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Timor-Leste Legal News February 2008 (Part 4)

July 14, 2012

UNMIT’s Daily Media Review 14 February 2008

NP President appeals for national unity – The President of the National Parliament, Fernando de Araujo Lasama, has appealed to the public to create national unity by respecting the nation’s institutions. He has also demanded a thorough investigation into the assassination attempt on PR José Ramos-Horta and PM Xanana Gusmão.  “We all know that there was an attempt on the life of PR Ramos-Horta on 11 Monday…I appeal to the nation to remain unified and reaaffirm my confidence in the nation’s institutions…I guuarantee that the cooperation between state institutions and all people will create a normal situation in this country…Timor-Leste would like to invite foreign investiigators to conduct an investigation into the assassination attempts,” said Mr Lasama.

PR Ramos-Horta no longer in coma – The Minister of Foreign Affairs Zacarias da Costa said PR Ramos-Horta is no longer in a coma after receiving surgery in the Royal Darwin Hospital.”The doctors have taken out the rest of the bullets lodged in his spine. The doctors say that the President will still need to stay in the hospital for three or four more days,” said Mr da Costa.

Alfredo’s case put to rest – The General Prosecutor Longuinhos Monteiro said that the case of Alfredo Reinado has been archived given that he is dead, but that the case of his group is still active.

Fretilin demands international investigation – Fretilin member of NP Francisco Miranda Branco is demanding the creation of an Independent International Commission of Investigation into the attempted assassination on PR Ramos-Horta and PM Xanana Gusmão on Monday (11/2).

“An Independent International Commission of Investigation should be established to guarantee its impartiality involving neutral nations as we need the results of the investigation to be impartial, credible and independent,” stated Mr. Branco on Wednesday (13/2).

Mr. Branco also stated that for his part, he will demand that UNMIT and ISF shoulder the responsibility for attack as the nation’s security is their responsibility. Mr. Branco further appealed all people to support the government to solve the nation’s problems.
* * *
SRSG: UNMIT responsible for security – The Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) in Timor-Leste, Atul Khare, said that while the security provided to the residence of the President was the responsibility of the F-FDTL, the security outside the residence was the responsibility of the police, under the UN. The SRSG also said that PR Ramos-Horta has requested that F-FDTL provide security to his house.  “This is a sovereign state, and as such, UNMIT respects the decisions made,” said SRSG Khare on Wednesday (13/2) in UNMIT HQ Caicoli, Dili. (TP)

UNMIT supports independent commission – The Special Representative of Secretary General (SRSG) in Timor-Leste, Atul Khare said that for his part, he agrees and supports the establishment of an International Commission of Investigation (ICI).

“I am in favor of transparency and accountability. If there is request from the authorities of Timor-Leste to establish an independent commission, I will support it” said SRSG Khare on the UNMIT press briefing on Wednesday (13/2).

The SRSG also stated the need to renew efforts to implement the results and recommendations of the Independent Commission of Inquiry report into the 2006 crisis. (TP)

Lasama: armed civilians should submit themselves – The Acting President of the Republic, Fernando Lasama, has made an appeal to the criminals involved in the attacks on PR Ramos-Horta and PM Xanana Gusmão to immediately submit themselves to justice.”I appeal to my civilian East Timorese colleagues who are carrying weapons to voluntarily submit their weapon and themselves to the state and to justice,” said Mr Lasama on his return from Portugal on Wednesday (13/2). Mr. Lasama also agreed to an international commission of investigation on the attacks.”I want a deep investigation into the attempted assassinations. Timor-Leste will invite international experts to provide support and to investigate these matters. I appeal to the nation to remain unified and reaffirm my confidence in the nation’s institutions … I guarantee that the cooperationn between state institutions and all people will create a normal situation in this country,” said Mr Lasama. (TP)

Fretilin refutes accusations of backing Alfredo – The Secretary-General of Fretilin Mari Alkatiri has totally rejected claims that Fretilin had backed Alfredo Reinado and was planning to assassinate President Ramos-Horta and Prime Minister Xanana Gusmão. After the attacks on the President and Prime Minister, an anonymous email was circulated accusing Fretilin of being behind the assassination attempts. “I am always blamed when something wrong happens in this country,” said Mr Alkatiri. “But I do not let this worry me.  I know the people who are doing this- they are people who used to support Alfredo. Because he has died, they are now trying to lay the blame on others.” Fretilin NP member, Francisco Miranda, also said the attacks should be investigated through an Independent International Commission of Inquiry. Fretilin is also demanding that the State Secretary of Security, Francisco Guterres, and the State Secretary of Defense, Julio Thomas Pinto take responsibility for the attacks. Furthermore, Fretilin wants UNMIT, UNPol and ISF to provide an explanation as to why they were unable to detect and prevent the attempt. (TP)

Alfredo’s father appeals to youths – The National Hospital has released the bodies of Alfredo Reinado and Leopoldino to their families yesterday afternoon after the General Prosecutor issued a letter of release.”Alfredo has died. What he has done is buried with him. As a father and family man, I appeal to all the youth, sympathizers and lovers who follow him to remain calm and avoid problems,” said Alfredo’s father, Victor Alves.  Alfredo Reinado’s body will be buried today after a mass ceremony. (TP and DN)

Government provides security for Alfredo’s funeral – PM Xanana Gusmão, accompanied by the Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) in Timor-Leste, Atul Khare, and by Alfredo’s father Victor Alves, said that the government would provide security for the funeral of Alfredo. The Prime Minister also said that the Government would not allow anyone desecrate Alfredo’s grave. (DN and TP)

18 suspects identified –  The General Prosecutor Longuinhos Monteiro said that the Public Ministry has identified eighteen preliminary suspects for the attacks of the PR Ramos-Horta and PM Xanana Gusmão on Monday (11/2). Mr. Monteiro said that the names of the suspects could not be released as the investigation was still underway. Arrest warrants have not been issued yet as they are still being processed. (STL and TP)

ISF fail to detect Alfredo – The CNRT member of NP, Cecilio Caminha, questioned why the State had requested International Stabilization Forces (ISF) members when current ISF members had failed to detect the movements of Alfredo Reinado. “ISF fails to protect PR Ramos-Horta and PM Xanana – Are they incompetent, or were they just insufficient in numbers? The NP has to evaluate this,” said Mr. Caminha on Wednesday (13/2) in the National Parliament. The ISF Commander Brigadier General James Baker has responded that it was not ISF’s mandate to provide security for the President’s residence.  F-FDTL Commander Brigadier General Taur Matan Ruak said that UNPol and PNTL should bear the responsibility for the attacks. He also criticized the presence of ISF which did not detect the movements of the armed group  into Dili.  “This requires an international investigation as the district roads are controlled by the ISF,” said Commander Matan Ruak.

“Stage of Emergency” extended – PM Xanana Gusmão has extended the Stage of Emergency for a further ten days. In his national message, PM Xanana has appealed to all people, especially those who are in Dili, to contribute to the security and stability of the country.
—–
Statement by Interim President of TL (Feb 11) Automatic translation. Original Portuguese text follows]

RELEASE OF HIS EXCELLENCY, THE INTERIM PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC , DR. VICENTE DA SILVA GUTERRRES (11.02.2008) – Since the Head of State, His Excellency, Dr. Ramos Horta, this morning suffered a serious  attack on his life and is therefore temporarily unable to exercise its madate, and with the President of Parliament Fernando Lasama de Araujo out of the country, took up to its return – in accordance with the Constitution of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste – the role of Interim President of the Republic.

Considering the gravity of the situation that the country faces, with the risk of severe disruption or threat of serious disruption of the democratic constitutional order, asked the National Parliament, a proposal of the Government and listened to the Council of State and the Superior Council for Defence and Security, permission to declare a state of emergency, throughout the national territory, for a period of forty-eight hours, starting at 22 hours today, day 11 and cessation to the 22 hours of the day on February 13 next.

They therefore suspended the rights of free movement, with curfew between the 20 and 6 hours, and the right of assembly and demonstration. This is a exceptional situation and has in mind, above all, to restore normalcy, ensuring the safety of persons and property.

In this difficult moment, call for calm and national unity, and I would ask people, and especially to young people, to maintain peace and cooperate with the authorities, together to overcome another obstacle in the history of our young democracy.

The Government, Parliament, political parties, are fully dedicated to the replacement of theregular functioning of democratic institutions.

As at other times in our history, I am sure and confident that with the union and commitment of everyone, East Timor will resume full normality.

Manifesto votes of solidarity with the family of President Ramos Horta who wish speedy recovery and return to his duties.

COMUNICADO DE SUA EXCELÊNCIA, O PRESIDENTE DA
REPÚBLICA INTERINO,  DR. VICENTE DA SILVA GUTERRRES
(11.02.2008)

Tendo o Chefe do Estado, Sua Excelência, o Dr. Ramos Horta, sofrido esta manhã um grave atentado contra a sua vida, encontrando-se, por isso, temporariamente impedido de exercer ao seu mandado, e estando Sua Excelência o Presidente do Parlamento Fernando Lasama de Araújo fora do Pais, assumi, até ao seu regresso – de acordo com o previsto na Constituição da República Democrática de Timor-Leste – as funções de Presidente da República interino.

Considerando a gravidade da situação com que o País se depara, havendo o risco de grave perturbação ou ameaça de perturbação séria da ordem constitucional democrática, solicitei ao Parlamento Nacional, sob proposta do Governo e ouvidos o Conselho de Estado e o Conselho Superior de Defesa e Segurança, autorização para declarar o estado de sítio, em todo o território nacional, pelo período de quarenta e oito horas, com início às 22 horas de hoje, dia 11 e cessação às 22 horas do dia 13 de Fevereiro próximo.

Ficam, assim, suspensos os direitos de livre circulação, com recolher obrigatório entre as 20 e as 6 horas, e o direito de reunião e manifestação. Trata-se de uma situação de excepção, e tem-se em vista, acima de tudo, restabelecer a normalidade, assegurando a segurança das pessoas e dos bens.

Neste momento difícil, apelo à serenidade e à unidade nacional, e peço ao Povo, e especialmente aos jovens, que mantenham a tranquilidade e colaborem com as autoridades, para juntos superarmos mais um obstáculo na história da nossa jovem democracia.

O Governo, o Parlamento, os Partidos Políticos, estão totalmente dedicados à reposição do regular funcionamento das instituições democráticas.

Como noutros momentos da nossa História, estou certo e confiante que, com a união e o empenho de todos, Timor-Leste retomará a plena normalidade.

Manifesto votos de solidariedade com a família do Presidente Ramos Horta a quem desejo rápida recuperação e regresso às suas funções.
—–
Lusa: Timor-Leste: Chronology of attacks on PR and PM Tuesday 12 February 2008 [machine translation, Portuguese original follows]

Díli, 11 Feb (Lusa) –  A chronology of events leading the double attack on the President and Prime Minister of East Timor, according to the official report of operations, which the agency Lusa had access to, and information sources combined offices of the presidency, the government and the United Nations mission.

06:15 – A group of armed men led by major Alfredo Reinado in two vehicles, attacked the residence of Jose Ramos-Horta in Meti-hau, the President was out but close, “jogging” morning on the beach of the White Sand ;

06:20 – Alfredo Reinado is shot dead a few minutes after the start of the attack, shot by one of the elements of his former unit, the
Military Police, which is integrated with the presidential escort;

06:50 – The sister of Jose Ramos-Horta telephoned him telling him that there was shooting in Meti-hau;

06:59 – First call to the National Center of Operations, due to the shooting, two units of national and international police are sent from Becora;

07:00 – Jose Ramos-Horta was shot around this time, a second shooting, when approaching the gate of his residence;

07:00 – the Bravo Subagrupamento of GNR is called;

07:10 – First call to the local ambulance;

07:11 – Elements of the Special Operations Subagrupamento Bravo leave the barracks for Meti-hau;

07:13 – Jose Ramos-Horta calls to his chef de cabinet, Natália Carrascalao, saying that need help;

07:15 – The first troops of the GNR come to assist local and Jose Ramos-Horta, who was dropped on the road, the President is rescued and evacuated to field hospital of the Australian forces together by the GNR and the team that is the INEM assigned to the Portuguese contingent in East Timor;

07:45 – An armed group, led by Lieutenant Salsinha, number-two of Alfredo Reinado, attacked the column of vehicles of the prime minister, after Xanana Gusmao leave their residence in Balíbar and begin down the road to Dili; a car safety despista up, the car of the Prime Minister is reached but comes to the city;

08:00 –  Salsinha goes back to the residence of the Prime Minister and tries to obtain weapons of securities of Xanana Gusmao;

15:45 – The President of the Republic is evacuated from helicopter pad to the international airport of Dili;

16:00 – Evacuation of José Ramos-Horta by plane to Darwin, where he will undego second surgery.

PRM Lusa/fim Lusa / end

Díli, 11 Fev (Lusa) – A cronologia dos acontecimentos principais do duplo ataque contra o Presidente da República e o primeiro-ministro de Timor-Leste, segundo o relatório oficial de operações, a que a Agência Lusa teve acesso, e a informação combinada de fontes oficiais da Presidência, do Governo e da missão das Nações Unidas.

06:15 – Um grupo de homens armados liderado pelo major Alfredo Reinado, em duas viaturas, ataca a residência de José Ramos-Horta em Meti-hau; o Presidente estava fora mas perto, no “jogging” matinal junto à praia da Areia Branca;

06:20 – Alfredo Reinado é morto a tiro poucos minutos após o início do ataque, alvejado por um
dos elementos da sua antiga unidade, a Polícia Militar, que integra a escolta presidencial;

06:50 – A irmã de José Ramos-Horta telefonou-lhe avisando-o de que havia tiroteio em Meti-hau;

06:59 – Primeira chamada para o Centro Nacional de Operações, devido ao tiroteio; duas unidades de polícia nacional e internacional são enviadas a partir de Becora;

07:00 – José Ramos-Horta terá sido alvejado cerca desta hora, num segundo tiroteio, quando se aproximava do portão da sua residência;

07:00 – É chamado o Subagrupamento Bravo da GNR;

07:10 – É chamada ao local a primeira ambulância;

07:11 – Elementos das Operações Especiais do Subagrupamento Bravo saem do quartel para Meti-hau;

07:13 – José Ramos-Horta telefona à sua chefe de gabinete, Natália Carrascalão, dizendo que precisa de ajuda;

07:15 – Os primeiros militares da GNR chegam ao local e assistem José Ramos-Horta, que estava caído na estrada; o Presidente é socorrido e evacuado para o hospital de campanha das forças australianas em conjunto pela GNR e pela equipa
do INEM que está adstrita ao contingente português em Timor-Leste;

07:45 – Um grupo armado, liderado pelo tenente Gastão Salsinha, número-dois de Alfredo Reinado, ataca a coluna de veículos do primeiro-ministro, depois de Xanana Gusmão sair da sua residência em Balíbar e começar a descer a estrada para Díli; um carro da segurança despista-se; o carro do primeiro-ministro é atingido mas chega à cidade;

08:00 – Gastão Salsinha volta à residência do primeiro-ministro e tenta conseguir as armas dos seguranças de Xanana Gusmão;

15:45 – O Presidente da República é evacuado de helicóptero para o aeroporto internacional de Díli;

16:00 – Evacuação de José Ramos-Horta de avião para Darwin, onde será submetido a segunda intervenção cirúrgica.

PRM Lusa/fim
—–
ABC: UN police ‘refused to help’ injured Ramos Horta – 12/02/2008 East Timor’s Government says United Nations forces failed to help President Jose Ramos Horta after he was shot in an assassination attempt in Dili this morning.

He was shot in the arm and stomach after fugitive rebel leader Alfredo Reinado launched a pre-dawn raid on his home.

Mr Ramos Horta is now in a serious but stable condition in Royal Darwin Hospital after being evacuated on a Careflight plane this afternoon.

He was sedated on the flight from Dili to Darwin and the hospital says he is suffering three gunshot wounds – two to the upper chest and one to the abdomen.

East Timor Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao, who was also attacked but escaped unharmed, has confirmed that Reinado was shot dead during the raid.

The country’s Foreign Ministry has issued a statement which said that UN police stayed about 300 metres away from where Mr Ramos Horta was shot.

The Ministry says it was not until an ambulance arrived some time later that the injured President was taken to hospital.

Joao Carrascalao is the leader of the Timorese Democratic Union, and a member of the State Council.

The State Council, designed to advise in a state of emergency, is a 13-member panel made up of the President, Prime Minister and prominent East Timorese.

Mr Carrascalao told ABC Radio’s PM that when UN police arrived at the scene of the attack they refused to help. “I have to regret that we advised the United Nations Police who went to the scene but 300 metres before reaching there, they refused to proceed,’ he said. “The President was lying on the road and bleeding and already shot, and they refused to continue to give him assistance. “It was finally the family and an ambulance from our hospital that went and rescued the President when he was more than half-an-hour bleeding and losing a lot of blood.

“The United Nations Police didn’t take action until the Portuguese Generale got there. “That’s one of the worst things that could happen to this country; have police from everywhere, everyone within one system and mostly looking after themselves than looking after the situation here.”

Mr Carrascalao says there will probably be some unrest in Dili in the aftermath of the attacks, but he does not think it will be serious. “We start now hearing that groups that are sympathetic to Alfredo are roaming the streets of Dili but no incidents so far,” he said. “I hope that international forces, the stabilisation forces can control the situation, together with the FTTL. “I certainly expect that for the next few days there will be some unrest here, although not very serious. “But in the longer run I hope that the situation will calm down and will be resolved, because the main culprit of all this destabilisation is Alfredo and he’s now laying dead after the shooting.”

Mr Carrascalao says that while some may see Reinado as a martyr, he will soon be forgotten. http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2008/02/11/2159937.htm?section=justin
—–
TLGOV: Statement by the Office of the Prime Minister [automated translation, Portuguese original follows]

DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF EAST TIMOR OFFICE OF PRIME-MINISTER Office of the Press Dili, February 11, 2008 – The Prime Minister Kay Rala Xanana Gusmao said today the cowardly act directed against the institutions of the state and assured that the situation is under control, after the attacks this morning against the lives of the President of the Republic and the Prime Minister himself.

The Head of the Government ensured that the head of state Ramos Horta is free of danger, having been subjected to a surgical intervention at the hospital.

The President of the Republic was shot at 06:15 this morning, near his home, when did the exercise.

The Prime Minister has been the subject of intense fire between 07:45 and 08:00 when he travelled to Dili, and has reached ileso of the Government Palace. A secuirty car of the Prime Minister was hit, but there were no injuries.

The Prime Minister assured the journalists that the situation in Dili is stable, having missed the attempts to murder the President of the Republic and the Prime Minister.

Prime Minister calls on the population to keep calm.

The situation is under control and more information will be released soon.

REPÚBLICA DEMOCRÁTICA DE TIMOR-LESTE
GABINETE DO PRIMEIRO-MINISTRO
Gabinete de Imprensa
_________________________
Dili, 11 de Fevereiro de 2008

O Primeiro-Ministro Kay Rala Xanana Gusmão lamentou hoje o acto cobarde dirigido contra as instituições do estado e garantiu que a situação está sob controlo, depois dos atentados esta manhã contra as vidas do Presidente da Republica e do próprio Primeiro-Ministro.

O Chefe do Governo garantiu que o Chefe do Estado Ramos Horta está livre de perigo, depois de ter sido sujeito a uma intervenção cirúrgica no hospital. O Presidente da Republica foi atingido a tiro às 06:15 desta manhã, perto de sua casa, quando fazia o exercício físico.

O Primeiro-Ministro foi alvo de intenso fogo cerrado entre as 07:45 e as 08:00 quando se deslocava para Dili, tendo chegado ileso ao Palácio do Governo. Uma viatura de segurança do Primeiro-Ministro foi atingida, mas não se registaram feridos.

O Primeiro-ministro garantiu aos jornalistas que a situação em Dili é estável, depois de falhadas as tentativas de assassinato do Presidente da Republica e do Primeiro-Ministro.

O Primeiro-Ministro apela à população para ser manter a calma. A situação está sob controlo e mais informações serão divulgadas brevemente. +FIM+
—–
TLGOV: Statement from the office of the PM [automated translation, Portuguese original follows]

DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF EAST TIMOR OFFICE OF FIRST-MINISTER Office of the Press Dili, February 11, 2008 – The Prime Minister Kay Rala Xanana Gusmao announced today that the First Vice-President of the National Parliament, Vicente Guterres, temporarily assumed the presidency of the Republic, given the inability of the President, Jose Ramos Horta, to exercise the office, as a  result of injuries resulting from the attack that has been this morning.

The President of the National Parliament, Fernando Lasama, is in Portugal on an official  visit, will return to Dili shortly.

The clinical situation of the head of state is stable and he will be evacuated today to Darwin, where he will continue the treatment for injuries caused by two bullets to an arm and the abdomen.

In the exchange of fire verified this morning at 06h15, next to the residence of the President of  the Republic, Alfredo Reinado was killed and another member of his group.

The interim President of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste convened this afternoon to the Council of State and the Superior Council for Defence and Security, to assess the situation and take the measures deemed necessary, in close coordination with the National Parliament, which must ratify the decisions made by those two bodies for consultation of the President.

Even the Head of the Government this morning was the target of an ambush, between 07h45 and 08.00, when he travelled to the Palace of Government, not having suffered any injury. Their car, and another of its security personnel were hit and its occupants left the accident unscathed.

The Prime Minister Kay Rala Xanana Gusmao regretted once again the cowardly act directed against the institutions of the state and assured  that the situation is under control, after the attacks this morning against the lives of the President of the Republic and the Prime Minister himself.

The Head of the Government considered that the attacks against two holders of organs of the State Sovereignty are serious and the State will take the measures it deems most appropriate.

“We are considering how the state should react to all this,” stressed the Prime Minister, adiantando that “the institutions are alert for any act of vandalism”.

The Prime Minister assured the journalists that the situation in Dili is stable, having missed the attempts to murder the President of the Republic and the Prime Minister and appealed to the people to keep calm and trust in the institutions.

Kay Rala Xanana Gusmao assured that the state assume its obligations for ensuring the safety of the people and is ready to restore Law and Order, if required, countering any attempt to push East Timor to the category of “failed state” END + +

REPÚBLICA DEMOCRÁTICA DE TIMOR-LESTE
GABINETE DO PRIMEIRO-MINISTRO
Gabinete de Imprensa
________________________
Dili, 11 de Fevereiro de 2008

O Primeiro-Ministro Kay Rala Xanana Gusmão anunciou hoje que o Primeiro Vice-Presidente do Parlamento Nacional, Vicente Guterres, assumiu interinamente a Presidência da República, dada a impossibilidade do Presidente da República, José Ramos Horta, exercer o cargo, em consequência dos ferimentos resultantes do atentado de que foi alvo esta manhã.

O Presidente do Parlamento Nacional, Fernando Lasama, encontra-se em Portugal em visita oficial, devendo regressar a Dili brevemente.

A situação clínica do Chefe de Estado é estável e será evacuado ainda hoje para Darwin, onde prosseguirá os tratamentos provocados por duas balas, que o feriram num braço e no abdómen.

Na troca de tiros verificada esta manhã, às 06h15, junto á residência do Presidente da  República, foi morto Alfredo Reinado e outro elemento do seu grupo.

O Presidente interino da Republica Democrática de Timor-Leste convocou para esta tarde o Conselho de Estado e o Conselho Superior de Defesa e Segurança, para avaliar a situação e tomar as medidas julgadas necessárias, em estreita articulação com o Parlamento Nacional, que terá de ratificar as decisões tomadas por aqueles dois Órgãos de consulta do Presidente da República.

Também o Chefe do Governo foi esta manhã alvo de uma emboscada, entre as 07h45 e as 08h00,  quando se deslocava para o Palácio do Governo, não tendo sofrido qualquer ferimento. A sua viatura, bem como outra da sua segurança pessoal foram atingidas, tendo os seus ocupantes saído ilesos do acidente.

O Primeiro-Ministro Kay Rala Xanana Gusmão lamentou uma vez mais o acto cobarde dirigido contra as Instituições do Estado e garantiu que a situação está sob controlo, depois dos atentados esta manhã contra as vidas do Presidente da Republica e do próprio Primeiro-Ministro.

O Chefe do Governo considerou que os atentados contra dois titulares de Órgãos de Soberania do Estado são graves e o Estado irá tomar as medidas que considerar mais adequadas.

“Estamos a ponderar sobre a forma como o Estado dever reagir a tudo isto”, salientou o Primeiro-Ministro, adiantando que “as Instituições estão alerta para qualquer acto de vandalismo”.

O Primeiro-ministro garantiu aos jornalistas que a situação em Dili é estável, depois de falhadas as tentativas de assassinato do Presidente da Republica e do Primeiro-Ministro e apelou à população para manter a calma e confiar nas instituições.

Kay Rala Xanana Gusmão garantiu que o Estado assume as suas obrigações de velar pela segurança do Povo e está pronto para repôr a Lei e a Ordem, quando tal for necessário, contrariando qualquer tentativa de empurrar Timor-Leste para a categoria de “Estado falhado” +FIM+
—–
UNMIT’s Daily Media Review, 11 February 2008

RTL news coverage – Statement by President Xanana Gusmano

President Jose Ramos-Horta was taken to the ISF clinic today to receive surgery after being shot in his arm and stomach this morning at 6am. Alfredo Reinado and one of his men were also shot during the returned fire. Their bodies were taken to the hospital for an autopsy.

Some people have said that President Ramos-Horta had called Alfredo Reinado to come to Dili. But this is not true. Before taking any action, the President always contacts me and the President of the National Parliament to coordinate activities. I would have known if he had contacted Alfredo.

I have called upon all the petitioners’ to solve their problems, but some petitioners’ have responded with bullets. This can be considered as a strong action against the nation, not just to myself or the President.

Today, I inform you that with the authorization of the Acting President Vicente Guterres, I have called a meeting with the Security and Defence Council and the State Council to continue coordinating activities after this event.

In 2006, when there was an emergency, the nation’s leaders tried to establish security and stability. Today, the situation is different. If the Prime Minister or the President of this country is killed, there will be many consequences. Today and for the future, the State must concentrate its efforts to meet such challenges.

The State hasn’t been able to provide good security for the President or for state institutions. However, for today and the future, the State’s eyes and ears must be open to guarantee that the Timor-Leste does not become a failed state.

An armed group wants to bring down the State, but the State will not allow this. The State will take any steps necessary to ensure that citizens’ rights are protected and people are secure. Security will be provided in vulnerable areas. I announce this to honour our nation’s name and because we don’t want the people to return to suffering.

I am appealing to all people to remain calm to contribute to the nation’s stability. Any action the state must take to protect citizens will not violate people’s human rights or freedom.

To put rest to the rumour that the President called Alfredo to kill him, I would like to reiterate that I was also ambushed and targeted.  This shows that it was a planned operation from Alfredo. I ask the people to look for the truth. We have been appealing to Alfredo’s group for two years to participate in a dialogue, but now it has ended in violence, which we had been trying to avoid.

The State is firm in its resolve to solve these problems. I am asking all media in Timor-Leste to provide accurate information. While the media has freedom in Timor-Leste to report the news, they also have a responsibility to report the truth. Never speculate on issues that have not been confirmed.
—–
No Media Monitoring of National Newspapers Today
—–
Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao’s Message to the Nation [automated translation, Portuguese original follows]

DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF EAST TIMOR MESSAGE TO THE NATION 11 FEBRUARY 2008 – Following the events that occurred today in East Timor, which resulted in a serious attack on lives of the President and Head of Government, Prime Minister of East Timor, calls for calm from all Timorese because at a time like it is absolutely necessary that we all cooperate for the peace and public order.

Despite a heavily armed group, led by Alfredo Reinado, have threatened the security and stability of the country, its objectives have not been achieved.

The President of the Republic, Dr. Jose Ramos-Horta, is out of danger after surgery at the Hospital of the Australian Armed Forces, and their health situation stable. A car of the Prime Minister was hit but there were no injuries.

Still, given that there was an attempt to subversion of the rule of law Democratic therefore were tragically threatened two holders of organs of sovereignty, it is necessary and imperative to ensure that the state meets the requirement, which it is to ensure order, security and public tranquillity, protect people and property, prevent crime and help ensure the normal functioning of democratic institutions, the exercise of fundamental rights and freedoms of citizens and respect for democratic legality.

So, as Head of Government, Minister for Defence and Security and listened to the representatives of Bancadas Parliamentarians, the government of Timor-Leste has taken the initiative to ask the Vice-President of Parliament, now, in accordance with Article No. 84 of the Constitution, to be interim Head of State, the declaration of the state of place to deal with this situation of instability.

The Government of Timor-Leste in the manner mentioned in c) of paragraph 2 of Article 115. Th and under Article 25. Article of the Constitution of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste, proposed:

A) The declaration of a state of emergency, for an initial period of 48 hours;
B) In all the national territory;
C) The suspension of the right to free movement, with curfew between 20:00 hours and 06:00 in the morning;
D) The prohibition of assembly and demonstration during this period of the state of emergency.

It is now the President of the Republic in office, triggering the necessary mechanisms foreseen in the Constitution, consider the appropriateness of this proposal and take the decisions it considers most favourable to ensure the unity of the state and the regular functioning of democratic institutions, respect for legal principles apply.

For now, the Government of Timor-Leste calls:

To all citizens not to engage in activities that contribute to the climate of instability and cooperate with the authorities to enforce the law and order.

And that we remain united to overcome this great challenge that arises to our stability. Today, more than ever, we need to unite to overcome this with calm now!

February 11, 2008
Kay Rala Xanana Gusmao

See also East Timor: Internal Security, States of Seige & Emergency: A Note on the Constitutional Provisions & the Internal Security Law 2003

REPÚBLICA DEMOCRÁTICA DE TIMOR-LESTE MENSAGEM À NAÇÃO

Na sequência dos acontecimentos que hoje se verificaram em Timor-Leste e que resultaram num grave atentado às vidas do Presidente da República e do Chefe de Governo, o Primeiro-Ministro de Timor-Leste, apela à calma de todos os timorenses porque num momento como este é absolutamente necessário que todos cooperem para a tranquilidade e ordem pública.

Apesar de um grupo fortemente armado, liderado pelo Alfredo Reinado, ter ameaçado a segurança e estabilidade do País, os seus objectivos não foram alcançados.

O Presidente da República, Dr. José Ramos-Horta, encontra-se fora de perigo após uma intervenção cirúrgica no Hospital das Forças Armadas Australianas, sendo a sua situação de saúde estável. Uma viatura do Primeiro-Ministro foi atingida mas não se registaram feridos.

Ainda assim, tendo em conta que houve uma tentativa de subversão do Estado de Direito Democrático, pois foram tragicamente ameaçados dois titulares de Órgãos de Soberania, é necessário e imperativo assegurar que o Estado cumpra a obrigação, que lhe cabe, de garantir a ordem, a segurança e a tranquilidade públicas, proteger as pessoas e os bens, prevenir a criminalidade e contribuir para assegurar o normal funcionamento das instituições democráticas, o exercício dos direitos e liberdades fundamentais dos cidadãos e o respeito pela legalidade democrática.

Assim, enquanto Chefe de Governo, Ministro da Defesa e da Segurança e ouvidos os representantes das Bancadas Parlamentares, o Governo de Timor-Leste tomou a iniciativa de solicitar ao Vice-Presidente do Parlamento, que agora, de acordo com o artigo n.º 84 da Constituição, assume interinamente a Chefia do Estado, a declaração do estado de sítio para fazer face a esta situação de instabilidade.

O Governo de Timor-Leste de acordo com o previsto na alínea c) do n.º 2 do artigo 115.º e nos termos do artigo 25.º da Constituição da República Democrática de Timor-Leste, propôs:

a)     A declaração de estado de sítio, por um período inicial de 48 horas;
b)    Em todo o território nacional;
c)     A suspensão de direito de livre circulação, com recolher obrigatório entre as 20:00 horas e as 06:00 da manhã;
d)    A proibição de reunião e manifestação durante este período de estado de sítio.

Cabe agora ao Presidente da República em exercício, accionar os mecanismos necessários previstos na Constituição, ponderar a conveniência desta proposta e tomar as decisões que entenda mais favoráveis para garantir a unidade do Estado e o regular funcionamento das instituições democráticas, com respeito pelos princípios legalmente aplicáveis.

Por enquanto, o Governo de Timor-Leste apela:

A todos os cidadãos que não participem em actividades que contribuam para o clima de instabilidade e colaborem com as autoridades para impor a lei e a ordem.

E que nos mantenhamos unidos para ultrapassar mais este desafio que se coloca à nossa estabilidade. Hoje, mais do que nunca, precisamos de nos unir para com serenidade ultrapassar este momento!

11 de Fevereiro de 2008
Kay Rala Xanana Gusmão
—–
Transcript of UNMIT Press Conference 11 February 2008, Obrigado Barracks, Dili, Timor-Leste – The following is a near-verbatim transcript of a press conference by Finn Reske-Nielsen, Acting Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) for Timor-Leste, and Hermanprit Singh, Acting UNPol Commissioner.

Spokesperson Allison Cooper:   Good afternoon everybody. Before we move on to hear from the Acting SRSG Mr. Finn Reske-Nielsen, I just wanted to let you all know that we have a statement issued by the Secretary-General. We have copies of that – I think Rama has already distributed that. If anyone needs a copy, please see us after the press briefing.

Acting SRSG Finn Reske-Nielsen:       Good afternoon. As Allison said, the Secretary-General’s statement is available for all of you to see, so there’s no need for me to read it to you. I would like to just say a few words before we open the floor.

Let me say first of all that the United Nations Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste (UNMIT) strongly deplores the violence that took place this morning.

As you are all aware by now, at around 7 o’clock this morning there was a shooting incident at the home of the President of the Republic, Dr. José Ramos-Horta.

During this incident, there were several casualties and the President was injured. This morning he underwent surgery in Dili and this afternoon he was medi-vaced to Australia. He is in stable but obviously serious condition and I wish to take this opportunity to wish him a speedy recovery.

There have been two confirmed deaths including that of fugitive Alfredo Reinado.

Also this morning, about an hour after the incident at the residence of the President, there was an attack on the motorcade in which the Prime Minister, Xanana Gusmão was traveling in. There were no deaths in this attack.

Over the course of the day, the United Nations has been in a series of high-level meetings with the Government of Timor-Leste, the International Security Forces and the F-FDTL. And simultaneously the police is investigating the events.

Today’s meetings were aimed to ensure that there is a coordinated response to this morning’s incidents and we will continue to ensure that this coordination continues under the leadership of the Prime Minister.

Security measures have been augmented throughout the day with additional forces being placed in areas we believe to be at potential risk given the events of this morning.

Once again, the United Nations deplores this morning’s violence. We are appealing to the people of Timor-Leste to remain calm and we are also appealing to all of them to ensure a peaceful resolution to any disagreement.

And finally, let me also appeal to you, the representatives of the media, to ensure accurate reporting on today’s events. I do want to request you to verify any information that is going around by way of rumour, there are many rumours, and perhaps a lot more rumours than facts. Thank you very much.

Spokesperson Allison Cooper: Just on that point, there are three phone numbers you can all call. I’ll make sure you have them after this press briefing. You can speak in English or Tetum, 24 hours a day. Questions please.

Q: The Australian media have been reporting that UNPol attended the incident where the President was shot this morning, yet didn’t approach him to give him medical assistance for several minutes. Can you expand on that accusation?

FRN: I don’t any specific comment to make on that. As far as I know this is a rumour that I had not heard before actually. We shall obviously look into it to see.But I do have the times of the response of the police from the time the first call was made to the time that the President was extracted from the scene.

Q: There are consistent reports that the second attack on the Prime Minster was made by Lt. Salsinha. Is there any operation going on against his group? Is there a man hunt going on right now?

FRN: We do not at the present time have any confirmation as to those who were in that group who shot at the Prime Minister’s motorcade. The police, UNPol and PNTL, are investigating and we have set up road blocks on all the roads leading into Dili and all vehicles coming in and going out are being searched.

Q: The same question, sir. I’m sorry to insist on this. The reports literally say that Lt. Salsinha knocked on the door of the private residence of the Prime Minister. This comes from different sources that I guess the Mission also knows. I would again ask if the situation regarding the operation going on – the ISF, the UNPol – are exactly the same as before this morning, before the attacks, outside Dili?

FRN : As I said, the police investigation is ongoing and at this point in time I have no comment to make. We have to wait for the Police to complete their work. As far as the operations of the Police and the ISF are concerned, we have spent the day doing an assessment of the security situation, not just in Dili, but in the districts. And the necessary measures have been put in place so as to respond to any eventuality.

AC:  Can we have a question from a Timorese journalist, please?

Q: Right after the incident took place, there was … you mentioned the response of the PNTL and UNPol immediately took place. How many people have been arrested?

HS : It’s still in the investigative stage. There have been no arrests as of now.

Q:  I just want to find out who handled the responsibility of security, I mean who was in charge of security at the President’s residence?

FRN: The security arrangements were the responsibility of the national authorities of Timor-Leste.

Q:  According to the information from UNPol, how many people actually have been confirmed dead?

HS:  Two persons have been confirmed dead. Alfredo Reinado and a second person has also been identified but I don’t have his name right now.

Q:  [inaudible question from Dili News]

FRN :  The acting Police Commissioner might want to say something about this. But let me just say that what happened only a few days ago was that the command of three local police stations in Dili was handed over to Timorese commanders under the overall command of UNPol. At the present time there is no plan to change that decision, and we would have to look at the future to see how that should progress. There is an ongoing supervision and mentoring programme in place to ensure that everything is going well, and depending on that, we then move forward with further handing over of authority.

HS :  The timelines for handing over are drawn on the basis of our plan for the restructuring and recertification of PNTL. And also on the public perception of how the three police stations, the pilot projects which have been handed over, how they respond. So we haven’t particularly dwelled on the issue as this incident will have on the handover plan. I think these two issues are not so closely related. And we will proceed with the handover plan unless the situation demands other wise.

Q: Is it possible to say a little bit more about the two incidents that happened this morning? I haven’t seen any numbers on how many people actually participated in the attacks. We are talking about wounded people? How many are we talking about? Could you say a little bit more about the two incidents?

FRN:  It’s a bit difficult to confirm the events when the police investigation is ongoing but I can add a few details that I have got during the course of our discussions with the Government.

It is our understanding, and I say understanding because the investigation is still ongoing, that the President was not present in the compound when the assailants arrived there. Apparently he heard the gunshots, he was in the vicinity and he heard the gunshots, and he returned to his residence, and it was while he was returning to his residence that he was shot.

As far as the incident involving the Prime Minister is concerned, I can tell you what the Prime Minister told me himself in a private meeting this afternoon, namely that his motorcade had left his residence, and some distance from his house, they came under fire on the side of the road. They came under what he called very heavy fire. The drivers managed to continue on and that was how they escape unharmed. But it is my understanding that one vehicle went off the road and rolled over. But I think it’s unfair to speculate about these details as they will be established by the police investigations

Q: What kind of security measures have been taken for the IDP camps in the city tonight?

FRN: All I can say at this point in time is that a lot of effort has gone in to strengthening security in details in Dili and elsewhere but these are difficult details to share as we need them to be effective.

I just want to say that a comprehensive threat analysis has been done by the police in collaboration with the ISF and the F-FDTL, there is an agreement on where the sensitive areas might be and where we need to focus. The necessary operational measures have been taken and we expect all of this would be in place by nightfall.

Q. Are you expecting a spike amongst IDPs and if so, are you prepared to go full food rations if there is an upswing in violence amongst the IDPs?

FRN: The security situation in Dili and the districts has remained calm but tense throughtout the day and with the measures we have put in place we can ensure peace and calm in coming hours and days. We do not see a direct link between the incidents of this morning and the decision taken by the Government of Timor-Leste to reduce the feeding to half rations.

Q. Inaudible

FRN: So far, and I am pleased about this, we have not seen any increase of people moving in to IDP camps. As far as the blanket feeding is concerned, I have stated repeatedly we can not continue a situation whereby we feed a third of the city. This is simply not sustainable for the country, it is bad for the economy and it has to change. We have to get away from that as we get away from that we need to reach an agreement with the Government on identifying vulnerable individuals who need support that may go beyond half rations.

AC: That was the last question. For the purposes of your report, the title is Acting Special Representative of the Secretary-General Finn Reske-Nielsen. And I also wanted to let you know that upon hearing the news of this morning’s incident, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General Atul Khare immediately began preparing to return to Dili. He is currently in New York, because as you know, he is due to address the Security Council on February 14. We are expecting Mr Khare to arrive back in Dili tomorrow.
—–
UN: Statement attributable to the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General on Timor-Leste New York, 11 February 2008 — The Secretary-General is shocked and dismayed to learn of today’s incidents in Timor-Leste in which President Jose Ramos-Horta was shot and wounded and a number of others killed or injured. The convoy of Prime Minister Xanana Gusmão was also attacked.

The United Nations Police (UNPol) is on a high state of alert and is coordinating with the international security forces (ISF) and the Timorese authorities. Upon receipt of this information Special Representative Atul Khare immediately left the United States and is on his way back to Dili.

The Secretary-General condemns in the strongest possible terms these unacceptable attacks on the legitimate institutions of the state and calls on the Timorese people to remain calm and refrain from all violent acts.

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