BACK DOOR Newsletter on East Timor  home  February news

"For years the people of Timor Leste experienced and felt a harsh leadership style that frightened them. Now they are free, so they need a figure like Xanana who will give them back their freedom that has disappeared for so long." Santino O. Baros, manager, HMTOP NGO (Uniting Timor Lorosae Intellectuals for Development)

Below is a  translated summary of an article from an Indonesian newspaper. For a more complete translation of it please send your request to Eliot Hoffman, who will forward it to the translator. Please include the name of the newspaper/s, date/s, and article title/s.

English language Indonesian newspapers available online:


West Timor Press: Edited by Eliot Hoffman

Surya Timor

Friday, 23 February 2001

Xanana has opportunity to be Timor Lorosae president


ATAMBUA – It is predicted that Xanana Gusmao has a big chance at becoming the first president of Timor Lorosae.   In short he is seen to have achieved a lot of merit in the struggle for independence and has shown himself to be solid and loyal in that struggle.  Santino O. Baros, manager of the HMTOP NGO (Uniting Timor Lorosae Intellectuals for Development) said this to reporters on Wed. (21/2) following the rumour that it would be impossible for Xanana to sit as president because his leadership is too weak so that is would be better were he replaced by other figures to save Timor Leste.  According to Santino, in an era of democracy, anyone can become the president of Timor Leste as long as that person fills the prerequisites desired by the people such as loyalty to the nation, loyalty in the struggle, and high intellectual abilities.  Besides that the figure must be a role model to the people. Responding to the rumour about Xanana being too weak, Santino said that actually it needed to be this way because the people of Timor Leste long
for a figure whose leadership style is refined yet is oriented towards the people and not rough so that he oppresses and castrates the rights of the common folk.  "For years the people of Timor Leste experienced and felt a harsh leadership style that frightened them.  Now they are free, so they need a figure like Xanana who will give them back their freedom that has disappeared for so long."  With this understanding, continued Santino, it is clear that actually Xanana is not weak in the sense that he lacks the ability to lead, but that internally and externally he wants to show a way to lead that is true.  Meaning Xanana is a great figure to move Timor Lorosae towards a fully sovereign nation.


Edited by Eliot Hoffman

See also:

Feb 23 ST: Xanana has opportunity to be Timor Lorosae president  News from WTimor
"For years the people of Timor Leste experienced and felt a harsh leadership style that frightened them. Now they are free, so they need a figure like Xanana who will give them back their freedom that has disappeared for so long." Santino O. Baros, manager, HMTOP NGO (Uniting Timor Lorosae Intellectuals for Development)

Feb 14 STL: Presidential Issue: Fretilin To Nominate Xanana  News from ETimor
“Regardless of whether the party has its own candidate or not, we have decided that Xanana be Timor Lorosae’s first president when the country becomes independent,” Lu-Olo, General Coordinator of Fretilin

Feb 12 FRETILIN: Open Letter to CNRT's President  Letter
"I believe that the FRETILIN is ready to rule our country  and  it is necessary, by my opinion, that the Timorese people elect their constituent assembly made-up of all Timorese political parties. Our people need a super-parties man, and you can play this role, as well as Nelson Mandela did  in South Africa. The discussion between the political parties is positive : you have the prestige and the authority to enforce the rules of the Carta Magna." David Dias Quintas Corona, FRETILIN'S Rep. for Italy

"During the most difficult period of the resistance struggle, when our faith in victory was at its lowest, I made an oath to those who had been killed and before the handful of men who believed in me, that I would never accept any reward for I was only working in the service of an ideal shared by us all, nor would I ever foster ambition for an office or position, for I was not struggling for that reason. I hereby declare that I will abide by this sacred oath made to the guerrilla fighters, to those who died and to those who survived and that I will keep the promise recently made to the CNRT/CN cadres!"


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