23 March 2010

Defence Secretary attacks jurist's critique of illegal secret military force in Timor-Leste

Julio: PUN is manipulating the people Televizaun Timor-Leste March 17, 2010 language source: Tetun - Timor-Leste’s Secretary of State for Defence Julio Tomas Pinto has labelled the statement made by MP Fernanda Borges of PUN in relation to the existence of 20-20 force as manipulative and unfounded.

“I urge MP Fernanda Borges to do an investigation before making political statements so that it is not interpreted as manipulative by others,” said Mr. Pinto.

He added that when his team presented the bill on the national defence law to the National Parliament, he mentioned that right now there is no official document about the existence of the reservists of the defence force.

He recalled that that the existence of reservists will be made clear through a decree law by the Secretary of State for Defence.

He also said that he briefed the deputies that the future reservists may come from former guerrillas or those who had served 18 months in the defence force and left it.

He said that the money mentioned by Ms. Borges was actually paid to them by the Ministry of Social Solidarity as victims of the 2006 crises. He denied that the money was from the secretariat of state for defense.

He said that what exists is the 2020 development plan for the defense force to be professional. .

He admits that the development plan is a bit ambitious but it was the fruit of studies done by Timorese in order to develop the country’s defence force.

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