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Subject: Jose Ramos-Horta's oppening remarks to the 4th AiETD
Date: Sat, 14 Nov 1998 00:16:28 +1100
From: East Timor Relief Association <>

Following is the oppening remarks made by Jose Ramos-Horta, Vice-President of CNRT, at the All Inclusive Intra-TImorese Dialogue fourth meeting in Krumbach, Austria. This is the transcription, slightly edited, of recording made by Ines Almeida. A full report will be posted soon by Ines Almeida.

Jose Ramos-Horta: I will not waste the few minutes I have with greetings to those present. I prefer to express my deepest admiration for those who are not present. First, Xanana Gusmao, an East Timorese leader, leader of East Timorese resistance, respected worldwide as very few people I know in the world.

I have met hundreds of people all over the world in the past twenty three years. Political leaders, government ministers, queens, princes, Nobel laureates, heads of states, former head of states, and very few has his competence, his qualities. Xanana Gusmao is the only political prisoner visited five times in less than one year by the US Assistant Secretary of State for East Asia-Pacific Affairs. And the list of diplomatic envoys going to see him is endless. And hat shows the enormous respect, the credibility, people have towards him.

And I salute the others who are absent. The fighters of FALINTIL in the mountains, the truly courageous and generous who are there in the mountains all these years, and those in prison, victims of torture, of rape. It is thanks to their sacrifice, their determination, their faith that we are here today. It was not because of Suharto or because of Habibie. They did not succeed in defeating us in 23 years. All weapons were used on the East Timorese, to murder, to rape, to loot, to destroy the country. The Suharto regime was built on lies, and lies and lies, and arrogance. In the end it, collapsed like a castle of sand. Regimes and empires built on arrogance, on nepotism, on corruption, on abuse. That’s what happened. And this happened to Suharto. And we are here not because they want us, but because we forced it. Because of those in the mountains, because of Xanana and because of each of us. We are not going to thank them for the so called ‘abertura’ [openness]. We did, we succeeded.

Secondly, there are tens of thousands of people who have been demonstrating in the last few months, few weeks, who have shown enormous tolerance. Unlike in Indonesia where they killed ethnic Chinese, when they raped Chinese women, when they destroyed buildings, our young people have shown enormous maturity and responsibility. Not one Indonesian migrant have been touched, have been killed, not one house has been destroyed. And I pay tribute to them.

It is in this context, this is the new context, that we are going to demand that Indonesia fulfills its promises. They promised to the UN and they don’t keep it. They promised to Bishop Belo and Bishop Basilio and they are not keeping it.

Yesterday BBC and all other international media talked about the revelation about Indonesian troop presence in East Timor. More than 80,000 when they keep talking about 2000, 3000. These are the problems. The problem in East Timor is because of Indonesian military presence there. They have been living with lies, for the past 23 years.

As far as I am concerned, I am not going to be flexible to the point of sacrificing what we have gained in 23 years; to be flexible in order to compromise the very future of East Timor. Thank you.

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