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Related Categories: International | Anti-War
East Timor Declares State Of Emergency As Violence Spreads
by Democracy Now (repost)
Tuesday May 30th, 2006 8:49 AM
As President Xanana Gusmao assumes emergency powers we speak with Jose Luis Guterres, East Timor’s ambassador to the United States and United Nations, and Charlie Scheiner, co-founder of East Timor Action Network, both of whom have just returned from East Timor.
We turn now to the situation in East Timor. East Timor’s President Xanana Gusmao assumed emergency powers earlier today in order to give him control over the army and police.

Gusmao’s order comes as violence in the country has reached its highest level since Timor gained its independence in 2002. At least 30 people are reported to have been killed and tens of thousands of civilians have been displaced.

Several weeks ago Timorese Prime Minister Mari Alkatari fired more than 600 striking members of the country’s military. This exacerbated tensions between the country’s military and police forces in what is Asia"s newest and poorest state. As rumors of attacks against police units spread through Timor’s capital of Dili, police fled, leading to a complete breakdown in security.

Last week, UN and East Timorese officials called for the deployment of a multinational peace-keeping force composed of Australian, Malaysian, and Portugese troops. On Monday, Timor’s President and Prime Minister met in an attempt to resolve the crisis. As Timorese President Xanana Gusmao called for an end to the fighting, protesters gathered outside the meeting, many of them calling for the resignation of the Prime Minister. The Timorese cabinet has also asked the defense minister, Rogerio Lobato, to resign.

* Jose Luis Guterres, East Timorese ambassador to the United States and United Nations.
* Charlie Scheiner, co-founder of East Timor Action Network, and also works closely with the Lao Hamutuk Institute for Reconstruction Monitoring and Analysis in Timor.

LISTEN ONLINE:
http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=06/05/30/1332259
LATEST COMMENTS ABOUT THIS ARTICLE
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TITLE AUTHOR DATE
Znet finally came out in defense of Alkatiri yesterday. Amy Goodman silent.n4Thursday Jun 1st, 2006 8:16 PM
MissReneluxThursday Jun 1st, 2006 1:56 AM
A big question is: Was Amy Goodman sloppy in supporting Gusmao so uncritically? if so why?n4Tuesday May 30th, 2006 12:53 PM
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