|Subject: RA: Interview with Jose Luis Guterres
ABC Radio Australia
Last Updated 9/05/2006 8:45:00 PM
TIMOR: Prime Minister says latest violence is an attempted coup
In East Timor, some 100 people have been arrested after police say a mob attacked a government office in a town southwest of the capital Dili. One police officer was reportedly killed. The latest violence follows last month's unrest in the capital which left at least five dead. Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri says he believes it is an attempt at a coup d'etat. But his leadership is now at question ahead of next week's meeting of the ruling Fretilin Party.
Presenter/Interviewer: Maryann Keady
Speakers: Jose Luis Gutteres, Timor's permanent representative to the United Nations
GUTTERES: It has affected not only the government, it's affected the society, the people of East Tmor. Many people in the street have been complaining about us about why it had happened. Many of them have fled to the mountains. So there is something unhappiness, sadness that we can see in the faces of the Timorese today. Many people ask why after the independence we have to face again this fear People don't feel safe in the capital of our country.
KEADY: He's just one leading Fretilin member that talks of an alternative leadership during these tense times, emphasising the need for the country to me united.
GUTTERES: My main concern is that we really have to choose a prime minister that can run this country and have the expertise also to run it. Someone can have views, someone that can be sensitive to problems, someone that can listen to the difference sectors of the society and be honest and transparent, because I believe these are the qualities that can bring stability for this country.
KEADY: The Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri has faced constant criticism for the control he exercises over decision making in the government, and for his perceived arrogance, which has not gone down well in sectors of the community.
A Fretilin insider has not discounted the possibility of the President Xanaa Gusmao taking control if the security situation spirals out of control, which could mean Parliament being dissolved.
Certainly the perception is that the country requires unity, rather than societal and political fractures.
Jose Luis Gutteres says that he would try and work with the Opposition parties if he was elected secretary-general of the party.
GUTTERES: My point is that I look at the political parties not as adversaries, but as a partners for the construction of a new society for democracy in Timor because our country is new and we came from a situation of violence and one needs really to understand that the political parties are fundamental for democracy and they need also to be consulted in the decision making process in the areas where a decision will affect their society. So I have a strong hope in this country, in these people and I believe that these events are a lesson for our young country, the youngest country in the world, but we believe in the end the people of East Timor will have a better future.
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