Subject: XG: Xanana's End of Year Message
OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT END-OF-YEAR MESSAGE
Dear People of Timor-Leste,
The old year is about to end, to give place to the New Year. Five years have passed since we became free. Two and a half years have passed since we became independent, and we shall be completing one more year of political, social and economic life.
Exactly for this reason, we must reflect on what happened during the year 2004, on what could have had an impact, be it a positive or a negative impact, for the future of the Nation.
In the opinion of this Servant of yours, there were three major events that marked the year 2004: the relationship between PNTL and F-FDTL, the undertaking of the National Census, which was the first census in our history, and, more recently, the beginning of the electoral process for Chiefs of Village, Suco, and Suco Councils.
The year 2004 started with a very serious incident, that of Lospalos, which terrorized the population of Lospalos and also created panic throughout the national territory. Our Forces left the Barracks to go to the Village and started shooting irresponsibly, as if they wanted to wage a war against PNTL and the population.
The Office of the Prosecutor-General, corresponding to its duty, initiated an investigation in order to determine the degree of criminal responsibility. The F-FDTL Headquarters also promised to carry out an investigation to determine the degree of disciplinary violation applicable to the military.
The Office of the President itself established a Commission, which includes members of the National Parliament and other members representing the Government. The Commission was not established in order to analyze the specific case of Lospalos. Rather, it was established in order to undertake an X-Ray to F-FDTL as a military institution because there have been numerous lamentations and complaints around it.
Similarly, we did not hear from the Office of the Prosecutor-General whether there has been a criminal case in the incident of Lospalos and, because we do not know anything about this up until now, maybe the case of Lospalos is something F-FDTL should not be concerned about, either because it is not considered a serious case or because it is not considered a case of violation of military discipline. I am referring to this issue because it has become a forgotten case, just as many other cases dating back to the 4th of December 2002.
On the commemoration of the 28th of November, at the Dili National Stadium, I launched an appeal to the two Forces which paraded in the stadium to improve their relations, and I reminded them that the people will have to trust them during moments of lack of stability and security in the country.
In less than a month, we faced ourselves again with the problem of Becora. And I do not believe that the leaders of F-FDTL have the capacity to solve this problem of Becora. Because they have not yet been able to solve the problem of Lospalos. And also because they did not pay the necessary attention to the recommendations made by the Commission of the Office of the President.
The Commission also found out that one of the issues underlying the case of Lospalos is the frustration caused by the fact that there are already nine cases between PNTL and F-FDTL that are pending in the Court and that are still lacking a solution up until now.
And instead of tackling these cases with the spirit of serving justice, the judges, prosecutors and public defense lawyers are more concerned with their own personal conditions, that is, the fact that they are still trainees notwithstanding the fact that they have already been working for a few years, possess large experience, but the Government forces them to continue studying, and also the fact that they have a good command of the Indonesian, but the Government forces them to learn the Portuguese.
Our Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste is a Republic that investigates all cases, whether minor cases or major cases, simple or complex, although we know in advance that all these cases will simply be put in the archives. What we do not know is whether the cases are archived amid the concerns or whether they are archived in our lack of capacity to spot the errors and punish the wrong-doers or whether they are archived in our fear that the others will know the truth.
If we continue to operate like this in 2005, our country will get weak little by little because there shall be no justice, because there shall only be justice for the poor and those who are not in power. And when there is no justice, corruption expands itself, just as many people are saying today that corruption is flourishing, starting from government members, from those in power.
If the cases concerning PNTL and F-FDTL continue to be ignored in 2005, then the People shall have no need to be concerned about it or to fear anything.
We shall continue to follow up, clacking our hands to those showing intelligence, I repeat, showing intelligence because they are unable to solve the problems they have in their hands, or the problems faced by their institutions. If the members of government themselves are not concerned, it is not the people who should be concerned.
Dear People of Timor-Leste,
In mid this year, we undertook the National Census which was the first one ever since we became independent. It was a major historical event, which indicated clearly to us and to the world the manner in which our people live.
The census provided many statistical data for the government members and the politicians, to help them think how to change the life of the people, how to minimize the difficulties of the people. I am putting it this way to remind the political parties of the need to keep in mind the notion of responsibility that the people placed in their hands, the responsibility to serve the people and not to serve only the their parties and the members of their parties.
I wish that in 2005, the civil servants, the parliamentarians, and all the Government members and the Public Magistrates, including the Office of the President itself, may also undertake their census, so that the people also get to know how they are living. Only like this shall we be able to put an end to distrust and to avoid the existence if many rumors about corruption, about extremely expensive vehicles, about businesses, about the competitions, about the customs, about the containers which are open illegally and covertly to avoid paying customs duties.
In my capacity as your Servant, as somebody who feels the duty to serve, I think that if the government members are able to how the people live, the People must also be able to know how the government members live, since it is quite probable that the government members may even be living in worse conditions than the People. No one knows whether they themselves are also unable to pay school fees for their children, whether they themselves are also unable to buy anything from the shops, or whether they themselves also have jobs because the Internationals are the ones occupying the posts.
It is exactly what also happens with the People. They are unable to pay for the education of their children. They are unable to make shopping because the prices are extremely high, the young people cannot get jobs because the workers are coming from the neighboring countries.
Once informed of all this situation, all of us, from the top to the bottom, shall be in a position to mutually communicate our concerns, recognizing that all of us are living with difficulties and that it is not only the People who are suffering, but that the government members are also suffering.
Dear People of Timor-Leste,
A few days ago, in two districts, that is Oe-Cusse and Bobonaro, the elections for the Chiefs of Village, Suco and Suco Councils started. The information received by me indicates that the participation of the population was good, notwithstanding the rains. For the first time in the history of our People we have elected Community Chiefs. Because this is the first experience, despite some problems here and there, we were able to implement the electoral process.
My congratulations to the ministry of State Administration, to CNE and to STAE, and to all their components, particularly the Community Radios in the two districts which extended all the support so that the elections could take place in accordance with the expectations.
As President, I must regret the fact that only one Party participated in the elections in these two districts.
I have received claims from some political parties about the process of registration of parties. In some aspects they are right, but my conclusion was that they woke up too late. The Law on Political Parties has already been published long ago, and it was only one month before the elections that they showed concern with the registration process.
It was only Fretilin that presented its candidates, including some independent candidates. I call upon all other parties to participate in the elections for community leaders in the remaining eleven districts in 2005 in accordance with their own capacity.
My congratulations are also extended to the candidates of the villages and sucos of these two districts, particularly those candidates on whom the people deposited their confidence and elected. But, above all, I pay my tribute to all the people of Oe-Cusse and Bobonaro.
In concluding, I warmly wish every success for the New Year for all the Timorese. I wish that 2005 can bring something better for all the People.
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