21 March 2013

Police continue forced returns of CPD-RDTL members

ETLJB 21 March 2013 - The East Timor police have continued their operations against the dissident political group, CPD-RDTL, which has illegally occupied land to undertake cooperative cultivation activities and whose members have continued to wear military-style uniforms and to bear arms in the southern region of the country. There have been more than 800 of CPD-RDTL members based in Welaluhu for about four months causing distress to local communities and defying the State's attempts to have them voluntarily move out of the area.

According to an English translation of a report on Radio Televizaun Timor-Leste on 19 March 2013, Tetun, some of CPD-RDTL members refused to return, but the police approached them to leave and were provided with humanitarian aid and medical assistance.

Police Commander Afonso dos Santos was reported by RTT as saying that the police action to return members of CPD-RDTL to their respective districts was based on a resolution of the Government and had to be undertaken without violence.

But according to another report in leading newspaper, Suara Timor Lorosae on the same day, the Coordinator of CPD-RDTL, Mario dos Reis, said that the organisation would continue doing their cooperative activities in Welaluhu despite facing unfair treatment from the Timorese National Police (PNTL).

"We have a commission to monitor PNTL's activities. They did not state Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao's direction not to use violence or destroy CPD-RDTL's activities but in fact they destroyed 18 hectares of their rice field," he said. But the RTT report stated that the rice and corn fields had been handed over to local authorities to take care of them.

Reis said they would not leave Welaluhu because some members of CPD-RDTL were being detained in the Covalima Police station.

Meanwhile, Diario Nacional reported on 20 March 2013 that a spokesperson for CPD-RDTL, Gil Fernandes, had publicly expressed concerns about the Timorese National Police (PNTL) intervention as the PNTL members intervention was tainted with brutality.

“We are calling on President of the Republic Taur Matan Ruak and Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao to jail police officers who act with brutality against CPD-RDTL members,” he said. Fernandes was also reported to have said that CPD-RDTL continues to reject the resolution of the Government to return its members from Welaluhu as their activity aim to increase economic growth in Timor-Leste. Sources: RTTL 19/03/2013, Suara Timor Lorosae 19/03/2013, Diario Nacional 20/03/2013. Edited by Warren L. Wright

Related reports
Tension between military and dissident political group CPD-RDTL grows 
Violations of the law by both the State and CPD-RDTL dissidents in Manufahi
CPD-RDTL continues to be a thorn in the side of the Timor-Leste Government
CPD-RDTL using land for communal cultivation, President calls on security forces to control CPD-RDTL
CPD-RDTL using residents' land, MP calls for action against CPD-RDTL's wearing of military uniforms
CPD-RDTL accused of slaughtering the people's livestock in Fatuberliu, Defence Force Chief warns against protests against the State
CPD-RDTL members continue wearing military uniforms and carrying machetes intimidating local residents
CPD Asks PM Xanana to Keep his Promise: “CPD-RDTL Demands a Veteran Replaces Longuinhos”
Timor Police say a new coup plot from CPD-RDTL & Bua-Malus
CPD-RDTL accuses PNTL of human rights violations
RDTL Constitution does not ban dissident group
Dissident political parties accused of involvement in ninja crime in Timor-Leste
Political Killings in Timor-Leste? Fretilin alleges East Timor Democratic Party follows involved in murder of resistance organisation member's daughter 

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