Subject: UNMISET Daily Media Review 18 March 2005

UNMISET Daily Press Review

Compiled by the Public Information Office from national and international sources

Daily Media Review Friday, 18 March 2005

Indonesian President Yudhoyono to visit TL on 2 April

Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono will make a short official visit to Timor-Leste at the beginning of April. The Indonesian leader will lead a delegation of nine ministers, including Jakarta's head of diplomacy, Hassan Wirajuda, during his trip of "a few hours" to Dili on April 2, the source told Lusa.

The fact that Yudhoyono is visiting Timor is a sign of the "excellent" bilateral ties between Dili and Jakarta, added the diplomatic source, recalling that the two governments recently launched a joint commission to investigate war crimes committed in Timor-Leste six years ago. Another indicator of improved ties between the two southeast Asian neighbours is the presence of an senior Indonesian military delegation in Dili this week to discuss joint border security, said the same source. (Lusa)

Independent candidates and Fretilin win village chief elections

Preliminary vote counts from the elections of village chiefs in three districts have Fretilin ahead in Lautem district, with independent candidates coming out on top in Baucau and Manatuto.

There were some minor problems with some voters not being able to vote because their names were not on the electoral role in their voting centre. The same problem occurred in almost all the voting centres in the three districts. (STL)

Parliament role in human rights important

The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the Human Rights Unit of UNMISET gave two days of human rights training to members of Commission A in the National Parliament on Wednesday and Thursday. Commission A deals with issues concerning the Constitution, Human Rights, and Civil Freedoms.

The instructor of the training, lawyer Aderito de Jesus Soares, told STL Parliament has an important role in monitoring and protecting rights in Timor-Leste. Aderito said that it was important for the government to not only sign human rights conventions, but to then implement them into governmental programs. (STL)

Truth Commission TOR not yet received by Parliament

The National Parliament has not yet received the Terms of Reference (TOR) for the Truth and Friendship Commission. According to the President of the National Parliament, Francisco Guterres, it is very important that Parliament receives the TOR so that the Members of Parliament better understand the mandate of the Commission. Guterres said that according to the Constitution, it is the role of the Parliament to ratify accords the government makes with other countries.

Meanwhile, Indonesia's legislative body, DPR, has not set the agenda for discussions on Truth and Friendship Commission even though the governments of both Indonesia and Timor-Leste have signed the agreement for its establishment.

After meeting yesterday with Parliament's Commission A in charge of Legal Affairs, the visiting Member of the Indonesian Parliament, Nursyabani Katjasungkana, stated that the Commission is a matter of good political will of elites from both countries, lacking any consultation with the public. Moreover, Katjasungkana said if the Commission only includes the elites, then it will not aid the whole process. "The important thing is that how the Indonesian and Timorese society can strengthen the friendship as a real action and not only on paper," she added. (STL, Timor Post)

Refusing UN's Commission of Experts is an anti justice Attitude

An Indonesian NGO Coalition for International Human Rights Advocacy stated that very much regrets the Indonesian Government's attitude towards guaranteeing justice for crimes committed in Timor-Leste in 1999. The Coalition's comments come in response to the Indonesian Government's decision not to welcome the UN's Commission of Experts to the country.

The Coalition has called on both the governments of Timor-Leste and Indonesia to be cooperative with the Commission. It also called on the international community to put pressure on Indonesia to welcome and cooperate with the Commission. (Timor Post)

Japanese theatre performance to "rehabilitate mental health of children" in TL

A Japanese theatre production will perform in Timor-Leste next week in an effort to rehabilitate the mental health of children affected by conflict. Theatre Kazenoko will perform a "Chiisai Gekijou" (small theatre) drama in Timor-Leste's capital, Dili, next Thursday. A performance will also take place in Atambua, West Timor. Theatre Kazenoko, which was established in 1950, focuses on an art activity for children. (Kyodo)

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