15 December 2012

CPD-RDTL continues to be a thorn in the side of the Timor-Leste Government

ETLJB 15 December 2012 - The dissident group known as CPD-RDTL continues to be a matter of concern to the Government, President, the military and the community in East Timor since its mobilisation in the southern District of Manufahi several weeks ago. It has been accused of illegally occupying land in the area, slaughtering the local people’s livestock, wearing military uniforms and carrying machetes intimidating residents. So far, the Government has not been able to resolve the problematical behaviour of CPD-RDTL.

There have been numerous meetings between the authorities to discuss the CPD-RDTL issue. The latest was held between President Taur Matan Ruak and Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao yesterday, 14/12/2012.

Radio Timor-Leste reported yesterday that the President had requested the Prime Minister to contact the leader of CPD-RDTL, Aitahan Matak, to discuss the group’s presence in Welaluhu. The Prime Minister is reported to have said that the Council of Ministers (Cabinet) had requested him, as Minister for Defence and Security, to deploy both the military (F-FDTL) and the police (PNTL) to the area “to clarify security development in Manufahi District.”

Radio Timor-Leste reported at the same time that, according to the people of Manufahi, the CPD-RDTL presence in Welaluhu had made local residents panic and they could not do their daily activities as usual.

Daily newspaper, Suara Timor Lorosae, also reported yesterday that the Council of Ministers had appealed to the Prime Minister to resolve the CPD-RDTL problem before Christmas.

STL reported that the Prime Minister had said that "We held meeting with secretary of state for defence and security and the PNTL general commander to deploy F-FDTL and PNTL members to resolve the CPD-RDTL problem before Christmas and New Year.,"

PM Gusmao had confirmed that he would contact the CPD-RDTL leader Antonio Aitahan Matak to discuss the problems the group’s presence in Manufahi District was causing.

Meanwhile, the Commander of the East Timor military, Major-General Lere Anan Timor, was reported by Radio Timor-Leste yesterday as saying that he did not believe that CPD-RDTL were either stealing the local residents’ property or intimidating them.

The Major-General conceded that the group had “made a mistake because they had not contacted local leaders and the community about their presence there before undertaking cooperative activities.

"CPD-RDTL is not thieves but the only problem is that, they did not contact with local leaders and the community there before their presence. But they are not thieves," he is reported to have said.

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Sources: Radio Timor-Leste, Suara Timor Lorosae, East Timor Law and Justice Bulletin. Edited by Warren L. Wright BA LLB 

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