Subject: LUSA: Portugeuse FM Gama Meets with Gusmao, CNRT Members

East Timor: Portugeuse FM Gama Meets with Gusmao, CNRT Members 16 Jan-20:34

Portuguese Foreign Minister Jaime Gama met Tuesday in Dili with Xanana Gusmao and members of the National Council of Timorese Resistance (CNRT), the umbrella leadership body of East Timor.

During the encounter, Gama had occasion to meet with some of the "unknown heroes" who, in Gusmao's terms, made possible the 1999 independence plebiscite that led to the end of Indonesia's quarter- century occupation of East Timor.

"During the years of resistence [sic], they served our people. They organized and mobilized our people. Without their work, Aug. 30 (1999) would not have happened", the East Timorese leader said. He highlighted their continuing status as pillars of the community, at a time when "violence is spreading to almost all of Timor" and when "political parties exploit the people's conscience and create instability and violence".

CNRT members have been meeting since Monday at the organization's Dili headquarters to discuss its performance over the past few years and particularly the role it is to assume in the future.

Gama, who earlier Tuesday began a four-day visit to East Timor, said he was optimistic that those who had always fought for the freedom of East Timor would be "compensated".

"I understand that there is relative concern about your situation. But I also note that your political leadership took care to organize this meeting to review prospects concerning your place in the economy and society, and in public and administrative life", Gama said.

"Because they fought, those who fought should not suffer negative discrimination", he added.

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