Message from resistance leader

Issue 

Reprinted here are excerpts from the end of year message to East Timor solidarity supporters by imprisoned resistance leader Xanana Gusmao.

... Nineteen years have passed, and the most important difference to be noted is that the circumstances of 1975 are no longer compatible with conditions obtaining nowadays, and will never again repeat themselves ...

The dictatorial and colonialist regime in Jakarta has tried everything to deceive the world into thinking that there is no need to resolve the issue of East Timor ...

The third anniversary of the hideous Santa Cruz massacre was magnificently celebrated by the Maubere youth, proving once more to Jakarta that a people's nationalist conscience can not be bought, neither by rich nor by poor colonialists ...

We have always stated that if Jakarta tried to play with time, this would be the boomerang causing its defeat. All regimes oppressing and dominating peoples commit the same historical sins. They minimise the value of people's consciousness, they pretend that people are mere objects of regimes, that they are simple instruments of manipulation by power holders.

Colonialist and dictatorial regimes ultimately fall under the pressures of the times. However, before this can happen they display an ideology to legitimise their own conceptions about themselves. They justify in this way their crimes, the denial of freedom, the exploitation of peasants, social injustices, repression of workers. The political and financial elite rises on the basis of such costs. They usually are in the proximity of the presidential family and of those favoured by the system, military officials, the true supporters of political power.

Dictatorial regimes are inflexible. The stronger they feel economically, the more arrogant they become in dictating to the world their repressive conceptions about principles and rights.

The Jakarta generals have waited for too long to appreciate a historical reality: the nationalist consciousness of the Maubere people is not killed by repression, nor is it suffocated by crimes.

Indonesia should realise that this is the appropriate moment for it to rehabilitate itself before universal principles of international law ...

This was the perception which led [Indonesian foreign minister] Ali Alatas to state to the DPR/MPR [Indonesian parliament] that while it may be easy to deceive the Indonesian people into believing that East Timor is already Indonesian, it is a different matter to do this with the world ...

CNRM sees no other truly just way out than the previously presented peace plan leading to a referendum. Only this way will Indonesia be able to save its face in the wake of a conflict in which it has been placed as a violator of universal principles and of international law ...

Finally, I wish to use this opportunity to express to all East Timor solidarity groups and to all our friends throughout the world our most sincere gratitude, our friendship and recognition for your constant dedication to the Maubere people's cause. The liberation of the East Timor people will be an event also based on your political generosity and moral grandeur.

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