Subject: MNEC: Update on the situation as of today, May 10, 2006

10 May 2006

For immediate release

Update on the situation as of today, May 10, 2006

The situation in the country is generally stabilised and very calm, including Gleno, the site of violent incidents by a youth mob, which lamentably resulted in the death of a brave member of the PNTL (National Police of Timor-Leste).

The Comissão de Verificação de Dados sobre Mortos e Feridos (Committee for the Verification of Details about Dead and Injured), whose members are Antoninho Bianco, Minister for the Presidency of the Council of Ministers; Arsénio Bano, Minister for Labour and Community Reinsertion, secretary-general Eugénio Soares and Aida Mota; from the Ministry for the Interior, PNTL Commander Paulo Martins, and Justino Jesus; from the Health Ministry, Fernando ; the Administrator of the Dili District, Ruben Carvalho; and representing the Red Cross of Timor-Leste, Isabel Guterres (president) and Luís Freitas, has concluded its work today. However, in view of the continuing rumours about the actual number of deaths, Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri has asked the Committee to continue its investigations for a few more days.

In connection with allegations of human rights abuses in Timor-Leste contained in reports of the American NGO Human Rights Watch and the US State Department, Senior Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation and Nobel Peace Laureate, Dr José Ramos-Horta, today wrote to the UN Human Rights Commissioner in Geneva, inviting that august body to send an expert investigation team here. (please see attached letter [not enclosed]).

In the meantime, the Comissão para o Levantamento do Volume das Destruições de Bens (Committee for the Auditing of Damaged Property and Goods), comprising a representative each from the Ministry of Public Works and the Ministry of Labour and Community Reinsertion, as well as the Administrator of the District of Dili, today received orders from Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri to begin preparations to rebuild the properties destroyed by hooligans on April 28.

These rebuilt properties will have minimum conditions and better than the ones destroyed, complete with proper water and sanitation facilities.

In the fiscal year 2006/7, a substantial sum has already been allocated for building appropriate housing for the urban poor in Dili. Equally the Taibessi market will be quickly rebuilt.

In another front, efforts are continuing to ascertain the identities of all former FDTL soldiers in order to enable the Government to pay their back salaries and until the end of June 2006. Already many ex-FDTL soldiers have now registered with local authorities.

On another note, it is sad and disturbing that Mr Fernando Lasama, leader of PD (Democratic Party), and his wife, A Filipino national named Jacqueline Siapno, rather than showing maturity and statesmanship, are instigating unrest.­ENDS.

For further information please contact: Chris Santos Assessor de Imprensa/Media Advisor Cabinet Office of the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation

Tel: +670 729 7099

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