Subject: Age: US air strikes upset Gusmao

The Age

Tuesday 9 October 2001

US air strikes upset Gusmao


East Timor’s independence leader Jose “Xanana” Gusmao yesterday expressed sadness at the attacks on Afghanistan and called on world leaders to find new ways of resolving conflict.

Noting that his independence fighters were once called “terrorists”, Mr Gusmao said he believed the world was beginning the 21st century the wrong way.

“World leaders and all the people around the world must fight against all the economic imbalances and social problems rather than using violence to respond to violence,” said Mr Gusmao, who is here to launch the Melbourne Festival.

“That is something that makes the East Timorese very sad because we believe powerful nations could start the 21st century with new policies, a new understanding and new mechanisms in which all people can love each other ... I would like to see the US and other countries seek another approach using all means but not violence.”

Mr Gusmao, who led the guerrilla campaign against Indonesian occupation of East Timor, said he had learnt violence only produced more violence.

The man expected to become East Timor’s first president said that on a trip to Indonesia last week he saw evidence of anti-US sentiment but he doubted this represented majority opinion.


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