Who sacked the deserters:
Not Mari Alkateri. It was the F-FDTL (army) commander , Taur Matan Ruak who sacked the soldiers when he said that by 1st of March, the nearly 600 deserted soldiers would become civilians. The PM accepted this decision after it was announced. The President, the commander in chief, also accepted this decision though with reservations.
Who started the violence:
Not the F-FDTL. According to the Ramos-Horta at a meeting at the UN on 5th May the leaders of the deserting soldiers had agreed to abide by the results of a commission set up to look into their complaints. On the 28th April the deserters demo was hijacked by Osorio Leki Secretary General of the PDRT which is a front for the Colimau 2000 gang which kicked off into a violent rampage through some of the poorest areas in Dili
FRETILIN is unpopular:
In fact the vast majority of East Timorese voted FRETILIN (the party of Mari Alkateri) in last years local elections.
There is a huge ethnic divide in Timor Leste:
Many news reports attribute much of the trouble to ethnic rivalries between those from the east (Loro Sa’e) and those from the west of East Timor (Loro Monu). Such rivalry does exist but it is more a product of Indonesian manipulation during the occupation than a long standing fact of Timorese life and culture. History and current affairs show that the vast majority of those who seek to wield and maintain power often orchestrate disturbances based on existing divisions within society.
Mary McKillop East Timor
The second round of violence started after the shooting of ten police officers:
The violence seems to have started with the killing of an F-FDTL office by the police. Although unforgivable, the shooting of the police may have been in revenge for this.