Subject: LUSA: State of Emergency to be extended, new Govt to maintain policy line

31-07-2006 12:06:00. Fonte LUSA. Notícia SIR-8217662 Temas:

East Timor: State of Emergency to be extended, new Govt to maintain policy line

Dili, July 31 (Lusa) - East Timor's Council of State gave its blessing Monday to a second 30-day extension of the "state of emergency" first declared by President Xanana Gusmão on May 30 to deal with the country's spiral of violence.

A council member, who asked to remain unidentified, told Lusa the extension of the state of emergency, which is being applied primarily by international peacekeeping troops and police, would last until the expected deployment of new UN peacekeeping mission on Aug.

21.

The meeting of the Council of State convened by Gusmão, he said, took note of the "improved security situation" in Dili and the country but recognized, "with preoccupation", that "the situation remains unstable".

A member of the 126-strong Portuguese GNR police contingent in Dili told Lusa Lisbon planned to commit an additional 116 officers to the new UN mission expected to arrive in August.

He said the additional Portuguese force would include 58 Public Security Policemen (PSP) and 48 Republican National Guardsmen (GNR).

In another development, newly installed Prime Minister José Ramos Horta told parliament Monday that government would follow the "programmatic orientation" as his predecessor, Mari Alkatiri who was forced to resign June 26 as a step to end the wave of violence and subsequent political crisis.

Alkatiri is being investigated on allegation he ordered the arming of civilian militias, including purported political hit teams, during the crisis that erupted in late April.

The politically independent Ramos Horta, who served Alkatiri as foreign and defense minister, told parliament the previous government had achieved "notable" results in many areas, but had failed in internal security and communication with the Timorese people.

"We failed in the areas of internal security and in dialogue with the people", he told the lawmakers, the majority of whom belong to Alkatiri's dominant FRETILIN party.

"We are accused of insensitivity and arrogance", he said, adding that "corruption had begun invading state institutions" under the outgoing government, East Timor's first since gaining independence in 2002.

SAS/EL.

Lusa

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