28 November 2013

We don't want to be refugees any more

Note: This is a report from 2008 but has been republished here for archive purposes.

DILI -ALthough the refugees in the Kolmera Jardin are ready to leave the camp, some of the refugees still object because the government has forbidden them from living in their houses because there is a new project to be undertaken.

“Our house is not far from the Rapid Response Unit Headquarters in Fatuhada. Now, the government has forbidden us from living in that house. Where will my family go?" said Paulino Amaral in a community dialogue in Bairo Pite with the President of the Repubic, Jose Ramos Horta on Thursday (15/5).

He asked this question to the President because he is confused after the government forbade him from returning to his original house. “I don't want to go from place to place. I am tired of being a refugee" he said.

He added that he does not want to meet the same fate as refugees from the Guido Valadares National Hospital. When they went to return home to the former Police training centre in Kaikoli, they were refused by the police.

The Secretary of State for Social Assistance and Natural Disasters, Jacinto Rigoberto Gomes de Deus, said that refugees whose houses were noted in a government program for other development, were not permitted to return to those houses.

But they can stay at a temporary place to wait for the government program to build a new suburb.

While those whose houses are not yet the subject of government intervention, they can go back to their original homes.

State Secretary Jacinto also announced to the whole community that previously lived in the old police training centres such as Kaikoli (next to the central office of the East Timor Electricity) or the one next to the old Mayor's office in Belarmino Lobo street, it is better if they find another place because these two locations are the subject of development by the government.

gec http://www.suaratimorlorosae.com/details.php?id=12792&now=2008-05-16 translation 17/05/08 by ww2008

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