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Lere does not agree with former militia returning to Timor-Leste

Timor Post - January 8, 2013

Falintil-FDTL Commander, Major General Lere Anan Timor, says that he does not agree with former supporters of autonomy with Indonesia returning to Timor-Leste.

"I have heard that our fellow Timorese who are living in Atambua want to return to Timor-Leste. I do not agree with this, despite some of our political leaders strong desire to use this as a means to promote national unity," declared General Lere during his speech at a certificate award ceremony for members of the clandestine resistance organization "Sacred Family", held at Suku Bidau-Santana, Dili, Saturday 6 January last.

The one time guerilla commander stated that his reason for disagreeing with the return of pro-autonomy Timorese living in Atambua is his concern it will lead to conflicts over land ownership and other issues between Timorese who currently live in and those wanting to return to Timor-Leste.

Lere added that, those Timorese who return from Atambua to live in Timor-Leste no longer have a right to claim any resources they left behind in Timor-Leste or their birthplace.

The two star Major General also strongly lamented that a Timorese named Hercules arrived on a flight at Comoro Airport, and was received by Police as if he were a like a President.

"To me, he (Hercules) has never been anyone of note. He may be as rich as rich can be but when you have never defended our struggle for national independence, then he is just another Timorese. As for the Police receiving him as if he were a President (head of state), that is just too much, and diminishes the dignity of Timor-Leste as nation," Lere lamented.

There has been information circulating after the fact that this former autonomist supporter entered Timor-Leste carrying a firearm but was allowed to do so by the Police despite them having known of this fact.

The two star Major General promised that the next time he (Hercules) comes through, he will order that he be apprehended, and he (Lere) will assume all responsibility for having done so afterwards.

[Translation from Tetum.]