Subject: Homeless family sent back to Dili

Northern Territory News (Australia)

September 22, 2006 Friday

Homeless family sent back to Dili


THERE were emotional scenes as an East Timorese family were deported from Darwin yesterday.

Epifano Faculto, 32, his wife Susette and two children -- Willy, 6, and two-year-old Lelanlia -- were flown home to Dili.

Their Dili house was burnt down in the political violence and they will be forced to live in a refugee camp. The family was told at 5pm on Wednesday that they were being deported and were put on an Airnorth flight at 7am yesterday.

Mr Faculto shook as he spoke of his fear at returning home.

''They do not have a solution to the violence in East Timor,'' he said.

''We wanted to stay in Australia until everything was resolved and we could go back.

''We asked to stay temporarily -- we don't want to stay forever.''

Mr Faculto and his brother-in-law Louis Lobato, 31, were both admitted to the psychiatric war at the Royal Darwin Hospital, suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, hours before their original return was scheduled.

''It's fine for the Australian Government to say it's safe, but it's not,'' he said.

''In some places, there is still fighting. I am scared to go back.'' Almost 40 friends and family were sent home this month.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade last week warned of escalating violence in Dili and surrounding areas.

But Immigration spokesman Sandi Logan said: ''The security situation remains stable and there is no need to be concerned for the security of those returning.''

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