Subject: Xanana: “I don’t want to have a war of words .”

Xanana: “I don’t want to have a war of words.”

Jornal Diario Nacional, Dili, 11 January 2008

On Being The Author of the 2006 Crisis

Prime Minister (PM) Kay Rala Xanana Gusmao said that he did not want a war of words regarding the Alfredo Reinado CD currently being disseminated throughout the community, which accuses him of being the author of the 2006 crisis and has lead to FRETILIN demands, because these things have legal implications.

Xanana made these statements to journalists at the Presidential Palace in Caicoli, Dili on Thursday (10/1) after the weekly meeting with the President of the Republic, when he was questioned by journalists about the CD.

“I have read the statement and communiqué by FRETILIN regarding this CD, but I do not want to respond to this issue because there are legal implications and I do not want to engage in a war of words. Let whoever wants to scream about it scream,” said Xanana Gusmao.

The former head of state highlighted that he did not want to give any notice to the CD and the statements by FRETILIN, not because he was scared that he had engaged in any wrong doing but sees the issue as irrelevant.

“I am not giving any attention not because I am scared I have done anything wrong, but I am not paying any attention because I see it as very irrelevant. If someone falls over there but is not hurt, what would I be doing going over to embrace him?” pointed out Xanana.

The former resistance leader further declared that had already seen the CD that is currently being disseminated, as have other people, but he does not want to judge himself, but the people will decide.

“I can say to you (journalists) that I have received the CD, I have seen it, and perhaps all of you have also seen it already. I do not want to judge myself. You see for yourselves. Let it be; I will not speak about the CD because I have no knowledge of it, I have only heard about it because people have spoken to me saying let it be. Sometimes I pass by some place and people might scream out insults at me, but they do not have the CD,” said the Head of Government.

Responding to questions from journalists as to whether the government will continue with its commitment to hold dialog with Alfredo Reinado and the petitioners, Xanana Gusmao said that they would still be making contacts to resolve the issue through dialog to show the government’s commitment to solve the problem through dialog.

“We will continue with contacts to resolve the problem with dialog, as will the President of the Republic will continue also. I already said to you that I went to Aileu having heard before going there that people would not be going, but I went anyway to show the government’s commitment. On 21 December, I came to the Presidential Palace. Before coming here I also already knew that he would not be coming but I came just the same,” said Xanana Gusmao.


On the same occasion when asked about the declaration by the Movement for National Unity and Justice (MUNJ) of their withdrawal from the government Task Force established to solve the case of the petitioners and Alfredo Reinado because they considered the statements made by the Secretary of State for Security that Alfredo and the petitioners are n o longer military but civilians and that such statements are contrary to the Task Force’s terms of reference, Xanana Gusmao replied that MUNJ’s withdrawal will not affect the dialog that the government is committed to undertaking in seeking to resolve the case of Alfredo and the petitioners.

“MUNJ’s withdrawal from the Task Force will not affect the dialog process established by the government through the task force,” said Xanana. 

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