Subject: SMH: East Timor asks for help as street violence continues

The Sydney Morning Herald

Tuesday, February 14, 2007

East Timor asks for help as street violence continues

Lindsay Murdoch

THE East Timorese Prime Minister, Jose Ramos-Horta, has urged the United Nations to bolster security in his country as Australian and other forces in the capital, Dili, struggle to stop violent street attacks.

Dr Ramos-Horta told the UN Security Council in New York that security in the country was "still fragile and precarious" only two months before presidential elections scheduled for April 9. He urged the UN to approve sending more police from Portugal to join 1313 international police already in the country.

The call comes amid growing fears in Dili that groups are plotting to disrupt campaigning before the elections, and what welfare officials say is a chronic shortage of rice throughout the country. Some people in Dili were told this week to pay protection money or their businesses would be destroyed.

Even though some key gang leaders have been arrested, teenagers are being killed in street fighting almost every day. In the past 48 hours a 13-year-old boy was stabbed three times and a 17-year-old died after being attacked with a machete. One group is planning rallies to protest against the former prime minister Mari Alkatiri being cleared of allegations he was involved in providing weapons to a hit squad set up to eliminate political opponents. The claims forced him from office last June.

A report to the Government this week refers to 20,665 malnourished children aged under 15, and 6718 pregnant or lactating women needing food at centres in seven districts.

Angela Freitas, a 38-year-old East Timorese who was educated in Australia, announced yesterday that she planned to contest the presidency.

Dr Freitas, who is in Darwin, described the situation in East Timor as "shameful and disgraceful".


Terjemahan (atas jasa "Kataku")

------------------------------------- Joyo Indonesia News Service 

Back to February menu

January 2007 menu  
World Leaders Contact List
Main Postings Menu