Subject: Lusa: Leaders mull action against militant group

East Timor: Leaders mull action against militant group

Dili, Sept. 1 (Lusa) - East Timor`s leaders met Monday to discuss "urgent" measures to control the activities of a militant nationalist group that has been accused of fomenting instability in the new nation.

The Committee for Popular Defense - Democratic Republic of East Timor (CPD-RDTL) was formed by breakaway elements of the ruling Fretilin party and has regularly been accused by Dili authorities of organizing "destabilizing activities".

President Xanana Gusmão recently made a fact-finding trip to the east of Timor and he gave Prime Minsiter Mari Alkatii and parliamentary speaker Francisco Guterres an account of this visit at their Monday meeting.

Gusmão`s aide, Agio Pereira, said the president had seen evidence of the CPD being "active among the population".

"The president will let the government see what measures can be taken on these affairs, which need to be overcome", said Pereira.

Guterres said that Gusmão`s report showed that "the CPD continues to be entrenched in its positions and does not seek any development in the process".

Alkatiri said joint "political pressure" from all of Timor`s sovereign bodies, as well as "social action" among communities vulnerable to the militant group`s activities were needed.

The CPD first emerged onto Timor`s political scene in November, 1999 and has been blamed for various acts aimed at destabilizing the nation, including an alleged plot to assassinate the president in 2001.

The group has been a constant thorn in the flesh for the Dili government, both before and after independence in 2002, and was also alleged to have had shady dealings with Indonesian security and intelligence officials. ASP/CJB -Lusa-


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