UNMIT Daily Media Review 31 March 08
TVTL Interview with Ramos-Horta:
Q: What was your condition after you were discharged from the Private Hospital in Darwin.
A: I am not so bad. I am still wounded and my wounds are trying to heal. I have two big wound- one wound is very close to my back and it is very difficult to cover, but the doctor is always assessing this. I also feel pain in my arteries because of the bullet.
Q: After you were discharged and moved to this department, how are doctors treating you?
A: Every day, one doctor comes to visit me here, and our former doctor Rui Maria de Araujo is always with me. If I have any problems, he calls the principal surgeon in the hospital. And every week, I go to see the doctor in the hospital. Up till now I have not had any problems, so I have been staying in this department for a week. I have started walking, doing exercises and at least sleeping well.
Q: How are you feeling today? Are you ok?
A: I am still tried, in pain, and I think the wounds that came from shooting are still heavy for me. I think this is going to take a few weeks before I will be fully recuperated.
Q: What kind of activities have you done during your stay in this department?
A: I am not doing many activities, mainly resting, sleeping and watching TV through the CNN or ABC channels. Unfortunately this department does not have TVTL, but I receive information from Timor Leste and I have confidence in the Acting President and Prime Minster that they are handling the situation well. So I donâ€™t have many concerns.
Q: Through this activities, you have indicated that you are confident you will return to Timor Leste to carry out your activities as the President of the Republic.
A: I receive a great vote of confidence from the people: I am aware that 70 percent elected me. More then 20% did not vote for me. At least I received a visit from the Fretilin MPs Geberal Fransico, Eng. Estanislau Da Silva, so I know that Fretilin are on my side to support me as the President. All political parties and all the people of Timor Leste have confidence in me to be President. I am ready to once again undertake this role once I have fully recovered.
Q: Can you please explain a little about the chronology of events on February 11, because Timorese people are still confused as to what happened?
A: Some people are aware that I do my exercised every morning. In that morning, I woke up about 5am in the morning, for about 45 minutes I did light exercises in my room because it was still dark. At 6am, I went to Cristo Rei. I was accompanied by 2 F-FDTL members. I was not accompanied by the civil security corps because I myself told them that there was no need for them to accompany me for exercising. I was walking very fast, and sometimes bicycled to Cristo Rei. I completed my exercises sometimes during 50 minutes. At the time, I arrived at Caz Bar where we heard gun shots. After walking for another 20 minutes, we again more shots. By this time we were aware that the shots were coming from my residence.
After walking about 50 metres, we met one representative from ANZ Bank from Australia- he was also cycling and doing exercises. He told me that the ISF were having an exercise near my residence. He asked whether I was informed about it or not, but I replied to him that I had never received any information that what the ISF were doing near my house. I became angry because if the ISF were doing exercises near my house without my knowledge, it is a bit mistake. I then continued to walk to my house. Close to my house I saw one of F-FDTL car that had fallen into a hole, so I become suspicious that something might have occurred, because I did not see ISF or any other people.
I intended to go home because I was concerned about my family, including the IDPs living there, and some street children that were staying at my house. Suddenly, one F-FDTL member said, "President, please be careful because someone is hiding there. At the moment I saw a man, that was from Alfredo's group, in uniform and with a big gun. There was only one man around at the main gate. He then pulled his gun and pointed at me. I then turned my back and tried to run away but he then shot me. After that I fell to the ground- I reckon he ran straight away because he did not shoot at me again.
Q: How did the members of the F-FDTL who were with you react to this?
A: They ran quickly to reach me and helped me and I heard that they were yelling and swearing at the representative of the ANZ Bank, because they thought he was the person who brought the President here. I told them not to retaliate at him because he did not know anything about the incident. He thought that the ISF was were there performing exercises. I was really worried about the civilians who living in my house, I then called for an Ambulance but it arrived after half an hour. I was bleeding and there was no ambulance, no UNPOL, and no ISF.
Q: Did anyone call you from your residence before the ANZ person informed you when you were still on the beach?
A: I did not receive any calls from anyone at my residence. I myself called Brigadier-General Taur Matan Ruak and informed him that there was shooting at my place. After I was wounded, I also phoned my Chief of Cabinet and told him that I was wounded. At that moment, I myself asked the members of the F-FDTL to take my phone out from my pocket. I then called my Chief of Cabinet to inform UNPOL an ISF that I was wounded.
Ramos-Horta accuses UN of being slow to catch armed group - The President of the Republic, Jose Ramos-Horta, has accused the UN of acting too slowly to go after the armed group that fled after attacking him at his residence on 11 February 2008. "The Australian Forces only take action according to commands issued by the UN,"said Mr. Ramos Horta. (STL/Saturday).
75,000 veterans receive pensions - In the absence of any obstacles, the Government will begin in July 2008 to pay a pension to 75,000 veterans. This commitment by the Government was approved by the Council of Ministers last week. (STL)
Motael IDP are hesitant to return home if illegal guns are not collected - The IDPs from the Motael Church camp have voiced their doubts over returning to their suburbs, claiming that the Government has focused all its attention on capturing members of the rebel group and has forgotten about the illegal guns distributed in 2006. (STL)
Rudd defends the actions of Australian troops - Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has defended the actions of Australian soldiers following the attack against President Ramos-Horta. Mr Rudd made these comments in response to the recent criticisms made by the President against the ISF for their late action in responding to the attacks made by the rebel on 11 February. (TP)
Xanana : Joint Operation Command will discuss deadline for Salsinha - The Prime Minister has said that the Government will call the Joint Operation Commander soon to discuss the deadline for the surrender of Gastao Salsinha and his group. (TP)
Compiled by Warren L. Wright BA LLB
East Timor Legal New now on East Timor Law and Justice Bulletin
East Timor legal news continues on in the East Timor Law and Justice Bulletin. ETLJB covers the period from 2008 to the present. The archive and ETLB span almost a decade. It is by no means a comprehensive archive of legal news from East Timor but does cover many subjects and sources that have been of critical importance in the development of East Timor's legal culture since the catastrophic disintegration of the rule of law in 2006. Relates sources are East Timor Law Journal, East Timor Land Studies and United Nations Police in East Timor Security Reports for the period 2006-2008.