LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY RETURNS TO WORK AFTER RECESS
East Timorese concerns over electricity, agriculture and education topped the agenda today at the Legislative Assembly as members returned to work after a two-week recess spent conferring with their constituents.
Many members spent the break in their home districts taking the pulse of the people they represent. After discussing the three main issues, the assembly also debated ways to record, compile and distribute the minutes of plenary sessions.
The Legislative Assembly – formerly known as the Constituent Assembly – extended its mandate on 25 March to cover the remaining weeks before the territory declares its independence on 20 May. On that day, the Assembly will transform itself into East Timor’s National Parliament.
The Assembly is expected to discuss tomorrow, 9 April, a draft version of its internal budget. Other tasks on the Assembly’s pre-independence agenda include:
The Assembly was originally elected in August 2001 to draft and promulgate a Constitution. That task was completed on 22 March.
- Setting its internal rules and committee structures;
- Debating six high-priority pieces of legislation, including: a labour code; a telecommunications bill; a public broadcasting bill and a national budget proposal to be presented at the Donor Conference in Dili 14-15 May;
- Considering what international conventions and treaties should be ratified during independence celebrations.
UN, EAST TIMORESE POLICE MEET WEST TIMOR COUNTERPARTS
UNTAET’s Police Commissioner Peter Miller and a senior East Timor Police Service (ETPS) officer returned from West Timor, Indonesia, late Friday after a three-day visit during which they discussed a wide range of cross border crime issues.
In the West Timor capital Kupang, Miller and ETPS Sub-Inspector Julio Hornai da Costa met with West Timor Police Commander Jackie Uli and other members of the local government. Among the issues they discussed was the holding of future working level meetings to be attended by officials from both sides of the border.
Miller, da Costa and two of their police advisers on Friday visited the Noelbaki refugee camp near Kupang. The delegation sought to reassure the refugees that the security situation in East Timor is calm and that there are legal mechanisms in place to deal with crime and other related issues.