[Marxism] East Timor: the story we weren't told

Tom OLincoln suarsos at alphalink.com.au
Sun Jul 9 17:14:41 MDT 2006


East Timor: the story we weren't told
Melbourne Age, July 10, 2006 

Former prime minister Alkatiri has been blamed for the chaos in his country. 
But John Martinkus writes that Alkatiri's accusers haven't explained who 
started the violence. 


THREE weeks ago I was in East Timor, where senior members of the East 
Timorese military confirmed what the now deposed prime minister, Mari 
Alkatiri, has been saying all along: that there had been three attempts 
since April last year to get senior army commanders to carry out a coup 
against his government. 

In light of what has happened since, it seems obvious. An orchestrated 
campaign has brought down the government. 

For reasons best known to themselves, the opposition to Alkatiri enlisted 
the support of a group of junior officers in the F-FDTL (the East Timorese 
defence forces), who broke with the army command and took their weapons with 
them. 

They attacked the F-FDTL on May 23-24, precipitating the widespread unrest 
in Dili that led to the international forces being called in. Then came the 
destruction of property by the gangs from the west, mainly aimed at those 
from the east who are perceived as supporting the Fretilin government. Then 
a string of allegations was presented to the foreign (mainly Australian) 
media, which finally led to the prime minister's resignation. 

Whoever has been behind this campaign has covered their tracks, and it will 
be difficult to link the interests involved to the destruction that has 
resulted in 150,000 East Timorese living in refugee camps, too afraid to go 
home. The plight of these people was used by opposition groups to call for 
Alkatiri's removal, even though the same groups had initiated the violence 
in the first place. It was a callous and cynical political manoeuvre, to say 
the least. 

But some obvious questions have not been answered by the Australian media, 
who have been almost unanimous in their condemnation of Fretilin, a party 
that, like it or not, had an overwhelming mandate to govern until mid next 
year. It won that mandate in elections the UN declared to have been free and 
fair. 

Full story:
<http://www.theage.com.au/news/opinion/east-timor-the-story-we-werent-told/2 
006/07/09/1152383608905.html?page=2>
If that link doesn't work, go to www.theage.com.au and you'll find the 
story.




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