Friday, October 16, 2009

Timor-Leste, Post independence (contd-1)

Unrest started in the country in 2006 following the riots in Dili. A rally in support of 600 East Timorese soldiers, who were dismissed for deserting their barracks, turned into rioting where five people were killed and over 20,000 fled their homes. Fierce fighting between pro-government troops and disaffected Falintil troops broke out in May 2006. While unclear, the motives behind the fighting appears to be the distribution of oil funds and the poor organisation of the Timorese army and Police, which includes former Indonesian-trained police and former Timorese rebels. Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri has called the violence a "coup" and has welcomed offers of foreign military assistance from several nations. As of May 25, 2006, Australia, Portugal,New Zealand and Malaysia have sent troops to Timor , attempting to quel the violence.At least 23 deaths occurred as a result of the violence.

On 3 June, 2006 , Ramos Horta added the post of Interim Minister of Defence to his portfolio as foreign minister, in the wake of the resignation of the previous minister. But he resigned from both the posts and said that he would not work in a Cabinet where Alkatiri existed. Ultimately Alkatiri had to resign and Ramos Horta was appointed as Prime Minister by the President Gusmao. Before his appointment he was cosidered a possible candidate to succeed Kofi Annan as United Nations Secretary General. But he wanted to serve the country. "I can wait five years if I am really interested in the job in 2012. I would be interested in that."

Mari Alkatiri , born on 26

Nov, 1949, was one of the founder of FRETILIN And served the ministry from May 2002 until he resigned on 26 June, 2006. He was a partly descended from Arab (Yemenite) traders who came from Hadhramawt and settled in East timor more than a century ago, and is a Muslim. He hails from the Kathiri tribe. He was born in Dili, East Timor and had 10 other siblings. He left East Timor in 1970 for post -secondary studies in Angola, returning to East Timor as one of the founders of FRETILIN. He became a Minister for Political affairs during declaration of Independence in 1975. He was sent to overseas as part of a high level diplomatic mission.

During 24-year occupation by Indonesia Alkatiri was a chartered surveyor and lived in Exile in Angola and Mozambiquefrom 1995 to 1998. He came back during United Nations transitional administration and became General Secretary of the Fretilin.He received a large majority of the the vote in Parliamentary election and became Prime Minister. Despite his vote of confidence, he resigned on 26 June 2006. But he contested in the election of 2007 as a candidate from Fretilin, where as Gusmao contested from National Congress of Timorese Reconstruction, the new party he has formed and Ramos Horta resigned from Fretilin and contested as a President in 2007 election which he won.