East Timor is living a unique moment in its History - Transition towards the Restoration of National Independence.
For five centuries we suffered foreign domination. The new Portugal born April 25, 1974, put an end to colonialism and sent a message of Freedom - Freedom for the Portuguese and Freedom for its colonised Peoples.
The following year, Indonesia led by Soeharto and his generals robbed us of our Freedom and their hatred was cast upon us. Indonesia illegally invaded and occupied our country for almost 24 years.
The genocide of the People of East Timor was the main policy of Jakarta's regime. The Maubere People suffered the direct effects of such policy with a death toll of over 250 thousand Timorese.
This crime was committed by Soeharto's regime rather than by today's Indonesia and least of all by the People of Indonesia.
FRETILIN has always stressed that the Indonesian People were not our People's enemy, rather it was our ally in the struggle against the same regime - that of General Soeharto's dictatorship.
To resist the illegal occupation of our Homeland, FRETILIN established FALINTIL, proclaimed the Democratic Republic of East Timor, organised the People for a generalised resistance and sacrificed its best cadres and heroes of our Homeland, namely, its Chairman and President of the Republic, Nicolau dos Reis Lobato, its Deputy Chairman and Prime Minister, António Duarte Carvarino (Mau Lear); other outstanding cadres were killed throughout this resistance period such as Vicente Reis (Sah'e), Bi Lear, Soi Mali, Muki, Hamis (Hata), Hélio Pina, Mau Laka, Guido Soares, Fernando Carmo and more recently, David Alex, Konis Santana and Mau Hodu, just to name a few of the many cadres from three generations that held leadership positions within FRETILIN. The leadership was never detached from FALINTIL and it always lived amidst the people. The people resisted and attained its victory with FRETILIN.
We will restore Independence with FRETILIN.
The struggle of our People was always aimed at restoring independence. FRETILIN, as the driving force of the resistance, believed in the unwavering capacity of the Maubere People to resist and to win. However, our struggle must be understood from its two main perspectives: the will to regain freedom and the need to ensure that the international community would take up its responsibility and shoulder its obligations.
These are two sides of the same coin, given the overwhelming disproportion between the forces on the ground, freedom of choice would never be possible if the international rulings on East Timor were not enforced.
The outcome was the UN-organised Referendum held on August 30, 1999. The People clearly stated their will to be free and independent.
The Transitional Administration of the UN, UNTAET, was called to our country to ensure the enforcement of international legality and to create the basic conditions for the restoration of. We deem the on-going transition process as also a major conquest of our People and of FRETILIN.
Independence is not an end in itself. We yearn for independence to consolidate Peace. Peace is not the mere absence of war.
We will pursue our struggle to consolidate peace.
To develop a culture of peace - to reject violence.
We will make every effort to ensure that the Administration can assert its authority throughout the country.
We will contribute in the identification and isolation of destabilising individuals or groups.
We will develop a culture of tolerance
and mutual respect.
We must link Peace to stability and stability to the country's development.
Stabilising the country is an essential condition towards its development.
We must all be mobilised to implement this monumental task.
The Maubere People will consolidate peace and stabilise the country together with FRETILIN.
Peace and stability depend on different factors: internal and external.
Among the internal factors, we highlight the role played by the People, and in particular their participation in the process in such a way that they are an integral part in finding ways to overcome difficulties.
Other internal factors include the building of a multi-party democratic society and the establishment of a pluralistic society where good governance prevails based on tolerance and transparency, solidarity and mutual respect.
FRETILIN struggled for independence to liberate the People. Therefore, FRETILIN must be an example in showing respect for the right of others to be different.
FRETILIN will always be faithful to its tradition and will remain closely attached to the People.
Peace and stability will greatly depend on the respect that we will gain from neighbouring countries and throughout the world.
FRETILIN will give priority to an external
policy that favours mutually beneficial co-operation, friendship and solidarity
and non-interference in the domestic affairs of other countries.
In the struggle for Independence, FRETILIN stood for the Unity of the People around its sole leadership. Consequently, throughout the Resistance period, the initial FRETILIN Central Committee was tasked to work in broader resistance bodies as they evolved: in 1981, the Revolutionary Council of National Resistance (CRRN); in 1987, the National Council of Maubere Resistance (CNRM) and, in 1998, in the National Council of Timorese Resistance (CNRT). This mirrored the policy of National Unity adopted during the Resistance period. The prevailing principle was then a sole Command and leadership.
This unity was built on the grounds of complicity, setting differences aside to ensure that together we would struggle against the occupants of our Homeland.
Today, our Homeland is free. We believe a multi-party system is the foundation of the democratic society we wish to build. In such a system, differences should not be forgotten, but rather respected.
National Unity will continue to be a need. Therefore, it is important to know which is the basis upon which to build it.
National Unity must always be rooted in the political and philosophical principles of the Constitution of the Republic.
We will draft a Constitution which respects the will of the electorate as expressed by a majority of votes. However, it must also reflect other currents of opinion that exist amidst different strata of the population.
The future Constitution must enshrine guarantees to defend universal principles such as freedom, democracy and human rights.
We will adopt a Constitution, which will reflect FRETILIN's concern for the consolidation of a multi-party system and good governance.
The Constitution will enshrine a system which serves the interests of the country, i.e., a system which guarantees a balance between the different powers; Legislative, Executive and Judiciary.
FRETILIN will defend a semi-presidencial political system.
The State of East Timor will have a Legislature that will represent society as a whole; the Executive will be competent and efficient and the Judiciary will be independent and effective.
In the Constitution, we will define the basis for a standing Political, Social and Cultural Pact of National Unity that will enshrine the means and the tools to promote dialogue as the means of overcoming differences.
The Constitution will set the guidelines for a Policy on national reconciliation and we will defend the need for justice as an integral part of such a process.
We all want a modern Constitution that
will assist in the consolidation of peace and stability and galvanise creative
individual and collective energy for the development of the country.
FRETILIN believes that the painfully regained Independence should mean the setting up of a State with a transparent administration based on good governance where the struggle against corruption and nepotism are openly stated and practised.
FRETILIN will set a policy on sustainable and integrated development giving priority to the eradication of illiteracy and poverty. The development policy should favour a reduction in social inequalities and regional differences. This policy should also set conditions for rural development by raising the living standards of the population.
FRETILIN will set a policy on sustainable and integrated development able to maximise a balanced relationship between the complementary public and private interests, between social and individual interests and which guarantees the security and stability of the Timorese family.
FRETILIN defends the need for family planning as a contribution to a balanced and healthy development of the Timorese family.
FRETILIN will set up a social service to assist the most vulnerable social groups within our society, in particular, children, the elderly, the handicapped, the mutilated, demobilised FALINTIL guerrilla fighters and their families and all other economically underprivileged social groups, to assist them in finding the most dignified ways and means of overcoming their problems.
As recognition for their past commitment,
FRETILIN will define forms and mechanisms to assist all the cadres of the
Resistance whether armed, clandestine or diplomatic, in rebuilding their
lives in a peaceful environment and participating in the reconstruction
of our country.
The Education policy endorsed by FRETILIN will be orientated towards obtaining the maximum potential from national human resources.
FRETILIN will give priority to the rehabilitation and extension of the school network, the training of teachers and to raising the standards of teaching and education.
FRETILIN will design an education system where the role of schools will be to promote a culture of peace and economic, technical, social and cultural development.
The educational system in East Timor should closely follow world developments in the fields of science and technology.
FRETILIN will adopt an educational policy aimed at producing and developing knowledge able to respond to the country's needs and as a contribution to the world scientific community that we wish to be part of.
Every citizen has the right to education.
FRETILIN will develop an educational policy that will envisage mechanisms to support all those who cannot afford it; it also stands for free and compulsory education up to the tenth year. All the educational system will be free or subsidised if and when state revenues allow it.
FRETILIN will develop an educational system that favours vocational and professional training to enable access to updated knowledge and new techniques and technology.
FRETILIN will develop a policy of technical
and scientific co-operation to ensure that the University of East Timor
is adequately manned and technically equipped; its standards must be raised
and, eventually, it will be the recipient and producer of knowledge and
science; in short, an institution in permanent search of excellence.
The right to Health is a basic right of every citizen.
FRETILIN will give priority to extended general basic health assistance to the most vulnerable groups in society.
It will, thus, privilege the extension and modernisation of the health assistance network to improve its quality standards and access by all citizens.
The best way of striving against disease is to prevent it.
FRETILIN will privilege preventive medicine, and the following are some of the basic measures that will sustain the Health Policy: compulsory vaccination programmes, medical assistance in schools, mother-child health care, sanitary and environmental education, extended education programmes aimed at raising family awareness on preventable diseases.
Priority will be given to the struggle against endemic diseases such as malaria, tuberculosis and other contagious diseases.
FRETILIN will promote a policy of regional and international co-operation aimed at creating the necessary conditions to eradicate endemic diseases in East Timor.
The struggle against AIDS must be waged before it takes root and spreads in our country.
FRETILIN will include in its Health Policy effective ways to fight this disease pursuant with WHO guidelines.
FRETILIN will foster the development of conventional medicine together with traditional medicine - green medicine - by valuing the accumulated experience and knowledge of our ancestors in the prevention and cure of numerous diseases.
FRETILIN will adopt mechanisms to assist
the elderly in a dignified manner; it will value their past contribution
to society, protect the most needy and respect their rights; this will
be guaranteed by free medical and health assistance and a welfare scheme
to be set up according to the country's financial possibilities.
The Administration envisaged by FRETILIN will be based on sustainable governability and good governance.
The Administration will define a National Development Policy based on the sustainability of national development and an integrated development strategy where the eradication of poverty will be the synonym of progress. This will be possible if the development of any given sector takes into account its impact on local communities, on the environment and society as a whole.
FRETILIN envisages an Administration whose action and work is in abidance with the Constitution and legal framework. The power invested upon the Administration will be exercised in accordance with the principles and boundaries enshrined in the Constitution and the general legal framework.
We understand a modern Administration as an efficient and transparent one, with mechanisms and means to enforce law and order and to defend of the rights of each citizen, namely: the right to life, to work, to private property, to physical, moral, cultural and religious freedom, to set up a family, to education and health, to dignified housing, to participate in the country's ruling bodies, to resist against arbitrary measures, to immigrate, to trade, to asylum and to a clean environment.
This Administration will defend the universal values of human rights, the rights of women, of children, of workers, of the elderly and of the physically handicapped. It will prioritise the ratification of existing International Conventions on each of the fore-mentioned rights.
A modern Administration is one that will have the ability and capacity to organise the government and society in abidance with the Constitution. It must have the initiative to regulate the economy so as to enable a sustained and balanced development, to adopt a tax system aimed at maximising the state revenues and to define a tariff policy according to principles of social justice.
An Administration run by FRETILIN will
fight against tax avoidance, fraud and corruption and will modernise the
tax collection system by ensuring competence, reliability and competitiveness.
Which may contribute to the establishment of special economic zones in Oé-Cusse and Ataúro.
A modern Administration will be guided by a sound monetary policy to control inflation and develop the financial market aiming at attracting savings and promoting its allocation to foster basic wealth producing activities.
Such an Administration will establish forms
of on-going co-operation with International Financial Institutions both
to ensure a continuous relationship and to reinforce East Timor's monetary,
financial and economic institutions.
The Administration will define the areas to be exclusive to national public and private investment as a contribution to national creativity and to assist the establishment of a national entrepreneur culture.
FRETILIN will pay particular attention
to investment in agriculture and will prioritise investments in non-metal
mining to support the reconstruction of our country with the use of local
materials. Fisheries and tourism are two other investment areas that FRETILIN
will foster in the context of an integrated development strategy for the
The Administration will set a policy on the Timor Sea oil and gas exploration as well as on-shore exploration and will adopt a modern Code to ensure State control over that wealth and resources in order to maximise revenue and income.
The Administration will define a strict
framework to regulate the allocation of such revenues to be re-invested
in the development of sectors such as fisheries, tourism, agriculture,
infrastructure, communications, education, health, transport systems, development
of alternative energy sources, etc.
The Administration will prioritise the recovery of infrastructure and set credit, wage and fiscal policies to benefit family and co-operative initiatives. It will promote internal and external investment, namely for the introduction of new techniques and technology, to assist the identification and development of the agricultural and livestock production thereby giving a decisive contribution to economic and social development.
It will set a policy to diversify the agricultural system.
It will involve local communities in the reforestation of the country.
It will set up a special fund for the reproduction of bovine and buffalo cattle as well as other quadruped species and poultry.
A FRETILIN Administration will set a policy on specific investment and technical co-operation for coffee production to ensure its productivity, to raise and control its quality standards and preserve its organic qualities by setting up a credible certification system.
It will establish means to promote East
Timor coffee in foreign markets and fight monopolies in its commercialisation
to ensure its competitiveness and guarantee the best market prices.
The FRETILIN Administration will adopt financial and tax policies to allow public and private operators to contribute towards the improvement of the transportation and communications systems. It will also adopt measures to guarantee a greater operationality of ports, harbours and airports and improve both our air and maritime navigation space.
The FRETILIN Administration will regulate the air transportation market to ensure its competitiveness and profitability and give priority to the setting up of modern telecommunication systems, closely following world developments in the sector, and opting for technologically advanced systems in the setting up of the telephone and postal services network.
The FRETILIN Administration will regulate this sector taking into account the need to promote quality and quality control of services rendered by road transportation fleets and in the establishment and development of maritime and air transportation to ensure both internal and international exchanges.
Special attention should be given to collective and semi-collective passenger transport systems both in the rural and urban areas.
The FRETILIN Administration will give priority
to the rehabilitation of urban, inter-urban and rural road infrastructure
and will strive to improve road safety by adopting legislation and developing
regular control and monitoring mechanisms over the state of vehicles, road
signalling systems and adherence to road safety rules.
The FRETILIN Administration will set up a policy on the use and allocation of water resources aiming at preserving, rationalising and capitalising their usage.
Water and energy supply must be significantly improved.
The Administration will set up policies and a specific legal framework to attract investment to these two sectors to improve and raise the quality of services and production; this will be done by mobilising internal and external funding to extend the water sources and develop alternative energy sources.
It will undertake efforts to guarantee a better coverage by the existing water supply network.
It will design an energy policy to consolidate
and increase the existing current capacity and to identify alternative
and renewable energy sources that will enable an increase of production
and distribution of this essential and indispensable commodity for development.
The democratisation of mass media must deserve privileged attention in a national development policy; it must aim at extending freedom of expression and the press.
The FRETILIN Administration will stand for an objective and independent media in search of factual truth.
The Administration will pursue efforts to extend radio and TV networks nation-wide and guarantee a timely access to information to every citizen.
FRETILIN will pursue a national policy
favouring the diversification of media operators as a way to fight private
or state monopolies and defend the freedom of the press.
Work and employment are inalienable rights of every citizen.
The FRETILIN Administration will adopt a labour policy and legal framework as a contribution and incentive for Timorese workers to make the best use of their intelligence and skills and consequently increase productivity levels.
It will promote the creation of jobs and privilege capacity-building programmes and training and technical and vocational courses to raise the quality and skill of our labour-force and guarantee stability within its ranks as well as improve the economic and social conditions of workers.
A job creation and poverty eradication policy will be adopted whereby,
the FRETILIN Administration will privilege an integrated rural development programme to encourage national workers to use their intellect and creativity and to foster self-employment.
The FRETILIN Administration will guide
its housing policy by creating conditions to support the less privileged
strata of our society. It will set up a special fund to promote housing
in the rural areas. It will establish mechanisms to promote self-built
housing initiatives. It will set up an incentive scheme for national entrepreneurs
to invest in the development of building technologies at accessible prices.
The family is the basic nucleus of our society. It is within the family that citizenship is initially structured. It is within the family that moral, social, economic and civic values, such as the love for our homeland, are conveyed and promoted; it is also within the family that the younger generations develop their personality and character.
For centuries, or even millennia, Women, as mothers, have played a key role in the development of our younger generations' character and personality.
FRETILIN believes that Women share the same rights as men; such rights give them the capacity to participate more actively in the organisation of our society, in political life and in social and economic development.
The youth is our guarantee for a better future in East Timor.
The FRETILIN Administration will adopt a youth policy aimed at allowing them to channel their energy to training and all-round personal development.
The Administration will adopt an education policy favouring access to a wide range of choices and, whenever possible, guiding the youth according to the country's priorities.
The FRETILIN Administration will adopt a cultural policy aiming at involving the youth in particular, in the development and preservation of our cultural heritage and in the promotion and dissemination of our culture.
Sports are undoubtedly one of the fields to be further developed within the context of the all-round personal development of the youth.
The FRETILIN Administration will adopt a policy to facilitate general access to sports by all as a contribution to a healthy and balanced personal development and to reinforce team spirit and social interaction, which in turn will reinforce National Unity.
It will promote competitive sports in modalities
where our country has greater chances and potential thus enabling East
Timor to assert itself at the regional and international level.
Sustained development must be understood as the means to preserve the environment and guarantee the quality of life of future generations.
FRETILIN's development policy will be conditioned by the need to preserve and protect our environment. Therefore,
the FRETILIN Administration will draft the regulatory tools to set up an environmental management system, which is to be an integral part of the sustained and balanced development programme.
Forests will always be the lungs that supply the oxygen needed for development and ensure a good environment quality.
The FRETILIN Administration will design
a reforestation policy envisaging a balanced environment and economic development
by selecting the most valuable species that are most suited to East Timor's
climate and environment.
Our external policy will be one of peace, stability and co-operation with all peoples, states, parties and regional and international organisations.
Bearing in mind the current framework of globalisation, the FRETILIN Administration will give priority to national interests in the development of international relationships.
An independent East Timor will apply for full membership of the United Nations and give priority to this forum in its contribution to the establishment of a new, just and more equitable world economic order.
The FRETILIN Administration will make every effort to assess and evaluate the costs and benefits as well as the priorities in East Timor's adhesion to other regional and multilateral organisations such as ASEAN, the Cotonou Agreement (ACP-EU), South Pacific Forum, etc.
The independent East Timor will be a full
member of the Community of Portuguese Speaking Countries - CPLP - thus
giving its contribution to the organisation's expansion to Asia and the
Pacific and reinforce the historic, cultural, linguistic and religious
ties between the peoples of its member states.
The Defence and Security of East Timor deserve special attention given their importance in the consolidation of Peace and Stability.
The FRETILIN Administration will give priority attention to Defence and Security. It will adopt measures to consolidate the Armed and Security Forces by making available the necessary resources and preparing a military co-operation and security programme with friendly nations for the training and adequate equipping of both sectors.
The FRETILIN Administration will give
priority to the adoption of mechanisms for the prevention of war and negotiated
solutions for existing differences. Thus, defence and security will have
a preventive component based on a friendly external policy of economic
co-operation with all neighbouring countries and the international community
Peace, stability and National Unity will only be guaranteed with the integral development of our society.
To this end, differences must be respected and litigation or conflicts must be adequately solved.
Property and ownership are a reason for major concern. Conflicts over existing land and property deeds have been further aggravated by recent indiscriminate and arbitrary occupation of property. Legal and institutional mechanisms and tools must be put into place to solve such problems and to restore law and justice.
East Timor is a small country with an equally small population. However, it is rich in difference. There are several different national languages although Tetum has already been accepted as the prevailing one. Other languages, such as Portuguese, Indonesian and English have now been added to the great linguistic diversity of the country.
Values and cultures have been introduced together with these languages. Today, East Timor is a small but multi-linguistic, multi-religious, multi-cultural and, possibly, 'multi-racial' country. Today, East Timor is also a pluralist political country.
The development of East Timor should be defined on the grounds of the respect for differences, so as to turn diversity into wealth.
The resistance period proved our ability to set up converging platforms capable of uniting all as participants in the same cause - National Liberation. Religion, and in particular the catholic religion, played a crucial role in the process.
Tetum as a liturgical language contributed to unite the People. Portuguese, as the main language of the Resistance, preserved East Timor's political, emotional and cultural links with peoples in different continents and to the Portuguese Speaking Countries which became a genuine oasis in the desert of solidarity that the Resistance faced for so many years. The Indonesian language, though that of the occupier, also became a tool in the struggle waged by the younger generations. English, as the prevailing language in diplomacy and international information systems was a vital tool for the dissemination of our ideas and to ensure our cries would be heard.
The FRETILIN Government will defend the right to difference as a source of wealth for our country.
It will defend religious freedom and, after consultation with all religious faiths, it will define forms of co-operation, in particular, with the catholic faith given the numbers of believers and its influence in our country.
During the first five years after independence, it will adopt Portuguese and Indonesian and, to a certain extent, English as the working languages of the Administration.
To further develop our linguistic wealth, Tetum and other national languages will be studied and worked on so as to develop them into written languages that will be privileged in the future.
The teaching of Portuguese will be improved and its use will be extended to facilitate the continuation of the education of our youth and contribute to a greater efficiency of our Administration.
Indonesian will continue to be taught in our schools as it is today and will be used in the country and at regional level together with English as a language that will connect us to the world; English will be compulsory in our schools from a certain level in our education system.
Education on democracy will deserve special attention.
The FRETILIN Government will promote co-operation with other countries and institutions to develop a programme to encourage education on democracy and promote the democratic system.
The FRETILIN Government will determine the establishment of a National Institute for the Prevention and Resolution of Conflicts, which is to be named the Nicolau Lobato Institute. It will be a public non-profit-making institution, independent from state bodies.
This is the COMMITMENT FRETILIN wishes to make.
Together we will Restore Independence and Free the People.
Vote for FRETILIN.
Dili, 20 May 2001
BD: FRETILIN - Revolutionary Front for an Independent East Timor / Frente Revolucionaria do Timor Leste Independente - A collection of recent speeches, documents, statements, news and reports
BD: Peoples' Participation - A collection of recent media releases, reports and articles [section on elections]
BD: Reconstruction and 'Aid & Development' - A collection of recent press releases, reports, and articles