ADDRESS BY KAY RALA XANANA
ON THE OCCASION OF THE CEREMONY TO MARK THE DISSOLUTION OF THE
9 June, 2001
Fellow fighters in the struggle
People of East Timor
26 years of a heroic and difficult struggle end today, with the opening of a new chapter in the history of Timor Lorosa´e, a chapter oriented towards the future.
The future we face is one full of expectations and hopes, whilst the present day experienced by our people is replete with preoccupations and anxieties. These preoccupations and anxieties are the result of a variety of factors, principally those of a political nature.
Our people harbour a legitimate apprehension with regards to a possible resurgence of violence, provoked by the political parties, like that which accompanied the political awakening of the past.
Our people are anxious about the conduct of some parties which are fervently registering people at the village level based on the notion of the party is the people and the people are the party.
Our people are understandably anxious about the possibility of intimidation in an effort to coerce people to vote in a particular way and evoking memories of the campaign in favour of autonomy.
The people are anxious about the failure of the parties as yet to commit themselves to the civic education campaign, many choosing instead to engage in a war of words with their opponents via the radio, television and newspapers.
They are understandably concerned, too, about the conduct of certain political organisations which impose their points of view by actively boycotting the official processes and promoting the use of violence.
The people are understandably anxious about the failure of the parties to respond to the pressing need for the promotion of democratic values, tolerance, mutual respect, of freedom and human rights, of reconciliation and justice, as the foundations of a platform of thought and action which all should be encouraged to observe and defend.
It is not my intention here to paint a black picture of the process by making reference to those apprehensions of our people. The intention is rather to promote an awareness at the national level of the need to guarantee an atmosphere of political stability for the unfolding of the process. Being aware of and concerned about this political reality, the participants in the Extraordinary Conference for the Dissolution of the CNRT demanded the presence of all political parties and organisations, to publically pledge their commitment to promoting peace and stability in the community. It was a heartfelt appeal to the nation´s political forces and was a message to all components of East Timorese society.
A difficult and complex challenge is before us: are the Timorese people capable or not; are the East Timorese people prepared or not; have the East Timorese people matured politically throughout these years of suffering and pain!
Conscious of the many facets of this political
reality, the cadres of the CNRT deem the present moment to be the most
appropriate for the organisation´s dissolution.
Fellow walkers on this 25 year long march.
A number of elements were required in order for us to take this difficult decision:
- the courage to accept the reality of change
- the humility to reject the notion of compensation for one´s past acts
- nobility in the personal and collective commitment to the present process
It is these qualities which are the mark of your political maturity.
You are the authors of the gilt-edged pages of our History. You, the cadres of the Clandestine Resistance, in cooperation with the glorious Falintil, have made our History. You the Youth, Women and Men are recorded forever in History!
As I have already affirmed in the opening of the Conference, arm in arm with the Falintil, you are the real founders of the first independent nation of the new millennium! And, as it must be, our brothers and sisters who fought on the diplomatic front have rejoined us.
You should be proud. And our People are
proud of you!
As of today we are ordinary citizens. As members of an organisation which determined history such as CNRT, whilst we carry in our hearts the pain of separation from a struggle which was all-consuming, there is also the satisfaction of being finally relieved of an atmosphere of antipathy, distrust and even of accusations.
As of today we must look to the future. We will endeavour to support one another in an effort to maintain our collective identity, and in a spirit of solidarity with fellow members. Each and every one of us will make our political decisions, but the Association of Veterans of the Resistance will be a non-partisan and non-profit non-government organisation.
Today we commence a new struggle which
is that of meeting our own needs as human beings, as citizens engaged in
supporting the process of development of Timor Lorosa´e and contributing
to the betterment of the quality of life of our people.
People of Timor Lorosa´e
A final word to you. We have lived, fought and suffered together to free our country. Together we won the war, together we won our freedom.
Independence is not an end in itself, merely a means by which all East Timorese may participate in the process of building a new nation. It is the political parties which will govern Timor Lorosa´e.
It is the responsibility of the political parties to respect now the fundamental right of our people, the right to Stability and to Peace. Our people do not want any more violence. It is the hope of our People that Bloody September 1999 represented the final act of brutality in Timor Lorosa´e.
In the absence of stability and peace, there can be no democracy and no progress. We will continue to demand of the political parties their commitment to ensuring our People a climate of Peace.
But we will also be sure to distinguish between those who sow intolerance and violence and those who defence tolerance and harmony.
The process of building something new from ashes is difficult. If throughout 24 years nobody was able to give guarantees of when the war would end, and even in the face of all manner of pressures, we fought on, confident that victory would come, today we will redouble our efforts, our determination and that spirity of faith and trust which united us always.
Let us have faith in the future, a future of improved life quality for all our people, but let us remember, too, the need for hard work in order to achieve this goal.
Independence is not about having a flag, a president, a parliament, a government. Independence must imply, year by year, gradual change in the life of the entire population of Timor Lorosa´e. If we fail to effect change in the daily life of the people, independence will be a meaningless concept, all our sacrifices throughout the years of the struggle will be in vain. And not one of us will allow this to occur.
However, in the meantime, what is required of us is patience and a new spirit of sacrifice.
LONG LIVE CNRT! LONG LIVE NATIONAL UNITY!
LONG LIVE THE WOMEN OF TIMOR LOROSA´E! LONG LIVE THE YOUTH OF TIMOR LOROSA´E!
LONG LIVE THE PEOPLE OF TIMOR LOROSA´E!
Kay Rala Xanana Gusmão
President of the CNRT/CN
9 CNRT: Dissolution Declaration Statement added June 10
"I, Kay Rala Xanana Gusmão, President of the CNRT/CN, declare that at five p.m., on the ninth day of the month of June of the year
two thousand and one, the National Council Of Timorese Resistance (CNRT/CN) is formally dissolved. Honour And Glory To The Martyrs Of The Liberation Of Our Homeland! Long Live CNRT! Long Live The People Of Timor Lorosa’e!" Kay Rala Xanana Gusmão, President of the CNRT/CN
9 SMH: A long struggle is over, long live peaceful democracy
News added Jun 10
“But this is an event that happens to most organisations. The reality is we have to allow the parties here to now involve themselves in the political process of the transition. We don’t want the CNRT to go on as an umbrella for every party. We want to show everyone that we want to set up democracy in our country.” David Ximenes, former CNRT head of security and veteran resistance fighter
BD: National Council of Timorese Resistance / Conselho Nacional de Resistência Timorense (CNRT) - A collection of recent speeches, statements, news and reports