05 November 2008

East Timor: Civil Rights Fully Respected, Violence Will Face Zero Tolerance

East Timor Government Statement By The Spokesperson of the IV Constitutional Government, The Secretary of State for the Council of Ministers
October 22, 2008 Wednesday 1:33 PM AEST

Civil Rights Fully Respected, Violence Will Face Zero Tolerance

On October 10, Fretilin issued a media release in tandem with the Search Foundation of Australia, which was established in 1990 to hold and preserve the assets of the Australian Communist party when the Australian Communist party ceased to be a formal political party.

The Secretary of State for the Council of Ministers, Mr Agio Pereira, Spokesperson of the Government, said that Fretilin's inflammatory rhetoric, especially considering the propaganda is generated in support of a so called Fretilin's march for peace, is not helping the country to consolidate peace, harmony and stability.

'The IV Constitutional Government has invested significant efforts in addressing the issues of more than 800 former army officers dismissed by Alkatiri's Government and through dialogue and concord they have all successfully been reintegrated into their communities. This was a massive undertaking and a giant stride for our nation in reconciliation, peace and national stability.

Any step to revisit regional East-West hostilities in Timor-Leste is unfortunate and unacceptable.

The AMP Government and the international community have made profound advances in ensuring the healing of those divides through peaceful resolutions, institutional development and by embracing values of ethics and professionalism.

As we are experiencing an extended period of peace under the IV Constitutional Government, it should be acknowledged that our people and all political parties are ready to actively engage in a concerted effort to move forward to consolidate stability.' Pereira added.

Pereira's statement comes shortly after reports surfaced that propaganda materials had been distributed which could incite tensions within the police force (PNTL) apparently aiming at igniting tensions between officers from the East and West regions of Timor-Leste.

Reforms by Prime Minister Gusmo's Government to promote harmony in the PNTL, including the elimination of the divide between officers of different regions, previously instigated by political interference, have been successful.

Ongoing support and training, provided by the Government in tandem with development partners, have focused on enhancing professionalism. The role of UNMIT, in this regard, has been crucial in reinforcing the security sector's ability to face ongoing challenges and these efforts deserve ongoing support', Pereira added.

Security in Dili has been enhanced.

Pereira is confident that all information indicates that if Alkatiri's demonstration proceeds, the security forces are ready to manage and reiterated that the IV Constitutional Government and particularly Prime Minister Xanana Gusmo is supportive of peaceful protests and demonstrations, under the law; but all parties involved, including international supporters, should understand that any acts of violence will not be tolerated."

For More Information, please contact: Agio Pereira tel. 723 0011 Email: agiopereira@cdm.gov.tl SOURCE: Government of Timor Leste


MediaNet Press Release Wire October 19, 2008 Sunday 11:38 PM AEST REPBLICA DEMOCRTICA DE TIMOR-LESTE Dili October 18, 2008 Public Safety paramount for Timor-Leste

Official spokesman for the IV Constitutional Government of Timor-Leste, Secretary of State for the Council of Ministers, Agio Pereira, confirmed that the conflicting reports on the Fretilin march continue. This week the so-called `march of peace' has been promoted as `means to bring down the Government of Timor-Leste'.

On October 16, Portuguese TV aired an alarming interview with Mari Alkatiri, the Secretary General of the opposition party, Fretilin. Alkatiri compared the illegitimacy of the IV Constitutional Government to the Indonesian occupation, and said "The objective of the march is clear, it is to once again show that the current Government does not have the legitimacy to govern. The current Government is unconstitutional."

Despite losing the election in June 2007 with a mere 29% of the vote, a drop from 57% in the previous election, Alkatiri still refuses to accept the validity of the IV Constitutional Government established by the President of the Republic, His Excellency Jose Ramos Horta. Alkatiri has since referred to the AMP Government as the "de facto" Government.

In Article 106 of the Constitution of Timor-Leste on the establishment, responsibility, and the appointment of the Government, it states clearly: "The Prime Minister shall be designated by the political party with most seats or the alliance of political parties with parliamentary majority and shall be appointed by the President of the Republic, after consultation with the political parties in the National Parliament"

It has been formally acknowledged that the President of the Republic adhered to all obligations enshrined in the constitution in appointing the IV Constitutional Government to term. Ramos-Horta publicly encouraged Alkatiri to challenge the alleged illegality in the Court of Appeal. To date, Alkatiri, knowing his position is wrong, has refused to confront the courts, instead, choosing to mount a misleading public relations campaign to undermine and destabilize the IV Constitutional Government of Timor-Leste.

The Portuguese reporter remarked that Fretilin was angry and threatened to mobilize 50,000 supporters to bring down the Government; however, the number seems to have decreased dramatically from the 200,000 originally promised by Alkatiri just a few short weeks ago. Equally, the timing of the march has been continually postponed, now apparently to be staged in January 2009 during the rainy season. Serious doubts have been raised as to whether Fretilin supporters

Pereira noted that the Government supports the rights of all citizens to conduct peaceful protests; however, when an organizer proceeds with the intention of thwarting the democratic process by undermining national stability, they are acting neither responsibly nor in the best interest of the nation.

Pereira pointed out "Since the crisis in 2006 we have nurtured and protected our communities. We have experienced a period of peace since early 2007. It is a credit to all the people of Timor-Leste, to all political parties, to all civil society, youth and women's movements of our country. This is a testament of the profound commitment of the nation to work towards national progress and unity."

Pereira closed by saying `Lastly, the job of the Government is to ensure public safety. Thus far we have managed to ensure stability by fostering a climate of dialogue so it is equally important within that dialogue to ensure the people of Timor-Leste are given accurate and correct information, especially when there is such an active propaganda campaign by a small few to enhance uncertainty in the nation"

For More Information Please Contact: Agio Pereira +670 723 0011

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