06 July 2009

East Timor Government reforming systems created by Fretilin to serve the Party

REPUBLICA DEMOCRATICA DE TIMOR-LESTE IV CONSTITUTIONAL GOVERNMENT MEDIA RELEASE Dili- July 6, 2009 Statement By The Spokesperson of the IV Constitutional Government,

The Secretary of State for the Council of Ministers In a media release issued by Fretilin July 2, 2009, Jose Teixeira writes “We (Fretilin) request you be honest with our (media) releases.”

The Secretary of State for the Council of Ministers and The Spokesperson of the IV Constitutional Government, Mr. Agio Pereira responded, “As requested by our esteemed colleague Mr. Jose Teixeira, I would like to take this opportunity to be “honest” with the Fretilin media releases, but first I believe we should put some context around such media releases.”

“If you track the Fretilin media releases, they have accused everyone of corruption - the Prime Minister, both Vice Prime Ministers, most of the Government and their families, the President, advisors, the media and most recently the World Bank, the donors, and believe it or not, even western nations are not exempt,” cited Pereira.

In 2007, in a letter to the editor of the Australian newspaper protesting an article written by Greg Sheridan Fretilin Still a Stranger to Democracy, Jose Teixeira wrote “Timor-Leste is not an ‘Australian project’, and nor does it need long term ‘Australian handholding’ of the type advocated by Greg Sheridan, especially when that hand-holding means Australian involvement in a coup to topple a democratically elected government as occurred last year.”

“If bad press means Australia is involved in a coup then should we be concerned now Mr. Teixeira?

Are we in threat of a foreign invasion? I am quite sure Kevin Rudd and his Government have far more pressing matters to contend with like peace keeping.’

“Or could it be that bad press is simply bad press, you cannot have it both ways.” said Pereira “But as long as Fretilin is using the media by circulating the Australian articles as factual resources within their own propaganda, let’s look at what Greg Sheridan had to say post election.”

“Fretilin is thus facing a Hamas-like moment. It must decide whether it is essentially an armed militia or a respectable political party committed to the democratic process, which means accepting the result when it loses’.

‘Fretilin has been absurdly idealised in this country. It was always a Marxist and profoundly undemocratic movement. It failed in government. Its leaders say they are not ordering or even sanctioning this week's outbreak of violence. But these were Fretilin mobs that were rioting and Fretilin's leaders could have stopped the riots.’

Over a year later, on Feb 6, 2008, Estanislau da Silva, Fretilin MP and former Prime Minister made an ominous statement to the ABC. “We live in a peaceful country, the situation is very peaceful now it is not because of the government, it is because Fretilin tolerate, Fretilin have decided not to call for any action that could endanger the security and stability of this country.”

Pereira continued, “Let's hope Fretilin continues with this policy but most notably, the difference between Fretilin then and now is that they have miraculously transformed into the crusaders for righteousness, the chivalrous knights of the Alkatiri order.”

On June 19, 2006, a media release from the Fretilin Government was issued from the Office of the Prime Minister, Mari Alkatiri, entitled “Re-hashed Arms Story Rejected by the Timor-Leste Government.” The release was issued in response to articles that appeared in the Australian media defending a contract awarded to the Prime Minister’s brother. The media release states :

“One hard fact in today's reports in The Age and Sydney Morning Herald is that the company headed by Bader Alkatiri imported 257,000 rounds of ammunition at the end of 2004 for the police force,”said Mr Antoninho Bianco, Minister in the Presidency of the Council of Ministers of Timor-Leste.

“The reports failed to include that this purchase was the result of an open tender, designed with the input of foreign advisers, conducted in a fully transparent manner,” said Minister Bianco.

“This ammunition purchase is not the basis for any scandalous allegation against anyone in my government,” Bader Alkatiri is the brother of the then Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri. Mari Alkatiri is currently the Secretary General of the Fretilin party.

Prime Minister Gusmao has requested international audit teams ‘put their fingers on all wounds.”

“Do not hesitate to tell us what is wrong,” said Prime Minister Gusmao, “because only acting like this, can you help the Government to effectively tackle the challenges of reforming the financial management system of Timor-Leste.”

Pereira concludes, ‘The facts are The IV Constitutional Government is functioning within democracy, reforming inadequate systems that Fretilin established to serve the party.’

‘Prime Minister Gusmao is establishing new systems and achieving. In 2008, our nation was the second fastest growing economy in the world within a stable and peaceful environment. The IDP’s have all returned to their homes, pensions are being paid to the most vulnerable, our security forces are working harmoniously and the recorded 12.8% economic growth provides our nation with great prospects for our development.’

‘Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao has achieved because he and his Government have worked together with the President, the Parliament, the private sector, the public sector, the donors, our geographical neighbours and our people in this mandate. The successes of Prime Minister Gusmão are a living test, building a reality which keeps Fretilin operators like Teixeira and Arsénio Bano in a permanent cycle of nightmares.” ENDS

For More Information Please Contact: Agio Pereira +670 723 0011; E-mail: agiopereira@cdm.gov.tl

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