Subject: MNEC: May 3 update on situation



03 May 2006

For immediate release


The Government of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste is acting decisively to bring relief to those affected by the actions of hooligan youths on Friday, April 28 and to investigate the unfortunate incidents that led to deaths and injuries.

Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri is asking the dismissed soldiers to return and cooperate with the Commission of Investigation, which is established to investigate and reveal of the truth of the dismissed soldiers’ grievances.

To that end, the head of the government has established a Committee of Reception of the “Petitioners”, comprised of Mário Serakey, from the Health Ministry; Leonito Faria and Mário Soriano from the Ministry of Labour and Community Reinsertion; the Administrator of the Dili District; and the Commander of the Dili District of PNTL.

The Prime Minister has established two other committees. One will look at assisting those who lost their property or in any other way were affected by the vandalism. The second will verify the details about the number and identity of the dead and injured which has been the subject of rumours.

The Comissão para o Levantamento do Volume das Destruições de Bens (Committee for the Auditing of Damaged Property and Goods) will comprise a representative each from the Ministry of Public Works and the Ministry of Labour and Community Reinsertion, as well as the Administrator of the District of Dili.

In addition to uncovering the extent of the damage, they will look at ways of compensating those affected. They will also start the process to rebuilding and refurbishing with better sanitary conditions the popular Taibessi market.

The Comissão de Verificação de Dados sobre Mortos e Feridos (Committee for the Verification of Details about Dead and Injured) will include: Antoninho Bianco, Minister for the Presidency of the Council of Ministers; Arsénio Bano, Minister for Labour and Community Reinsertion, secretary-general Eugénio Soares and Aida Mota; from the Ministry for the Interior, PNTL Commander Paulo Martins, and Justino Jesus; from the Health Ministry, Fernando Bonaparte; the Administrator of the Dili District, Ruben Carvalho; and representing the Red Cross of Timor-Leste, Isabel Guterres (president) and Luís Freitas.

Meanwhile, according to PNTL (Polícia Nacional de Timor-Leste) the situation in Dili remains normal.

PNTL members patrolling the streets of Dili report that the capital is calm and peaceful. Some residents however are still concerned about rumours and are from some sucos (suburbs) started to leave Dili. The Government is reassuring them that their fears are unfounded. As well PNTL Hera post reported that some people, motivated by the unfounded rumours, sought refuge in the FDTL compound in Metinaro.

Early this morning police assisted a young man in Bairro Pité who, apparently in panic, had stabbed himself with a knife. He was taken to hospital for treatment.

Timor-Leste’s Presidency and the Government have continued to appeal to the population to trust the law and order enforcement agencies, return to their homes and resume their normal activities. ­ ENDS.

For further information please contact: Chris Santos Assessor de Imprensa/Media Advisor Cabinet Office of the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation Tel: +670 729 7099

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