Subject: E.Timor president wants emergency state lifted & it is

Also ET parliament lifts emergency rule

E.Timor president wants emergency state lifted

DILI, April 22 (Reuters) - East Timor President Jose Ramos-Horta on Tuesday asked parliament to lift a state of emergency imposed following an attack on him in February.

But he said the state of siege would be extended for another month in a district where army rebels involved in the assassination attempt are believed to be hiding.

"Today I will send a letter to parliament requesting it to extend the state of emergency for another month in Ermera district and lift the state of emergency in all other districts," Ramos-Horta told reporters.

The 58-year-old Nobel laureate nearly lost his life when he was shot twice, after gunmen loyal to rebel leader Alfredo Reinado launched early-morning attacks on the president and Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao in Dili in February.

A state of emergency was declared in East Timor after the attack. It expires on Tuesday.

Ramos-Horta returned last week after more than two months of treatment in Australia for his wounds. Gusmao escaped a separate raid unharmed.

Security forces will continue to scour Ermera district where rebel leader Gastao Salsinha is believed to be hiding, the president said.

Salsinha took command of rebel soldiers after rebel leader Reinado was killed in the attack at Ramos-Horta's residence.

Asia's youngest country, East Timor, has been unable to achieve stability since a hard-won independence from Indonesia in 2002.

The East Timor army tore apart along regional lines in 2006, when about 600 soldiers were sacked, triggering factional violence that killed 37 people and drove 150,000 from their homes.

More than 2,500 foreign troops and police remain in the country to help local security forces maintain stability.

(Reporting by Tito Belo; Writing by Olivia Rondonuwu; Editing by Sugita Katyal and Valerie Lee)

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E Timor parliament lifts emergency rule

22nd April 2008, 19:56 WST

East Timor's parliament agreed to lift a state of emergency imposed following an attack on President Jose Ramos-Horta in February, parliament speaker Fernando de Araujo said.

The approval came after Ramos-Horta asked parliament to lift the emergency, but the state of alert will be extended for another month in a district where army rebels involved in the assassination attempt are believed to be hiding.

Emergency rule was declared in East Timor after gunmen loyal to rebel leader Alfredo Reinado launched early morning attacks on the 58-year-old Nobel laureate Ramos-Horta and Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao in Dili in February.

Ramos-Horta returned last week after more than two months of treatment in Darwin, Australia. Gusmao escaped a separate raid unharmed.

Security forces will continue to scour Ermera district where rebel leader Gastao Salsinha is believed to be hiding, the president said.

Salsinha took command of rebel soldiers after rebel leader Reinado was killed in the attack at Ramos-Horta's residence.

Asia's youngest country, East Timor, has been unable to achieve stability since a hard-won independence from Indonesia in 2002.

The East Timor army tore apart along regional lines in 2006, when about 600 soldiers were sacked, triggering factional violence that killed 37 people and drove 150,000 from their homes.

More than 2,500 foreign troops and police remain in the country to help local security forces maintain stability.

REUTERS


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