BEN DOHERTY AND DANIEL FLITTON
28/08/2008 1:00:01 AM
AUSTRALIA'S 750-strong troop commitment to East Timor could be over by the end of next year, as security in the nation steadily improves, the East Timorese Prime Minister, Xanana Gusmao, said yesterday.
He also remains confident that East Timorese will soon be working in Australia under a guest-worker scheme, despite suffering a setback this week when his country was excluded from a pilot program that will focus on Pacific Island nations.
Mr Gusmao told the Herald yesterday the brittle security climate in his country had improved after shock attacks on himself and the President, Jose Ramos-Horta, earlier this year.
"Right now it is very calm. Mums are going outside at night and [in the] evening, with children, playing around. We feel this is one of the best achievements that we have," he said.
Mr Gusmao said more than 50,000 displaced people had returned home in the past year, adding to the sense of security, while a rift between the East Timor army and police - a cause of 2006 riots that wrecked the capital Dili and prompted the return of Australian forces - had begun to heal.
Security forces have captured remaining members of the small rebel group once led by Alfredo Reinado, a former major who broke with the government in 2006 and was killed by guards during the attack at Mr Ramos-Horta's house in February.
"They gained the confidence of the people; now our people can trust in our security forces," Mr Gusmao said.
As security improves, he said he expected East Timor's army to concentrate on civil projects, building roads, bridges and other basic infrastructure, allowing international troops to withdraw.
Mr Gusmao said his country's political and economic future would be shored up by giving Timorese youth the chance to take up temporary jobs in Australia, but he understood Australia first wanted to test the program with Pacific Island nations.
quinta-feira, outubro 23, 2008
Por Malai Azul 2 à(s) 22:39
Obrigado pela solidariedade, Margarida!
Mensagem inicial - 16 de Maio de 2006
"Apesar de frágil, Timor-Leste é uma jovem democracia em que acreditamos. É o país que escolhemos para viver e trabalhar. Desde dia 28 de Abril muito se tem dito sobre a situação em Timor-Leste. Boatos, rumores, alertas, declarações de países estrangeiros, inocentes ou não, têm servido para transmitir um clima de conflito e insegurança que não corresponde ao que vivemos. Vamos tentar transmitir o que se passa aqui. Não o que ouvimos dizer... "