Xanana Disparages Fretilin’s Threat

Friday, 03 October, 2008 | 10:46 WIB

TEMPO Interactive, Jakarta : Prime Minister of East Timor Xanana Gusmao dismissed Fretilin’s threat to bring in thousands of supporters to urge East Timor government to hold a general election, slamming the threat as a dream and no more than that of a kid.

Xanana spoke his response after Fretilin’s Secretary General Mari Alkatiri expressed his demand while meeting Indonesia’s top officials since Idul Fitri day on Wednesday. Alktiri met separately with President Yudhoyono, Vice President Kalla, and Muhamadiyah leader Din Syamsuddin in Jakarta.

Xanana who endured the independence war against Indonesia and survived recent killing attempt by rebelling East Timor troops led by Major Alfredo Reinado said the threat was a minor one.

Alkatiri was forced to resign in 2006 after riots sparked by rebelling troops based on the western part of the country over claims of being discriminated from their fellow troops on the eastern part of the country.

A recent report said that leaflets had been circulating in the capital Dili recently, ahead of the inauguration of the new East Timor Police Chief. The leaflets in English and local language Tetum reject the government choice of new police chief from the eastern part of te country and that there will be kidnappings on government official if the government install the new police chief.

The latest conflict follow a series of political unrest in the newest country in South East Asia which saw the murder attempt on President Jose Ramos Horta and Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao who took over the government after Alkatiri was deposed. Shady reports published days after the attack on President Horta said that rebel leader Alfredo Reinado was killed during the attack.

An East Timor parliament spokesman Duarte Nunes reminded the public to stay calm amid the threat surrounding the installment of the new police chief, saying the leaflets were provocative.

Jose Sarito Amaral

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