Timor-Leste Legal News February 2008 (Part 5)
Transcript of UNMIT Press Conference 12 February 2008, 16:00 hrs
UNMIT Headquarters, 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.
Acting SRSG Finn Reske-Nielsen:Thank you all for coming this afternoon.
We would like to take the opportunity to update you on the investigation into yesterday’s shooting incidents. I will make a very short statement and then the Acting Police Commissioner Hermanprit Singh and I will answer your questions.
The investigation into the shooting incident at the President’s residence and the attack on the Prime Minister’s convoy is being conducted by the National Investigation Department of the police.
It follows the lines of other professional investigations, including photographing the crime scene, seizing any evidence such as bullets and weapons, and of course interviewing witnesses.
These processes have been underway since yesterday morning. So far, 11 people have been interviewed in relation to the President’s shooting.
As far as the attack on the Prime Minister’s convoy is concerned, investigations into this incident are just commencing.
I would like to take this opportunity to share with you some preliminary information about the timings of yesterday’s response.
Initial police reports show that the first call came into the National Operations Centre of the police at 6:59 AM yesterday. Two patrol units from the Becora Police Station were dispatched one minute later at 7:00 AM.
As you know, the President’s residence is approximately a 15 minute drive away from the centre of town, and the two units arrived at the scene at 7:15 and 7:18 AM respectively. They were backed up by the Portuguese Formed Police Unit, which of course forms part of the UN Police, at 7:20, two minutes later. As an exchange of gunfire had been reported, the GNR provided a close protection cordon at the scene.
President Ramos-Horta was found lying on the ground near the northern entrance to his compound, on the left hand side of the road near the fence at 7:23 AM. At 7:25 he was confirmed by the attending police at the scene to be in the ambulance and on the way to the hospital.
The investigations into the events at the President’s house, and indeed the attack on the convoy of the Prime Minister, will be extensive and ongoing. We are expecting that the first progress report to the Prosecutor-General will be submitted either this afternoon or tomorrow morning.
Based upon the information in that report, the Prosecutor-General may issue arrest warrants – that is his decision – for a number of individuals. Once the warrants of arrest have been issued, the security forces will be responsible for executing the warrant.
And of course, in accordance with the existing arrangement, the ISF will provide a back-up response if there is a need for what we might call a “hard” arrest.
Going beyond the ongoing investigations, let me say that the United Nations is continuing to coordinate with Prime Minister Xanana Gusmão on security arrangements following yesterday’s incidents. Security has been augmented in what we consider to be potentially problematic regions.
I am please to confirm to you that there have been no reports of serious violence in Dili or in the districts, and, in fact, last night was one of the quietest nights recorded by the police for some time.
As I said yesterday, UNMIT urges people to maintain calm and to wait for the results of the investigation. Any pursuit of justice must be done peacefully and in accordance with due process.
Finally, let me say also once again on behalf of the United Nations, that our prayers and thoughts are with the President as he is recovering in hospital in Darwin. We wish him a fast and full recovery and look forward to continuing to work with him.
Thank you very much. We are happy to take your questions.
Q: Good morning. What is your reaction to calls to set up an international inquiry in the attacks? And my second question, who is responsible for the personal safety of the President – is it UNPol and PNTL or is it F-FDTL?
FRN: Thank you. On the first question, as I have just explained to you, there is an ongoing investigation. It is for the authorities of sovereign State of Timor-Leste to decide how they want to proceed beyond that, if indeed that is what they want. But this is for the Timorese authorities to decide. On the second question, it is and it was the wish of the President that his protection be provided by national authorities.
Q: Were there United Nations police as part of the close protection unit protecting the President at the time of the attack? And is the role that they played being investigated?
FRN: As I said, it is the wish of the President that the national authorities provide close protection for him, and therefore there were no UN police as part of his close protection detail yesterday. That being said, of course all aspects of the events yesterday will be investigated very thoroughly so that we can establish all the facts that surrounded this deplorable event.
Q: You mentioned that based on the information and the report, the Prosecutor-General might issue arrest warrants for a number of individuals. Who are they? Will it include Alfredo’s group? Will it include those who were with Salsinha?
FRN: I think I’ll ask the Acting Police Commissioner to answer that. But you have to understand that as the investigation is still ongoing, there are certain limitations to what information he can reveal.
HS: In the course of the investigation so far, a few persons’ names have transpired. On account of interrogation of the witnesses to the Presidential shooting, the names cannot be revealed as of now because the names will be presented to the Prosecutor-General in the first progress report, the interim report which will we will send to him tomorrow. And it will be up to the Prosecutor-General to appreciate the evidence which we will be presenting to him. And further to which he is expected to issue warrants of arrest against them, by which time the names will be public.
Q: Who is leading the investigation? And based on the evidence and witness statements so far, can you walk us through the events of yesterday?
HS: The National Investigations Department of the United Nations Police and PNTL typically lead investigations into all major crimes. As such the National Investigations Department is leading the investigations into these shootings … the attempts to assassinate the President as well as the attack on the Prime Minister’s convoy.
As of now, several witnesses as I said have been examined. Their statements have been recorded and we are in the process of comparing their statements before we make a final report to the Prosecutor-General. At this stage, no further information can be given regarding the identify of both the witness as well as the suspects.
Q: One brief follow-up. Can you say if anyone has been arrested yet?
HS: No, no one has been arrested yet for the simple reason that the Prosecutor authorizes the arrest of any individual where the offense has already been committed. And a warrant of arrest is a sine qua non for any individual.
Q: We’ve been noticing that both PNTL and UNPol are conducting the check points to stop the cars. Is this related to the state of emergency that has been issued by the Government? Second – do UNPol and PNTL have the power to arrest anyone without a warrant being issued?
FRN: If I can answer the first question. We did announce yesterday that road blocks were set up at all entry points into Dili. That has been in place since yesterday. It continues to be in place for all incoming and outgoing vehicles which are being searched. So there is no direct link between that the declaration of a state of siege that was approved by the Parliament last night.
HS: Typically, legally speaking, the police can detain and individual for identification if his identity is not established and he is not able to explain his movement. But that is not technically an arrest; it is detention for the purpose of explaining the identification. The arrest can take place only for cases where the offense is committed before the police, which in judicial parlance is flagrante delicto , or where a warrant of arrest or a process has been issued by the court to effect the arrest of a specific individual.
Q: There have been some suggestions that Alfredo Reinado, far from being one of the attackers, was in fact staying at his place. Do you know just what his standing or status was yesterday, in relation to the President?
HS: The investigation so far has clearly established that the assailants came in two vehicles, two civilian vehicles, and there were approximately 10 of them. So there is no question of a person having stayed back at the President’s house.
Q: And also that Alfredo Reinado was one of those 10?
Spokesperson Allison Cooper: Thank you everyone. That concludes the press conference. We have copies of the SRSG Atul Khare’s statement in English and Tetum. Rama has those. There will be another one tomorrow.
UN recommends Brazilian to be judge in Timor [02/13/2008 – 15:44] Agência Brasil* Manaus – Judge José Barroso Filho, of the Military Justice of Manaus, is getting ready to take on the position of international judge in East Timor. He was approved in a selective process promoted by the United Nations (UN).
The international selection was promoted to select one magistrate to instruct and try civil law cases in the country – including those related to war crimes during the Indonesian occupation.
The legal activities should be performed for one year and also forecast the judge’s working as a professor in the Judicial Training Centre of East Timor.
The selection process began in October last year and was completed last week. In the process, people from several countries interested in the opportunity were submitted to phases that included analysis of their curricula, documents and also oral tests.
In the magistrate’s evaluation, his experience in a judicial career and his operation in several areas of Law were fundamental for selection of his name.
“I have been a magistrate for 15 years, and have operated in several areas, like criminal, family, electoral and others. I think my operation as a professor in law school also counted,” explained Barroso.
He was born in the city of Ribeirão Preto, in the interior of the state of São Paulo (SE Brazil), but has lived in Manaus, the capital of Amazonas state (N Brazil) since 2004. He is now in charge of the 12th Military Justice Court, responsible for the Northern Brazilian states of Amazonas, Acre, Rondônia and Roraima, which is based in Manaus.
*Translated by Mark Ament
TLGOV: PM proposes 10-day extension of state of emergency – [automated translation; original Portuguese text follows]
DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF EAST TIMOR
OFFICE OF PRIME-MINISTER
Office of the Press
Dili, February 13, 2008
The Prime Minister Kay Rala Xanana Gusmao today proposed to the interim President of the Republic an extension of the state of emergency according to the analysis prepared by the competent departments of the state and with the objective of continuing to ensure safety and public order.
This exceptional measure – to run until the next day on February 23 – does not call into question the fundamental rights of citizens, or suspending the constitutional principles of the nation, but requires minimum measures of exceptional character, such as the prohibition of expression and assembly and mandatory curfew between 8:00 pm and 06:00 am,
This can be reduced or even cancelled if the safety conditions are met.
The Head of the Government welcomes the peaceful and orderly manner in which the population has welcomed the extraordinary situation resulting from the imposition of the state of emergency.
The population understood that at a time when major organs of state have been called into question, the government did not have an alternative but to propose that the interim President of the Republic impose this extraordinary measure.
The Government notes with satisfaction that the daily lives of citizens were not heavily affected by the severe attacks of last Monday and it is with pride in the people of East Timor that the Executive notes that trade and private institutions of the state have not stopped working.
The Prime Minister calls on young people to respect the memory of Alfredo Reinado and contribute to peace and social stability in accordance also with the message that was sent personally by the uncle and adoptive father of Reinado, the Counsellor of State Vitor Alves, who maintained a meeting today at the Government Palace.
The Government monitors, through Foreign Minister Zacarias da Costa, who is in Darwin, the evolution of the state of health of the President and directs a word of special appreciation to health professionals of the Royal Darwin Hospital have provided care to Dr. Ramos-Horta.
END + +
REPÚBLICA DEMOCRÁTICA DE TIMOR-LESTE
GABINETE DO PRIMEIRO-MINISTRO
Gabinete de Imprensa
Dili, 13 de Fevereiro de 2008
O Primeiro-Ministro Kay Rala Xanana Gusmão propôs hoje ao Presidente da República interino a prorrogação do estado de sítio em função da análise elaborada pelos serviços competentes do Estado e com o objectivo de continuar a assegurar a segurança e ordem pública.
Esta medida excepcional – para vigorar até ao próximo dia 23 de Fevereiro – não põe em causa os direitos fundamentais dos cidadãos, nem suspende os princípios constitucionais da Nação, mas impõe medidas mínimas de caracter excepcional, como sejam a proibição de manifestação e reunião e o recolher obrigatório entre as 8:00 pm e as 06:00 am,
Esta situação pode ser reduzida ou até cancelada se entretanto forem reunidas as condições de segurança.
O Chefe do Governo congratula-se com a forma pacífica e ordeira com que a população tem acolhido a situação extraordinária resultante da imposição do estado de sítio. A população compreendeu que numa altura em que principais Órgãos de Estado foram postos em causa, o Governo não poderia ter outra alternativa senão propôr ao Presidente da República interino a imposição desta medida extraordinária.
O Governo verifica com satisfação que o quotidiano dos cidadãos não foi fortemente afectado pelos graves atentados da passada
segunda-feira e é com orgulho no Povo de Timor-Leste que o Executivo regista que o comércio privado e as instituições do Estado não deixaram de funcionar.
O Primeiro-Ministro apela aos jovens que respeitem a memória de Alfredo Reinado e contribuam para a paz e estabilidade social de acordo, aliás, com a mensagem que lhe foi ransmitida pessoalmente pelo tio e pai adoptivo de Reinado, o Conselheiro de Estado Vitor Alves, com quem manteve hoje um encontro no Palácio do Governo.
O Governo acompanha em permanência, através do Ministro dos Negócios Estrangeiros Zacarias da Costa, que se encontra em Darwin, a evolução do estado de saúde do Presidente da República e dirige uma palavra de particular apreço aos profissionais de saúde do Royal Darwin Hospital que têm sido inexcedíveis nos cuidados prestados ao Dr. Ramos-Horta. +FIM+
FRETILIN condemns attacks on President and Prime Minister, calls for resignations, Independent International Commission of Inquiry MEDIA RELEASE Dili, 12.02.08 – FRETILIN MPs Arsenio Bano and Estanislau da Silva, today called in parliament for the resignation from the AMP de facto government, of the Secretary of State for Security, Francisco Guterres and the Secretary of State for Defence, Julio Tomas Pinto, citing negligence and incapacity by them to properly manage their portfolios.
“We call on the Secretary of State for Security, Francisco Guterres and the Secretary of State for Defence, Julio Tomas Pinto to resign as a result of their demonstrated negligence and incapacity in coordinating and ensuring that both the President of the Republic and the Prime Minister of this country were adequately protected,” Bano said.
“We have a large number of police that have now been reactivated. We have sufficient active F-FDTL soldiers. We have over 1,700 UN police and 900 International Military Forces in this country. It is not simply a matter for the police or the forces to be answerable. As the responsible members of government, it is they who ultimately have to account to the public and have been found wanting. As the responsible members of government they have the responsibility of ensuring that these resources available to us are coordinated to adequately protect the constitutional leaders of this country and the people. If they cannot guarantee the security of the President and the Prime Minister, how are they going to guarantee the security and defence of our people?” asked MP Arsenio Bano, who is also FRETILIN Party Vice President.
Another FRETILIN MP, and former Timor-Leste Prime Minister Estanislau da Silva, informed the parliament there had been a grave act of negligence with regard to the lack of timely response to the assistance needed by the President.
“In the case of the President there is the added unforgivable neglect of medical assistance not arriving for well over half an hour after there had been a call for assistance by him whilst he was lying bleeding on the ground. He telephoned his chief of staff who in turn called the ambulance, but it took over half an hour for them arrive, whilst there was an UNPOL roadblock less than a kilometer away.”
“But this is not all. There were many serious questions that needed to be answered that have not been answered. Questions as to why despite over one hour having lapsed between the shooting of the President and the attempt on the Prime Minister, action had not been taken by either members of government responsible for security to immediately secure the security of the Prime Minister,” Da Silva told the parliament.
Da Silva closed in saying that there were many questions of lapses of security and regarding the criminal attempts themselves that the people of Timor-Leste demand be answered. “We need an International Commission of Inquiry to fully and properly investigate this in an independent and transparent manner, so that justice can prevail and the perpetrators of these crimes can be punished by the law,” he said.
For further information contact José Teixeira on +670 7287080 or Filomeno Aleixo on +670 734 0383
FRETILIN condemns criminal attacks on Timor-Leste’s President and Prime Minister: Demands Independent International Commission of Inquiry FRETILIN MEDIA RELEASE Dili, 12.02.08 – The FRETILIN leader in the Timor-Leste National Parliament Francisco Miranda Branco yesterday (11 February 08) strongly condemned the criminal attacks on the President of the Republic, Dr. José Ramos-Horta, and de facto Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao in a formal statement to the parliament. In his statement on behalf of all FRETILIN members of the parliament Branco reiterated yesterday’s strong condemnation by the FRETILIN Secretary General, Dr. Mari Alkatiri, and gave FRETILIN’s full support to cooperate with the state security authorities, the UN and international forces in any way it can to maintain peace and stability in their wake.
“Each and every FRETILIN member in this parliament, vehemently condemns this act, which is without doubt a criminal act against the state of Timor-Leste. We hope and pray that the President makes a speedy recovery from this brutal attack on him. Our sympathies are with him and his family in this very difficult time.”
“As a party in this parliament we vow to work with all our capacity and cooperation with the other state institutions and authorities to ensure that these criminal acts do not disrupt further the peace and stability and the country and for its full restoration,” Branco said.
“Like all other Timorese, we are shocked that this event has occurred precisely when the President had reached excellent progress in his efforts to bring the political leadership of the country together to find a path towards resolving our nation’s current problems in a consensual way,” Branco added.
“FRETILIN in this parliament is also concerned that the President of the Republic could be shot by a would be assassin, lead by an identified and widely known fugitive from justice, so close to his residence, and that the Prime Minister could be ambushed on a regular route he takes to his office each day, whilst we have such a large UNPOL and International Stabilization Force presence in this country,” questioned Branco.
Branco added that these questions demanding accountability from the authorities responsible for security are graver given the public disclosure of the fact that there was information that the authorities had obtained late last week of potential security related actions this week.
For further information contact José Teixeira on +670 7287080 or Filomeno Aleixo on +670 734 0383
Declaration of Provedor for Human Rights and Justice on the Declaration of State of Siege 12 February 2008 The Provedor for Human Rights and Justice of Timor-Leste strongly condemns the violent attacks against the President of the Republic, H.E. Dr. José Ramos Horta and Prime-Minister, H.E. Kay Rala Xanana Gusmão on Monday 11 February 2008.
The Provedor is concerned about the health situation of the President of the Republic and wishes for his speedy recovery.
The Provedor recognizes the effort undertaken to meet the serious situation currently in the country. The Provedor also recognizes that the legal provisions and procedures have been followed in declaring the State of Siege.
Yesterday the Interim President of Republic declared, on the basis of authorization given by the National Parliament, a State of Siege for 48 hours to take place in the entire territory. During this period the guarantee of freedom of movement, including a curfew between 20:00 and 6:00 hours, as well as the right of assembly and demonstration have been suspended.
The suspension of certain rights is enshrined in the Constitution, and the Provedor considers this measure proportional to the current situation. The rest of the fundamental freedoms remain in force.
The Provedor urges the Government to notify the declaration of State of Siege to the Human Rights Committee following Timor-Leste’s obligation under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
During the State of Siege, the Provedoria is open and undertaking its regular tasks, including the monitoring of the security forces actions in Dili.
The Provedor is alert on the situation and is available to receive complaints against public actions violating the rights and fundamental guarantees.
To make any complaint, please contact number 7299646. The communication can be made through message (SMS) or by miss call.
The Provedor underlines that any use of force shall be in accordance with the Law and it shall be used only when strictly necessary.
Provedoria is ready to respond, at any time, for the protection of people’s fundamental rights.
See also East Timor: Internal Security, States of Seige & Emergency: A Note on the Constitutional Provisions & the Internal Security Law 2003 on the East Timor Law Journal
State of emergency extended in East Timor 13 Feb 2008 11:24:58 GMT Source: Reuters By Ahmad Pathoni DILI, Feb 13 (Reuters) – East Timor’s parliament approved an extension of the state of emergency until Feb. 23 as Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao called for calm on Wednesday following an assassination attempt on President Jose Ramos-Horta.
Ramos-Horta was critically wounded by gunfire from rebel soldiers early on Monday, while Gusmao escaped unhurt in a separate attack on his motorcade.
Some analysts had said East Timor could suffer further violence and political chaos after the attack on Ramos-Horta in which rebel leader Alfredo Reinado died. Australia sent troops to Dili this week to enforce a state of emergency and help with security.
“This emergency status is not intended to hinder people’s activities but to allow the normalisation of the situation,” Gusmao said. “I call on the people to remain calm and abide by government rules.”
East Timor’s prosecutor-general said earlier on Wednesday that he would issue arrest warrants for 18 people believed to be involved in assassination attempts on the president and prime minister.
“We’re coming today to a conclusion to issue the warrants,” Prosecutor-General Longinhos Monteiro told reporters in Dili.
Asked how strong the evidence was, he said: “99 percent,” but added: “I do not want to mention the names of those involved at this stage.”
Hundreds of Reinado supporters — some weeping, others shouting “Viva Alfredo” — gathered at his home in Dili on Wednesday as his coffin was brought to the house.
Supporters insisted on opening the coffin several times in order to confirm that the body inside was indeed his.
“Even though you’re dead, your spirit will live forever and we will continue your struggle,” one man shouted, as U.N. police provided tight security in the area.
Australian troops continued to arrive in Dili to reinforce international peacekeepers and the 1,600-strong U.N. police detachment, who are enforcing state of emergency first declared in the wake of Monday’s attacks.
Ramos-Horta was airlifted to Darwin in northern Australia on Monday for emergency medical treatment for gunshot wounds. Surgeons carried out a further operation on Wednesday.
His chief surgeon, Phil Carson, said the operation revealed the president was likely shot twice, not three times as thought earlier, and that he would need several more operations.
He would have considerable scarring, but would make a full recovery, Carson said.
FEARS OF MORE VIOLENCE
Despite fears that pro-Reinado members of the ruling coalition might withdraw their support following the death of the rebel leader, sparking the collapse of the government, a member of the coalition said there were no signs of a split.
“The events have made the coalition stronger. The attacks show who had good intentions and who did not,” said Aderito Hugo da Costa, a member of parliament in Gusmao’s party.
Reinado had led a revolt against the government and was charged with murder after factional violence in 2006. Later that year, he escaped jail with 50 other inmates, embarrassing security forces.
Former prime minister Mari Alkatiri, who is secretary-general of the main opposition party Fretilin, called for early elections to settle a political impasse in parliament. Fretilin is the dominant party in parliament, but did not form a government because it lacks an absolute majority.
Ramos-Horta, 58, who shared the Nobel Peace Prize in 1996 for waging a non-violent struggle for independence, split from Fretilin.
East Timor gained full independence from Indonesia in 2002 after a U.N.-sponsored vote in 1999 that was marred by violence. Indonesian invaded the former Portuguese colony in 1975, and many thousands of East Timorese died during the brutal occupation. (Additional reporting by Tito Belo and Telly Nathalia in Dili and Rob Taylor in Canberra; Writing by Sara Webb; Editing by Jeremy Laurence)
Statement by the Special Representative of the Secretary-General Atul Khare, on the shooting incident in Dili on the 11th of February, 2008 – I have just returned from New York where I was preparing to participate in the Security Council discussions on UNMIT’s mandate renewal. I left New York within hours of hearing the terrible news that President José Ramos-Horta had been injured in a shooting incident early yesterday morning and that Prime Minister Gusmao had also been attacked.
My thoughts and prayers are with Dr Ramos-Horta, and his family, and I wish him a fast and full recovery. He plays a crucial role in leading this country on its path to development, and in enhancing its culture of democratic governance. We are all anxious to see him back soon, exercising his functions as President of the Republic. I personally look forward to resuming my weekly meetings with him once he has made a full recovery.
I am deeply disturbed by yesterday’s violence, and have been assured that investigations, which will reveal the facts about yesterday’s incident, are underway. But I am also very impressed by the calm manner in which the country has reacted to these events. The government has reacted in a highly competent manner, taking appropriate measures to deal with the tragedy and coordinate the various security institutions of the country, while reassuring the population. Both the Parliament and the opposition have played exemplary and constructive roles during this critical period, offering their support to the government. I am also pleased that State institutions have continued to perform their functions, and that leaders have adhered to the Constitution in this time of crisis.
It is a positive sign and a point that I will be conveying to Dr Ramos-Horta at the earliest available opportunity.
For further information please call UNMIT Spokesperson Allison Cooper on +670 7230453
UNMIT’s Daily Media Review 12 February 2007
TVTL News Coverage
Alfredo’s group shoots the President – President José Ramos-Horta received gunshot wounds during an attack led by Alfredo Reinado’s group yesterday morning at 6.15am in the President’s home in Metiaut, Dili. The President was evacuated to the International Stabilisation Forces’ (ISF) clinic to receive medical treatment. During a Press Conference held at the Government Palace on Monday (11/2), Prime Minister Xanana Gusmão confirmed that the President was in a stable condition despite his serious injuries. “The President was wounded in his arm and stomach. He is in a stable condition, but is still unconscious. He will have further treatment in Darwin, Australia after he returns to consciousness.” PM Xanana also said that the incident happened when the President went back to his home after hearing shots being fired. Alfredo Reinado and one of his men were fatally shot during the attack and have since been evacuated to the moratorium in the national hospital.
In another attack occurring at 7.30am the same day, the convoy of PM Xanana was ambushed by armed groups while he was on his way to the office. Two members of the PM’s convoy received minor injuries and the PM’s car was damaged. Later that morning, at approximately 9am, the PM’s family was evacuated to the UN Portuguese Formed Police Unit (FPU) headquarters. “We consider this incident as a serious attempt against the State,” said PM Xanana at the press conference. PM Xanana has appealed for all citizens to remain calm in order to ensure security and stability in the capital.
The press conference was also attended by the Acting President, Vicente Guterres, General Prosecutor Longuinhos Monteiro, F-FDTL Commander Brigadier Gen Taur Matan Ruak, PNTL Commander-Designated Afonso de Jesus and ISF Commander James Baker.
RTL News Coverage
Guterres appeals for calm -The Acting President of the National Parliament, Vicente Guterres, is appealing for all people to remain calm and not to panic in the wake of attacks made against the President on Monday (11/2) in Metiaut, Dili.
Attacks are against the State: Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao said that the attacks on President Ramos-Horta and himself are tantamount to an attack against the nation. “We consider this incident as a great attempt against the State. But the State will not permit this to happen,” said PM Xanana.
PM Xanana also said that the Government would take any steps necessary to ensure that citizens’ rights are protected and people are secure. He added that security would be provided in vulnerable areas.
F-FDTL, ISF, UNPol and PNTL provide maximum security in Metiaut – The F-FDTL, ISF, UNPol and PNTL are to provide maximum security in the President’s residence in Metiaut, Dili, in the wake of attacks led by Alfredo Reinado on Monday (11/2). The attacks resulted in injuries to the President and in the death of Alfredo and one of his men. ISF and UNPol are not allowing local villagers, including the media, to move around in the area.
Operational Commander of PNTL appeals for calm – The PNTL Operational Commander is appealing to all people to be calm in the wake of attacks against President Ramos-Horta on Monday (11/2) in Metiaut Dili.
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Print News converge
Horta injured, Alfredo dead – The President of the Republic and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Jose Ramos-Horta has received gunshot wounds to his arm and stomach during a violent showdown with Alfredo Reinado yesterday morning at the President’s house. Alfredo and one of his group members, Leopoldino, were killed during the cross fire with F-FDTL members. One F-FDTL member, Tanente Celestinho Gama, also received injuries.
Alfredo’s group also attacked Prime Minsiter Xanana Gusmao as he was driving with his convoy to the office. One shot was fired at a tire of one of the cars. There were no injuries to the PM or any member of his convoy.
In a Press Conference held yesterday at Obrigado Barracks, the Acting Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Finn Reske-Nielsen, said that investigations into the shooting incidents were ongoing. He did however confirm that Alfredo was dead.
Concerning the attack on the PM, Mr Reske-Nielsen said that it was still unclear who had orchestrated the attack. However, according to Timor Post sources, the person behind the attack was the Petitioner’s Spokesperson Salsinha Gastao.
The Prime Minister has appealed to the population to remain calm and given assurances that the situation is under control. (TP)
Dom Alberto and Xanana appeal for calm -The Bishop of Dili, Alberto Ricardo, has joined Prime Minister Xanana Gusumao in appealing to the general population to remain calm after yesterday’s attacks. The Bishop has asked that people not engage in activities which may exacerbate the situation. â€˜â€˜ÃŒ appeal to all people in the country to remain calm, and not contribute to the problems or to provoke the population,’â€™ said the Bishop.
In a Press Conference held yesterday at Obrigado Barracks, the Acting Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Finn Reske-Nielsen, also appealed for calm: â€˜â€˜I appeal to all people to work towards peace and would ask that the media ensure that all reports are accurate,’â€™ said Mr Reske-Nielsen.
Also at the Press Conference was the Deputy UNPol Commissioner Hermanprit Singh. In response to a question concerning the possible link between the shooting incident and the recent handover of responsibility from the Untied Nations Police to the PNTL, Mr Singh responded that he did not believe there to be any link.
In another statement, Fretilin’s Secretary-General Dr Mari Alkatiri has condemned the attacks on the President and the Prime Minister. “Fretilin is shocked at the attacks,” said Mr Alkatiri. “We are also surprised that the shooting happened at a time when the President had almost reached political consensus on how to deal with the problems peacefully.” (TP)
Australians to increase troops in TL – Australia will send extra troops and police to Timor-Leste in the wake of the recent attacks on the President and Prime Minister. The Australian Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, has expressed deep shock at the attacks. He said that the decision to send more troops was based on the results of meetings held yesterday between the Government and the national security council. Prime Minister Rudd is also planning to visit Timor-Leste in the near future. (TP)
Bodyguards save Xanana -The six bodyguards of Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao saved the PM from receiving any injuries in yesterday’s attack on the PM by Alfredo Reinado’s group. One of the bodyguards, Jose Soares, said that “when Aflredo’s group attacked the PM’s car, four of the bodyguards removed the PM from the line of attack.” Alfredo’s group is blaming the attack on Salsinha Gastao, the Petitioner’s Spokesperson. (TP)
Vicente Guterres takes on President’s role -The Vice President of the National Parliament, Vicente Guterres, has become the interim Prime Minister, following yesterday’s attack on President Jose Ramos-Horta. Following the constitution, the President of the National Parliament becomes acting President if required to do so. However, as the President of the NP is currently away, the position goes to the Vice President. (TP)
America condemns attack on PR and PM – The Untied States Government has strongly condemned yesterday’s violent attacks on the President and the Prime Minster. The US Ambassador to Timor-Leste said: “We give our deepest condolences to the families of the victims of yesterday’s attack and wish the President a speedy recovery. We have confidence that the Government of Timor-Leste will continue working together with UNMIT and the IFS to establish and maintain stability and security in the nation.” (TP)
Horta injured, Xanana attacked, Alfredo dead – An attack was launched yesterday on the President’s house by Major Alfredo Reinado Alves and his group. The attack resulted in injuries to President Jose Ramos-Horta. Sources who wish to remain unnamed claim they saw two cars enter the President’s compound at 6.15am. Approximately five minutes after the cars entered, the shootings began. The President was at the time exercising outside his compound, but returned immediately upon hearing the gunshots. A cross-fire ensued between Alfredo’s group and the President’s security. The President was shot in his arm and stomach and Major Alfredo was killed.
Shortly after, Prime Minsiter Xanana Gusmao was also attacked. The PM’s convoy was ambushed at a road block by Commander Salsinha and his group. The PM’s car was shot at, but no injuries were sustained by the PM or any member of his convoy. (DN)
Xanana: We will not tolerate groups who want to destroy our nation – Prime Minister Xanana Gusumao declared during a press conference held yesterday that the State would not tolerate groups who were acting to destroy Timor-Leste. “You all know that I called the petitioners here so that we could come to a peaceful resolution of the crisis. But some members have chosen to respond to my call with bullets,” said the PM. (DN)
Alfredo’s body placed in the moratorium -The bodies of Major Alfredo Reinado and one his group, Leopoldo, have been taken to the moratorium in the Dili National Hospital. Alfredo and Leopoldo were shot during the attacks yesterday on the President’s residence. The bodies were carried to the hospital under maximum security provided by the Guarda Nacional Republika (GNR).
The President’s Security Guard, Commander Celestino Filipe Gama, was also shot by Alfredo’s group and is now receiving intensive medical attention. (DN)
Fretilin condemns attack on PR and PM -Freilin has strongly condemned the attacks yesterday on President Jose Ramos-Horta and Prime Minster Xanana Gusmao as Fretilin has supported the nation’s security forces to bring peace and stability to the nation.
Fretilin’s Secretary-General Dr Mari Bin Amudi Alkatiri said in a statement to the National Parliament that the attacks on the nation’s leaders had shocked him. “The attacks were a big surprise as they happened at a time when we were all trying to find solutions for the major issues facing this nation,” said Mr Alkatiri. Mr Alkatiri also expressed concern about the security that had been the responsibility of UNMIT and the International Stabilisation Forces (ISF).
Mr Alkateri is demanding that UNMIT and the ISF provide an explanation as to how this situation could have happened. (DN)
President in a critical state – Prime Minsiter Xanana Gusmao has said that President Jose Ramos-Horta remains in a critical state after receiving medial attention from the International Stabilisation Forces (ISF) clinic. “The President is a long way from full recovery,” said Prime Minister Xanana Gusumao during a press conference held yesterday. “He is however in a stable, but critical, condition.”
The President assured the population that the State would take the necessary action to ensure security and stability throughout the nation. He also appealed to the population to remain calm, and not to engage in activities which would de-stabilize the situation. He made a further appeal to youths not to take any rash action. “You don’t have to follow the armed groups, as they just want to kill people and to destroy this nation” the PM said. “Young people must also make an effort to partake in the struggle for peace.” (DN)
PM guarantees that situation is normal – Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao has guaranteed that the situation in Timor-Leste, and particularly in Dili, is under control. The PM has urged all people to remain calm. In a press conference held yesterday, the PM said that “International Stabilization forces, UNPol, F-FDTL and PNTL have the security situation under control. Because of this, I am appealing to all members of the public to remain calm, not to panic and not to engage in any activates that would contribute to destabilizing the security situation.” (DN)
PM appeals for calm among Alfredo’s supporters – Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao has appealed to all people, and especially the youth, who have previously supported Alfredo Reinado in Dili to remain calm. “We had begun to start a process of dialogue with Alfredo,” said the PM. “Why then did he come to attack the President?” The PM made a particular appeal to Alfredo’s supporters in the Dili suburbs of Becora, Taibesi, Manumeta Rai Hun, Matadoru, Bidau, Beto, Bairo Pite and Manleuana to stay calm.
“What has happened serves as an important lesson for all of us,” said the PM. “So, I would ask those youths in Ermera, Ainaro, Alieu, Same, Bobonaro and Liquica to take this time to reflect on what has happened and to assess our roles and responsibilities in establishing stability in the nation.” (DN)
Horta shot, Xanana saved, Alfredo dead – President Jose Ramos-Horta was shot yesterday morning at 6am in his residence by Alfredo Reinado’s group. The President received one shot to his stomach and one in his arm. A security guard of the President was also shot. Neighbours of the President were panicked by the shootings. Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao was also attacked at 7.45am while he was on his way to the office. The PM however escaped receiving any injuries. The PM’s car was severely damaged during the attack.
A bodyguard of the First Lady, Kirsty Sword, said that after the attack, the armed group under the command of Salsinha came to the PM’s home. “Salsinha came to me and asked me for the weapons I was carrying,” said the bodyguard. “I refused to hand over the weapons.” At about 9.58am yesterday, the PM’s family was evacuated from their home and taken to the Government Palace.
Fretilin’s Secretary-General Dr Mari Alkatiri said on the Portuguese television, that he believed the attacks to have been planned by people in the military. “There is a conspiracy involving some military members to bring down this nation’s political leaders,” said Mr Alkatiri. (STL)
Additional international troops to come to TL – The Prime Minister of Australia, Kevin Rudd, has committed additional troops to join the International Stabilisation Force in Timor-Leste. This has been in response to the attacks yesterday on the President and Prime Minister. The additional troops should arrive today. The additional troops will bring the total number of Australian troops on the ground to 1000. Australia will also send 70 police personnel to help provide stability and security to Timor-Leste. (STL)
Guterres becomes interim PM – Lasama laments work of UNPol – Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao has announced that the Vice President of the National Parliament, Vicente Guterres, will become the interim Prime Minister following yesterday’s attack on President Jose Ramos-Horta. Following the constitution, the President of the National Parliament becomes acting President if there is any impediment to the President discharging his duties. However, as the President of the NP is currently away, the position goes to the Vice President.
The President of the National Parliament, Fernando Lasama, has strongly criticized the work of the United Nations in Timor-Leste, and in particular the United Nations Police in not providing adequate security for President Ramos-Horta and Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao. “I really lament the work of UNPol because their assistance to the President came one hour late,” said Lasama in a joint press conference with the Prime Minister of Portugal, Jose Socrates, in Lisbon. (STL)
Xanana – Horta shot, Fretilin condemns attacks, L-7 sad – Fretilin has strongly condemned the acts of Alfredo’s group and Salsinha Gastao. The President of UNDERTIM political party, Cornelio Gama, alias ‘L7’, has expressed sadness over the attacks. “We are shocked at these events. This is a big surprise as it is happening at a time when there are positive moves being made towards reaching a national political consensus,” said Fretilin’s Secretary-General Dr Mari Alkatiri. (STL)
NP asks for additional security forces – The National Parliament asked for additional international security forces in Timor-Leste during an extra-ordinary meeting convened yesterday. Fretilin has asked that the additional forces come not only from Australia, but from other nations such as Malaysia. However, the acting President, Vicente Guterres, accepted to have additional troops to strengthen the ISF in Timor-Leste, a decision heavily criticised by Fretilin. (STL)