Letters from Xanana


Resistance and Aksi — Indonesia Solidarity Action have received letters from imprisoned East Timorese resistance leader Xanana Gusmao after he heard of plans for a National Day of Action for a free East Timor on May 13. Following are major excerpts from those letters.
Max Lane
National Coordinator
Indonesia Solidarity Action

I am in full agreement with you that it is time for all progressive forces and all the pro-democracy forces to unite to smash the fascist dictatorship of the New Order so that a new democratic climate can be instituted for the Indonesian people and liberation can be won for the Maubere people. Your initiative is an expression of the reality of the commonalty of suffering of the Maubere and Indonesian people under the same oppressor. The solidarity that Aksi is building together with other organisations in Australia and in other countries is a solidarity between societies that shows that the suffering that is experienced by one part of society will always be felt by others.

I welcome and value highly your initiatives which have been developed into concrete actions and plans.

Just recently one of our comrades from PIJAR (Information Centre and Action Network for Reform) and three people from the Independent Alliance of Journalists have been arrested, and four more are being hunted out. In this regard I urge Aksi to launch continuous protests demanding their freedom and also freedom of opinion in Indonesia.

I am sure that the Indonesian people will be applauding the actions taken by our friends in Germany against Suharto. Perhaps this is the first time His Majesty this Javanese King has received such treatment. We know that in the future he or his ministers will receive this same treatment in the country of the kangaroos.

I promise to send an address for May 13th, if there is nothing which prevents me.

To Resistance

Wendy Robertson

Resistance Socialist Youth Organisation

Warm greetings and solidarity always.

I am honoured and proud for the Maubere people to receive your letter. Proud because after twenty years of experiencing difficulties in facing the Jakarta regime, today I as leader of the resistance of the Maubere people have come into contact with you a youth group which is very progressive and active and has a high concern about imperialism, the environment and human rights and more especially of course the right to self-determination for the Maubere people.

Youth are the rebels against the status quo, it is the youth that bring change. This is often noted by history for example in South Korea, China, Vietnam and other places. And in Indonesia too in 1966, although in that case it was also manipulated from above by the military.

Marching together with CNRM in carrying out actions with a political resonance gives hope to the Maubere people and to the pro-democracy movement in Indonesia that the attitude of the Australian authorities will change. All this time they have been collaborating with the new order regime to oppress the Indonesian people and the Maubere people. Using the excuse of being good neighbours and of wanting prosperity for the Australian people, the Australian authorities often ignore human rights in the cause of their profit motivated [mercantilist] policies. We know that the attitude of the Australian authorities does not reflect the attitudes of the Australian people. Many criticisms have been made by the Australian people of the Keating cabinet, but this has not yet changed the attitudes of that cabinet.

The Timor Gap question is one more proof of the profit seeking policy of Paul Keating and Gareth Evans. That plan was signed using the excuse that it was for the welfare of the Australian people and would provide the chance to improve the standard of living of the Maubere people.

ABRI [the Indonesian military] is continually killing Maubere people yet Paul Keating is so quick to express his satisfaction after Suharto and his forces form investigative commissions even though that he knows that these are only intrigues carried out by Suharto to combat the concerns expressed by foreign forces. This all in the name of the smooth functioning of his businesses.

I am sure Resistance together with other groups will struggle to their maximum to change these attitudes of Paul Keating's cabinet.

I also agree that the formation of a democratic political climate in Indonesia will have a positive impact for the liberation of the Maubere people. Because of this CNRM will always be in solidarity with Resistance to coordinate any demonstrations or other activities in support of democratisation in Indonesia and liberation for the Maubere people.

My honoured comrades in Resistance, the Maubere youth will always be in solidarity with you. It is the Maubere youth who are the frequent targets of assassination by the Indonesian military. The massacres at Santa Cruz and at Liquica are evidence of this. The Maubere youth are the future of a free Timor and for that future they have laid down their lives and they are still prepared to lay down their lives for the liberation of Free Timor. While the Indonesian military remain in Timor, the Maubere people will continue to die and be massacred but they know that their homeland demands this of them.

Before ending our discussion here on behalf of myself and in the name of the Maubere people I pass on my solidarity and my warm greetings to you and all those in Resistance.