Subject: Xanana Statement
Date: Sat, 17 Apr 1999 08:50:51 -0400
From: "Solidamor" <>

CNRT - Timor-Leste Xanana Gusmão


From January March 31st 1999, the population of East Timor was subjected to intimidation, and murders were committed in Ainaro, Liquiça, Maubara, Zumulai, Suai, Atabae, Bobonaro, Baukau, Dili, Hatu Udo, Laga, Vikeke and Same, with a total of 21 dead, approximately 20 sustaining bullet wounds, and another 20 severely beaten.

Over the same period, the people, fearing for their lives, fled their homes, resulting in over 18,000 internally displaced people in the areas of Zumalai, Tilomar/Suai, Cailaco, Maliana/Bobonaro, Fatubesi, Maubara, Liquica, Lacluta/Vikeke, Dili.

However, the first condition to an open, serious and meaningful dialogue - and finding a solution to the East Timor issue requires no less - would be for both sides, or rather all parties involved, to agree to put an end to the difficult situation of the population. A state of calm must be returned to the people, they must be left to go about their lives in peace.

This appeal was never heard, and, for us, reconciliation has no meaning unless this pre-condition is met. To talk about reconciliation as the population is under threat and mourns its dead would be inhumane. To have the "leaders" discuss reconciliation while the East Timorese people are subjected to premeditated terror amounts to a horrific black-mail aimed at forcing one side to accept autonomy.

Following the 22 March seminar in which Minister Ali Alatas himself participated, I appealed to all pro-integrationists to accept that the two Timorese Bishops lead the reconciliation process. I also reiterated my support for KOMNAS HAM to establish a Commission for Peace and Stability in the territory.

Efforts have been undertaken by the two Bishops to conduct preliminary meetings with each faction. Upon conclusion of these meetings the pro-integration groups declared themselves in favour of reconciliation, only to then carry on with their intimidation campaigns as if they did not undermine the process of reconciliation. Our appeal for calm was taken as a sign of weakness on our part, as an invitation to maintain a state of terror and assassination.

We discovered that, weeks earlier, the Udayana Regional Military Commander, General Adam Damiri, had met with several militia leaders in Bali and that it had been decided to set up the Forces for the Defence of Integration, a militia front estimated to consist of 2000 armed men.

The Liquiça massacre has not shaken people's conscience one bit. These blood oaths in the defence of integration only show that people no longer value human life, the life of their own brothers.

This strategy, aimed at blocking the New York negotiations, has been built on the blood of the defenceless people of East Timor. The mentors of this strategy are satisfied with the power they feel they have acquired and are confident that they have finally succeeded in imposing their reign on East Timor, continuing to spread horror and to shed blood.

I am obliged to continue to ask that the defenceless people of East Timor refuse to allow themselves be slaughtered like animals, although I know that no one will stop the murderous bullets, although I know that ABRI will keep on supporting the militias as part of the inhumane plan devised by the Indonesian generals to destroy the East Timorese people. And these generals will no doubt repeat, as Adam Malik did, "we killed 70,000 but 'saved' many more", as if referring to the cows infected with the mad-cow disease in England or the flue-spreading chickens of Hong-Kong.

FALINTIL have proved their courage throughout these 23 years of heroic resistance. Courage is not measured in combat terms only and FALINTIL has demonstrated another kind courage which is innate to its mission - the courage to continue to be judicious in its actions!

It is in this context that I renew my APPEAL FOR PEACE, DIALOGUE AND RECONCILIATION!

Let us turn to dialogue, bearing in mind that restoring peace of mind and tranquillity is our duty to the East Timorese people so that they can go about their already difficult daily life, raise their children and cultivate their fields.

We have always stressed the need to forget the past. Some Indonesian generals did not take kindly to this and are now trying to open new wounds to divide the East Timorese. I have always believed that, provided the East Timorese are not drugged with interests that are not their own, they are capable of sitting together and opening their hearts to each other.

I appeal to ABRI to adopt a position of political maturity, of greater openness and humanity, as today's world demands it.

I salute all those who, in Indonesia, demand a just solution for East Timor. I pay tribute to President Habibie and his team who are engaged in a resolution of the conflict, and salute the Reform Movement within ABRI.

The true Statesmen are those who put their country's interests above all else and have the courage to change policies and correct the errors of history. The Indonesian men and women who wish to put an end to the East Timor problem must not allow the fear of losing face to guide their actions.

Charles de Gaulle, one of the most famous Frenchmen of all times, put an end to one of the bloodiest periods of French history by ordering the withdrawal of France from Algeria. He was not a weak man. He did not lose face. This general's name is written in gold letters in the pages of French history after all he did for his country in the post-Second World War period.

Richard Nixon ordered the American withdrawal from Vietnam. No one ever referred to him as weak and, to this day, the United States of America has not lost face. Yasser Arafat and Isaac Rabin, who once desired one another's mutual destruction, found the courage, the intelligence and the political vision to reach a compromise. No one said they had been weak or that they had lost face.

All these men are highly respected today for having made these decisions. This is the difference between a true Statesman who does not need to resort to war as a form of political survival or moral comfort.

I wish to extend this invitation to the politicians of Indonesia, and above all to the Indonesian military.

I wish to acknowledge here the sympathy that the East Timorese people have received from the governments of the USA, the European Union, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Brazil, South Africa and the Scandinavian countries. We cannot forget today the fraternal and continuous support the peoples and governments of Angola, Mozambique, Cape Verde, Guinea Bissau and Sao Tome e Principe have given us all these years.

I also wish to express our appreciation for the extraordinary efforts of the UN Secretary General, Kofi Annan, whose strong preoccupation for the long-standing problem of East Timor has come to be the motor of progress in the negotiations.

I could not fail to address a special word to the President of the Portuguese Republic, Dr. Jorge Sampaio, who, at such a difficult time, is standing by the side of the East Timorese people. Prime Minister, Eng. Antonio Guterres, has displayed the same concern. Minister of Foreign Affairs, Jaime Gama, and his diplomatic team, have also shown great dedication in defence of the Rule of Law, Justice and Peace.

Finally, to our dear and respected Bishop of Dili, D. Carlos Ximenes Belo, I extend the expression of my firm solidarity at this most trying of times when, yet again, he is bearing witness to the slaughter of the defenceless and victimised people of East Timor.

The establishment of a climate of peace in East Timor can only benefit Indonesia itself. Indonesia can test its political good-will by solving this problem. In addition, its commitment to alleviating the suffering of the East Timorese people would be amply demonstrated by its authorising the entry of international observers and UN specialised agencies such as WHO, UNICEF, UNDP into the territory.

Salemba, 14 April 1999

President of the CNRT

Kay Rala Xanana Gusmao
Commander of the FALINTIL

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