Subject: FRETILIN demands urgent security measures



FRETILIN demands urgent security measures

Media Release

Wednesday September 13, 2006

East Timor’s governing party, FRETILIN, has called on Prime Minister José Ramos-Horta to take ‘immediate concrete action’ to guarantee security for the population.

The call for heightened security was issued by a meeting in Dili of FRETILIN’s 81-member Central Committee together with FRETILIN district coordinators, FRETILIN government ministers and parliamentarians.

Speaking after the meeting, FRETILIN Secretary General, Mari Alkatiri today said the party wants the Prime Minister to take urgent action including: * To make it a priority to resolve the problem of IDP’s (internally displaced persons) * To disarm illegal groups * To reafirm the authority of the state * To guarantee all necessary conditions for the 2007 elections.

Mr Alkatiri said much of the violence appeared to be organised and targeted at FRETILIN supporters.

‘Our people are being terrorised and driven from their homes in the capital,’ he said.

‘The aim appears to be to destabilise the government and prevent government ministries from effectively aiding the population, including the 100,000 people who remain in refugee camps.

‘We are very concerned about the large number of high-powered weapons still in the hands of illegal groups and anti- FRETILIN gangs.

‘A large part of the police armoury was stolen and these weapons need to be recovered urgently.

‘We fear these weapons will be used in an organised effort to prevent candidates from carrying out electoral work, thereby posing a threat to the conduct of free and fair elections due to be held by April.’

Contact: Filomeno Aleixo (+670 7243460). Filomeno Aleixo is a member of Fretilin’s National Political Commission.

Harold Moucho in Dili (+670 7230048). Harold Moucho is chief of staff to Fretilin president and parliamentary speaker Lu’ Olo.

Alex Tilman, Fretilin spokesperson in Melbourne (0419 281 175)

Sahe da Silva, Fretilin spokesperson in Sydney (0414 807 824)

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