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Gusmao on orchestrated violence

Rala Xanana Gusmao - February 24, 1999

[The following is a statement by the President of the CNRT, Kay Rala Xanana Gusmao, Commander of Falintil on Indonesia orchestrated violence in East Timor.]

Jakarta – Once again we are being forced to shed tears of blood, but each drop of blood must motivate us to fight for peace!

We are faced with a great challenge. A new scenario has been placed before us on this difficult and painful path to freedom.

The ones who brought war to East Timor are now sitting back comfortably with their arms folded whilst inciting criminals to practice violence. Our enemies today are paid assassins who have launched a political campaign in support of integration, intimidating and killing people so as to impose autonomy as the final solution.

The "civil war" which they propagate is part of the campaign of terror and murder in support of autonomy, exposing Presiden Habibie's "good intentions" and ABRI's "goodwill" in the search for a solution to the problem of East Timor.

When the Jakarta government pays for the travel and hotel reservations of criminals and government employees to give the impression that a large number of people are demanding the retention of the status quo and asking for weapons to "wage war", we discern the hand of military intelligence who are refusing to accept the psychological defeat implicit in leaving East Timor.

When civilians are armed and form gangs like Mahidi and Merah Putih, we discern the hand of ABRI bent on creating instability.

As commander of Falintil, I hereby declare that we want peace but if ABRI wishes to continue the war, our fighters are ready for another 23 years of war.

As commander of Falintil, I herewith issue a final appeal to President Habibie. If he wants to continue the war, he should immediately inform the world that everything he has said since 28 January is nothing more than "political theatre".

The Indonesian Government must discard, once and for all, the methods used by the New Order and take responsibility for the blood and lives spilt in East Timor. Jakarta wants the world to think that the East Timorese dont understand each other and are killing each other, so as to justify ABRI's continue presence in East Timor.

For the past 23 years, we have waged resistance against the Indonesian military's invasion and occupation. We were forced to fight this war in order to achieve peace which can only be assured by total independence.

At the present juncture, we are, as we have always been, advocates of peace and of a genuine reconciliation between the East Timorese. We have made some progress but the assassins in the pay of military intelligence are trying to destroy our efforts in an attempt to force us to bend and submit to their deceptive, murderous methods.

I can understand why the people of Dili and all the people of East Timor want to rebel, but we must remain steadfast and firm in our struggle for peace.

We must let the true enemies of peace reveal themselves. We must hold back our tears and bear the pain because our tears and pain are cementing peace in East Timor.

To all those who are in favour of integration and who are in favour of independence and who today feel a sense of revulsion at the violence being organised and sanctioned by the Habibie government, the aim of which is to pit us against each other, I say: Please remain calm.

I appeal to the people of Dili not to panic but to form vigilant groups in the suburbs and to refrain from responding to provocation. Let us teach the Indonesian generals that the people of East Timor are politically mature and well versed in the attempts by the New Order to divert us from our determination to create peace in East Timor.

In conclusion, I convey my condolences to the relatives and friends of Francisco Conceicao Hornay and Joaquim de Jesus.

I appeal to the relatives of Mario da Costa to understand that his death occurred as a consequence of the deceptive, murderous games being played by those who don't want peace to prevail in East Timor.