Subject: LUSA: Authorities Order Halt to Construction of Dili Hotel

East Timor: Authorities Order Halt to Construction of Dili Hotel 21 Mar-18:56

East Timor's chief UN transition administrator signed this week an executive order to stop construction of a controversial hotel complex being built in Dili by a Singaporean company.

The Dili 2001 Hotel was being "illegally" constructed on one of the East Timorese capital's most well-known beaches, Areia Branca, near the Christ the King statue in the Metiaut neighborhood.

The executive order has been served on the BJT company by members of the UN civil police force.

Besides demanding the "immediate halt of construction activities", and "restoration of the terrain to its original conditions", the order also requires that the company remove all structures already built on the site.

The order was signed a week after the transition cabinet approved a decision to halt work on the Dili 2001 Hotel. Construction had begun in unclear circumstances, on property whose ownership remains in doubt.

East Timorese leaders have accused business interests involved in the construction of acting illegally. The cabinet has also registered "profound environmental concerns" over the hotel's location near the Christ the King statue.

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