FRENTE REVOLUCIONÁRIA DO TIMOR-LESTE INDEPENDENTE
Friday 6 April 2007
Fretilin leaders visit victims of violence and urge restraint
Fretilin today (Friday) renewed its appeal to its supporters and supporters of all other political parties to avoid violence in the lead up to and following East Timor’s presidential election on Monday.
In a joint statement, Fretilin-backed presidential candidate Francisco Guterres Lu Olo and party General Secretary Mari Alkatiri expressed sympathy to victims of violence regardless of political party affiliation.
The party called on supporters to respond to violence “with a high degree of tolerance and restraint” as Fretilin leaders visited victims of politically motivated violence in hospital.
The statement said about 40 Fretilin supporters have been taken to hospitals in Dili, Gleno and Baucau since Wednesday.
“We believe also that supporters of other parties are victims of this violence. We are sad that this has happened and wish them all a speedy recovery,” the statement said.
“We condemn every act of violence against any citizens independent of their political party affiliation. Fretilin militants have known how to show their maturity over the last 12 months of the crisis, responding to violence with a high level of tolerance and restraint. We are going to maintain this position.
“Violence is a weapon of those who don’t want democracy, that is why they do not respect its rules.”
General Secretary Alkatiri and National Political Commission member Estanislau Da Silva, who is First Deputy Prime Minister, offered party assistance to injured Fretilin supporters during a visit to Dili’s Guido Valadores national hospital today.
Among the victims visited was an eight-month-old baby girl, Jessica Quintao Lima, who was hit in the head with a stone during an attack on Fretilin supporters in Dili on Wednesday. Jessica is now out of intensive care but doctors said she might still be evacuated to Darwin for treatment when it is safe to move her.
The Fretilin delegation also met Daniel de Deus Maia, shot in the back with an “Ambon arrow”, a steel dart fired from a slingshot. He was among 16 Fretilin supporters injured in an ambush of a Fretilin convoy heading home to Ermera from the Dili rally on Wednesday.
One victim of the Ermera attack, Jacinto de Jesus, remains in the hospital’s intensive care unit.
For further information contact:
Jose Manuel Fernandes (Lu Olo's official representative) (+670) 734 2174(Dili)
Harold Moucho (Lu Olo’s political adviser) (+670) 725 2016 (Dili)
Mari Alkatiri (+670) 733 2360 (Dili); Estanislau Da Silva (+670) 733 5062 (Dili)
Arsenio Bano: (+670) 733 9416 (Dili); Paulo Araujo (+61) 424 413 525 (Darwin, Australia)