Subject: UNMISET Daily Media Review - FDTL Attacks Becora Police Station


Daily Press Review Compiled by the Public Information Office from national and international sources

Daily Media Review Friday, 17 December 2004

FDTL Attacks Becora Police Station

Becora Police Station was attacked by a group of F-FDTL members yesterday. Three PNTL were seriously injured, while four others suffered bruises. Office equipment, such as tables and chairs, and a motorbike, were damaged. The security situation around the police station was unstable for a period of time as F-FDTL officers, who attacked the station were carrying rifles. The PNTL Commissioner, Superintendent Paulo de Fatima Martins, said that the incident occurred because an F-FDTL officer was upset after being given a traffic fine on Tuesday evening for failing to wear a helmet and the motorbike he was riding did not have the relevant documents. (STL}

Xanana: We are saddened by fighting between F-FDTL and PNTL

Government, police and military officials met yesterday to discuss the necessary measures to be adopted following the second incident this where F-FDTL officers ransacked a police station in Timor-Leste. President Xanana Gusmão said he was “saddened” by the incident, where 20 armed soldiers allegedly slapped a policewoman and broke furniture at the police station in Dili’s Becora neighbourhood in a revenge attack. The F-FDTL’s Chief, General Taur Matan Rauk said “disciplinary measures” would be taken after an inquiry, beyond possible criminal action.

Commenting on the recent fighting between F-FDTL and PNTL members, President Xanana Gusmão said that the nation as a whole is unhappy with the actions of the two security forces. “As a Head of State, I can say that the recent behaviour of members of these two institutions is unacceptable. We cannot permit this to happen. Something needs to be done in regard to this matter,” said the President. (Lusa, Timor Post, STL)

Minister of Interior: F-FDTL and PNTL leadership will resolve dispute

The Minister of Interior, Rogerio Tiago Lobato, said that the leadership of both F-FDTL and PNTL are making great efforts to resolve the recent conflict involving members. “We will take all necessary measures to deal with the conflict,” said the Minister.

Meanwhile, commenting on the conflict, F-FDTL Commander, Brigadier General Taur Matan Ruak, said the police had no reason to physically assault F-FDTL members. However, Taur Matan Ruak appealed to his officers, who were involved in the conflict, to prepare themselves to be held accountable. “I, as their commander, do not instruct them to engage in boxing on the streets, but I teach them to be good men, good soldiers. Fighting in the streets is not my teaching, therefore they should be ready to respond,” added Taur Matan Ruak.

The Vice President of the National Parliament’s Commission B in charge of Security Affairs, Clementino dos Reis Amaral, also said that in order to prevent further conflicts between F-FDTL and PNTL, there is a need for the leadership of the two institutions and the Church to provide moral education to the members. (Timor Post, STL)

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