Subject: ABC: Mystery surrounds Reinado, Ramos-Horta relationship

Also Emotions run high at Alfredo Reinado's funeral

ABC Radio Australia - 15/02/2008

ETIMOR: Mystery surrounds Reinado, Ramos-Horta relationship

Authorities in East Timor are discouraging people from speculating about how and why the attacks happened. However, it does appear that a conflict between long time friends Jose Ramos-Horta and the rebel fugitive Alfredo Reinado was emerging in the lead up to the attacks.

Presenter - Stephanie March Speaker - Joaquim Fonseca, advisor to Prime Minister; "Jose", petitioning soldier.

Reinado had been engaged in peaceful talks with both East Timor's President and Prime Minister as recently as December 2007, and last met with government officials on February 6th.

Joaquim Fornseka is the Prime Mininsters's civil society advisor and was in charge of the Task Force set up to resolve Reinado and the petitioning solders problems.

FORNSEKA: For two years, no body actually cared about the petitioners but no real effort was made to resolve their problems. In that situation of desperation, if you like, Alfredo came up as their hero.

Around 600 of the country's Military left their barracks in 2006 saying they were victims of discrimination.

Set up by the government, the Task Force has been mediating discussions between the petitioners and the commanders of the FFDTL.

Mr Fornseka says they had come a long way in getting the FFDTL to agree to allow the petitioning soldiers to re apply in order to be reinstated to the army.

But it seems that Reinado wanted more.

Mr Fornseka said it's possible, that in the lead up to the attacks Reinado was becoming unhappy with the President and way the dialogue was heading.

FORNSEKA: The president - I don't blame the President - but there were some concessions that could not be delivered - and I think he felt betrayed in a way.

He believes when the President and AR last met in the mountain town of Maubisse in December, the President promised AR he and his followers would be allowed to be reinstated into the army without having to go through a re-application process.

FORNSEKA: In Maubisse we understand the President said to Reinado that there shouldn't be any application they should all just be re-enacted as soldiers and officers of FDTL and that a screening process should be carried out for both those who have left the army for sometimes and for those who remained in the barracks. And that obviously - that's a new demand - and its quite difficult for the command of FDTL to accommodate. So obviously it cannot be delivered.

Joaquim Forneska also said that recent moves by the government to entice Alfredo's supporters to join in dialogue without their leader, may have angered him.

FORNSEKA: It could have upset him more. It could have upset him more because it is not necessarily the number of people around him that he cares about. It's about the fact that the myth that he tried to create is broken, and it proved untrue.

The myth he talks about is Reinado's ability to solve the petitioners problem.

According to Joquim Fornseka, Rienado had nothing to do with the petitioning soldiers in the first place, but was using them as a bargaining tool for his own situation.

But one of those petitioning soldiers, who wants only to be known by the name Jose, is a strong supporter of Reinado.

JOSE: Since the attack on Monday, I've been very sad and I feel very sorry for one of our best commanders who died in the attack.

He says unlike the 90 or so petitioners who have begun separate dialogue with the government, he and his 500 comrades will continue to fight for justice against discrimination in the military under the command of Gastao Salshina, the former lieutenant who is suspected of leading the attack against XG's convoy.

JOSE: The difference is our group that now I belong to led by Salshina is a group of real petitioners who want to find a solution to the issue of discrimination.

But Joaquim Forneseka believes many of Reinado's so-called supporters felt threatened by him, and now the rebel leader is gone they will be more inclined to join the group of petitioners engaging in dialogue.

FORNSEKA: The other thing, with the absence of Reinado it will remove the fear factor from among the petitioners to join the program which the government put in place.


Emotions run high at Alfredo Reinado's funeral


ABC Radio

Presenter - Anne Barker Speaker - Acting Commissioner of UN police Herman Pritsing [sic]

There were emotional scenes in East Timor today, as supporters of fugitive rebel leader Alfredo Reinado attended his funeral. Reinado was shot dead on Monday as he and his supporters launched an assault on the home of President Jose Ramos Horta. Security forces still don't know whether the rebels' plan was to kill the president or kidnap him. International forces - including Australian troops - are searching mountainous territory to hunt down Reinado's many accomplices.

ANNE BARKER: The armed rebel who's caused so much grief for East Timor was also a loved son and husband, and a hero to thousands of disaffected youth.

Relatives, friends and sympathisers poured into the Reinado family home in the Dili suburb of Marconi to mourn his death and say goodbye.

(sound of women crying and screaming)

Several times, the coffin was opened to show a handsome young man in a smart suit, with a bullet wound near the left eye.

For security reasons, the family chose to bury Reinado in his own backyard, side by side with another rebel killed in Monday's gunfight.

(Victor Alves speaking)

Reinado's stepfather, Victor Alves, says for all that his son did wrong after deserting the army two years and leading a band of armed rebels, he was man who stood for justice, and he harbours some resentment towards East Timor's Government over his son's death.

"The Government asked Alfredo to serve his country", he said. "They made him a military major. We agreed when the Government took him alive to serve the country, but in the end, they brought a dead body back to us. If he hadn't gone to serve the nation, perhaps he might still be serving his family."

Reinado will forever be remembered as the man who led the attack on President Jose Ramos-Horta, who was left close to death with multiple bullet wounds to the lung and stomach.

But it may be that Reinado was killed even before the President arrived home from his morning walk, just before 7.00am.

HERMANPRIT SINGH: This group probably came between 6.05 and 6.10am. It took the entry into presidential compound and then there are events which happened one after the other.

ANNE BARKER: The Acting Commissioner of UN Police in Dili, Hermanprit Singh says investigators are still piecing together the sequence of events.

HERMANPRIT SINGH: I cannot tell you in a compartmentalised way when they entered the X-room, Y-room, when Reinado was shot. He may have died before the President arrived.

ANNE BARKER: Do you believe the armed group went there specifically to kill the President, or was there a plan to kidnap him or something else?

HERMANPRIT SINGH: That's why we are very careful about the wording. We are saying we are investigating into assault on the residence of the President, which the sequence of events, as it happened, led to shooting of both Reinado as well as injuries to the President.

Now, the motives behind the group, what was the group motivated by, whether they intended to abduct the President, whether they intended to just overwhelm his authority and make some proclamation, or whether they wanted to assassinate the President, it's a matter of investigation.

And there is no way we can either give the leads or we can achieve any amount of finality at this stage.

ANNE BARKER: Investigators believe about 15 people took part in the two attacks at the President's home, and on the motorcade carrying the Prime Minister, Xanana Gusmao.

But so far, they have hard evidence against only five known suspects. Arrest warrants are yet to be issued against all the men.

But Commissioner Singh has confirmed international forces are already hunting them down.

HERMANPRIT SINGH: We don't need to wait. We, the international security forces, are actually on the hot pursuit.

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