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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
07DILI89
2007-03-06 14:16:00
SECRET//NOFORN
Embassy Dili
Cable title:  

TURMOIL IN DILI AS REINADO HUNT CONTINUES

Tags:   PGOV  PREL  MAAR  ASEC  KPKO  UN  AU  TT 
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VZCZCXRO7027
PP RUEHLMC RUEHMR RUEHPA RUEHPB
DE RUEHDT #0089/01 0651416
ZNY SSSSS ZZH
P R 061416Z MAR 07
FM AMEMBASSY DILI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 3330
INFO RUCNARF/ASEAN REGIONAL FORUM COLLECTIVE
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 0834
RHEHAAA/NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL WASHINGTON DC
RHHMUNA/HQ USPACOM HONOLULU HI
RUEHLI/AMEMBASSY LISBON 0794
RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 0901
RUCNMCM/MCC COLLECTIVE
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RUEHWL/AMEMBASSY WELLINGTON 0728
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 0649
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 0610
RUEHDT/AMEMBASSY DILI 2677
						S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 04 DILI 000089 

SIPDIS

NOFORN

DEPT FOR EAP/MTS, DS/IP/EAP
USUN FOR RICHARD MCCURRY
PACOM FOR POLAD AND JOC
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 3/2/2017
TAGS: PGOV PREL MAAR ASEC KPKO UN AU TT
SUBJECT: TURMOIL IN DILI AS REINADO HUNT CONTINUES


DILI 00000089 001.2 OF 004


CLASSIFIED BY: Stanley Harsha, Charge d'Affaires, U.S. Embassy
Dili, Department of State.
REASON: 1.4 (a), (b), (d)



CLASSIFIED BY: Stanley Harsha, Charge d'Affaires, U.S. Embassy
Dili, Department of State.
REASON: 1.4 (a), (b), (d)



S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 04 DILI 000089

SIPDIS

NOFORN

DEPT FOR EAP/MTS, DS/IP/EAP
USUN FOR RICHARD MCCURRY
PACOM FOR POLAD AND JOC
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 3/2/2017
TAGS: PGOV PREL MAAR ASEC KPKO UN AU TT
SUBJECT: TURMOIL IN DILI AS REINADO HUNT CONTINUES


DILI 00000089 001.2 OF 004


CLASSIFIED BY: Stanley Harsha, Charge d'Affaires, U.S. Embassy
Dili, Department of State.
REASON: 1.4 (a), (b), (d)



CLASSIFIED BY: Stanley Harsha, Charge d'Affaires, U.S. Embassy
Dili, Department of State.
REASON: 1.4 (a), (b), (d)




1. (C) Summary: Dili remained calm but very tense March 6 as
the unresolved Reinado operation and the expected March 7
Roserio Lobato court verdict kept the population on edge. No
serious injuries or deaths were reported although there were
widespread disturbances the night of March 5, continuing again
the afternoon of March 6. Australians began evacuating
dependants March 6; meanwhile UNMIT leaders remained confident
that its current phase two status was sufficient, that the
current crisis would not lead to widespread violence, and that
UNPOL and International Stabilization Forces (ISF) could handle
expected levels of civil unrest. President Xanana Gusmao, in a
speech broadcast night of March 5, reiterated the government's
resolve to use existing laws to crack down on civil
insurrection, concluding the speech with a threat to resort to a
state of civil emergency should civil unrest continue.
Meanwhile, a coalition of three opposition political party
leaders met with Emboffs late afternoon March 6, expressing
their grave concern that Reinado has widespread support in the
western part of the country, and that failure to resolve the
crisis with his peaceful surrender could cause instability. End
Summary.

State of emergency?
--------------


2. (C) A speech by President Xanana Gusmao broadcast the night
of March 5 was initially interpreted in some quarters as an
announcement of a state of emergency while the speech in fact
simply emphasized that all currently available legal and

procedural mechanisms are to be used to combat crime. However,
the speech concluded by warning that "where normal measures
reveal themselves to be insufficient~the State may have to adopt
more serious measures, such as the state of siege." The
President's speech also stated that he had consulted with the
Council of State, the Superior Council for Defense and Security,
as well as UNMIT and GOET leaders, a necessary precursor to such
a declaration, which also requires parliamentary authorization.
National Parliament was due to discuss such an authorization,
but had failed to reach a quorum for two days. In discussions
with U.S. Charge d'Affaires March 6, SRSG Atul Khare stated that
he opposes such a step, but continues to support a long-awaited
presidential decree to allow limited curfew and house-to-house
searches, a decree which is languishing in Parliament.


3. (C) In the wake of the President's speech, worries arose
that an expansion of the role of the Timorese armed forces
(F-FDTL) to include deployment in Dili and / or the districts
might be in the works. The Prime Minister's office announced
March 6 that he was authorizing an expansion of F-FDTL static
security duties beyond the Government Palace and one other
location, where they have been for several months, to include a
total of eight facilities, including both government and major
infrastructure sites. This presence was initiated the same day
and observed at the Pertamina pier, Timor Telecom, the city's
main power station and several ministries. However, both F-FDTL
and Australian Defense Cooperation sources said there are
currently no moves afoot to get F-FDTL involved in mobile
operations; SRSG Khare also confirmed to the CDA that F-FDTL
deployment would not expand beyond those static duties, and
would be only a first line of defense until international forces
could arrive. US Defense Representative Major Koli Ati told us
that that F-FDTL commander, Brigadier General Taur Matan Ruak,
is fully aware of the ramifications of such a move.


DILI 00000089 002.2 OF 004


Dialogue with Reinado?
--------------


4. (C) Embassy March 6 received a March 4 document from Alfredo
Reinado's (AR) lead Timorese lawyer, in which he lays out the
terms under which he is willing to "surrender." The lawyer told
the CDA by telephone that he is not in direct contact with AR
but is communicating with him via an unknown third party. AR's
attorney said he delivered this document, "Statutory Declaration
- Alfredo Alves Reinado," to the Prosecutor General's (PG)
Office, but has heard no response. This lawyer told the CDA
that a main sticking point to progress on this front is AR's
insistence that the PG return to Same to meet and discuss, while
PG has made it clear that any further discussion must take place
in Dili. Meanwhile, press reports today noted that JRH has
indicated a willingness for "dialogue" although it is not clear
what he means by this, before or after AR's surrender. Media
reported JRH as saying that provided AR contacts him via the
Church or the President, he is prepared for a dialogue to
discuss AR's surrender, and that operations against him would
stop immediately under these conditions.

Xanana's activities
--------------

-5. (C) Gusmao was observed by Poloff and others to be serious
and angry at his March 4 and March 5 press conferences. He was
reportedly very actively working on the AR crisis. Two speeches
in a row in the last two days strongly reiterated his position
on Reinado, the first speech directly warning AR's supporters
who are try to undercut GOET efforts, and the second one
announcing a move towards a state of emergency. In addition, he
has reportedly been holding an intensive meeting schedule.
Several sources reported that Gusmao met with representatives of
National Unity Movement for Justice (MUNJ) on March 10. Each of
the western districts are to send a representative to discuss
the Reinado crisis and the Lobato verdict issues.

Pro-Reinado dynamics
--------------


6. (C) It is apparent that much of the last three nights'
disturbances were pro-Reinado but getting a clear handle on the
dynamics is difficult. In several neighborhoods, martial arts
groups and other groups that had been in ongoing conflict have
laid aside their differences in a show of pro-Reinado/Loromonu
solidarity. However, in some neighborhoods conflicts appeared
to be continuing without reference to Reinado. MUNJ's role is
also murky. Yesterday MUNJ held a press conference at which
they reiterated their demands that Gusmao rescind his arrest
order and call off the ISF; however, they also appealed to the
population to refrain from any attacks on internationals,
including the ISF, who are ultimately "here to help us". MUNJ
is probably playing a double game. One of their key
coordinators in Cova Lima district "Sesurai" stated
unequivocally to an Embassy staff member that their strategy was
to unite the Dili youth and target UN vehicles.


7. (C) One unprecedented dynamic is that several Timorese
employees of international NGOs have been arrested for
participation in recent nights' disturbances. These are young
men with well-paid and high status jobs. According to a source
at CARE, they appear to have been subject to coercion or
intimidation to participate.


8. (C) Meanwhile, while it seems that the sympathy for
Reinado's cause remains strong in the western districts (and
among some Dili youth), it does not appear to at this time to be
manifesting itself as a significant groundswell of pro-Reinado
activity. A pro-Reinado demonstration held in Suai yesterday
reportedly drew about 40 participants. MUNJ had planned to
mobilize demonstrations in Dili on March 8, but has called them
off and is planning only local demonstrations in Suai and
Maliana. American citizens resident in Maliana and Aileu report
business as usual and continued good relations with local
residents.

DILI 00000089 003.2 OF 004



Opposition Politicians Express United Concern
-------------- --------------


9. (C) Eight leaders from a coalition of three opposition
political parties expressed their grave concern over the Reinado
situation to the CDA in a meeting they requested on March 6.
Leaders of the biggest opposition party, the Democratic Party
(PD), the Social Democratic Party (PSD) and the Timorese Social
Democrat Association (ASDT) asked the U.S. Embassy to use its
influence to plead with authorities to resolve the Reinado
crisis through dialogue rather than continued force. PD
President Joao Carascalao said Reinado has strong support
ranging from the central Manatuto district all the way to the
western border: "We are concerned about stability. I'm sure he
has a lot of sympathy." The opposition leaders said they are
appealing to the GOET to guarantee that if AR comes to Dili that
he will not be killed. The leaders of the three parties further
said they met with the Bishop, obtaining his agreement to act as
an intermediary, a step that they believed might work in
convincing AR to surrender. They said they took this option to
JRH who promised he would act on it but were told by the Bishop
that JRH never contacted him, the opposition leaders claimed.
They wondered why AR walked out of prison last August, why the
government did not act months ago when arresting AR would have
been easy, and why the GOET is acting now just weeks before
presidential elections. They further added that they are
sympathetic with the difficult position the Australians are in,
and that they should not be blamed for this situation.

Preparing for Lobato verdict
--------------


10. (C//NF) A potentially major complicating factor in the
current crisis is the expected March 7 Roserio Lobato verdict.
If Lobato is found not guilty, it is likely to further inflame
Reinado supporters (Note: These supporters from the outset
called for Lobato and Alkatiri to be brought to justice.) The
verdict is likely to be perceived by these supporters as a
whitewash orchestrated by a Portuguese judge with close ties to
FRETILIN, and as proof that legitimate channels for challenging
the government are useless. Ramos-Horta's testimony in favor of
Lobato will contribute to his being lumped together with
FRETILIN insiders as part of the problem. A high-ranking
contact in the UN mission's political section told Emboffs on
March 6 that there was no question a not guilty verdict would be
a disaster.


11. (C//NF) If Lobato is found guilty, it could very well
dampen enthusiasm for challenging the system, since the verdict
can be held up as proof that the system, while imperfect at
times, ultimately works. PD President Fernando Lasama Araujo
told us March 5 that there was a good chance that Reinado might
turn himself in if Lobato was given a heavy sentence. While
this is likely overly optimistic, a guilty verdict could go a
long ways towards stealing much of the anti-establishment
movement's thunder and providing a new opportunity for Reinado
to compromise without losing much face. Depending on how heavy
the sentence is, however, either Lobato opponents or Lobato
supporters might have cause for outrage. If the sentence is
seen as too light, then his opponents will treat it much like a
not guilty verdict. If it is seen as too heavy, his supporters,
who have been fairly quiet of late, may lash out. We also
believe Lobato, who likely is aware of misdeeds by others in the
Alkatiri administration, including the former Prime Minister
himself, may very well turn on his previous allies if he
receives a sentence he views as unfair.

Security update
--------------


12. (SBU) Widespread apparently pro-Reinado disturbances
occurred in Dili for a third night in a row the night of March
5, in primarily the same swathe of neighborhoods. Illegal
roadblocks comprising of burning tires, large stones, felled
trees, and other debris were set up throughout these areas and

DILI 00000089 004.2 OF 004


many remained in place through the day. Interestingly, while
these disturbances have been noisy, frightening to residents,
and generally disturbing, there have been no reports of serious
injuries or deaths, according to hospital sources and aid
workers. However, there was significant government property
damage. As of late afternoon March 6, unrest began anew, with
security forces firing warning shots to break up gang fighting
in one neighborhood and with tire burnings reported at two other
locations.


13. (SBU) Australian evacuation began on March 6, with many
planning to fly out morning of March 7. No other missions have
gone to evacuation status, though most are implementing security
restrictions. The UN is committed to remaining at phase 2, but
plans to maintain a dusk to dawn curfew until at least until
March 12. UNPOL has gone to 12-hour shifts to increase
manpower on streets; however, UNPOL sources continue to note
that they are spread thin in their ability to respond. Further
exacerbating this, they claim, is the decreased presence of ISF
in Dili resulting from shifting of many ISF resources to Same.


14. (SBU) SRSG Khare, on the other hand, believes that the
current unrest is actually much less than might have been
expected in the wake of the Reinado operation, and that unrest
is limited to small groups. Saying that unrest will not spread
widely, Khare added that the three UNPOL units and three ISF
companies in Dili, plus the 80 GRN expected later this month,
can handle disturbances. He noted that UN is staying at phase
two despite the fact the 80 of their cars have been attacked in
the past couple of weeks. He said the UN is using its two
bulldozers to go out in the early morning and clean out debris
in an approach to give the population a sense of civil order.





HARSHA

GREY
HARSHA