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Program Information
 Latin Radical 
 Governing coalition crumbling
 Interview
 Warwick Fry, Jose Texeira, Estanislau Da Silva, Bob Boughton
 2NimFM radio  
 For non-profit use only.
PM Xanana's governing AMP coalition, hastily cobbled together last year is undergoing a crisis of confidence. A Minister tried to obscure a deal handing over 25% of Timor's arable land to a biofuel company based in Indonesia.
Warwick Fry
Community Radio 2NimFM
Jose Texeira
Estanislau Da Silva
Bob Boughton
1. Texeira
ose Texeira, a Fretilin Parliamentarian and the party's media spokesman was in Australia this week and granted 2NimFM an interview where he clarifies some of the issues at stake in the weakening of the AMP governing coalition. One of the older parties, the ASDT, and several smaller parties, are concerned at the lack of transparency of at least one of the appointed AMP Ministers with an apparently covert agreement with an Indonesian Biofuel company to turn a quarter of East Timor's arable land to sugar cane production for biofuels. It took over three months to force the AMP government to make the details of the deal available for public discussion. Jose says that this need not necessarily lead to an early election, this will depend very much on the government's response to questioning. The ASDT has already signed an agreement to run as a coalition party with Fretilin, should elections be called.

2. Da Silva
Estanislau Da Silva was a former Prime Minister of Timor Leste, when the Fretilin was the party in government. Before that, he was the Minister for Agriculture in the Fretilin government. He is in Australia this week to attend the launching of a book by a Timorese man, Naldo Rei (click here to see Radio National ABC interview) who grew up in Indonesian occupied Timor Leste, as a committed supporter of the Fretilin led resistance movement.

Estanislau Da Silva spoke to 2NimFM and Latin Radical at a very opportune time. Australian mainstream media is playing down the commitment of the second largest (social democrat) political party to run with Fretilin as a renovated government coalition in next year's elections. But it looks like the beginning of the end of Xanana Gusmao's hastily cobbled together AMP coalition, designed to keep Fretilin out of power after last year's election result, when Fretilin won the largest vote, but was denied the opportunity to try to form a government, by Presidential intervention.

Da Silva does not dwell on this. He moves on and is at his most eloquent and passionate (as a former Minister for Agriculture) when he speaks about the Fretilin party's commitment to resist the pressures of corporate Agribusiness, and a commitment to develop, as far as possible, self sufficiency in basic food products by enabling small farmers. The current government appears to be more interested in encouraging corporate agribusiness investment. Da Silva says Fretilin is committed to resisting corporate pressures to use Timor's precious acreage to grow biofuels - the main factor in a looming global shortage of basic food products. Important, when even corporations like Nestles are saying that there is no such thing as a global food shortage - it is the diversion of food crops to produce biofuels that is causing the rise in food prices.

3. Boughton
Bob Boughton, senior lecturer in Adult Education has just returned from Timor Leste where he goes regularly as a government consultant for their Adult Literacy campaign. While the campaign was showing signs of great promise Bob sees progress hamstrung by sudden switches in government policy on the administrative side of things. The campaign has gone backward since Xanana's AMP colition initiated a restructuring of the Public Service. Bob was also in Timor Leste when the Social Democrat party split, and announced its commitment to support Fretilin in the next elections.

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00:32:39 English 2008-05-31
 Nimbin Australia
  View Script
    
Jose Texeira - Fretilin MP  00:13:11  128Kbps mp3
(12.5MB) Mono
145 Download File...
Da Silva - former Fretilin PM  00:11:28  128Kbps mp3
(12.5MB) Mono
147 Download File...
Boughton-Timor-Literacy and governance  00:08:00  128Kbps mp3
(9.6MB) Mono
149 Download File...