East Timor PM says former ruling party not stopping violence
DILI, Aug 14 (AFP) — East Timor’s newly-appointed Prime
Minister Xanana Gusmao on Tuesday accused the former ruling
party of Fretilin of failing to halt ongoing outbreaks of
violence in the tiny nation.
Fretilin won the largest number of votes at June 30 polls but
not the majority needed to govern, while Gusmao’s party secured
a coalition afterwards that holds 37 of the parliament’s 65
The announcement that it would sit in government last week
triggered protests from Fretilin, which claims it is an illegal
administration, and sporadic violence eruped in Dili and several
eastern districts where the party is strongest.
“The politicians do not want to transmit their views to the
bottom so as to curb the violence that arose because of their
own defeat,” Gusmao told a gathering of district heads.
He said that he was aware several Fretilin leaders had travelled
to their bases, but said they were not there to appease people.
Former Fretilin prime minister Mari Alkatiri, who is
spearheading the party’s complaints, said on Monday that its
leaders intended to tell their supporters to be calm.
“Their politics is that the people should suffer, that they
mutually kill each other, that they mutually burn their houses,
and mutually damage their possessions,” Gusmao said.
The premier said that he planned to summon the Fretilin central
committee to ask them whether they wanted to see people in the
impoverished nation, which obtained independence in 2002,
continue to suffer.
“I will tell them that you (Fretilin members) are the ones that
have brought damage to Fretilin, and it is you that have allowed
the name of the Fretilin to be sullied,” Gusmao said.
Alkatiri said on Monday that others may have been masquerading
as Fretilin supporters in an effort to damage the party’s
Many of the apparent instigators of the violence — which has
included arson, at least one rape, and rock-throwing — have
been shouting pro-Fretilin slogans and waving Fretilin flags,
according to witnesses.
East Timor’s new government has a massive task healing the
nation after unrest on Dili’s streets last year left at least 37
dead and forced some 155,000 people from their homes, most of
whom are still sheltering in camps.
Joyo Indonesia News Service
==== ========= ==== =======