Situation calm in Dili, 5 May 2006
One week after the violence related to the protest by former
FALINTIL-Timor-Leste Defence Force troops, the situation on this
Friday, 5 May 2006 remains calm in Dili, the capital of Timor-Leste.
There are some citizens people still leaving town - heading to
the districts - but the numbers are few compared to the exodus
of yesterday when it is estimated that thousands of people left
the capital. The panic related to unsubstantiated rumours that
said that the former militaries would attack the town.
Those whom remained in Dili are living life as usual. The telecommunications
are now working well after a couple of days where the overloaded
mobile phone network made calls hard to connect calls. Some people
have had reported some difficulty getting to work due to the lack
of public transportation as microlets were scarce. Some taxi drivers
were profiteering by charging 5 USD per trip for a journey that
usually costs 50 cents to 1 USD.
Last night was also calm. Some feared that empty houses could
have been subject to looting, but this has not happened. The cooperation
between the National Police and the local authorities in Dili
has worked flawlessly.
Early in the morning, during a meeting between the President
Xanana Gusmão, the Prime Minister and journalists in Palácio
das Cinzas, the Prime Minister said that by Monday, May 8, that
the Government expects all public servants to return to work.
Anyone still absent on Monday will be subject to disciplinary
The Prime Minister also revealed the conclusions of the Committee
for the Audit of Damaged Property and Goods. This Committee was
established after the events of 28 April, and comprises 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. The Prime Minister announced that the Committee
found that 45 houses were totally destroyed, and 116 houses were
damaged. This destruction took place in the neighbourhoods of
Taci-Tolu, near the roundabout at the airport, Manlewana, Fomento,
Taibessi and Becora.
The Government will take responsibility for the responsibility
for the rebuilding of 45 new homes to replace those totally destroyed.
The Government will also repair the damage done to the market
stalls at Taibesse, and will start work on a plan for a new, totally
refurbished Taibesse Market on the same site.
High Level Commission
Members of the High Level Commission looking into the alleged
problems inside F-FDTL were sworn in this morning in a ceremony
in the Council of Ministers Room inside the Palacio do Governo.
This Commission will review the allegations of discrimination
inside the army made by the former soldiers known as "peticionários".
In a short statement, the Prime Minister underlined the importance
of this Commission´s work. "Today, in swearing in this
High Level Commission we are demonstrating our commitment to investigate
the core issues raised by the former soldiers - we will not just
concentrate on the events of April 28", said the Prime Minister.
The Commission is comprised of representatives of the 4 pillars
of the state plus the Catholic Church and civil society. The 10
members of the Commission are: Longuinhos Monteiro and Sebastião
Ximenes, nominated by the President; Francisco Miranda Branco
and Pedro Mártires da Costa, nominated by the National
Parliament; Ana Pessoa and Alcino Baris, nominated by the Government;
Padre António Gonçalves, nominated by the Catholic
Church; Aniceto das Neves, from Associação HAK,
and Tiago Sarmento, from the Judicial System Monitoring Program.
The latter two are consultative members to the Commission. Members
of the Government and Ambassadors attended the ceremony.
The Commission is headed by Ana Pessoa, Senior Minister and Minister
for State Administration. Immediately after being sworn in, the
members of the Commission held their first meeting. They will
present their conclusions in 90 days.