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"Are you refuting, therefore, the accusation that you are financing the CDP-RDTL ? What I refute is being behind the alleged attempt on the life of Xanana Gusmão and other acts of violence. I do not deny that, should someone ask me for money and if I happen to have some, I would help that person." Abílio Araújo, President, Timorese Nationalist Party (PNT)

Source: Público

Byline: Luciano Alvarez

Date: 18 March 2001

Original Language: Portuguese
 

Extracts from an interview with Abílio Araújo President of the Timorese Nationalist Party [PNT]

Público - Are there links between you and your party [PNT] and the CDP-RDTL [Popular Defence Committee - Democratic Republic of East Timor] ?

A.Araújo - The first time I ever heard of the existence of the CDP-RDTL was through its communiqué number 1, dated 7 May 1999.  It was a communiqué that upheld the Democratic Republic of East Timor as a sovereign and independent state, and which expressed the organisation’s opposition to the New York agreements [through which the popular referendum was made possible] and rejection of autonomy. The CDP-RDTL is a political group that sets itself apart from Fretilin and the CNRT.  The PNT emerged much later [15 June 1999] and, while it was critical of the New York agreements, it never rejected them, and agreed to take part in the referendum in support of autonomy.  From the outset, therefore, the CDP-RDTL and the PNT shared very different positions.

Q.:  But are there any links between you or your party and the CDP-RDTL?

A.:  We have links with the CDP-RDTL, just as we have with the CNRT and with all those who are children of Timor. We are prepared to participate in the process [that will lead Timor to independence], but on that score we differ from the CDP-RDTL, which believes that the UN should immediately recognise the Democratic Republic of East Timor [declared independence in 1975 by Fretilin] and does not wish to take part in the electoral process.  I have been in touch with them [CDP-RDTL] and told them that this is an internationally recognised process in which we should all be taking part.

Q.:  Are you refuting, therefore, the accusation that you are financing the CDP-RDTL ?

A.:  What I refute is being behind the alleged attempt on the life of Xanana Gusmão and other acts of violence. I do not deny that, should someone ask me for money and if I happen to have some, I would help that person.

Q.:  So, have you supported the movement financially ?

A.:  I do not support organisations, but I do support individuals.

Q.: The members of that organisation hold you in very high esteem.  They have gone as far as to say that Abílio Araújo ought to be head of government during the transition period, with Xanana Gusmão in second place…

A.: I am happy to know that there are Timorese who, in spite of having voted against my recommendation [to support autonomy], still recognise my abilities and my seriousness.

Q.:  How would you describe the CDP-RDTL?

A.:  Pure nationalists, who people should be talking to; repression and persecution are not going to silence them.

Q.:  One accusation being made against you is that you are a friend of Indonesia and are being financed by Jakarta.

A.:  It is true that I am a friend of Indonesia. When the time comes for Timor to declare its independence, it must have a policy of friendship towards Indonesia.  Furthermore, I am keen to gain from the political capital I have accumulated through relations with Indonesia.  The PNT is looking into ways of cooperating with its counterpart parties in Indonesia, and one with which it has most in common is Mrs. Megawati Sukarnoputri’s PDI-P.  As far as being financed by Indonesia is concerned, I am willing to make my accounts public.



See these items on:

PNT - Timorese Nationalist Party

Portuguese:
Mar 5 OTL: Partidos políticos e Forças pró-independência  Report
"O Partido Nacionalista Timorense (PNT) e o grupo CDP-RDTL proclamam também defender a independência, mas as suas ligações com os sectores militares indonésios mais conservadores colocam-no no campo oposto." Observatório Timor Leste

Mar 5 ETO: Political parties and Pro-Independence Forces  Report
"The Timorese Nationalist party (PNT) and the CDP-RDTL group also claim they uphold independence. However, their ties with highly conservative sectors of the Indonesian military position them in the opposing camp." East Timor Observatory

Portuguese:
Feb 12 OTL: Movimentos e partidos Pró autonomia: evolução desde o referendo  Report
"PNT, Partido Nacionalista Timorense fundado por Abílio Araújo, ex-representante da Fretilin no exterior, demitido pelos seus pares após as suas alianças político-financeiras com Francisco Lopes da Cruz e o ‘clã’ Suharto, nomeadamente a filha mais velha do ex-presidente. O PNT é representado no Conselho Nacional por Aliança Araújo, irmã de Abílio Araújo. ...
Embora tenha defendido o voto do lado pró autonomia, Abílio Araújo “apelou a todos os timorenses de leste para lutar para eleições gerais dentro de dois ou três anos... para seu futuro como Estado independente” (Jakarta Post, 25-1). Este Estado teria fortes laços com a Indonésia, em particular a língua e a moeda, criticando a escolha da língua portuguesa feita por Xanana Gusmão. Abílio Araújo diz “nunca poder esquecer que pessoas não indígenas, como Ramos Horta e Xanana Gusmão se orgulham sempre do seu sangue português” (Jakarta Post, 25-3). O dirigente do PNT, que continua a viver em Portugal, critica as Nações Unidas: “a política da UNTAET é unicamente centrada sobre os interesses ocidentais, particularmente de Portugal e Austrália através do CNRT” (Antara, 20-4, BBC, 21-4)." Observatório Timor Leste

Feb 12 ETO: Political Movements and Parties: pro-autonomy  Report
"PNT – Timorese Nationalist Party was founded by Abílio Araújo, who used to be Fretilin’s overseas representative until being sacked by fellow militants over his political and financial ties with Francisco Lopes da Cruz and the Suharto clan, namely Suharto’s eldest daughter. The PNT’s representative on the National Council is Aliança Araújo, Abílio’s sister. ...
Although a supporter of autonomy, Abílio Araújo has “called on all East Timorese to push for general elections in two or three years… to lay a strong foundation for its future as a sovereign State” (Jakarta Post, 25-1). He maintained the new State would have strong ties with Indonesia, especially with regards language and currency, and has criticised Xanana Gusmão´s choice of Portuguese as official language. Abílio Araújo said he could “never forget how non-indigenous people like Ramos Horta and Xanana Gusmão always boast about their Portuguese blood” (Jakarta Post, 25-3). The PNT leader, who still lives in Portugal, has been critical of the UN: “UNTAET policy so far has only focused on the interests of the Western conspiracy, particularly Portugal and Australia, through the CNRT” (Antara, 20-4, BBC, 21-4)." East Timor Observatory
 

CPD-RDTL - Popular Defense Committee-Democratic Republic of East Timor

Mar 30 STL: CPD-RDTL’s Antonio Aitahan Matak Wants Proof  News from ETimor
“We are not accepting the accusations made against us by Ramos Horta, Mari Alkatari and Lu-Olo that we are linked with the TNI. Prove it! If they can’t prove the allegations then we will take them to court ­ both nationally and internationally,” Antonio Aitahan Matak, General Co-ordinator of CPD-RDTL

Mar 28 LUSA: Fretilin's First President Announces New 'Third Way' Party  News
"He [Francisco Xavier do Amaral] has repeatedly been linked to the radical party CPD-RDTL (Popular Defense Committee-Democratic Republic of East Timor), which indicated he was the group’s top official for education and culture in its founding document." JBC, Lusa

Mar 18 PUB: Extracts from an interview with Abílio  Interview
"Are you refuting, therefore, the accusation that you are financing the CDP-RDTL ? What I refute is being behind the alleged attempt on the life of Xanana Gusmão and other acts of violence. I do not deny that, should someone ask me for money and if I happen to have some, I would help that person." Abílio Araújo, President, Timorese Nationalist Party (PNT)

Mar 17 SMH: UN fears sabotage of ETimor elections  News
"The UN memo says CPD-RDTL supporters had clashed with members of the East Timorese pro-independence Fretilin party on Atauro on February 22, the same time as the seven Indonesians [suspected spies] were seen there. Last week, Mr Gusmao warned of links between senior RDTL officials and shadowy Indonesian army intelligence agents." Mark Dodd, Herald Correspondent in Dili

Mar 15 STL: Bishop Belo: Do not choose party that destroys Timor  News from ETimor
“I have met with Fretilin, UDT, and even with CPD-RDTL (Aitahan Matak, Fil Fernandes and Feliciano). I said to them that I would only support parties in Timor that work for peace, democracy human rights justice, social peace, tolerance. The church supports pluralism and democracy in East Timor." Bishop Belo

Mar 12 TP: Fretilin Declaration: Do Not Commit Violence  News from ETimor
"In the last few days, the symbols of Fretilin, especially the RDTL flag, have been used by certain groups to create trouble and to deceive the people into carrying out demonstrations, violence and other undesirable actions." Lu Olo (president) and Mari Alkatiri (vice-president) of Fretilin

Mar 9 STL: Fretilin Not Behind CPD-RDTL  News from ETimor
"Their [CPD-RDTL] actions on Wednesday were criminal in nature. They are using the Fretilin flag without our agreement. And we have reminded them umpteen times to stop using Fretilin symbols, but to no avail,” Mari Alkatari, Fretilin Vice-President

Mar 7 CNRT/CNP: A Threat on the life of the President  Press Conference summary of events
"Commissioner Costa e Souza [of CivPol] ended his report by stating that he has no doubt that this was a planned action designed to disturb the meeting between President Xanana Gusmão and the students and that given the level of violence it was also designed to threaten the life of the President." National Council of Timorese Resistance/Congresso Nacional Presidency (CNRT/CNP)

Portuguese:
Mar 5 OTL: Partidos políticos e Forças pró-independência  Report
"O Partido Nacionalista Timorense (PNT) e o grupo CDP-RDTL proclamam também defender a independência, mas as suas ligações com os sectores militares indonésios mais conservadores colocam-no no campo oposto. ... Com a excepção do grupo RDTL, a aprendizagem da democracia evitou até agora a violência, mas existem sinais preocupantes." Observatório Timor Leste

Mar 5 ETO: Political parties and Pro-Independence Forces  Report
"The Timorese Nationalist party (PNT) and the CDP-RDTL group also claim they uphold independence. However, their ties with highly conservative sectors of the Indonesian military position them in the opposing camp. ... So far, the only instances of clearly political violence have involved the RDTL group" East Timor Observatory

Portuguese:
Feb 12 OTL: Movimentos e partidos Pró autonomia: evolução desde o referendo  Report
"No interior de Timor Leste, um grupo radical confronta-se, por vezes violentamente, com o CNRT e a Fretilin. Reclama-se da República Democrática de Timor Leste (RDTL), proclamada pela Fretilin em 1975, mas o seu dirigente e a sua prática ligam-no a Abílio Araújo, defensor da autonomia na Indonésia aquando da campanha do referendo." Observatório Timor Leste

Feb 12 ETO: Political Movements and Parties: pro-autonomy  Report
"Inside East Timor, a radical Timorese group is opposing, sometimes violently, the CNRT and Fretilin. They are calling for a return of the Democratic Republic of East Timor (RDTL), proclaimed by Fretilin in 1975. However, there are links between the RDTL’s leader and activities and Abílio Araújo who, at the time of the referendum, advocated autonomy within Indonesia for East Timor." East Timor Observatory

Feb 12 Xanana: Symposium on “Reconciliation, Tolerance, Human Rights and Elections”  Speech
"the CPD-RDTL, made up of lunatics and incipient politicians that has already been disturbing the population in certain places. CPD-RDTL has demonstrated an ability to mobilize young people, many of whom were not a part of the clandestine organizations, to act violently in some places of the territory. In Dili, they have been promoting young people towards violence and towards the disrespect of law and order." Xanana Gusmão, President CNRT/NC

Jan 30 SMH: Community radio fights campaign of fear  News
"Already one political party, a breakaway faction of Fretilin, has been involved in violent clashes in the district. RDTL, a Portuguese acronym for Democratic Republic of Timor Leste (East Timor), is accused of receiving cash from Indonesian sources to support the cause of integration, according to the East Timor independence leader, Mr Xanana Gusmao. RDTL's ability to organise in remote rural areas has taken many East Timorese and senior UN political officials by surprise. Mr Deligia said: "They have been very dynamic in the last two or three months. There have been a series of small incidents appearing on an almost daily basis." " Mark Dodd

Jan 15 IPS: Road to Nationhood neither Straight nor Short  News
"The fears of CNRT officials lie in what they say is a campaign, ahead of political season, of ''misinformation'' by pro-Indonesian groups like one called the Council for the Popular Defense of the Democratic Republic of Timor Leste (CPD-RDTL). The group is said to be linked to former Indonesian armed forces chief Wiranto and military officials involved in the violence after the September 1999 vote." Johanna Son


BACK DOOR Newsletter on East Timor      home    March news
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