Subject: ETCRN Statement on 2006 Crisis and Tragedy February 11, 2008



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Press Release XVI,16 February 2008


We are aware that after the military crisis of 2006, Timor Leste plunged in a political crisis which is still ongoing today. We are still unsure about the roots of the crisis and the actors behind the scenes. For the last two years we have been talking about the underlying problems trying to find solutions for them. But until today we have not found a solid solution for the crisis. On the other hand we have also internationalized our problems and requested support from the UN and International Security Forces to strengthen security in Timor Leste. The UN and neighboring countries sent a few thousand UNPOL and International Security Forces to Timor Leste. However, especially in the light of the events of February, 11 it seems that they have also failed to guarantee security to the people and the leaders of this nation.

ETCRN recognized that we, the Timorese have not commitment ourselves enough to solve the current problems. Instead we continue to politicize problems based on the interest of individual and groups. On the other hand the UN and ISF have also used the situation to strengthening their political interest in our nation. ETCRN observed that the February 11, 2008 tragedy was a continuation and also a consequence of the 2006 crisis that has not been stopped yet.

Reflecting about the current situation ETCRN would like to make the following statements. We call on

1. the National Parliament to invite the ISF and UNPOL leaders to come to the National Parliament and explain what happened on February 11, 2008.

2. the Head of UNMIT, the UN Secretary General and the UN Security Council to investigate and make strong sanction against UNPOL members that failed in implementing their duty to maintain security for the leaders of Timor Leste on February 11, 2008.

3. the Government of Australia to investigate make strong sanction against ISF members that failed in implementing their duty to maintain security for the leaders of Timor Leste on February 11, 2008.

4. the Government of Timor Leste to stop requesting and increasing ISF troops to Timor Leste but to take actions for consolidating UNPOL and ISF so that they would maximize their coordination and support F-FDTL and PNTL as Timor Leste's sovereign defense and security institution to guarantee stability to the people and the nation.

5. the Government of Timor Leste to immediately start a dialog process with the petitioners to seek solutions for their problems and demands.

6. the Government of Timor Leste, the Government of Australia and the UN to implement demands from F-FDTL for the establishment of an International Commission of Inquiry to investigate the role of UNPOL and ISF on the events of February 11, 2008.

7. the Government of Timor Leste to establish an independent national commission of inquiry to investigate the roots of the military and political crisis from 2006 until today and to demand the political will from all leaders of Timorese institutions include political leaders, civil society and Timorese people to solve the problems that face the country based on our national interest to promote a culture of peace, responsibility and national reconciliation and to find mechanisms to prevent a similar crisis in the future.

8. the veterans of resistance to become an agent for consolidating national unity and to promote a culture of peace, responsibility and national reconciliation as well as to cooperate with all sovereign institution in order to contribute to stability and the solution for problems regarding IDPs and petitioners.

9. the political parties to reflect on the national interests and contribute to solving the problems that face our country as well as to stability, reintegration of IDPs and issues connected with the petitioners.

10. all people, especially the youth in the capital of Dili, to commit to peaceful means of conflict resolution and support the spirit of national unity.


Jose Caetano Guterres Coordinator of Coordinating Committee Members

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