Subject: UNMISET Daily Media Review 11 March 2005

[Poster's note: Long repeats of international articles already sent out to the east-timor list have been removed.]

UNMISET Daily Press Review

Compiled by the Public Information Office from national and international sources

Daily Media Review

Friday, 11 March 2005

Dengue fever spreading in Timor-Leste

The dengue fever that broke out in Dili in early this year has spread to eight of Timor-Lete's 13 districts, claiming 24 lives among the 421 registered cases. Dili remains the hardest hit area with 300 cases. The mosquito-spread epidemic has registered a total of 99 cases of dengue fever and 322 cases of its more deadly hemorrhagic form. Nearly all deaths have been of young people under the age of 14. (Lusa)

Police patrol border on Al-Qaeda information

The Timor-Leste's National Police (PNTL) has been tasked to closely patrol the Timor-Leste and Indonesia border, responding to information received from Jakarta that some Al-Qaeda members have infiltrated Timor-Leste. PNTL Commander Paulo de Fatima Martins told Timor Post that as soon as he received this information from Jakarta, including the names of the alleged Al-Qaeda members, he ordered the police and in particular the Border Patrol Unit to increase their patrols of the border and in particular to check passports carefully. Martins acknowledged that they did not have any photo identification of the four and thus it would be difficult to identify them physically. (Timor Post)

Vice-President of National Parliament to resign

Xavier do Amaral, President of the Timor Social Democratic Association (ASDT), said that he will resign from his other position as Vice-President of the National Parliament. Xavier told Timor Post that the lives of the people are not getting any better, and that politics has become a game where the name of the people is used for the benefit of the leaders, while the community continues to suffer. Amaral criticized Fretilin for voting arbitrarily on laws, reminding them that the Parliament does not belong to Fretilin but to the people. (Timor Post)

Weak economy not a reason to borrow PM

Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri has said that even though the economy is not doing so well, the government will not borrow from the International Monetary Fund, as this will create a heavy burden for the country. Some business people have criticized the government, saying that it should borrow money to improve the economy. Alkatiri responded by saying that those business people should borrow money from banks as an investment in the economy, rather than recommending that the government do so. The Prime Minister also said that the government does not function on money alone but on functioning institutions, administration and staff. (Timor Post)

F-FDTL project stalls

The construction of the F-FDTL quarters in Baucau has stalled because the company implementing the project has gone bankrupt. The building was intended to be used as the headquarters of Battalion I. Chief of Staff Lere Anan Timor speaking to STL said that the company, Samarudi, who won the tender, were given a timeframe of six months to complete the project. However, even after that time frame was extended, the project still did not develop any further, and eventually the firm went bankrupt. Lere Anan said that the project has now been handed to another company to complete, and that the government would find it difficult to grant any more tenders to Samarudi. He said that he hoped the facility would be completed by the end of the year. (STL)

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