Subject: Open Letter from Taur Matan Ruak to all East Timorese
Date: Tue, 1 Sep 1998 09:28:17 +0000

Open Letter from Taur Matan Ruak to all East Timorese

This letter first appeared in the Dili-based Suara Timur Timor with the following waiver:

"As a medium which is neutral and does not take sides with any one party, we naturally try to appear as an East Timorese medium which accommodates all current political interests in East Timor. Our aim is to appear as a mass medium which gives voice to the aspirations of all groups which exist in East Timor.

Taking this as our standpoint, on this occasion we present a letter of appeal from the Deputy War Commander, who at this moment is waging a guerrilla war in East Timor, that is, Taur Matan Ruak. This appeal is directed to the people of East Timor, and was obtained from David Dias Ximenes. The appeal follows here:"

"We are closely following the reactions of our fellow East Timorese to two events, namely, the removal of President Soeharto, and the First Congress of Overseas East Timorese, events which have determined, in one action, the end to the political crimes recorded in the pages of our history. We are taking note of these reactions, not involuntarily and thoughtlessly, but logically and properly. All of these reactions now lead to the need for people to bring about peace in our nation. Peace represents a task which we have obtained from the Congress of East Timorese. Now is the time for us Timorese to hold our heads high, as freedom fighters and as your comrades in the mountains. Once again we submit to you the following matters:

1. Hold high the principles which have been expounded in the Magna Carta of April 23-27, 1998.

2. All East Timorese, from the Governor, Abilio José Osorio Soares, the Bupatis, the District Officers, and down to the ordinary people, must be guaranteed security from Falintil, so long as they side with our people, in the struggle to bring about self-determination for East Timor.

3. All of this will be physically and morally respected by Falintil and all our people.

4. Falintil embodies the unity of the People of East Timor, and will never violate the principles which underpin that unity.

5. Falintil is ready to give a hand to anyone who consciously returns to the path of peace, for the sake of making our nation at one with our people. This is so long as these people desire reconciliation and give evidence that they are sons and daughters of East Timor.

We are conscious of this unity, because it is only unity which can bring anything good from this war and the post-war period. We hope you can all open the doors of your hearts, just a little bit more. We wish you success.

Our warmest wishes and sincere embraces.

For the Political and Military Council Deputy Falintil Commander

Taur Matan Ruak
East Timor International Support Center
PO Box 651, Nightcliff, Darwin NT 0814, Australia

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