28 November 2012

CPD-RDTL and its actions are illegal but state fails to act

ETLJB 28 November 2012 - The dissident political group known as CPD-RDTL are in violation of the law because they continue to wear military uniforms and are not part of the East Timor Defence Forces, according the country's peak security sector monitoring NGO, Fundasaun Mahein, and the authorities should not allow its unlawful activities.

Timor Post reported on 26 November comments by FM's Director, Nelso Belo, stating that "[w]e have seen that CPD-RDTL members are in military uniform and this is against the existing law. It is a big question for all the Timorese citizens.”Belo added that the presence of CPD-RDTL was a political issue which the country's leaders had failed to resolve.

Despite the illegal activities of CPD-RDTL such as wearing military uniforms, illegally using land to create cultivation communes and hunting the people's livestock, the chief of the Defence Forces, Major General Lere Anan Timor, is reported by Timor Post on the same day as saying that CPD-RDTL is a credible organisation and that he was not preoccupied by them. He did, however, call on the Coordinator-General of CPD-RDTL, Antonio Aitahan Matan, to control his members during their presence in Fatuberliu in the District of Manufahi.

“I trust in them and they should always display their responsibility,” Major General Lere told journalists last Friday at the Dili Convention Center.He added that, CPD-RDTL’s members could do their activities there, but should show respect local residents and should not hunt people’s livestock.

CPD-RDTL member Mario dos Reis said CPD-RDTL was there to set up cooperative to help support the people’s economy.

Suara Timor Lorosae reported on the same day that the Major General believed that CPD-RDTL would not create problems and appealed to local residents not to panic because the security institutions would control them. On the basis of the President of the Republic’s request, F-FDTL has sent one platoon of soldiers to control CPD-RDTL’s activities.

Lere also said he would delegate two or three officials from F-FDTL to act as mediators for CPD-RDTL and local residents in Fatuberliu. He conceded that CPD-RDTL did not inform local leaders about its members’ presence in Fatuberliu before undertaking activities and that was their fault.

In the meantime, Televizaun Timor-Leste reported on 26 November, that Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao last Friday met with President of the Republic, Taur Matan Ruak, to discuss the presence of CPD-RDTL in Fatuberliu. The PM had also met with the Parliamentary Committee B on Defence and National Security to discuss the issue.

Sources: Timor Post, Televizaun Timor-Leste, Suara Timor Lorosae. Edited by Warren L. Wright 

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