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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
08DILI45
2008-02-12 11:32:00
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Dili
Cable title:  

TIMOR-LESTE CALM FOLLOWING ATTACKS ON PRESIDENT, PM

Tags:   PGOV  ASEC  MARR  AS  TT 
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VZCZCXRO5809
OO RUEHCHI RUEHCN RUEHHM
DE RUEHDT #0045/01 0431132
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 121132Z FEB 08
FM AMEMBASSY DILI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 3855
INFO RHMFISS/CDR USPACOM HONOLULU HI
RHEHAAA/NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL WASHINGTON DC
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK IMMEDIATE 1025
RUEHZS/ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS
RUEHPB/AMEMBASSY PORT MORESBY IMMEDIATE 0032
RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA IMMEDIATE 1120
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO IMMEDIATE 0820
RUEHWL/AMEMBASSY WELLINGTON IMMEDIATE 0906
RUEHLI/AMEMBASSY LISBON IMMEDIATE 1010
RUEHDT/AMEMBASSY DILI 3279
						C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 DILI 000045 

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

STATE FOR EAP/MTS
PACOM FOR POLADS - CHRISTY

E.O. 12958: DECL: 2/12/2018
TAGS: PGOV ASEC MARR AS TT
SUBJECT: TIMOR-LESTE CALM FOLLOWING ATTACKS ON PRESIDENT, PM

REF: DILI 0040

DILI 00000045 001.2 OF 002


CLASSIFIED BY: Henry M. Rector, Deputy Chief of Mission, U.S.
Embassy Dili, Department of State.
REASON: 1.4 (b), (d)





1. (SBU) Summary. In sharp contrast to the violence and chaos
that surrounded the crisis of April - May 2006, Timor-Leste is
calm and its institutions are functioning normally on the day
following the shooting of President Ramos-Horta and the attack
on Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao. Although a formal state of
emergency is in effect, citizens are moving freely, businesses
are open, and there have been no reports of unrest. On February
12, the acting head of the United Nations Integrated Mission in
Timor-Leste (UNMIT) held a briefing to clarify the sequence of
events on February 11 and to report on the status of the
investigation. The Australian Defense Forces are beginning to
augment their contributions to the International Stabilization
Force (ISF) and have ramped up their presence on Dili's streets
considerably. A visit by Australian Prime Minister Rudd is on
track for February 15. End summary.

Timor-Leste Remains Calm



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





2. (U) The day following the attacks on President Ramos-Horta
and Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao (reftel), Dili and other areas
of Timor-Leste remained calm. The country remains under a
parliamentary-approved 48-hour state of emergency, which entails
National Police (PNTL) and United Nations Police Mission (UNPOL)
checkpoints on the periphery of Dili, a ban on demonstrations, a
curfew from 8:00 p.m. until 6:00 a.m. through February 13, and
an increased police presence at locations deemed to be potential
flashpoints.



3. (U) The night of February 11 - 12 was one of the quietest on
police records, according to UNPOL. On the day of February 12,
conditions in Dili were normal. Businesses and schools were
open, and there was the usual level of activity on Dili's roads
and in its markets.

Ramos-Horta In Serious Condition



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





4. (SBU) POL Assistant spoke to a source close to the President,
who said that Ramos-Horta is still in an induced coma in a
hospital in Darwin, Australia. He has bullet fragments lodged
in a lobe of his lungs and has damage to other internal organs.
Late on the afternoon of February 12, he reportedly underwent a
third operation.

Investigation Ongoing



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





5. (U) The PNTL's National Investigation Unit, with UNPOL
support, is investigating the crime scene at the residence of
President Ramos-Horta and the ambush site near the house of
Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao. The forensic investigation of the
President Ramos-Horta's home is taking priority in view of
Ramos-Horta's serious condition and because police do not have
the capacity to conduct two major investigations at once.
Witnesses at both sites are being interviewed. Acting UNMIT
head Reske-Nielsen told a diplomatic briefing today that UNPOL
and the PNTL would forward preliminary findings to the GOTL and
the Secretary General by mid-week, and that he expected the
Timorese authorities to issue arrest warrants, perhaps as early
as February 13. He said that "security forces" would execute
the warrant, with the International Stabilization Force (ISF)
providing back-up if a "hard arrest" were necessary. Besides
the two killed on February 11, all other participants in the two
attacks remain at large and are widely believed to have left
Dili and returned to the districts west of the capital.

UNMIT Rebuts Criticism



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



DILI 00000045 002.2 OF 002





6. (SBU) According to UNMIT Political Counselor Colin Stewart,
Reske-Nielsen called the briefing in part to refute rumors that
UNPOL had been slow to arrive at the Presidential compound
following the shooting. He said that the call to the National
Operations center had come at 6:59 a.m. and that two police
units dispatched from Becora police station arrived at 7:15 and
7:18. At 7:20, they were backed up by a Formed Police Unit
comprised of Portuguese National Guard. An ambulance
transported the President from the scene at 7:25 a.m.

Australia Beefing Up Presence



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





7. (C) Following yesterday's requests to Prime Minister Rudd
from PM Xanana Gusmao and Acting President Vicente Guterres,
Australian military reinforcements began to arrive to augment
the ISF. The frigate HMS Perth is currently patrolling just off
Dili, and an ADF infantry company arrived this afternoon. By
the end of the week, 70 mixed capability Australian Federal
Police will arrive, and will operate separately from UNPOL. An
undetermined number of special operations troops are also
expected to arrive this week.



8. (SBU) According to Australian DCM, Prime Minister Rudd will
most likely pay a one-day visit to Dili on Friday, February 15.
Ireland's Foreign Minister intends to proceed with his scheduled
visit February 20 - 22.
KLEMM