|Subject: Unofficial translation of Xanana's
22 June 2006 Speech
[received via APSOC]
PRESIDENT OF REPUBLIC’S MESSAGE TO FRETILIN 22 June 2006
Dear suffering people Leaders and Members of Fretilin
I seek permission from all of you to speak a little bit about Fretilin because I know Fretilin, through some, or all of the Delegates who participated in the recent Congress, who only knew how to raise their hands because they fear losing their jobs, their means of feeding the wives and children, and because they received money under the table (I know of a person who received US$ 100,000 to buy-off the other Delegates, but I do not know whether this person distributed the money properly or only gave out $500 to the delegates and kept the rest of the money in his/her own pocket). However, it does not matter, how rich she/he will become as a result, is a private matter; therefore it is not the problem of the People because the money belongs to the Party.
I was a Member of Fretilin’s Central Committee until I resigned in 1986.
For the crises and violence which erupted right after the Congress of Fretilin - - because as the President of the Republic, I must guard the life of the democratic institutions - - I have to issue a strong criticism on the Congress which took place from 17 until 19 of May recently. This particular congress violated paragraph c), article 18, Law No. 3/2004 on Political Parties, which states: “Holders (those who hold or receive a position) of leading organs can only be elected by means of a direct and secret vote by all party members or by an assembly representing them.” Article 46 of the RDTL Constitution, in section 3 states that: “the establishment and the organization of Political Parties shall be regulated by law.” The law referred to, is the Law No. 3/2004.
Any law issued in our Country should not violate the National Constitution. All the organizations regulated by law should not violate that same law. This is the basic principle of Law, and the Government has many experts and experts who, having made the laws, are the same ones who violate the same law for the sake of their own interests.
Because they are the ones who know much better than anyone else in the world, and other people are merely “supermi” (underdogs), the recent Congress of Fretilin managed to violate the law which they themselves had created by having the majority [of their members] in the Parliament and all the experts in the Government who wrote the law. They managed to eliminate the ‘secret vote’ [mode] and replace it with “vote of show of hands”, and made all the people laugh and at the same time became sad with the comedy which this big and historic Party had performed and left behind as a history for our future. (Because it will be also be kept in history that I too have baptized the GMT (Gedung Matahari Terbit = The Sun Rise Building) to GAT (Gedung Angkat Tangan = The Building of Raising Hands), to ensure that there will no more be a Party in our country that will fool the people around, by violating the very laws which they themselves, the politicians, had drafted and approved).
We all know that Fretilin is an historical party. On 20 May 1974, ASDT (Timorese Social Democratic Association) was founded. With the influence of fellow Timorese university students who were studying in Portugal at that time, including Abílio Araújo, on 11 September of the same year, ASDT/FRETILIN was created, and later became known simply as Fretilin.
The young university students injected into ASDT/Fretilin, revolutionary orientations which they had learned during the fascist colonialist regime under Salazar and Marcelo Caetano.
All of us can see that FRETILIN is a Revolutionary Front. During a meeting of the Central Committee of Fretilin in Laline in May 1977, the Marxist-Leninist ideology was adopted. I myself participated as a member of the Central Committee. Some friends who participated as members of the Central Committee are still alive today, namely Abel Ximenes Lari Sina, Filomeno Paixão, Feliciano de Fátima and Má Huno.
However, I can say to you that in 1975 Timor-Leste was very backward. It is only lately that technology in the world developed considerably and had made our world become smaller. I fully believe with all my heart that had Nicolau Lobato, Sahe, Carvarino, Hamis Basarewan, César Mau Laka, Hélio Pina and Inácio Fonseca and many others been alive until 2006, in this era of post-cold war, in this era of globalization and technology, they would all see that for the Timor-Leste which they love so much and for which they have given their lives, the old ideology would no longer be suitable. Today, a small group, which came from abroad, would like to repeat the actions which we have already experienced from 1975 until 1978.
As we all say in August 1975, UDT launched a coup in order to chase away the communist followers from our country, and that sparked the civil war among the Timorese. In 2006, Fretilin wanted to launch a coup to kill democracy which they themselves placed in the Constitution. The distribution of weapons is not only carried out for this current situation we are going through, but it has been in their plans [all along] to do so in order to face the 2007 elections. That is why we have always heard them say, that Fretilin is the only one that can create stability or instability.
When the support bases were dismantled in 1975, our fellow comrades in the eastern part of Timor-Leste and I myself, your humble servant, tried to organize ourselves and find other fellows in the other sectors in the areas of Bazartete/Liquica, Same and Ainaro. If you do not believe this, please ask the fellow Veterans who are [now] in F-FDTL, since you might think that I am only inventing [this story] to show off, because some people I know, who have just joined Fretilin Party look down on us with one eye only, as if they were the only ones who participated in the war.
Dear friends, All members of Fretilin
In March 1981, a conference was held in Laline in order to reorganize the Resistance [movement], and as we used to say, we transitioned to the phase of guerilla warfare. Just as in the recent crises we are currently going through, the Council of State stated that we should look carefully into, and prioritize the problems, because we do not have the capacity to resolve all of the problems all at once; therefore, in 1981 too, our priority was to reorganize [ourselves] first.
So, in 1981 we still held on to the ‘ideological orientation” which were passed on to us by the experts and the leaders. In 1983, during the period of cease fire with the TNIs, from March until August, we started to talk about democracy. So, in 1984, in order to correct the failures of EMG-Falintil, in the Central Region emerged the ‘CC Hudi Laran’ (Banana Field) [group] which refused to accept the political changes, which, in our view, better fitted our Resistance movement. As far as this [story] is concerned, [I wish to state that] many [of our contemporary] fellows are still alive [today] and can tell the story much better, with more ‘flowery and elaborated details,’ for they may think that I simply wanted to show myself off as if I am the only one who writes about our history.
I then started to send letters abroad, addressed to the DFSE (Fretilin Delegation for Overseas Service)you can ask Mr. Abílio Araújo, who was elected by us in March 1981 as the President of FRETILIN and, according to the Statute of the Party, also became the President of RDTL.
I also informed those who were abroad, that inside the Country, the National Unity had been established, from Tutuala to the [Indonesian] Border from Oecusse up to Jaco [island]; the Church had also joined the resistance [movement], and those from other political parties had also begun to join in the resistance [movement]. Therefore, I wrote to all our friends who were overseas [and requested them] to sit together with UDT, so that they might embrace each other again.
[However, sadly,] out there in the world, in places such Portugal, Mozambique and also Australia, perhaps the “intel” (Indonesian intelligent agents) had been spying on the Timorese people so they were prevented from moving around freely [to meet each other], or perhaps the “mau-hu” (Timorese intelligent agents working for Indonesia) were following their shadows everywhere, so it took them a long time before they could meet with each other and [finally] created the ‘National Convergence”, which would still face many problems you can ask the members of Fretilin who were overseas, Mr. João Carrascalão and Mr. Vicente Guterres. I mentioned their names here so that you may feel free to ask them if you think I am lying.
What is more, the stories reached our fellow Timorese overseas that Gadapaksi (Youth Front for Upholding Pancasila: Indonesian ideology) inside our country had hit our youths black and blue. As a result, in Mozambique, Rogério tried to “gain [the same] experience” by making the [fellow Timorese] stab each other, and Ramos-Horta ended up becoming their prisoner. President Chissano, who at the time was the Foreign Minister [of Mozambique] was the one who released Ramos-Horta. If you think I am lying, please ask them because they were the ones who lived in [peace and] tranquility of Mozambique, studying to become doctors in the last twenty four years.
After the Nationalist Convergence was established in Lisbon, in the jungle, I was very pleased because this meant another major step forward. In December 1986, I created the CNRM, and I abandoned Fretilin because as the Commander of the Asswain Falintil [Falintil Fighters], I [had the responsibility to] remove FALINTIL from a [single] Party’s influence.
In this manner, FALINTIL then became the Liberation Army for all People, for all parties, for everyone, from loromonu (Western part of Timor-Leste) as well as lorosae (eastern part of Timor-Leste), from tasi feto (north sea) as well as tasi mane (south sea), uniting from [Mount] Ramelau up to [Mount] Matebian.
I informed the Timorese [community] who were overseas that as the Commander of FALINTIL, I was the one who was leading the war. I also stated that I continued to respect FRETILIN, and that the members of the Central Committee who were with me the jungle [had also] joined the CNRM.
Lu Olo had said that during the last 24 years he had always carried the flag of Fretilin in his bag; perhaps it was indeed true, but I never saw it. When I traveled as a member of FRETILIN’s Central Committee to the central part of Timor-Leste to reorganize the Resistance [movement], I remembered that he, Lu-Olo, was hiding in Builó. Perhaps, he was sewing the bag in which he would keep the flag of FRETILIN.
Lu-Olo also said that those who abandon FRETILIN are traitors, and they have no history. These words are empty and stupid because then I would have to be the first traitor and the biggest one too, towards the People of this land, and this Country. I had left FRETILIN in order to liberate our Country and our People. It was because I did not kill FRETILIN and continue to respect FRETILIN that Lu Olo could become the President, and became smart by raising the first card at the National Parliament, so that the majority would follow and vote against or in favour of [something]. Had I been conscious of myself as a traitor in the history, I would have gone back to join Fretilin, and perhaps Lu Olo might not have become the President of Fretilin.
Dear friends Members of Fretilin
As I have mentioned above, there were strong protests from overseas saying that I had killed Fretilin. Abílio Araújo wrote to all members of FRETILIN and asked that we reorganize ourselves. We met. Mau Huno, Mau Hodu, Konis Santana as the members of the Central Committee of FRETILIN and I decided to remove Abílio Araújo [as the leader], because during the war we could not [afford to] receive orders from outside. Those who were overseas should receive orientations from those of us inside the country.
Even in the jungle we used to receive newspapers from Portugal with various information, and listened to the radio, so that we knew that those overseas within FRETILIN itself did not get along with each other, and were not united. Ask José Luis Guterres, Ramos Horta and Abílio Araújo whether the things I am saying are true or not.
We noticed that instead of focusing their attention on the suffering of the People [in the country], they fought each other for the position of the President of FRETILIN, and then tried to lead the war from overseas. In the jungle, no one tried to occupy a seat, [we] only wanted to serve by continuing the struggle; and the three of them told me that none of them wanted to become the President of FRETILIN.
So, we decided to create the CDF ( Directive Commission of FRETILIN) in order to avoid the intellectual ones overseas fight against each other and try to become the President of FRETILIN. If you do not believe this, ask Lu Olo where he was at that time. If he was at that Meeting, then he would be able to say whether I am telling a lie [or not], [and] whether I am making up the story because it is not true.
Please also ask Lu Olo why, in the end, he was the only one left to lead the Directive Commission of FRETILIN in the jungle. Was it not because Mau Hunu and Mau-Hudo had been captured and Konis Santana had died? In this world, some people are quick to forget other people’s bones and blood shed for “ Independence” and even worse, spit saliva on their tombs.
In the jungle, we also read about the accusations by Amnesty International and Human Rights Organizations, that FRETILIN also committed crimes. I sent a message abroad, recognizing that FRETILIN did kill people because of ideological problems (differences), and regretted it. Abroad, everyone became very angry with me. Abílio Araújo immediately issued a declaration to deny, and said that what I had said were lies.
From then on, I closed the door to them, because it was through the reports and information I had sent to them that they were able to speak to the world. Only in 1989 did I send information and reports to CDPM (Commission for the Rights of the Maubere People) which were led by Portuguese friends.
All friends Members of Fretilin
In 1989, while I was in Ainaro, I received a letter from Rogério Lobato accusing all those overseas of doing nothing, and also stated that once the war was over, everyone should be subjected to a public tribunal. It was Rogério who informed me, through that same letter, that Marí Alkatiri was busy caring for his rabbits and chickens in Maputo.
In 1990 I received a letter from Ramos-Horta who offered himself to become my special representative and CNRM Representative overseas. I was hiding in Becora when I wrote back to him saying that I agreed to his proposal, with the condition that he must follow the principles and political orientations of CNRM, and that he must follow my words. He then replied to me saying that he had also ‘abandoned FRETILIN’ in order to serve the struggle. If you, friends, do not believe this, please ask Ramos-Horta.
In 1991, in November, on the Santa Cruz Incident, some friends tend to account more towards Fretilin. I respect your sufferings but please do not throw other people’s thoughts and actions into the mud. By doing so, it shows that we do not have political honesty. We should not say that only FRETILIN’s flag [was there], because I personally was the one who gave the instructions, to bring also UDT’s flag and the Portuguese flag, because according to the UN resolution, Portugal was still the ‘administering power’ [of Timor-Leste].
The [aim of the] demonstration was to demand for a ‘peaceful solution’ under the auspices of the United Nations, with the participation of Portugal and other Political Parties. I truly ask, let it not be said that it was the initiative of FRETILIN because it was not so, because there existed one Commander of Struggle from the CNRM.
In late 1998, I gave authorization to Manuel Tilman, Father Francisco Fernandez, Father Domingos Maubere and Father Filomeno Jacob to go to Portugal to help Ramos-Horta and FRETILIN as well as UDT to organize a Conference aimed at changing CNRM to CNRT, so that it would embrace all Timorese. This was due to the fact that UDT did not accept the term “Maubere”, and wanted the “T” to represent Timorese. If you do not believe this, please ask Mr. João Carrascalão and others who used to be overseas.
Dear friends Members of Fretilin
In 1998 if I am not mistaken, during the era of Reformation in Indonesia, I myself asked Mau Hudu to go to Sydney and I wrote a message to Fretilin requesting it to organize itself as a Party by indicating also the orientation of its political ideology.
It was under the umbrella of CNRM and CNRT that our People won in August 1999. This was the history, the history of resistance, the history of suffering, and the history of blood. Nowadays, we hear that it was only Fretilin that carried out the struggle. This does not matter, if [you say that] you (Fretilins) are the only ones who had fought in the war, we accept, but please do not throw sands to the eyes of the People because it was the entire People who voted [for independence] and not just the Fretilin.
In May 2000, Fretilin invited me to speak at their Conference in GMT now baptized GAT building. I asked three things from Fretilin:
- one, to review the case of Xavier do Amaral because he was not a traitor of our country. He simply did not accept the ideology issued by the Central Committee of Fretilin in Laline in May 1977.
- two, for all the people who were killed by FRETILIN because they were considered as traitors, but were not traitors, and simply did not accept the Marxist-Leninist ideology, their names should be restored so that their families can live in tranquility.
- three, Fretilin should apologize to the People, particularly the families of the victims.
At that conference I stated as follows: “As a member of the Central Committee of FRETILIN from the start of war until the middle of it, for all the good things that Fretilin did, I was part of it, and I would also accept responsibility for the bad things that may have been committed by FRETILIN. Not because I had left Fretilin that I wanted to wash my hands. I also request that as long as FRETILIN issues a political decision on this matter, I myself would go to the people and ask for forgiveness and explain why [things happened the way it did], and request the families to understand the wrongdoings committed.
A few days later, during Fretilin’s party at the Stadium on 20 May 2000, they invited me to go there, and after Lu Olo delivered his speech, I asked him and Marí about the requests I had made during the Conference. They replied saying that they had established a Commission to look into the matter.
In August 2000, during the Congress of CNRT, FRETILIN retreated itself and withdrew from CNRT. We maintained our calm, and continued to work in accordance with the political process handled by UNTAET until June 2001, when CNRT was dissolved because its mission had ended.
In January 2001, Ramos-Horta informed me that it would be best for me to talk to Marí. I responded by saying that it was FRETILIN that opened CNRT’s door to get out, and no one has ever shut the door, and if they wanted to come in, they can do so. Mari went to talk to me in CNRT/Balide.
He said they left CNRT because they were angry with me. They were angry because I had allowed some people to speak during the Congress and that had undermined Fretilin’s image. Those people were the families of victims of Fretilin’s political violence in the jungle.
I answered him with a bit of anger: “You have forgotten your Conference in May during which I asked you for three things. Clear the victims’ names and apologize to the people, not to undermine FRETILIN but to improve or clean Fretilin’s image.”
I also told him,” You do not have any reason at all to be afraid, because you could say to the people as follow: I, Marí, have nothing to do with the wrong doings committed in our country. I, Marí, was in Maputo, and have been suffering for the last twenty four years, but I washed my hands everyday with soap so, I, Marí have clean hands. If you want to ask, go and ask Xanana, he is the one with dirty hands, and blood in his hands.”
I repeated to him, saying ” Even if you speak like this, I would accept it, and I would apologize to the People whenever Fretilin has made a political decision on this matter.”
The name “Lapangan Pramuka” (The Scout’s Field) was changed to “Democracy Field” because all Political parties signed an agreement that they would establish a Government of National Unity. After Fretilin won, they (Fretilin) refrained themselves from this “political compromise” which they had earlier accepted. If they did not want to accept it, they should not have gone there and signed the agreement in the first place, rather than going there to sign it and then, in the end, turn their backs to the words they have professed. It is exactly like the Constitution and the Laws which they had made. After creating them, they turned their backs, and did not comply.
Dear People whom I respect Members of Fretilin
Everyone knows and accepts that Fretilin had won [the election] in August 2001. If we speak the truth, with all due respect to the opposition parties, it was mainly Fretilin members who drafted the Constitution of RDTL to define the State of Democratic Rule of Law.
Now, in a State of Democratic Rule of Law, in accordance with the Constitution, the Armed and Police Forces should be non-partisan, and should not defend any party.
However, what do we see here, the Police Force, placed under the Government, and due to the officers’ need to keep their job and continue feeding their wives and children, lacked courage to say “No” to the orders which comes from the Minister of Interior, and sometimes from the Prime Minister himself.
Recently, on 2 June, before the meeting of the Superior Council of Defense and Security, Brigadier Taur came to talk to me and said: President, I told Dr. Roque Rodrigues, ‘Your (Fretilin’s) biggest mistake was trying to bring F-FDTL under the power of Fretilin.’ At that moment, I was very happy, because I had finally met again my Younger Brother whom I had earlier lost.
Information or Intelligence services had become the intelligence services of the party by monitoring the President’s speech when he was in Lospalos, and immediately sent ‘sms’ to the Prime Minister; monitoring the activities of the opposition political parties and report by sending ‘sms” to the Prime Minister. The intelligence services also sent ‘sms’ to Prime Minister when they found that some youths in Farol were looking at some things. Nowdays, because of the lack of employment, everyone tries hard to make ends meet. We try to get close those who have money. Every one can see that this happens in our country.
Recently, during a meeting in Baucau, some people said, ’Xanana is the same. In times of war, he divided us, and even now when the war is over he continues to do so.’
I know the significance of the word ‘divide’. As far as the politicians and the highly educated ones are concerned, everyone must join Fretilin, whether they are the Police, F-FDTL, public employees, business people, sucos, hamlets, buffaloes, ants, trees, grasses, and everything should join Fretilin. Timor-Leste is Fretilin, and Fretilin is Timor-Leste. There should not be anything other than Fretilin, or a people other than Fretilin’s. This explains the saying that “Xanana divides Timor-Leste”, and therefore “Xanana is the one who should step down”. They speak as if I wish to be in power for 50 more years.
Some people whom I met in Dili in 1991 congratulated me because I had launched a correct political strategy by establishing CNRM in 1986. Today, after securing positions in the Government and while waiting to become Ministers in the future, they say that it is me who divide the People.
Beloved, suffering people
That is why, after the Congress of Fretilin last May, many, or some of the delegates received weapons. I heard that some District and Sub-district Administrators also received weapons. Therefore we saw on the television, heard from the radio and read from the newspapers, that the politicians, the intellectuals who are in power like to repeat, “ If Marí steps down, there will be bloodshed”, “If Marí steps down, Timor-Leste will be destroyed,” “When Marí steps down, there will be war!”
The Commander is possibly Rogério. Members of the Central Committee probably become the Political Advisers for the “Bloodshed” ideology, and the ideology of “Destroyed Timor”! The Vice President of the Parliament also likes to mention about war, now. Or, perhaps, now that he has lots of money, he also talks about war.
History is ticking, and continues to move forward, and the actions of each one of us are writing our history. The whole world knows about Euríco Guterres as the assassin and many other names, and he was put in jail and we call him names because here in Timor-Leste we are all saints, we are all heroes of the Liberation and we are all political leaders. But, it is very interesting!!! While Eurico Guterres sent an ‘sms’ on 26 May, requesting the leaders not to let the people suffer as they are now, our leaders are happily talking about “there will be bloodshed,” “Timor-Leste will be destroyed” and “ We will go to war”.
History is ticking, moving quietly, and continues to move forward by noting our behaviors, be it good or bad, clean or dirty. No one can make up a history. We are the ones who are creating our history which is sad, puts shame in our faces and makes people suffer.
They seem to continue counting on the F-FDTL. It was due to their [wrong] doings that F-FDTL’s image has been tarnished. And I believe that today, F-FDTL is still waiting to talk to me. F-FDTL was indeed wrong because it had listened to the bad people, to those who do not love the people but wanted to buy off the souls of the People. In the past, during the war, we used to say: bullets may not kill us [completely] but rice and noodles could. That means, bullets could only kill the body, but rupiah, rice and noodle could kill [both body and] soul, at the same time.
I will wear again [military] uniform in order to restore the image of F-FDTL. I will walk again with the Falintil who were the Freedom Fighters of the Timorese people, who are now crying because they regret not listening to their Brother but instead, listened to those who are blood thirsty. In 2000, I abandoned FALINTIL because I knew that they had fulfilled their sacred mission to liberate the Homeland, I knew that they had grown up, and that I could let them walk by themselves. Just like the CNRT which was dissolved in 2001 in order to allow every one to find his/her space in the new process of self-governance.
However, [now] I am ready to walk again with them and apologize to the people. Later on, all members of F-FDTL, starting from the Brigadier-General to the newly recruited soldiers will swear to the People that as militaries they will respect the Constitution and the Laws [of the country], they will not bow down to any Party, guarantee freedom, provide security to the population and respect constitutional orders.
The PNTL which the blood-thirsty people had sought to divide and incite, will also swear to the People, that they will bow down to the Constitution, defend democratic legality, provide internal security for all people and will not join any party.
On 11 May, 2006 Marí told me that he suspected Rogério was behind the 28 April incident since he did not obey the order to immediately dispatch the Rapid Intervention Unit (RIU) to stop the demonstrators.
Two weeks later, Rogério also came to Caicoli and talked to me. I told him: “Rogério, speaking of Nicolau Lobato, I can say to you that I was with him in some of the most difficult moments in the war. People are accusing you of distributing weapons. Please trust me. Think carefully because during the war I did not lose any members of my family, but you, you have lost your entire family. Nicolau and your younger brothers and sisters are watching us, and they are crying because of the many things which are happening [now]. I know that they do not want this.”
The history of the blood-thirsty people will be a big and long one. Because everywhere, small commanders emerge, spreading throughout Timor-Leste to fire guns and threaten people. Perhaps some people from Central Committee’s Department of Information kept sending ‘sms’ to the delegates and district administrators. But being in a hurry, the buttons of the hand-phones were wrongly pushed, and the ‘sms’ went to everyone. The ‘sms’ requested for 10,000 people from this district and 5,000 people from the other, to support Comrade Lu-Olo and Comrade Marí.”
Nowadays, whoever wants to become a public servant or a Minister, should be prepared to kill their own souls because we never know, dollar may rip off any principles they may have.
We see clearly that these people are playing with the People’s suffering, using the people to defend their positions, reputations and pockets.
CAVR’s Report demanded us to STOP POLITICAL VIOLENCE so that People will not suffer once again. It was only last January that I personally brought the Report and handed over to the United Nation’s Secretary-General. Less than six months later, guns were fired, smokes rose, and people were killed again in Dili.
A youth in Lospalos called me a traitor because I did not defend the International Tribunal. Today, he is not quiet, feeling very proud in Lospalos, believing that Fretilin has [enough] guns to wage a war. I went to Lospalos last year and talked to them and said that Fretilin should apologize to the people. They immediately sent an ‘sms’ to Marí. During a meeting, Marí showed the ‘sms’ to me, and he seemed happy because his party’s information network is well spread throughout Timor-Leste and keep him informed of the President’s speeches and the activities of the opposition parties.
I can say to that youth, that now, I do not want to become a traitor to People anymore. Why? [Because] when the Courts start to deal with the recent crimes, I will ask the Courts to consider making Becora, Baucau and Ermera prisons empty in order to welcome new visitors. Those who are now in the prisons have committed small crimes compared to the ones committed recently. Crimes against the democratic rule of law, crimes against a people who have suffered in the war, during 24 years. Becora, Baucau and Ermera prisons will receive various visitors; a large number of corrupt individuals will go there, and they should go there.
The International Commission of Investigation will come to help us all look into the political violence that emerged in our country. All the things that CAVR had done and revealed by listening to the people’s cry, their requests and demands to the politicians not to make people suffer anymore and so avoid political violence, the Fretilin leadership does not want to heed and does not want to care.
Fretilin’s leadership shows that the complaint [of the people] is not their problem, the crying of the people is not their problem, the suffering of the people is also not their problem, and even the death of the people is not their problem. To them, their [single] big problem is how to remain in power. The leadership of Fretilin only knows how to accuse other people because of their arrogance; they do not want to accept that they [too] made mistakes. For them, there were no mistakes, and all the things that they have done already have one objective, which is to remain in power.
[Of course] they only think of war, in order to remain in power because being in power provides them with everything: money, good houses in other countries, businesses which can bring in money for them and for the party, but for the party is only for the small group who are in power. People are suffering in Dili, and they have not visited them, not even speaking to them. They are only preoccupied about how to mobilize people from the districts to show that all members of Fretilin bow down to them, and kiss their feet and hands. The people who are mobilized to support them, will get in the cars free of charge to come to Dili and shout a bit of “viva this” and “viva that,” and then they will eat and return home, where they will continue to farm their land, and do not even have the money to send their children to school. At home they continue to be hungry.
In my new-year message of 2005, I appealed to all youths and people, not to believe the politicians who talk about ‘violence’ and force them to resort to violence. We did not want to listen to each other, and we all believed that the cleverest ones in the whole world are those who, by their own actions, can give money to people and thereby tarnishing the image of Fretilin and its history.
I know that Nicolau Lobato is sad. Nicolau Lobato would not ask that his name be placed in every corner. He did not need it. There was only one thing which he requested: Respect for his struggle to liberate this Country and this People; at least, respect his blood!
Sacred spirits and departed souls, wake up and look at this People! The bones that were scattered around the land, stand up; the blood which were shed all over the land, be united again and see those who want to destroy this people and who want to continue to subject this people to suffering and let the people die. Show yourselves up, show [us] your strength! I, your son, am here, demanding you to look after this People, to liberate them from the power of those who are blood-thirsty.
Suffering People Members of Fretilin
In politics, when we make a mistake, even if a small one, and do not recognize it as a mistake, then we will make more mistakes and commit even bigger ones. Because we did not recognize Fretilin’s killing of many of its own members from 1975 until 1978 as well as others who did no accept their ideology as a mistake, today, for the leadership of Fretilin, killing is not a problem. Killing for them simply means the death of only one or two, or ten, or hundreds or thousands of people. What is important for them is to ensure that the Party be strong as they should continue to remain in power.
Such a party is a party that does not desire democracy, and want to impose its own wills on everyone.
I respect Fretilin because it was Fretilin that taught me to love the Country and serve the People. All the People respect Fretilin [party] because Fretilin was in the history of Timor-Leste. However, the People should abhor those [in the party] who want to kill this Party by subjecting the People to suffering.
Such people do not deserve to be in Fretilin. I believe that other parties will not accept them either, because these people want to suck the people’s blood and see people’s suffering, so that they can continue to be in power and continue to prosper. Should any party accept [any of] them, the people should be weary of that party because the party may become thirsty later on, and may ask to drink the people’s blood.
Rogério was dismissed as a Minister, but Marí elected him to be the Vice-President of Fretilin. Making all of us feel ashamed of this dirty politics. Rogério went to the Police station, asking for fuel for the car which he still had. The person who was in charge of PNTL’s Logistics Department said: Your Excellency is no longer the Minister of Interior, so you should not get fuel from PNTL any more. Rogério responded by swearing, “Stupid monkey, I am now greater than a Minister, don’t you know it?!”
On 28 Novemeber, 2002, I demanded the resignation of Rogério because according to various information from everywhere, instead of doing his work, he organized the people to cut trees so he will sell, plant cassava so he will sell, produce liquior so he will sell and catch fish so he will sell. I spoke to Marí as the Prime Minister and Minister Horta about Rogério, in my residence before 28 November 2002. Later, I was blamed because I had asked that he be dismissed, and when 4 December incident took place, I was accused of being behind it.
Everyone knows about the holes that were dug out in Tibar and other places because Rogério tried to find the gold which he heard was buried by the Japanese. We should not be surprised by Rogerio’s actions. While we were still struggling with war and the suffering of our people in our own land, Rogério as the Minister of Defense lived in Angola and took advantage of the situation to traffic diamonds, until he was arrested and put in prison.
And Fretilin, perhaps because he bears the name Lobato, or perhaps because some people also have dirty hands, then elected Rogério to be the Vice-President of Fretilin. During the swearing-in ceremony for the Minister of Interior, I shook hands with him and said,”Rogério, do not think that I will respect you because you bear the name Lobato. Nicolau was also a Lobato but he was Nicolau and your name is Rogério. I will respect you only if your behavior shows that I should respect you, but not because you are a Lobato. Some investors came and tried to meet me and said, “President, your system is very different here. There are two ways to go about investing in your country: first, we should contact the Investment Agency which is headed by Minister Rogério, and secondly, we must directly contact the authorities.
Some Timorese business men and women sadly said to me,” President, I have already obtained the licence for my company but I am under pressure to pay some money to Fretilin. I asked them, ‘Do you want me to reveal it?’. “Big Brother, we have waited for years, and we have spent a lot of money, please let us recuperate our money first.”
Fellow members of Fretilin Dear Suffering People
This is why as the President of the Republic, I do not accept the results of the Congress that was held from 17 until 19 May, and I urge the National Political Commission of Fretilin to immediately hold an extraordinary Congress to elect the New Directives of the Party, in accordance with Law no. 3/2004 on political parties. I said, based on that Law, they must change the vote by “raising hands” from the Statute of Fretilin, so that, the new Directive of the Party will be elected through direct and secret votes. I give the duration of one week to carry out the Extraordinary Congress because the current Directives of Fretilin is not a legitimate one.
According to the Law on Political Parties, the President of Fretilin, Lu-Olo, Vice-President of Fretilin, Rogério Lobato and Secretary-General of Fretilin, Dr. Mari Alkatiri are all illegitimate.
No one can say that Fretilin does not have money because it has a lot of money. Even the unspent money from the Congress was used by Rogério to purchase the two cars given to Rai Los’ group.
Once we have the new Directive, I can discuss about what the current crises is demanding from the State to decide. Because it is not Fretilin that has committed a wrongdoing but those who are hungry for money and big ambition to climb on People’s back.
What is a democratic State ruled by law? Article 1 of our Constitution says, “the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste is a Democratic State…. And respects the dignity of every living person”. Today, we speak of “war”, and “bloodshed” because we have forgotten about political tolerance. The leaders show that they do not respect the dignity of every person by consenting to violence and destruction which causes the loss of lives and properties.
Article 6 of the Constitution says, the fundamental (basic) objectives of the State shall be: section b) to guarantee and promote fundamental rights and freedoms of the citizens and the respect for the principles of the democratic State; section c) to defend and guarantee political democracy. In the midst of this crisis, we only hear various threats. The leaders themselves contribute to the violation of these [basic] objectives of the State.
Article 29 of the Constitution says: No. 1Human life is inviolable, No 2: The State shall recognize and guarantee the right to life.
But what have we seen? Allowing people to shoot each other, death of the people, and suffering of the people. The leaders help violating the obligations of the State, and they do not fulfill their obligations to guarantee each citizen their right to life.
Together, all of these concepts provide the meaning for “State of Democracy ruled by the Law.”
The People [of Timor-Leste] are now facing an enormous problem: countless fire arms are in the hands of civilians, and gun fires are heard in many places. I also wish to make known that the Intervention Forces have confiscated many weapons which belong to neither the PNTL nor the F-FDTL.
The State should not have consented to this [reality], this suffering for the People. Some people say that “we are losing our sovereignty.” It is not because the International Forces had come to our country that we are going to lose our sovereignty, because we were the ones who asked for them, and in particular, we were the ones who showed that we do not have the capacity to resolve the problems that emerged, and thereby creating even bigger problems. The meaning of State of Democracy Ruled by Law does not mean simply that the organs of the State sit together, laughing with each other, appearing on TV, and declaring on the newspapers that we are together.
National Unity does not mean that we stick to each other and show our teeth to the People. In order for the National Unity to be strong, it should be strong in our minds and actions; it should become strong by listening to the voice of people, the sufferings of the people. We, the leaders always forget that: even when the people are suffering, we continue to be fine, we have state-owned vehicles and houses; even if the people are suffering, we continue to receive our salaries; even if the people are hungry, we [could still] invite each other to eat good food and even drink wine; and while the people are afraid of shootings, we go around with tight security.
That is why we are not accustomed to hear the people’s cry because we are far from them. While the People are suffering, some even dare to mention “War!”, and instead of becoming ashamed, we leaders show that the people’s suffering does not really touch our skins.
The Sate should not consent to this [reality]. And the State should not consent to the existence of illegal weapons inside the country either. I believe Fretilin also should not consent to all of these things. If Fretilin consented to this, then it means Fretilin wants to write a new history in this Beloved country of ours.
Who is really responsible for this? Justice will indicate who is responsible for it! And all of these are extremely grave! And today, these are the issues about which the people are very much concerned! Fretilin itself should be concerned about it.
Therefore, I launch an APPEAL to everyone who still has guns in their hands, to hand them over to the International forces and inform them about who distributed them. You are not at fault, but those who fooled you to fall into the hole. If you do not hand over the guns and they are found by the International Forces, it would mean that you want to keep the guns to kill people. It is better for everyone who has received guns to immediately surrender them to the International Forces. Do not forget, you should tell [the International Forces] who gave the guns to you and for what purpose.
The inquiry [process] to find out about the distribution of weapons to the civilians, the attempt to know where these illegal weapons were obtained from, to whom they were brought in, who asked for them, who received them and who in the Border [Patrol] Unit had let them in, has already begun. All of your names will be mentioned.
Fretilin leaders recently are accustomed to shout: Maximum Vigilance! Now, it is my turn to ask the People to maintain high vigilance in the Districts and Sub-districts, on those who have weapons and distribute to the [Fretilin] delegates or to other people. If you happen to see that some people have weapons but hid them, please inform the International Forces to confiscate if they do not want to hand them over. If they hand them over now, they can immediately go home. If they are stubborn and hiding or burying them, they will be held accountable in the Court for the mission for which they have received the weapons for hiding the weapon, and for what purpose (they hide the weapon), to kill whom?
All friends Dearly beloved and suffering people
I firmly believe that we have all seen, and [so] should think first of the suffering of the people. As the President of the Republic, usually when I go overseas, I always say: Timor-Leste is indeed a success story but the success was only up to 20 May 2002. The process of independence inside our country will determine whether we are successful or not.
I believe that with this major crisis which does not guarantee the State of Democratic rule of Law to live in, we shall pass through this murky river in order to build new things in our country to foster human rights, democracy, love and peace.
Members of Fretilin Beloved Suffering People
I asked Prime Minister whether he was aware of the distribution of weapons to some Fretilin delegates; he said that he did not know. But, later on, after knowing about it, he repeatedly ordered Rogério to disarm the people. And Rogério sent an ‘sms’ to Rai-Los’ group to stop the people who were on their way to demonstrate against the Government by burning the cars, and also send ‘sms’ to conduct “commando operations’ at night and hide themselves during the day.
In the meetings which I held with him, the Prime Minister spoke about the armed groups and said that they should be disarmed, and never said to me that at least he knew that Rai Los’ group was aremed by Rogério.
The Prime Minister informed me that after the shoot-outs in Tasi Tolu on 24 May, 2006, during which the F-FDTLs confiscated four fire arms belonging to the police, Rogerio told him that the fire arms as well as the people who were killed there, belonged to Rai Los’s group which Rogerio himself asked to be on that location.
Prime Minister should have informed Brigadier Taur Matan Ruak [to explain] that the police firearms were actually not distributed by the Commander of the Police but that it was Rogério who distributed it. In my opinion, had the Prime Minister informed Brigadier Taur about it, the Brigadier would not have armed the civilians and asked them to come to Dili to join the F-FDTL and go after the police to kill them.
I asked him, the Prime Minister, if he knew about the illegal weapons which were brought into our country, and he said that he did not know about it.
It is not because of him that all these problems existed. What they said is always accusing others. Before leaving for Portugal, I requested him to solve the petitioners’ problem internally within the Headquarters, in order to avoid the issue of ‘lorosae loromonu” being exploded outside and destroyed the stability and National Unity. He said it was true that it was a political problem, and he promised that he would do everything to resolve it. When I arrived in Portugal, through internet it was reported that the Prime Minister said he ‘could not resolve [the problem] because the petitions were not addressed to him’ so [he] supported the decision to dismiss the petitioners.
However, when the demonstrations by the petitioners started, Antoninho Bianco read a communiqué that stated: ‘now the Prime Minister would be able to resolve the problem because for the first time he has officially received the petitions’.
All the problems that we now have were created by others, and desired by others who wanted to destroy his image by undermining Fretilin in 2007 elections.
[Now] since the leaders in the sovereign organs of the State feel and show that the existing problems are not their responsibility, I would like to declare to all People and to Fretilin that:
1. Everyone is afraid, if Marí steps down, there will be war and blood shed again; 2. Many people are worried, if Marí steps down, the Government will not function, and people will not receive money, and many other benefits. And also, if Marí steps down, the majority party bench members will resign and the Parliament will not function; 3. Some told me that we must show to the international community that there is an institutional or constitutional normalcy, because otherwise we would bear a great shame if these institutions do not function.
I was elected by the people; and because I was elected by the people, I am accountable to them. Before seeking to satisfy the international community, I should bow to the suffering of the people who elected me. The People have been asking me as the President of the Republic, where my responsibility is, in terms of guaranteeing “National Unity” which had been broken, ‘guaranteeing stability’ which had been destroyed, and ‘ guaranteeing the normal functioning of democratic institutions’ which had been paralyzed.
As the President of the Republic who was elected by the People not by the raising of hands but through direct and secret vote, I am very ashamed because I do not properly hold my responsibility. Therefore, I am ready to assume this responsibility.
The President of the Republic is a sovereign organ. One single person, I myself am this Organ of Sovereignty.
According to the Constitution, when the President of the Republic resigns, the President of the Parliament Lu Olo will become the President of the Republic to promulgate the laws so that they can violate the laws even further. Everything can continue to function; the Government will continue to govern, and cover the many holes on the roads of Dili while the Parliament will continue to function by raising hands in order to feed the wives and the children. There is no problem in the Parliament [either] because Jacob Fernandes will not be thinking of war because he will become the President of the Parliament.
The most important thing is as follow: I, your humble servant, have never said that if I step down, the people would suffer, or that Timor-Leste would become flat. Therefore, [if/when I resign] stability will continue to be strong, and I believe with the continual unity of the organs of Sovereignty, Timor-Leste will [indeed] move forward.
Therefore, it is Fretilin’s choice. Not the Directives of Fretilin who are illegitimate because they violated the laws and the Constitution. Either ask your Comrade Marí Alkatiri to be responsible for this big crisis and for the survival of the Democratic State ruled by Law, or tomorrow I will submit my letter to the National Parliament to inform that I have resigned as the President of the Republic because I am ashamed of the wrong doings committed by the State against the People and I do not have the courage to face the People.
Lastly, I appeal to everyone to remain calm because in this troubled period we need to make deep reflection in order to prevent any violence and destruction from recurring in our country!