Source: Roberto Cabral Soares
LIGHTING THE FIRES FOR PEACE IN EAST TIMOR
We are the generation that
stands between the fires:
behind us the flame and smoke
that rose from Auschwitz and from Hiroshima;
before us the nightmare of a Flood of Fire,
the flame and smoke that consume all Earth.
It is our task to make from fire not an all-consuming blaze
but the light in which we see each other fully.
All of us different,
all of us bearing One Spark.
We light these fires to see more clearly
that the Earth and all who live as part of it
are not for burning.
We light these fires to see more clearly
the rainbow in our many-colored faces.
Bless is the One within the many.
Blessed are the Many who make one.
1. Most people of Timor Lorosae desire peace from the bottom of their hearts since the beginning of their very existence. They have been searching and waiting in a long way to enjoying and welcoming the miracle of what it means to be who they are and living in peace and harmony. “Timor Lorosae nia Oan” or Sons and daughters of East Timor are aware that the task of seeking an authentic solutions to obtain their own identity and peace is not an easy one. There are many obstacles.
2. Firstly, perhaps, we wonder if we could just be aware that human beings, by the mere fact of their existence, there always being the possibility that they might not have come to exist, if we have no fundamental relationship; being brothers and sisters in existence. If we did not exist we could not be anybody’s blood brothers or sisters. This is why, our consciousness of this primordial fraternity in existence will providentially enhance our profound solidarity in opening up ourselves to others and society.
3. Secondly, man by virtue is free being, intelligent and capable of love. It is known that love cannot be forced or imposed; neither can it be blind, it must have lucidity. Either it arises freely and wisely or it is not genuine. Whenever one’s freedom is curtailed or one is deprived of wisdom we are preventing this person from loving us. Therefore, to defend, favor and develop the genuine freedom and wisdom of the individual – which in itself implies a social and moral co-responsibility, means favoring cordial feelings among people and thus better enables us to build peace.
4. In the struggle of East Timorese people for peace and self-determination was ended in August 30th 1999, from the Popular Consultation, which was organized by the United Nations in closed cooperation with the leadership of Mr. Kay Rala Xanana Gusmao of the National Council of Timorese Resistance. The outcome of this ballot was the climaxed in the history of the Timorese resistance, seeking justice, peace, liberation and independence. Timorese people both men and women, young and old, all together supported each other to achieve their genuine aspiration. Peoples to peoples commitments, dedications, nationalist and hope, finally set them free from the insane colonialism.
5. Today, people of East Timor are discussed among each other and work hardly to reconcile with their own brothers and sisters. Even though, reconciliation is not an easy task to accomplish. It is a process, which acknowledges past mistakes including regret and forgiveness as a product of a path inherent in the process to achieving justice. It is also a process, which must involve the people of East Timor so that the cycle of accusation, denial and counter-accusation can be broken. This process must not be seen only as a conflict resolution or mere political tool, which aims at pacification and reintegration of individuals or groups in the context of their acceptance of independence and sovereignty of East Timor but, above all, must be seen as a process where truth must be the outcome.
6. In a few months from now, people of East Timor will decide their own future through a democratic election for a constituent Assembly that will take place on 30th August 2001. The day of the election is a milestone in the nation building for an independent East Timor. This is why, The National Council of Timorese Resistance - CNRT, which is working for national unity and reconciliation among the people has impressed all of us peace lovers. The CNRT determination and vision which is healed of our sufferings, upholding the rights and dignity of all people, and drawing on cultural identity, political ideologies, democracy and moral values to create an environment of solidarity, trust, unity and sustainable peacebuilding in Timor Lorosae is truly voice of the people.
7. However, the National Council of Timorese Resistance has dissolved itself from the political mainstream, in order to provide and create a new window of opportunity for all political parties exist in Timor Lorosae to work for peace and reconciliation among the people regardless their political background, race, culture and religion. Whether it is por-autonomy or pro-independence, educated or non-educated, Christians, Muslims and/or Tribal Communities in this new country of East Timor. And this is why, the CNRT challenged each of the political parties to reassess its own policies on peace, security and development programs for the benefit of the people and to create new platform of give peace and deepening new spirit of healing and reconciliation for sustainable peace building in Timor Lorosae. I hope that some of this idea should be the priority for all political parties.
8. Whatever it is, the spirit of CNRT will continue to be remained in the hearts of its comrades. As a matter of fact CNRT dissolved is not only to give the opportunity to the political parties, but also to give an opportunity to all Timorese people to work for peace and justice that flows from the dignity of every human nature. As believers, we all know that the deepest source of all moral responsibility lies in our belonging to one family whatever creed, color, or race we belong to. Our faith insisting that our vocation is precisely Life in the Spirit. “As children of a loving God, our human dignity is rooted in our creation in the image and likeness of God and dignity is fulfilled in our vocation to divine beatitude.” Endowed then with such profound dignity and worth, we are called to live our lives according to the greatest of all the commandments: the love of God and love of neighbor, one flowing from the other.
9. Today, I am pleased to circulate this article to whom may concern about peace in East Timor to please Lighting the Fires for Peace as a symbol and reminder of our continuing intention to work for peace and stability by acting out this virtue in our hearts. These lights will shine out the good news of peace that will serve as beacons in our homes, neighborhoods, towns, cities and our country. The light will inspire us to seek peace within ourselves (because that is where Peace really begins) and to spread that growing inner peace outward into the world. Light is the practical symbol to all of us as a reminder of our personal commitment to create a more peaceful and harmonious world.
10. Let us than, be creative - and remember that what is really important is the light that shines in our hearts and in our lives. It is that inner lights that will illuminate the dawn of a new age of Peace. Cultivate it, nurture it, and let it shine. Believe that all of us make a difference. It is the cumulative effect of the little things that each one of us does that will transform our community, country and the world in general.
11. We all must be Peacemakers, red or black, yellow or white, firaku or kaladi, lorosa’e or loro’monu. We - all people - are seeds of hope for gentler times. Our age doesn't matter. It doesn't matter what our life is like or who our family is or where we live. We are all important. Every thought we think, every word we speak, everything we do, circles out to all beings through all places in all times.
12. Do we want Peace? Then before we swat a fly or pick a flower, think carefully. Use every chance for kindness that we can. Treat all beings, as we'd like to be treated and love the differences between them. Feel, if we can, what it's like to be a river. Be a mountain. Be a rosebud. Be a turtle. Be a cloud. When we act with an open heart, we are acting for all beings. We are adding to the beauty of the whole of life. Plant a tree, and we add to the beauty. Help a neighbor. Feed birds in winter. Smile at someone who looks sad. Live thankfully and with joy. We can do all these things and more, if we want to. We are that most powerful. We are that wise.
Let us, examine our inner selves that inside us, our spirit is calling
Wake up! Let it rise! Wake up! Feel it shine! Be a Peacemaker. The time is now. Live a dream of Peace on Earth and pass it on. Wherever we are, we will never feel lost then. Wherever we are in the world, we'll be home.
- Roberto Soares
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