Subject: RT: Gusmao soon to begin weaving East Timor democracy

Gusmao soon to begin weaving East Timor democracy.

07/05/2000 Reuters English News Service

WELLINGTON, July 5 (Reuters) - East Timor 's independence leader Xanana Gusmao said on Wednesday a new state structure was emerging in his ravaged territory, while reconciliation and contrition would be the basis for peace in the former Portuguese colony.

In a speech prepared ahead of a meeting with diplomats, officials and business people in Wellington, Gusmao said the key to success for the new nation would be for perpetrators of past violence to seek forgiveness.

"One may ask if such a scenario is feasible given the degree of human and physical devastation and destruction that the Indonesian military intelligence services orchestrated and carried out with the complicity of some East Timorese," he said

"We do believe that it is possible if those who participated in such operations are ready to face the people and ask for their forgiveness."

The United Nations was mandated to run East Timor during its transition to independence after residents last year voted overwhelmingly to cut ties with Indonesia, which had invaded the territory in 1975.

In protest, armed gangs backed by the Indonesian military ran amok, leaving much of the territory in ruins and thousands of people displaced.

Gusmao, on his first official visit to New Zealand, said a commission would soon be appointed to draft a constitution.

"Very soon, a shared U.N.-East Timorese cabinet and the NLC (National Legislative Council) will come into office. The NLC...will form the basis of a future legislative body."

"A campaign will be carried out to consult all segments of East Timorese society. This will be the ground work which will lead to the designing and drafting of the constitution which will enshrine the values and rights we have fought for," he added.

The United Nations said last month that elections in East Timor and possibly final independence from Indonesia could take place by the end of 2001.

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