Subject: East Timor News headlines/ 8March 2001

East Timor News 8 March 2001

Bahasa Indonesia Headlines ­ Thursday 8 March 2001

  1. Assassination Attempt On Xanana Gusmao
  2. Xanana: “RDTL plans to kill me, Horta and Taur”
  3. Taur Matan Ruak: “This Is A Big Message To Trouble-Makers”
  4. “Why Aren’t We Respecting Our Leaders?” Asks Bishop Belo

1. Assassination Attempt On Xanana Gusmao (Suara Timor Lorosae, Front Page headline)

Civpol Commissioner Costa da Sousa said yesterday that three people who were suspected of trying to assassinate CNRT/CN President Xanana Gusmao and FDTL Commander Brigadier-General Taur Matan Ruak had been arrested.

The three were arrested, while participating at a demonstration, at a Students’ Solidarity Council Symposium, at the Dili Gymnasium, which was being addressed by Xanana and Taur Matan Ruak.

“The three of them are currently under detention and being investigated,” said Costa da Sousa at a press conference at the meeting room of CNRT President Xanana Gusmao in Balide.

According to the Police Commissioner the three were arrested not only because of the incident at the Gymnasium but also were wanted by Civpol for other criminal activities.

“The three were in fact detained by Civpol in February in connection with the burning of two UNTAET vehicles at Delta Comoro,” said da Sousa.

Besides that, he added, one of them was also detained in connection with the throwing of a hand-grenade, in the direction of Xanana, at a disturbance outside the Dili Stadium on April 30 last year.

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2. Xanana: “RDTL plans to kill me, Horta and Taur” (Timor Post, Front Page second lead)

At his press conference yesterday, three hours after the incident at Dili Gymnasium, Xanana Gusmao said he received information from various sources that RDTL had an assassination plan for him, Brigadier-General Taur Matan Ruak and Foreign Minister Jose Ramos Horta.

He said CNRT/CN had a cassette recording of the meeting where the CPD-RDTL group were planning to kill him, Taur Matan Ruak and Horta when they attended the symposium.

“We managed to uncover the RDTL plot. They had dangerous intentions. Besides wanting to kill us, they also had plans to disrupt the peace and security in Timor Lorosae,” said Xanana.

Xanana also produced at the press conference a photo showing RDTL activist Americo with the former Dili Mayor Dr Mateus Maia and several Indonesian military officers. Americo was one of the three arrested by Civpol yesterday.

“Americo was chosen by the Indonesian military in 1994 to initiate a terror campaign, using ninjas, in Dili and surrounding districts,” said Xanana.

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3. Taur Matan Ruak: “This Is A Big Message To Trouble-Makers” (Suara Timor Lorosae, Front Page third lead)

Commander of the National Defense Forces (FDTL) Brigadier-General Taur Matan Ruak praised the action taken by Civpol to thwart the assassination attempts on him and Xanana Gusmao.

“This is a message to those who want to make trouble. Civpol will come down hard on you,” he said.

“I feel happy on the action taken. The timely intervention [by Civpol] was fruitful,” he added.

According to Taur Matan Ruak such occurrences were commonly faced by Falintil members.

“When the Indonesians were here they often used tactics like these. But in the end we always won,” said the FDTL commander.

“The threats are now the same. But let me warn the violence-makers ­ if you choose a target make sure you kill him. If you don’t, the target will kill you in turn!” said the one-star general, directly referring to CPD-RDTL.

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4. “Why Aren’t We Respecting Our Leaders?” Asks Bishop Belo (Suara Timor Lorosae, Front Page side-bar)

Dili Bishop Mgr. Carlos Filipe Ximenes Belo said yesterday East Timorese, as good citizens, must refrain from using force to solve the problems. He advised them to sit down and have constructive dialogues with their adversaries.

Bishop Belo said Xanana Gusmao and Brigadier-General Taur Matan have always stressed unity among members in society.

“Why can’t we respect our leaders like Xanana and Taur Matan Ruak who are known the world over?” asked Bishop Belo.

“Their contributions to this country have been immense. It’s now time to respect them as leaders of Timor Lorosae. One is a civilian and the other is from the military,” said Bishop Belo.

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