Subject: TLGOV: Returning to normality in Timor-Leste

Also: Dili slowly returning to normality (May 7)



Returning to normality in Timor-Leste

Prime Minister, Mari Alkatiri, said Tuesday, May 9, in a press conference, that “life is returning to normal throughout the country”. He stated that all the public services are working normally and that all the pillars of the State (President of Republic, National Parliament, Government, and Courts of Law) are performing in full their functions, and concluded by enouncing: “The State is performing all its duties.”

In the Press Conference were also the Senior Minister and Minister for State Administration, Ana Pessoa, the Minister in the Presidency of the Council of Ministers, Antoninho Bianco, and the Minister for Labour and Community Reintegration, Arsénio Bano. Prime Minister explained that after the violence of April 28 and the panicked population in the capital, which caused the population to leave Dili, today the situation is calmer throughout the nation.

At Gleno, Ermera district, where yesterday the office of the Secretary of State for the Coordination of Region III (Dili, Aileu and Ermera), Egídio de Jesus, was surrounded for a few hours, by hundreds of youngsters, the Timor-Leste’s National Police is controlling the situation. During the police operation that put term to this situation (which included members of special police force UIR and URP) one policeman was killed, one is seriously injured and another one has minor injuries. Meanwhile, more then 70 people have been already detained by the police for questioning.

Prime Minister also said that some precaution measures had been implemented in Liquiçá district, due to the spread of a rumour that the same situation would be repeated in Liquiçá. In Aileu, where there are lots of refugees and some members of the Military Police that quit the force and left Dili, there are no problems.

Mari Alkatiri also pointed out that in Maliana the Government is meeting a group of 42 former militaries to discuss forms of humanitarian support and reintegration back into their respective communities.

Now, according to the Prime Minister, the Government’s main preoccupation is to manage the post traumatic situation of the population, by setting up the necessary conditions for their return to their homes. The Prime Minister again urged Army and PNTL members that joined the “petitioners” to “continuing not using guns”. And said that the authors of the problems are “those that entered the ‘petitioners’ group and are making political and anti-democratic claims”. Mari Alkatiri reminded that “the democratic process is made via elections and not coups”. For him, the situation in Timor-Leste was an attempt of a constitutional coup d’État, with the aim of blocking the democratic institutions, preventing them to function in a way that the only solution would be for National Parliament to be dissolved by the President of Republic, which would provoke the fall of the Government.

The Prime Minister underlined the need of the State to be firm, and mentioned that the Government has shown tolerance ­ in Gleno the police did not shoot against the unruly crowd ­ and concluded by stating that it is the will of the Government to put an end to the violence.

Regarding the possibility of the Timorese Government to ask for international support to control de situation Prime Minister said: “Now, we control the situation, but if, at any given moment, we conclude otherwise then we would accept our friends’ assistance.”

Dili, May 9, 2006

For further information please contact the Media Advisor: Rui Flores (tel. +670 723 01 40 or




Dili slowly returning to normality

Seven members of the special police force (Unidade de Intervenção Rápida) of the National Police of Timor-Leste (PNTL) who had fled after the violence of April 28 have presented themselves to the police. The Prime Minister, Mari Alkatiri, says this is one sign, among others, of the slow return to normality in Timor-Leste.

The commanders of Timor-Leste’s civil and military authorities continue in control of the situation, and are keeping in touch with the military members who left Dili after April 28 as well as with former F-FDTL soldiers known as “petitioners”.

Government calmly waits that the ex-F-FDTL members return to their districts of origin or to Dili, as of this Monday, May 8. It is expected that they presented themselves so they can participate in the investigation to be conducted by the High Level Commission (Comissão de Notáveis), which was sworn in on May 5. The Commission is comprised of representatives of the four pillars of the state plus the Catholic Church and civil society.

The Prime Minister is also pleased that some Embassies are showing signs that they feel that the return to normality is a fact. The cancellation of the flight chartered by the American Embassy reveals that.

“I understand the diplomatic corps’ concerns about the safety of their citizens, but Dili is not under attack and there’s nothing that suggests otherwise. We well understand that the people reacted the way they did by fleeing the city because they are still affected by the scars of the recent past, but it’s more difficult to understand that foreigners residing Timor-Leste reacted the same way, particularly the diplomatic corps”, said the Prime Minister.

Another sign of the return to normality is the fact of the concert being held this afternoon in Dili, on the grounds of the Palácio do Governo. It was organised by youth organisations with support from the Secretary of State of Youth and Sports (Secretaria de Estado da Juventude e Desportos).

Yesterday, the Prime Minister met again with HE the President of the Republic following his meeting with the President of the National Parliament, some ministers, the chief of the Armed Forces, General Taur Matan Ruak, and the Commander of PNTL, Commissioner Paulo Martins.,during which they analysed the situation in the country. The heads of State and Government concluded that the return to normality was underway but acknowledged that the return of the population to their homes in Dili may be a slower process.

Díli, May 7, 2006

For further information please contact the Media Advisor: Rui Flores (tel. +670 723 01 40 or

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