Friday, March 24, 2006

President Xanana: Expulsion decision erroneous & unjust

“President Xanana Gusmao has declared that as President of the Republic he believes that F-FDTL Commander Taur Matan Ruak’s decision to expel almost 600 F-FDTL soldiers is erroneous and unjust. He stated that the matter is being treated as a matter of indiscipline without considering the root of the problem within the F-FDTL institution. However, he said that as the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces he would respect the FDTL Commander’s decision, as it is within his competency to make such a decision.

Responding to the President’s declaration, human rights lawyer Aderito de Jesus Soares said that it is too late for such a statement. He stated that if the National Parliament and the Government were serious in resolving the matter, then the issue would not have become such a big problem. He criticized the attitude of prioritizing foreign visits over and above issues of domestic concern, and stated that the President should have made a statement on the F-FDTL case before leaving for his overseas visit, only to now return and regret the decision of the F-FDTL Commander.

Meanwhile, spokesperson for the 591 expelled soldiers Gastao Salsinha has expressed his disappointment with President Xanana’s decision not to intervene in the expulsion decision taken by F-FDTL Headquarters. He stated that this shows that the petition presented by the soldiers has no value, which reinforces the impression that the general population continues to be oppressed, while the leaders make efforts to help each other.”

Source: Timor Post, Suara Timor Lorosae & Diario

Category: Timor-Leste (East Timor)

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