Subject: CONG: Barney Frank -- Support for East Timor, July 10, 2006

Congressional Record

[Page: E1355]

Extensions of Remarks - July 10, 2006




MONDAY, JULY 10, 2006

Mr. FRANK of Massachusetts. Mr. Speaker, several of us in the House are proud of the role we played in helping gain independence for the new nation of East Timor, and we have been pleased by the commitment of the leaders of that new nation to democracy. In particular, we believe that the President, Xanana Gusmao, and the former Foreign Minister and newly-designated Prime Minister, Jose Ramos Horta, have shown a commitment to the maintenance of a fully democratic society. In fact, President Gusmao--widely known and revered by the people of East Timor as Xanana--worked to get a candidate to oppose him in the first presidential election in the country because he wanted to set the right precedent.

* It was with great sadness therefore that we watched the violence that wracked this small country in recent weeks, and we believe that it is very important that the responsible leadership of East Timor receive the support they need to make this violence a temporary interruption in their progress as a nation. One very important element in this effort is the United Nations, contrary to those who would dismiss the UN as of no use in today's world. In a recent article in the Boston Globe, Prime Minister Ramos Horta and Raj Purohit make the case that ``it is vital that the UN continue to lead an inclusive effort to insure that Timor-Leste (the Portuguese official name for East Timor) becomes a strong democratic member of the international community.'' In addition to the UN, Australia has played a very constructive role in helping deal with the problems of this new nation.

* Mr. Speaker, the recent violence is a sad fact, but it should not lead to pessimism about the longer-term future of East Timor. Instead, members of the international community should heed the words of Jose Ramos Horta and Raj Purohit and support the steps that will lead to a stable and democratic future for this new nation. In particular, they ask that the new UN Peace Building Commission make East Timor one of the objects of its work, and I hope that this request will be supported by the United States Government and honored by the Peace Building Commission so that, in the words of the authors of this article, we can see that ``Timor-Leste finally takes its place among the world's stable democratic countries.''

From the Boston Globe JOSE RAMOS HORTA AND RAJ PUROHIT [posted previously]

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