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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
08DILI50
2008-02-15 10:50:00
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Dili
Cable title:  

TIMOR-LESTE UPDATE: GOTL WELCOMES U.S. OFFER OF HELP WITH

Tags:   PREL  PGOV  KJUS  KCRM  ASEC  AS  TT 
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VZCZCXRO9287
OO RUEHCHI RUEHCN RUEHHM
DE RUEHDT #0050/01 0461050
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 151050Z FEB 08
FM AMEMBASSY DILI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 3862
INFO RHMFISS/FBI WASHINGTON DC
RHMFISS/CDR USPACOM HONOLULU HI
RHEHAAA/NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL WASHINGTON DC
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK IMMEDIATE 1030
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC
RUEHZS/ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS
RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA IMMEDIATE 1124
RUEHWL/AMEMBASSY WELLINGTON IMMEDIATE 0910
RUEHPB/AMEMBASSY PORT MORESBY IMMEDIATE 0036
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO IMMEDIATE 0824
RUEHLI/AMEMBASSY LISBON IMMEDIATE 1014
RUEHDT/AMEMBASSY DILI 3286
						C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 DILI 000050 

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

STATE FOR S/ES-O PLS PASS SECRETARY'S STAFF
FBI FOR INTERNATIONAL OPERATIONS
JAKARTA FOR LEGATT - DALEY

E.O. 12958: DECL: 2/15/2018
TAGS: PREL PGOV KJUS KCRM ASEC AS TT
SUBJECT: TIMOR-LESTE UPDATE: GOTL WELCOMES U.S. OFFER OF HELP WITH
INQUIRY

REF: A) DILI 29 B) DILI 40 (NOTAL), C) DILI 47 (NOTAL)

DILI 00000050 001.2 OF 003


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



C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 DILI 000050

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

STATE FOR S/ES-O PLS PASS SECRETARY'S STAFF
FBI FOR INTERNATIONAL OPERATIONS
JAKARTA FOR LEGATT - DALEY

E.O. 12958: DECL: 2/15/2018
TAGS: PREL PGOV KJUS KCRM ASEC AS TT
SUBJECT: TIMOR-LESTE UPDATE: GOTL WELCOMES U.S. OFFER OF HELP WITH
INQUIRY

REF: A) DILI 29 B) DILI 40 (NOTAL), C) DILI 47 (NOTAL)

DILI 00000050 001.2 OF 003


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




1. (C) Summary. On February 15, the GOTL welcomed our offer of
assistance with the criminal investigation into the February 11
attacks on President Jose Ramos-Horta and Prime Minister Xanana
Gusmao (reftel A). Dili remains calm and secure. The
International Stabilization Force (ISF) has been augmented by
about 230 Australian Defence Force personnel and 70 Australian
Federal Police. A manhunt is underway to apprehend the 20-30
attackers still at large. It is being carried out jointly by
the ISF, the UN Police Mission (UNPOL), the National Police
(PNTL), and Armed Forces of Timor-Leste (F-FDTL). Australian
Prime Minister Kevin Rudd paid a half-day visit to Dili to
express his solidarity with the country. Would-be assassin
Alfredo Reinado's funeral was held on February 14 without
incident. End summary.


2. (C/NF) Assistance To Investigation of February 11 Attacks

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


2. (C) The Ambassador spoke today with the Acting President, the
Prime Minister, the Prosecutor General, and the acting Foreign
Minister to convey FBI readiness to provide assistance to the
criminal investigation of the February 11 attacks on President
Ramos-Horta and Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao. All were
profoundly grateful for the quick offer of assistance. In order
to streamline channels of command and communication, U.S.
assistance should be provided directly to the Timor-Leste
authorities, preferably to the Prosecutor General who is leading
the investigation, and not to the United Nations authorities.

For the record, the Prosecutor General today in his conversation
with the Ambassador harshly criticized the sloppiness of UNPOL
crime scene investigators. Once the Embassy receives the formal
GOTL request, we will forward it immediately to Washington
agencies.

Acting President Focused on Public Order; Welcomes U.S.
Assistance

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


3. (SBU) Acting President Fernando Lasama de Araujo, flanked by
the Prime Minister, Acting Speaker of Parliament Guterres, and
SRSG Khare, spoke to a gathering of the diplomatic corps on
February 15. In a short prepared statement, Lasama stated the
focus of the government since the February 11 attacks has been
the maintenance of constitutional and public order. To the
latter end, two (and only two) constitutional rights (those of
freedom of movement and assembly) have been partially suspended
through February 23. He called on the perpetrators of the acts
to surrender immediately and assured that if they did so, they
will enjoy their full constitutional rights and protections.
The acting president reported that Jose Ramos Horta's condition
is steadily improving - all vital signs are positive and his
doctors expect a full recovery. Finally, President Lasama
expressed particular gratitude to three countries for their
offers of assistance since Monday: Australia, Portugal and the
United States (for offering FBI criminal investigatory support).

Ramos-Horta Condition Improving

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


4. (U) A source close to the family confirmed to us that
President Ramos-Horta's condition is serious but is slowly
improving. He was reportedly able to speak a few words and
recognized people present at his bedside at Royal Darwin
Hospital.


5. (U) While public discussion is currently focused on the

DILI 00000050 002.2 OF 003


recovery of Ramos-Horta, Section 82 of Timor-Leste's
Constitution addresses permanent disability of the President.
According to Article 2, the President can be declared
permanently incapacitated by the Supreme Court of Justice.
Elections must then follow within 90 days. Since Timor-Leste
has not yet set up its Supreme Court, this function would likely
be performed by the Court of Appeals, currently the highest
court in the land.

PM Rudd Visits

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


6. (U) Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd paid a half-day
visit to Dili on the morning of February 15. He met with Acting
President Lasama, Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao, and FRETILIN
Secretary General Mari Alkatiri. In his meetings with GOTL

SIPDIS
officials, Rudd discussed not only recent events, but also
various aid projects in the areas of job creation and
agriculture. He also visited with Australian military and
doctors at Aspen Clinic to thank them for their emergency
treatment of Ramos-Horta after shooting.


7. (C) The encounter between PMs Gusmao and Rudd was held in a
45-minute session with broad participation, then a half-hour
one-on-one meeting. F-FDTL Commander Brigadier Taur Matan Ruak
participated in the first meeting. According to Australian
diplomatic contacts, PM Rudd asked TMR to clarify his call for a
"second investigation." TMR responded that he wanted an
international investigation not into the attacks, but into the
initial reaction to the incidents by security forces including
ISF and UNPOL. Rudd pointedly commented that now was not the
time to criticize foreign friends who were assisting Timor-Leste.


8. (U) At a joint press conference with Acting President Lasama,
PM Rudd stressed that "renegade elements" would not derail
democracy in Timor-Leste, and he reaffirmed his commitment to
upholding security and stability there. The Acting President
thanked RM Rudd for Australia's rapid response to the crisis,
especially doctors' treatment of President Ramos-Horta. Lasama
thanked the Timorese public, particularly its youth, for its
non-violent reaction to the events of February 11. He called
for the nation to unite and for political parties "to put the
campaign on hold" since elections are not due until 2012.


9. (U) PM Rudd is reported to have visited President Ramos-Horta
at the Royal Hospital in Darwin en route home to Canberra.

Search Operations Ongoing

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


10. (C) According to UN Political Chief Colin Stewart, Prime
Minister Xanana Gusmao met with UNMIT Head Atul Khare, ISF
Commander Brigadier Baker, F-FDTL Commander Taur Matan Ruak, and
PNTL Commander Alfonso de Jesus on the morning of February 14 to
discuss improved coordination in the ongoing manhunt for the
remaining suspects in the attacks on the President and Prime
Minister. The ongoing joint operation is being carried out by
ISF, Australian Special Forces (SAS) personnel, F-FDTL, UNPOL,
and PNT-L. The group agreed to set up a Joint Information
Coordination Group to ensure that the search teams do not
receive conflicting reports. Contradictory intelligence was
apparently a problem on the first day of the deployment,
according to Stewart, and may have been the reason that an
initial search in the hills near Ramos-Horta's compound on
Tuesday proved fruitless. During the meeting TMR, reportedly
demanded a greater role for the F-FDTL, which had been confined
to base during the initial aftermath of the attacks. At this
point, the F-FDTL is providing static security at key facilities
and assisting the ISF at checkpoints as well as participating in
the joint search operation.

Reinado Buried Yesterday

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


DILI 00000050 003.2 OF 003



11. (U) Reinado's funeral was held on February 14 today at the
residence of his foster father Victor Alves. Hundreds attended.
Present in conspicuous numbers were members of Dili's youth
groups - identifiable by their tattoos and black clothing -- who
had revered Reinado in life. However, the mood was mournful and
respectful rather than defiant or angry. PNTL and Portuguese
National Guard (GNR) were conspicuously deployed near the venue.


12. (U) Victor Alves did much to pacify the public mood by
urging that the nation unite and put the past behind. He met on
February 13 with Prime Xanana Gusmao and SRSG Atul Khare. Alves
reportedly declined Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao's offer of a
military funeral, and chose to present the body at the wake
wearing a suit, not a military uniform.

Politics, Not As Usual

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


13. (U) The opposition FRETILIN party continues to denounce
rumors that it was behind the attacks. On February 14,
Secretary General Mari Alkatiri held a press conference to

SIPDIS
refute a widely-circulated e-mail charging that he had
manipulated Reinado into cooperating in a coup attempt. He
threatened to sue those who were behind the e-mail.


14. (U) Leaders of all political parties met at UNMIT
headquarters on February 14. Hosted by SRSG Atul Khare, the
meeting resulted in a unanimous statement condemning the
attacks, calling for thorough investigation, and apprehension
and trial of the perpetrators.
KLEMM