17 December 2008

East Timor MP Protests Police Carrying Guns into the National Parliament

Suara Timor Lorosae 16 December 2008 DILI – Member of the National Parliament from the CNRT faction, Maria Rosa do Carmo “Bisoi”, made a protest against members of the East Timor National Police who carried long-barrelled guns into the National Parliament building while at the same time the police denied her permission to drive her car into the grounds of the National Parliament even though she is a Member of Parliament who goes into and exits from the National Parliament grounds with her car every day just as other MP’s do.

“What disappoints me is that other MP’s were authorized to enter with their cars but I was not. That’s discrimination” said Bisoi.

Security apparatus from a police unit implemented super-tight security at the National Parliament building on Monday (15/12) in connection with the visit by the Australian Governor-General, Ms Quentin Bryce AC.

According to Bisoi, when she wanted to enter the National Parliament, the police asked her to get out of the vehicle and walk to the National Parliament building eventhough she had already shown the police her Parliamentary Member card. But the police did not allow her to enter with her vehicle on account of the state visit to the Parliament.

“My attendance or non-attendance is not important for the state visitor. But I work in the Parliament so why was my car not authorized to enter the Parliament’s grounds while the vehicles of other MP’s were? That's discrimination” she added.

The former Falintil Region III leader also asked the State Secretary for Security to explain the procedure for authorising members of the Police Force to enter the Parliamentary grounds and plenary chamber carrying long-barrelled weapons. The carrying of such weapons shows our overseas state visitor that East Timor is not yet safe but on the contrary, that is not the case.

“In this Parliament building, nothing will happen that is not wanted. I hope that this does not occur again” said Bisoi.

When this issue was raised with the State Secretary for Security, Francisco da Costa Guterres, he said that he did not want to comment to reporters. “I don’t have time to comment. Next time ok?" he said. Bre http://www.suaratimorlorosae.com/details.php?id=93&now=2008-12-16 Translation by Warren Wright

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