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LH: Government must guarantee the sustainability of ZEESM

Dili Weekly - May 21, 2018

Paulina Quintao – The executive Director of Luta Hamutuk organization (LH), Jose da Costa urged the new upcoming government to take responsibility for the special zones for social market economy of Timor-Leste (ZEESM-TL) as an investment for the Timorese people, especially those in the Special Administrative region of Oe-Cusse-Ambeno (RAEOA).

He said Oe-Cusse has developed significantly, although not everyone has enjoyed such development. He said the development in Oe-cusse is mostly felt regarding physical infrastructure.

"It is important we work together and continue to develop the country, in particular ZEEMS so it can serve as an example for other municipalities," he said in his office, in Farol, Dili.

He added the constitution of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste (RDTL) considers ZEESM has an autonomy region of Timor-Leste so whoever take charge must continue developing it.

He urged the new upcoming government when considering the rest person for RAEOA not to base their selection on political reasons.

On the other hand, a resident of Oe-Cusse Yasinta Lujina acknowledged that physical development has been significant, in particular roads and bridges to facilitate the communities' movements in doing business because it was difficult for them to access those activities previously without bridges.

"I am proud and so privileged that Oe-Cusse has had significant progress in terms of development compared to other municipalities, but it should be more inclusive and equal for everyone," she said.

She said there are always negative and positive impacts in the development process. On the positive side, people have access to better conditions that facilitate their daily activities; but on the negative side, people have been asked to move from their homes, lost their assets such as their crops and basically their only source of income.

She said people are responsible for contributing to the development process within the country, but some compensation should be given to those affected.

She added another issue that needs to be considered is giving opportunity to local communities to be the authors of the development process of Oe-Cusse.

As a local resident, she urges exclusive development for the people of Oe-Cusse, but there must be better cooperation between local and foreign people to transfer the knowledge to each other.

She also called for the new upcoming government to continue to develop Oe-Cusse as one of the key indicators for Timor-Leste.

Source: http://www.thediliweekly.com/en/news/15571-lh-government-must-guarantee-the-sustainability-of-zeesm