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06DILI299 2006-06-07 15:11:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Dili
Cable title:  

EAST TIMOR SITREP FOR JUNE 7, 2006

Tags:   PGOV MOPS ASEC PHUM UN KPKO CASC PO MY TT AS 
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					  C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 04 DILI 000299 

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR EAP/MTS
NSC FOR HOLLY MORROW
USUN FOR GORDON OLSON AND RICHARD MCCURRY
USPACOM FOR JOC AND POLAD

E.O. 12958: DECL: 6/7/2016
TAGS: PGOV MOPS ASEC PHUM UN KPKO CASC PO MY TT AS
SUBJECT: EAST TIMOR SITREP FOR JUNE 7, 2006

REF: A) DILI 296

DILI 00000299 001.2 OF 004


CLASSIFIED BY: Grover Joseph Rees, Ambassador, U.S. Embassy
Dili, Department of State.
REASON: 1.4 (b), (d)





1. (U) Summary.
- Demonstrators return to their districts;
- UN envoy Ian Martin departs Dili;
- International police force update;
- Readout on Ramos-Horta's meetings with dissident leaders;
- Australian and New Zealand Defense Ministers visit;
- Parliament's continues to function with a bare quorum;
- Lobato's new address;
- Internally displaced persons;
- Security.
End Summary.

Demonstrators return to their districts


--------------------------




2. (U) Following yesterday's demonstration, it was originally
reported that the dozens of trucks carrying around 1500
anti-Alkatiri demonstrators from western districts would camp
out in or near Tasitolu, a western suburbs of Dili. However,
Embassy received information today that the convoy preceded out
of town and returned directly to the demonstrators' home
districts. Emboffs traveled to the western suburbs of Dili and
found no sign that any of the demonstrators had stayed behind.



3. (C) The head of the Democratic Party (PD), Fernando "Lasama"
de Araujo, who is currently residing in the western district of
Suai (his house in Dili was burnt down a couple of weeks ago),
held a press conference today in Dili. Lasama set forth demands
almost identical to those delivered to the President yesterday
by Major Tara and the demonstrators, including the dismissal of
Prime Minister Alkatiri, dissolution of Parliament, and
elections in the near future. See Ref A. In a conversation
with Embassy staff after the press conference, Lasama stated
that despite the identical platforms PD was not involved in
organizing yesterday's demonstration. He explained that the PD
coordinator from Maliana district was involved in the
demonstration as a "people's representative," not as a party
member. However, we have heard from several sources that PD is
more directly involved in the anti-Alkatiri mobilization than
Lasama admits. Lasama told Emboff he is working on gathering
evidence to prove that the Prime Minister authorized the
distribution of weapons to civilians. He stated that some of
the recipients of these weapons have already spoken out and
stated that the physical distribution of the weapons was
orchestrated by Border Patrol Unit (BPU) Commander Antonio da
Cruz.

UN envoy Ian Martin departs Dili


--------------------------




4. (U) In a press conference after the meeting, UN Secretary
General Kofi Annan's special envoy Ian Martin promised that the
"UN will not abandon East Timor" in the middle of this current
crisis. He refrained from conveying his specific proposals for
a follow-on UN mission, but did stated that the next mission
will have to be more robust and include a significant policing
contingent. Martin had made similar remarks at a briefing for
the Dili diplomatic corps. He said a new UN mission would
probably not include peacekeeping forces but that he thought
there was substantial support not only for renewed UN police
training but also for a UN-mandated police force with
operational responsibility. Other areas in which he believed a
mission might focus were the upcoming national elections and the
judicial system.



5. (SBU) Martin also told the diplomats that there is a
consensus within the Government of East Timor (GOET) ---
including not only President Gusmao and Foreign/Defense Minister
Ramos Horta, but also Prime Minister Alkatiri --- that there

DILI 00000299 002.2 OF 004


should be an "independent international commission of
investigation" into the violent acts committed during the last
few weeks, particularly on April 28 and May 25. He said such a
commission could find facts and provide its conclusions to the
national legal system which could then take any appropriate
legal action. A member of Mr. Martin's team reported to EmbOff
that the proposed investigative commission would be similar to
the recent UN Commission of Experts that assessed mechanisms for
investigating the serious crimes committed in 1999. It would
consist of 2 or 3 commissioners who would have a 90-day mandate
to investigate, using additional staff and forensics experts, to
produce a final, conclusive report on the events in question,
with particular emphasis on the allegations of abuses by
Timorese security forces.

International police update


--------------------------




6. (SBU) Poloff, USDR and RSO today visited the Australian
Federal Police (AFP) headquarters in Dili. The AFP conducted
joint patrols today with the Australian Defense Force (ADF)
soldiers to establish a presence in the capital. In the coming
days, AFP officers will become the primary security force
visible on the ground and ADF patrols will be scaled back. The
visiting Australian Defense Minister reportedly indicated today
that the AFP officers intend to remain in East Timor as long as
necessary.



7. (C) When asked about their relationship with the Portuguese
paramilitary police (GNR), the AFP officers stated that they had
no interaction with their Portuguese counterparts and were
leaving the liaison challenge to the ADF. 30 AFP investigators
arrived yesterday and will begin their formal investigation into
the May 25 incident in which FDTL soldiers fired on unarmed PNTL
being escorted by UNPOLs, killing ten. Preliminary information
on the incident has been gathered during the last week by AFP's
intelligence officers, who will now hand their information over
to the investigation team. The Australian Embassy reports that
the AFP investigation team is waiting for a formal letter from
the Ministry of Foreign Affairs authorizing the group to
formally conduct the investigation. The JTF stated that this
letter is expected by tomorrow.



8. (C) A Malaysian Defense Force (MDF) representative reported
that a five-member advance team from the Malaysian Royal Police
is now in Dili and will depart on June 9. A contingent of up to
250 Malaysian riot control police is due to arrive on or about
June 16. The MDF representative stated that these police
officers would be integrated into the JTF and would coordinate
closely with their Australian counterparts. (Note: If 250
Malaysian police do arrive, they will represent the largest
police contingent in country by far. Current numbers for other
contingents are approximately 110 Australian Federal Police and
120 members of the Portuguese Republican National Guard.)

Readout on Ramos-Horta's meetings with dissident leaders


--------------------------



--------------------------




--------------------------




9. (SBU) Foreign and Defense Minister Jose Ramos-Horta traveled
to Ermera and Maubisse on June 5 and 6 respectively to meet with
dissident military leaders. SRSG Hasegawa and other UN
officials joined these trips as observers. On June 5
Ramos-Horta met with dissident FDTL majors Augusto Tara and
Marcos Tilman, as well as former Falintil guerrilla "Dudu" in
Gleno, Ermera district. According to a UN source who
accompanied Ramos-Horta and SRSG Hasegawa to the meeting,
Ramos-Horta's attempts to gain the dissidents' cooperation fell
mostly on deaf ears. Ramos-Horta's goal was to convince them to
suspend plans to mobilize people in the districts to stage
anti-Alkatiri demonstrations and to re-engage them in the
prospect of dialogue between dissident military, government
representatives, the President, and Church representatives.



10. (C) According to the UN source, Major Tara did all the
talking and expressed little faith in dialogue with anyone in

DILI 00000299 003.2 OF 004


the government or present FDTL structure. He also stated that
he would not suspend his plans to organize demonstrations in
Dili. (The promised demonstration materialized on the following
day. See Ref A.) However, the meeting appears to have
strengthened lines of communication. Arrangements for the
peaceful and orderly conduct of yesterday's demonstrations were
reportedly worked out between Ramos-Horta and Tara while the
demonstrators' convoy waited on the edge of town.



11. (C) Ramos-Horta then traveled to Maubisse on June 6 to meet
with Major Alfredo Reinado, who leads the group of dissident
military police who left their posts on May 3. Ramos-Horta
appealed to Reinado to agree to a dialogue designed to
de-escalate current tensions. According to UN observers,
Reinado expressed his willingness to engage in dialogue
involving Ramos-Horta, the Church, and President Gusmao, but
stated that he would not talk with "those colonels" (presumably
implying Colonels Lere and Falur). Our UN source noted that
Ramos-Horta also had a lengthy one-on-one discussion with
Reinado before the formal meeting, the contents of which he has
not shared.

Australian and New Zealand Defense Ministers visit


--------------------------



--------------------------




12. (U) The Defense Ministers of Australia and New Zealand
visited Dili together today and met with President Gusmao, Prime
Minister Alkatiri, Foreign/Defense Minister Ramos-Horta, and UN
officials. The two defense ministers also visited their
national contingents and held internal discussions concerning
next steps for the JTF. During a brief press encounter the
ministers stated that their national forces will remain in East
Timor as long as they are needed to ensure stability and
security. The two men asked the Timorese people to refrain from
further violence during the difficult reconciliation and
investigation process that lies ahead.

Parliament's continues to function with the minimal number of
MPs necessary.


--------------------------



--------------------------




--------------------------





13. (SBU) Plenary sessions of Parliament are not held on
Wednesdays, but an EmbOff visit to Parliament did reveal that
Committee A, whose jurisdiction includes constitutional issues,
was doing a preliminary review of the draft electoral law that
was sent to Parliament by the Council of Ministers just before
violence broke out on April 28. EmbOff spoke with two
opposition MPs who said that they did not feel there was any
physical threat to themselves by Fretilin MPs or party
militants. Meanwhile, other opposition members have reported
receiving threats verbally and via SMS and do not yet feel it is
safe for them to return to Parliament.

Lobato's new address


--------------------------




14. (SBU) Malaysian Defense Force sources report that former
Minister of Interior and newly-designated Vice President of
Fretilin, Rogerio Lobato, is currently residing with the Prime
Minister at his residence in the upscale Farol area of Dili.
There had been reports prior to Lobato's resignation that he was
under quasi-house arrest at Alkatiri's house because Alkatiri no
longer trusted him.

Internally Displaced Persons


--------------------------




15. (U) UNHCR officials continue to make preparations to open
two new internally displaced persons (IDP) camps to receive IDPs
from overcrowded existing camps. Local NGOs have begun working
on a "socialization campaign" in the camps to respond to the
concerns of IDPs who remain afraid to move from their current
location. In particular, many IDPs have resisted moving from
church-run sites to other sites because they believe attacks on
churches and other church-run facilities to be less likely than
attacks on other locations. UNHCR representatives have contacted

DILI 00000299 004.2 OF 004


the JTF command to discuss establishing clearer communications
between the two entities so that response time to any possible
attacks on or threats against IDP camps (even though such
threats have become less frequent in the past few days) is
minimized.



16. (SBU) The Ministry of Labor and Solidarity, Arsenio Bano,
and UN agencies briefed the diplomatic community and NGOs on the
immediate humanitarian needs and the UN's "Flash Appeal" for
donor assistance. Minister Bano did not seem to be aware of the
flash appeal, which will ask for up to $14 million. Donors were
particularly careful to emphasize that the relief effort would
be led by GOET rather than by UN agencies. The Minister shared
a document from the Crisis Cabinet, a GOET working group led by
the Prime Minister, which outlined the most basic needs for
caring for people in the IDP camps and preparing for IDPs to
return to their homes.

Security



17. (SBU) EmbOffs and international aid workers continue to have
access to all areas of the capital necessary to carry out
diplomatic work and to address the IDP crisis. The few
checkpoints maintained by international forces do not hinder
movement. A reduced number of arson attacks continue, but only
in the most disfranchised and historically violent
neighborhoods. Several grocery stores and restaurants have
reopened and the streets are significantly livelier than during
previous days. However, looting of unattended stores, offices,
and homes continues to be a problem in various locations around
the city.



18. (C) JTF forces report that no firearms were found in
yesterday's search operation in the Comoro area, see Ref A, but
that significant numbers of knives and machetes were seized.
JTF forces are still searching for specific gang leaders who
were not located in yesterday's raid.



19. (SBU) One American citizen returned from evacuation today,
raising the number of AmCits to 57.
REES