UNMIT Weekly No 63 The leaders of the national and international police forces in Timor-Leste have urged citizens to not become alarmed at rumours circulating in the capital about impending civil unrest.
PNTL Commander-General Designate Inspector Afonso De Jesus and UN Deputy Police Commissioner Juan Carlos Arévalo, speaking at a joint press conference on 16 October, said the rumours were unsubstantiated, as police officials had not been able to verify them.
As police we have to listen to these rumours, we can’t ignore them,” Commander De Jesus said. “But we also have to take into consideration that very often the people spreading the rumours might be interested in creating panic so that they can go and steal houses or damage people’s property,” he added.
Commander De Jesus and Commissioner Arévalo reported that the security situation in the country was calm. While the overall number of incidents in the country was lower than last year, there were increases in incidents in Dili involving assault and disorderly behaviour. Mr. Arévalo called on citizens to use peaceful means to resolve differences and be good role models for the country’s younger generation.
They will learn to behave according to the model that they see in us. So when we behave in a violent manner, we need to remember that we are teaching our children how to behave later on. We should think twice before acting in a violent way,” he said.