22 October 2013

Local government threatens to demolish homes built on drains

ETLJB 22 October 2013 - According to a report in The Dili Weekly, the Caicoli village chief has threatened to demolish houses built on drains in the village area if the government instructs the dismantling of such residences.

The Dili Weekly quoted the village chief, Hipolito Marques Sarmento, as saying that “I myself walked with the Deputy Prime Minister, and one day we will demolish [house build on drains] and at that time, the community will agree to have them demolished.” He said he already told the community and asked them not to build houses in areas categorised as dangerous, where their homes could be flooded.

TDW also reported that a Member of Parliament, Eladio Faculto, said housing in Dili was slowly becoming tighter because foreigners had bought a lot of land in Timor, so the community built homes elsewhere.  “I also study at UNTL and we conducted research and I saw that in Lahane there were several families in danger,” said MP Faculto.

On 7 September 2013, ETLJB posted a report about fears of foreign domination of the economy of East Timor as well as land, particularly by Chinese and Indonesian investors. Even though the ownership of land by non-citizens is prohibited by the Constitution, foreigners can still lease land in East Timor.  Sources: The Dili Weekly 16/09/2013 ETLJB citing Suara Timor Lorosae via TLMDC 27/08/2013 Edited by Warren L. Wright

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