TIMOR LESTE’S political and subsequent security crisis in 2006 began when a group of soldiers from the country’s west, reportedly numbering up to 591 at that time, signed a petition alleging discrimination inside the Timor Leste military (known by its Portuguese acronym FDTL). The group claimed that soldiers from the eastern part of the country were being favored over those from the western section with regard to promotions. These protesting western soldiers refused to comply with the military directorate’s order to return to their post. They were then dismissed.
DILI, EAST TIMOR — What has been described as East Timor’s leading independent daily operates out of four small rooms and has a budget that threatens to disappear altogether every day.
JAKARTA, INDONESIA AND DILI, EAST TIMOR — With intermittent applause and encouraging laughter, it was almost easy to forget that the imposing figure who had the floor was testifying about his alleged involvement in atrocities committed in East Timor in 1999. The speaker, after all, was the former commander of the Indonesian armed forces, and he was supposed to be a giving a public, factual testimony to the Indonesia and East Timor Commission of Truth and Friendship (CTF). Yet given his audience’s nearly jocular mood and his easy manner, he may as well have been recounting his experiences in the 2004 presidential campaign trail.
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