Subject: 'Drastic measures' to be used to rehabilitate Dili - PM Alkatiri

East Timor: 'Drastic measures' to be used to rehabilitate Dili - PM Alkatiri

Dili, Nov. 9 (Lusa) - East Timor's government is ready to adopt "drastic measures" to reconstruct Dili, ending anarchy and reducing population pressures, Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri said Wednesday.

Alkatiri cautioned, however, that there was no plan to resort to force to expel migrant and refugee residents of the capital, a city of some 160,000.

"We will intervene in force. They will be drastic measures, but necessary ones to correct what is still correctable" in the city, Alkatiri said at ceremony unveiling the first phase of an urbanization plan drafted by Portuguese experts.

His "vision" of a Dili that could serve as "the entry gate" for investment in the country, Alkatiri said, began emerging more than 30 years ago when he worked as a topographer for City Hall.

In order to free Dili and other towns from excessive population, the prime minister said the government would create "incentives" to encourage tens of thousands to return to their rural home areas.

Newcomers began flooding into the capital and other urban areas in 1974, immediately after Indonesia's invasion.

Their numbers skyrocketed with the return to East Timor of some 250,000 people who had been forced into exile by pro-Jakarta militias around the time of the Timorese independence plebiscite in 1999.




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