousand candidates for the village and hamlet chief elections. These parties include Fretilin, the Democrat Party and the Timor Socialist Party, as well as some independent candidates. (STL)

Kakoak airlines and Merpati to serve Kupang-Dili route

Indonesia’s state-owned airline company Merpati Nusantara Airlines (MNA) will cooperate with the Timor-Leste-based Kakoak Airlines to serve the route between Kupang and Dili. Timor-Leste’s President, Xanana Gusmão, and his Transport Minister, Ovideo de Jesus Amaral, are expected to be among the passengers on the maiden flight from Dili to Kupang on 18 March.

Kakoak Airlines, which is still under the management of MNA with aircrafts and crew members provided by the Indonesia state-owned airlines, is expected to become Timor-Leste’s national airline company. (Antara)

Back to March menu 
World Leaders Contact List
Human Rights Violations in East Timor
Main Postings Menu

Note: For those who would like to fax "the powers that be" - CallCenter is a Native 32-bit Voice Telephony software application integrated with fax and data communications... and it's free of charge! Download from