2 December 2000
Inês Almeida, spokesperson for President of CNRT/CN Xanana Gusmão denies claims by Sydney Morning Herald dated 2/12/2000 titled "Gusmão quits council post in row over autocratic style', that Mr Gusmão has resigned after presenting the timetable for the political transition.
Ms Almeida says, "the suggestion that President Xanana Gusmão has resigned is wrong. The further suggestion that he resigned over the presentation of a timetable for the political transition is equally wrong.
"The international media in Dili bear a strong responsibility to verify stories and ensure that reporting is done fairly. Inaccurate stories of this nature may suit certain foreign interests but they do no service to the people of East Timor who, in these vital important months, need to maintain international public confidence".
It is regrettable that aspects of the Sydney Morning Herald article were derived from a UN Official. Above all, it is incumbent upon the UN to check such stories with the Office of President Xanana Gusmão, added Ms Almeida.
Mr. Gusmão is scheduled to present the 'process to independence' document to the National Council on Tuesday 12 December.
For further information please contact Ms Inês Almeida on mobile 61 4 08 88 2860.