Subject: CNRT Conference Statement
Date: Sat, 10 Apr 1999 09:48:15 -0400
From: Kieran Dwyer <>

from East Timor Relief Association (ETRA)

posted for National Council of Timorese Resistance (CNRT)

(please distribute to your networks, especially your politicians' networks) -----------

Statement of the National Council of Timorese Resistance (CNRT)

Participants of the Conference for Strategic Development Planning for East Timor

We the participants of the Melbourne Conference for Strategic Development Planning for East Timor, under the auspices of the National Council of Timorese Resistance (CNRT), conclude the second phase of preparations for independent government with great hope for the future of a peaceful, democratic nation of East Timor. We express this hope, despite the current escalation of violence by the Indonesian military and its agents against the civilian population of East Timor. This calculated programme of violence remains the only obstacle to achieving this aim of peace and democracy in East Timor.

In five days of intensive planning, the Conference has prepared a blueprint which marks the beginnings of a new future for our country. Our vision is based on the fundamental principal of a free, independent, peaceful and democratic East Timor. The CNRT is committed to working to establish a free country where all citizens are equal before the law, where all people have equal opportunity to participate in and contribute to all aspects of society, and where we live together in peace.

We have developed strategic plans for development in the eight (8) key areas of:

Governance/Public Administration Law and the Judicial System Economics Agriculture Health Education Infrastructure/Environment Mass Communications

-with attention to gender, culture and human rights in all these areas.

We have mapped out the way ahead for the immediate transitional period, the establishment of the necessary institutions and programmes for a newly independent East Timor, and the longterm vision, goals and strategies for development across all sectors.

Throughout the Conference we have liaised with key international development agencies and non government organisations, who have committed to working with the people of East Timor within this structured development plan.

We have achieved a landmark in the nation building of a democratic East Timor at this Conference. From the strategic development plans drawn up across the sectors, we have initiated ongoing taskforces who will continue on with detailed work in consultation with and support from the international community.

The success of this Conference demonstrates to the international community that the people of East Timor, even in the most difficult circumstances of the current violent situation, are ready to undertake the work of nation building in a responsible, prudent and inclusive manner. We are desperate for the peace necessary to undertake this great challenge.

We want to make it absolutely clear that we, the participants of the Conference, fully support the President of the CNRT Xanana Gusmao in his moderate call for the East Timorese people to defend themselves. Xanana Gusmao has pursued the path of dialogue at all times. In calling for the people of East Timor to be protected he is seeking to preserve the lives of innocent children, women and men. We note that Bishop Belo affirms Xanana Gusmao's call as moderate and appropriate in the desperate situation in East Timor.

We are distressed at the calculated escalation of the violence by the Indonesian military and its agents this week in East Timor. We understand that the Indonesian military is now targeting individuals considered key independence supporters, particularly in Dili. The use of a grenade to attack the church of Liquica and the storming of a priest's house are calculated to demonstrate that there is no refuge for the people of East Timor.

At the same time as this military escalation, the government of Indonesia has frustrated limited international attempts at providing emergency humanitarian relief to East Timor, by blocking shipments and refusing offers of assistance to the people of East Timor. The Indonesian government has also delayed again the scheduled United Nations talks between Portugal and Indonesia on the content of the proposed autonomy package.

We reiterate that CNRT is committed to a peaceful, inclusive process of transition to independence in East Timor. Our leaders Xanana Gusmao and Jose Ramos Horta initiated dialogue with the Indonesian Government and military leaders, and have demonstrated time and again their moderate and reasonable approach.

At the end of this historic Conference, as we prepare to begin the process of national reconstruction, we the participants of the Strategic Planning for Development in East Timor call on:

-The United Nations Secretary-General Mr Kofi Annan to intensify his efforts to resume dialogue between Indonesia and Portugal, particularly with the aim of immediately disarming the paramilitary forces in East Timor and achieving a drastic reduction in Indonesian troops;

- The United Nations Security Council to discuss East Timor, with the aim of devising realistic options for action to secure peace in East Timor;

- The United Nations to implement an immediate inquiry into the massacres on 4 and 6 April respectively, and to hold those responsible accountable under law;

- The United Nations to deploy a mission to East Timor immediately to ensure peaceful progress towards the act of self-determination;

- Governments of the world to demand that the Indonesian military cease its programme of violence in EastTimor;

- The international community to support the nation building process initiated by the National Council of Timorese Resistance at this Conference.

We therefore call for immediate international action to stop the Indonesian army-sponsored violence in East Timor, to protect the people of East Timor and to preserve the process of dialogue for transition towards a solution in East Timor. We the participants of the Conference on Strategic Development Planning for East Timor, in spite of this difficult times endured by our people, declare our total commitment to continue to work on the big task towards accomplishing the national reconstruction of our homeland.

9 April, 1999

------------ Kieran Dwyer East Timor Relief Association PO Box 1102 - Parramatta NSW 2124, Australia email :

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