Timor govt expected to survive censure motion (Source: ONE News)

ONE NewsMilitary in Timor-Leste

Timor govt expected to survive censure motion 

The East Timor government is expected to survive a censure motion launched by the opposition over the release of a former militia leader alleged to have been involved in crimes against humanity.

Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao has come under fire from the opposition, rights groups and the United Nations for releasing Martenus Bere, accused of having a role in attacks on pro-independence civilians including the 1999 Suai massacre.

"I know that the government will not collapse but we have already educated people in this country that the decision is illegal," Mari Alkatiri, leader of the opposition and head of the Fretilin party, told reporters.

Gusmao told parliament on Monday that Bere, who was arrested in August after crossing into East Timor from Indonesia, had been released to strengthen bilateral cooperation between Jakarta and and East Timor, also known as Timor Leste.

"Martenus Bere's case is not our national interest but our relations between Indonesia and Timor Leste is our national interest," he said.

Tiny East Timor, a former Portuguese colony which achieved full independence from Indonesia in 2002, has opted for a conciliatory rather than a confrontational approach towards its much larger neighbour since independence.

East Timor was invaded in 1975 by Indonesia. An estimated 180,000 died during the occupation, and the UN estimates about 1,000 East Timorese died in the mayhem that surrounded the 1999 vote for independence.

source: http://tvnz.co.nz/world-news/timor-govt-expected-survive-censure-motion-3069284

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