Subject: AFP: ETimor president recalls unrest

Agence France Presse

May 25, 2007 ETimor president recalls unrest

DILI, May 25 2007

New East Timor President Jose Ramos-Horta urged the nation Friday to reflect on last year's "shameful" unrest as he unveiled monuments to police killed in the violence.

Ramos-Horta told a ceremony in the capital, held to mark 12 months since the violence which gripped the nation, that East Timorese needed to work together to avoid a repeat of the turmoil.

"I ask all parties to reflect on what happened one year ago in this country. This is important to prevent the incident happening again," he said.

"The incident one year ago was very shameful. Two forces that were supposed to defend people's security clashed and shot each other."

Almost 600 deserting soldiers claiming discrimination were sacked last May, sparking clashes between rival factions of the military, and clashes with the police, that degenerated into gang violence which left 37 people dead.

About 150,000 people were forced to flee their homes in fear.

Ramos-Horta unveiled 11 tablets -- one for each police officer killed -- at a ceremony in front of the justice ministry.

Nobel Peace Prize winner Ramos-Horta was elected president in a landslide earlier this month, raising hopes of an end to the cycle of tension and sparodic unrest that has continued since last May.

UN police and foreign troops remain in the tiny country to restore security.


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