quarta-feira, setembro 03, 2008

East Timor: Who shot J R Horta?


By Simon Roughneen

DILI - East Timor's post-independence politics have confounded outside observers, and for the most part the Timorese themselves. Simultaneously transparent and opaque, what was thought to be a mono-cultural, impoverished, Western-backed, state-building poster-child has morphed into a divided half-island, with obscure tribal-linguistic rivalries once considered dormant since stirred by political rivalries and manifested in quasi-mysterious gangs.

The Timorese political elite remain at odds along familiar regime lines, demarcations so old that these rivalries were, broadly speaking, established when Richard Nixon was still in the White House and more sharply honed in the 1980s - when soap opera addicts spent months wondering who shot J R Ewing, the fictional Texan oil mogul in Dallas.

But East Timor may now have its own Watergate, or at least a watershed political moment depending on which version of the events of February 11 finally emerges as the truth. That day, Dili's usual idyllic dawn was shattered by shots ringing out along the seaside valleys just a few miles east of the city, close to the white sand beaches favored by Timor's affluent expatriate community.

In what was regarded as either failed assassination attempts on President Jose Ramos-Horta and Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao, or perhaps instead a meeting-gone-awry between Ramos-Horta and former Timorese soldier Alfredo Reinado, the shoot-outs put the president in the hospital for two months and left rebel leader-cum-assassin Reinado in an early grave.

Reinado led the Petitioners, a group of disenchanted soldiers from the western half of the country who felt discriminated against by army top brass from the country's eastern regions. Prior to being dismissed from the armed services, he was pivotal in a chain of violent events in 2006 that led to over 100,000 Timorese being driven from their homes and the resignation of then-prime minister Mari Alkatiri. The army split, the police force disintegrated and Reinado took to the hills.

Some of Reinado's colleagues that fateful February morning have offered confusing and contradictory versions of what led up to the incident and what finally happened when their flamboyant front man died. Ramos-Horta himself has revised his initial recollection - that one of the rebels, Marcel Caetano, fired the bullets that almost killed him - after visiting the imprisoned would-be assassin in Dili's Becora jailhouse.

So who really shot Ramos-Horta and why? Considering the political machinations that preceded the shootings, it now seems unlikely it was Reinado who pulled the trigger. Ramos-Horta had repeatedly offered olive branches to the flashy rent-a-quote rebel, who had been dismissed by the Australian-led international forces and the ruling Parliamentary Majority Alliance (AMP) coalition headed by Ramos-Horta's ally Gusmao, as a de facto criminal with no political status.

Another rumor doing the rounds was that, behind the scenes, Ramos-Horta had given up on the recalcitrant fugitive and that Reinado had set out in a huff for Dili to confront the president. That would have been suicidal unless it was followed by a coup attempt, hence the apparent simultaneous hit on Gusmao led by Gastinho Salsinha, Reinado's deputy. However, that too now seems unlikely given the lack of men and hardware at Reinado's disposal that morning.

In any case, Ramos-Horta survived, Reinado died, and the political fallout was until now minimal. That was until The Australian newspaper revealed it had reviewed the top-secret report drafted by Muhumad Nurul Islam, Timor's leading forensic pathologist, saying it indicated that Reinado and his sidekick Leopoldinho Exposto were shot at close or point-blank range in an execution style that does not tally with the prevailing shoot-out version of events - namely, that Reinado was taken out at a range of 10 meters or so by one of Ramos-Horta's snipers.

Nurul reported that Reinado had blackening and burning around each of his four bullet wounds and said he had been shot with a high-velocity rifle "at close range". Nurul added that Exposto was shot squarely in the back of his head, also at close range. David Ranson from the Victoria Institute of Forensics was quoted by The Australian saying that the blackening and burning mentioned in Nurul's report only appears when a gun is fired at almost point-blank range.

Ramos-Horta later raged in a Timorese newspaper against The Australian newspaper and the forensic scientists that the newspaper consulted. Attorney General Longinus Montero disputed The Australian version of events, telling reporters in Dili that "It's not right, that information isn't right. The case is still under investigation." He added that the results could not yet be made public.

Apart from the apparent contradictions, much of what apparently transpired on February 11 seems strange. Most glaring was why, with gunfire ringing around his house, Ramos-Horta returned home, or more to the point, why his security detail let him do so. Much has been made of the delay in the army and police response to the shooting, and it appears that Reinado's body was moved around the crime scene, and that police present even answered his mobile phone as he lay dead.

Confusion and conspiracy
Some of Timor's other political grandees appear set to capitalize on the confusion. Mario Carrascalao, a key member of the ruling coalition, said on August 17 that "we still don't know what happened". "For me, all the stories that have been told here - I don't trust them," he said. He called for the immediate release of the prosecutor-general's report into the attacks and the establishment of an independent inquiry into "what happened and more importantly why it happened".

Prime Minister Gusmao has so far resisted calls for any independent inquiry. Before the February shootings, Ramos-Horta's house stood alone at the corner of the route heading uphill from Dili and east to Timor's second city Baucau, no more than a few feet from the roadside, and with some of the gardens easily visible from inside cars and trucks winding uphill to breathtaking views of the Wetar Strait.

The standard version of events, summed up by James Dunn in a paper written for the Australian Human rights Council, took a best-case view that Reinado did not actually intend to kill Ramos-Horta during the fateful encounter: "Almost certainly it was a botched attempt by the rebel leader, Alfredo Reinado, to corner the president and seek further assurances that the proposed surrender conditions, culminating in his pardon, would in fact be carried out."

The report continued: "The plan went tragically wrong because Reinado's target was not there. The President was not at home, but out on a very early beach walk. Reinado's men disarmed the guards and occupied the residence grounds, but two soldiers turned up unexpectedly and shot Reinado and one of his men at what was apparently point blank range. Hearing the shooting, Ramos-Horta hurried back to the residence where he was shot by one of Reinado's men, a rebel enraged at the killing of their leader. It is likely that this angry reaction caused another rebel party to fire on Prime Minister Xanana some time later."

Still, the rumor mill went into overdrive after the shootings. Questions have arisen about the provenance of a US$700,000 bank account in Australia that Reinado allegedly had access to. Other sketchy details surround the links between the rebels and Joao Tavares, who was once described by the UN as the top militia commander in East Timor in 1999. Three rebels were arrested in April in Indonesia-ruled West Timor while staying at his personal residence.

Reinado had a fake Indonesian identification on his person when shot and, bizarrely, Ramos-Horta later railed against Desi Anwar, a well-known Indonesian broadcast journalist who interviewed the fugitive in Indonesia in 2007, for facilitating Reinado's clandestine cross-border travels. In January, an obscure group linked to Reinado known as the Movement for National Unity and Justice (MUNJ) withdrew from moribund talks between the government and the rebels, a failure that Ramos-Horta and Gusmao blamed on Reinado's girlfriend, Angie Pires.

Depending on which rebel account you believe, however, MUNJ representatives were with Reinado right up to February 10, allegedly supplying the vehicles that took the rebels to the capital's outskirts the day of the reputed assassination attempt.

Another notable and as-yet-unexplained detail emerged from a contact number found on the dead Reinado's mobile phone under the name "Hercul". That's led some to believe the Jakarta-based, Timor-born Hercules Rozario Marca was in contact with Reinado prior to the events at Ramos-Horta's residence. Weeks later two of the rebels linked to Reinado were arrested at Marca's home.

Marca visited Dili in late January and met with Reinado, according to Gusmao's AMP coalition partner and former East Timor governor Mario Carrascalao. During his January visit, Marca also reportedly discussed investment opportunities with various Timorese officials, including both Ramos-Horta and Gusmao, according to the Sun Herald.

With government approval, Marca is now primed to invest in a new

swimming pool along Dili's docklands, across from the Parliament House, a remarkable rehabilitation for a man that once allegedly provided muscle to Jakarta's attempts to cow East Timor's independence activists. He has joined other former Jakarta businessmen once linked to Indonesian strongman Suharto who are now cutting government-brokered business deals in Dili, including one for a new casino.

Some say it is no coincidence that those deals were completed around the time an Indonesian-Timorese Commission fudged issues of justice and accountability for crimes committed during Jakarta's brutal quarter-century occupation of the former Portuguese colony, to the chagrin of many Timorese.

The Commission on Truth and Friendship (CTF) was established in 2005 by the Timorese and Indonesian governments to examine violence perpetrated by Jakarta's troops and its Timorese proxies during the 1999 violence that marred the vote for independence from Indonesia.

However, the CTF had no powers to prosecute, prompting criticism that it served to whitewash atrocities. Its final report, issued on July 15, concluded that Indonesia also had responsibility for gross human rights violations, such as murder, rape, torture, illegal detention and forced mass deportations, that were committed by militias with the support and participation of Indonesian institutions and their members.

While Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono expressed his "deepest regret" for the victims, he quickly dismissed the notion that those responsible should be brought to justice.

After the April shooting, before being released from hospital, Ramos-Horta said Indonesian officers should "come clean" and acknowledge their responsibility for 1999 violence, and that both countries would need to read the commission's report calmly and "see whether we need to take further steps to address the events of 1999".

Earlier, the apparently traumatized Ramos-Horta had visions of a crowd trying to suffocate him, and separately he alleged Indonesian involvement in the assassination attempt on his life. Yudhoyono rebuked that claim, and by the time the CTF report came out Ramos-Horta had completely changed his tune, saying that the victims' legacy would be used to build stronger links between the two countries and that Timor would not be seeking an international tribunal to try those responsible. He was joined by Gusmao in declaring, "We are determined to bring a closure to a chapter of our recent past."

Dormant lightning rod

Reinado's cult-like status led some to fear he could be seen as a martyr and his death become a lightening rod for political discontent. An Australian-led attempt to apprehend him at his southern redoubt in Same in 2007 led to riots in Dili, as his supporters torched buildings and cars. But Reinado's cause seemed to die with its leader, at least in the public eye, although the east-west regional divide inside the Timorese army that prompted Reinado to rebel in the first place remains unsolved.

With illiteracy rates at 60% and child malnutrition 40%, many people are wondering when Timor's some $3 billion in oil revenues, accrued since the establishment of a national petroleum fund in 2005, will start to filter down to the impoverished grassroots. East Timor is listed by the UN as the poorest country per capita in the Asia-Pacific region. More political strife means that potentially lucrative tourism from Australia seems unlikely to take off anytime soon, despite Timor being a closer, cleaner and relatively untouched alternative to Bali, a line Gusmao peddled while on an official visit to Australia last week.

Instead, soaring food and fuel prices are making life even harder for Timor's poor. An official move to give 100,000 hectares of land to the production of bio-fuel crops in a furtive deal with the Indonesian company GT Leste Biotech irked many, not least because it was brokered in January but did not become public until June. That controversial deal with the island state's former occupier was followed by the arrest of around 60 students protesting a decision to buy cars for each of the Timor government's 65 MPs.

The run of government slip-ups only adds to the growing divide between East Timor's politicians and its people, particularly among the restless and unemployed youth. How more contradictory versions of Ramos-Horta's shooting will affect perceptions remains to be seen and reactions will be hard to predict.

Timor has confounded outside observers since independence, with few anticipating the 2006 security meltdown, for example, and others following up with doomsday predictions for the 2007 elections, which in actuality passed off peacefully. What is clear, however, is that since Reinado's demise and the dissolution of his rebellion, the 100,000 internally displaced people have started to return home.

Yet Timor's political top brass have seen their popularity steadily decline in the years since independence. Ramos-Horta attributed Gusmao's disappointing showing in the 2007 parliamentary elections as due to the former fighters "losing touch with the people". FRETILIN, the socialists now in opposition and who were at odds with Gusmao since the early days of Indonesian occupation, saw their vote halved in the same 2007 vote.

Months before the disputed shoot-out, Ramos-Horta did much better in securing around 70% of the votes in the second presidential poll, albeit in a straight run-off against a weak FRETILIN candidate. Now military roadblocks mark the road on both sides of the once-popular president's home, where before the February shootout the Nobel Peace Prize laureate often went for his early morning jog greeting fishermen and bar owners with an easy and secure familiarity.

Simon Roughneen is a roving freelance journalist. He has reported from Africa, Southeast Asia the Middle East and Pakistan.

(Copyright 2008 Asia Times Online (Holdings) Ltd. All rights reserved. Please contact us about sales, syndication and republishing.)

Budget Execution Report Up to Second Quarter - January - June 2008

Ministry of Finance - National Directorate of Treasury


Blog Timor Lorosae Nação:


As origens

Nascido em Laleia, Manatuto, lado nascente de Timor-Leste, portanto lorosae, Alexandre Gusmão beneficiou de estar integrado numa família conceituada e beneficiada aos olhos da Igreja Católica e do Colonialismo Português. Por tudo isso usufruiu dos privilégios da administração colonial e acabou por vir estudar para Dili e ingressar na Administração Pública. Como todos os jovens também ele tinha os seus sonhos, mas porque os horizontes eram pouco espaçosos naquela ilha paradisíaca de nada valia sonhar com o impossível.

Os sonhos, as ambições não podiam ir muito além de uma carreira no funcionalismo público de então. Gusmão conseguira-o, por via do privilegiado estatuto da sua família, mas essa não era a sua ambição daquele momento. Alexandre Gusmão queria ser figura do desenvolvimento agrícola de Timor. Ter as suas propriedades de exploração agrícola, os seus empregados, a sua independência e bem-estar arrancado ao terreno fértil que o viu nascer. Se bem o pensou, melhor o tentou.

O crédito

Julgando beneficiar do seu estatuto de funcionário público requereu um empréstimo financeiro á banca colonial... Que não, não senhor, não lhe emprestariam nem um chavo, que o seu projecto enfermava de incongruências e não era fiável nem viável. O colonialismo frustrara a mente voluntariosa e ambiciosa do jovem Alexandre. Abespinhado, acabou por se demitir da função pública colonial e andar um pouco aos caídos por Dili, fazendo as patacoadas próprias de um jovem com algumas habilitações e experiências, muito reprovadas para as convenções de então. Aquele jovem era uma enorme dor de cabeça para a família, principalmente para o pai, pessoa muito considerada pela sua postura exemplar para a época.

Fez uma tentativa de emigrar para a Austrália, que não resultou, tendo o 25 de Abril de 1974 surpreendido Gusmão dias depois de ter regressado a Timor. Alexandre ingressa então no jornal A voz de Timor estagiando e auferindo um parco ordenado, que mesmo assim era muito bom em comparação com os ganhos dos timorenses comuns.

O Che Guevara de Lorosae

Invadido de um nacionalismo serôdio por contágio de outros elementos realmente esclarecidos e anti-colonialistas Alexandre Gusmão adere á ASDT, partido social-democrata, fundado por José Ramos Horta e outros. Mais tarde a ASDT viria a transformar-se na FRETILIN com um programa mais ambicioso e consonante com os tempos revolucionários que então se viviam. O desempenho de Alexandre era de simples aprendiz das teorias maoístas, marxistas, guevaristas, etc. Che Guevara cativou-o particularmente e de forma a influencia-lo durante muitos anos de luta contra a ocupação indonésia. No topo da sua mente figurava a luta pela libertação e independência do seu país, não como Guevara que via as coisas de um modo universal. Alexandre era um guevarista, comportando-se como tal mesmo em relação á sua família, pais, mulher e filho. Um combatente tem por sua família o combate pela liberdade e os seus camaradas, nada mais.

A captura do guerrilheiro e o "estrelato"

A partir daí foi por demais conhecido o percurso de Gusmão, agora Xanana. Com a sua captura pelos indonésios a sua imagem correu mundo, popularizando-se e adquirindo estatuto romântico-heroico para preencher as faltas de tais personagens que eram e continuam a ser actualmente raras ou inexistentes. O julgamento, a prisão em Cipinang, catapultaram Xanana para as páginas dos jornais de todo o mundo e assim um anónimo timorense passou a herói e vítima da boçalidade indonésia.

A gaiola dourada

Só ao princípio a prisão de Xanana era sentida sob a forma mais rigorosa do termo e a sua imagem corria mundo capitalizando atenções para a agenda política da Fretilin e da luta pela libertação de Timor-Leste. O regime indonésio, liderado por Suharto, estava a apodrecer lentamente e já se prognosticava a sua queda, o que representava um sério problema para aquela estratégica região e para o caso de Timor-Leste. Os governos australianos sempre jogaram com um pau de dois bicos em relação á invasão e consequente ocupação de Timor pela Indonésia e com o sofisma de explorarem o petróleo no Mar de Timor, reconheceram a anexação pelo putrefacto regime indonésio, apoiando a Indonésia nas Nações Unidas, juntamente com os USA, ou obstando a que medidas para a reposição da legalidade e reconhecimento de Timor estado soberano fossem tomadas. A Austrália tinha de limpar as suas mãos sujas de toda esta sua política em nome da exploração ilegal do petróleo no Mar de Timor. Num fantástico golpe de rins, característico de países e políticas sujas, o assunto começou a ser equacionado por qualificados mentores. A aproximação a Xanana Gusmão foi a solução encontrada e a que acabou por resultar plenamente quando a fórmula foi encontrada.

Os discípulos de Maquiavel

Várias tentativas diplomáticas foram feitas ao longo dos anos em que o líder da guerrilha timorense foi residente na prisão indonésia, mas a receptividade de Xanana era moderada e parecia sempre esbarrar no comportamento pró-indonésio da Austrália.

Foi uma tentativa simples e impensável que resultou: uma mulher! Xanana Gusmão foi vencido pela gula do sexo e convívio amistoso com uma sua admiradora e apoiante da luta de libertação de Timor-Leste. Kirsty Sword, de seu nome, australiana de origem, personificando a via para a continuidade desencabrestada da exploração petrolífera. A bem urdida abordagem ao futuro homem forte de Timor independente, a fabricar, resultara e agora só era necessário garantir a sua consistência e a prossecução do vasto plano.

Maquiavel em acção

Manipulável, perante a "inteligência" norte-americana, inglesa e australiana, o presidiário caiu que nem um pato. A Indonésia foi arregimentada para que a "abertura" do regime acontecesse o mais pacificamente possível e levada a mostrar boa vontade em relação ao líder da guerrilha timorense.

Os encontros amorosos entre Kirsty e Xanana aconteceram muitas vezes fora da prisão de Cipinang, em locais previamente definidos e acordados com as autoridades indonésias colaborantes. A libertação estava para breve e Xanana sabia-o.

Só aqueles que desconheciam que Shuarto ia cair de podre é que ainda resistiam, caso da guerrilha timorense que continuava a perder resistentes em operações contra o invasor. Tudo aconteceu num abrir e fechar de olhos. Xanana casou-se com a australiana com o mais puro dos sentimentos, garantindo assim á Austrália o passaporte para o controle do líder, do país e do petróleo, bem como todos os benefícios que daí para si advirão.

Liberdade rumo á "independência"

Noutro abrir e fechar de olhos Suharto resigna á sua política de punhos de aço e a Indonésia passa a conhecer a auto-estrada para a democracia. O direito ao referendo é reconhecido em Timor-Leste e a independência não tardou - com o saldo negativo de muitas chacinas por parte dos pró-indonésios que nunca entenderam o que se preparava há tanto tempo.
Xanana é libertado finalmente com honras de chefe de estado e recebido em muitos países sob esse estatuto.

Era o natural PR para Timor-Leste, assim estava delineado pelas altas políticas internacionais e os grandes lobbies do petróleo.

A República dos Xananas

Xanana será sempre refém do bem urdido plano que dura há anos e tudo é tão natural para ele que se lesse esta análise a repudiaria com todas as forças que conseguisse reunir. É muito provável que uma pessoa tão limitada quanto a mulher por quem se apaixonou agora esteja a seu lado naturalmente, com sentimentos recíprocos aos do homem que a ama. Pode mesmo querer iludir-se que a farsa só existiu no princípio, mas a verdade é que a farsa continua e a manipulação também. Consciente ou inconscientemente, deve ser horrível sobreviver assim, com a alma vendida ao diabo.

Para Timor-Leste o futuro há muito reservado foi o "progresso" de uma jovem nação denominada República dos Xananas!

* O original encontra-se em http://timorlorosaenacao.nireblog.com/ - 09.12.06
- Este artigo também se encontra em http://resistir.info/

Under a cloud

Australian Network NewsHour with Jim Middleton
[watch via here: http://australianetwork.com/newshour/archives.htm ]

East Timor is battling chronic unemployment and the future of its potentially biggest asset - gas - is under a cloud. Jim Middleton speaks to Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao.

East Timor may be one of the world's poorest nations but it does have one very valuable asset - oil and gas.

Woodside Petroleum wants to exploit the Greater Sunrise field but has rejected Dili's proposal to process the gas in East Timor. Now a confrontation appears to be looming with East Timor's Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao insisting it's not just up to the company, but his country also has a say.

Jim Middleton spoke to Mr Gusmao during his whirlwind visit to Australia.

Jim Middleton:Prime Minister, thank you very much for your time. You sometimes seem like a very reluctant Prime Minister, if I can put it that way. I saw you say that you'd prefer to be growing pumpkins, I think it was. How are you enjoying the job these days?

Xanana Gusmao, East Timorese Prime Minister:Well, if you ask me how I enjoy the job I must tell you that by the daily achievement you can enjoy your, you can fulfill your promise to the people. It is the way how you enjoy your job. If you don't get to solve the problems, of course you will be, at night you will have say, bad nights.

Jim Middleton:So are you sleeping well?

Xanana Gusmao:Sometimes very badly, but many times I feel that I am getting, I'm sleeping well because things are going, the country's calm now, it's stable. Many of the problems that we inherited are solved.

Jim Middleton:You've talked a lot while you were in Australia about the need to provide jobs for the unemployed in East Timor. Is providing work for those without jobs the key to political stability in East Timor, do you think?

Xanana Gusmao:They need jobs. Every year we receive 15,000 to 16,000 youth to the job market. The problem is that we don't have this market and we have to provide job, we have to assist them to gain skills and it's why we are asking to help us in this.

Jim Middleton:I was speaking to President Jose Ramos-Horta earlier in the year and he was pointing out to me that Cuba, for example, was educating doctors for you and yet Australia was not able to see its way clear to do, to provide similar skills training for East Timorese. Do you find that a little ironic?

Xanana Gusmao:Well, everyone can see this. Of course, we are trying also to get other options to send our people to study...

Jim Middleton:I guess what I'm saying is should Australia be doing more?

Xanana Gusmao:But if Australia thinks that it can help in this way, of course we will appreciate very much. And we send already 54 civil servants to Indonesia to have post-evaluation abilities.
The problem for us is the education is better here but also very expensive.

Jim Middleton:Do you think that the refusal at this stage of the Australian government to allow your people to participate in the new guest worker scheme reflects some dissatisfaction on the part of the Australian administration in the steps you have taken yourself and your government, to provide employment and encourage employment in East Timor?

Xanana Gusmao:We understand, we understand, we understand that we are not part of Pacific Islands. And that is why by the statements from Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, he said that in the end of the year we will see what we can do or Australia can do. And we hope, we hope.

Jim Middleton:What do you say to your critics within East Timor who suggest that in your current budget too much is being spent on or wasted I think they would suggest on recurrent expenditure and not enough is being spent on capital investment - 15 per cent I think as opposed to 85 per cent.

Xanana Gusmao:This is the difference - capital investment in what?

Jim Middleton:Well in education, in health, in schools?

Xanana Gusmao:Well we are investing more than $US2 million to scholarships, to human resources. That never happen. That never happen.

And every year we will spend more and more to prepare our young generation for 10 to 15 years to take over the country. That is why it is not true.

And in my campaign I said we have to cut this vicious cycle, to fix holes and to create new holes.

It is not capital investment for my understanding. That is why we are studying how to invest in proper way to push the development growth.

If not, we will not. We will just say, oh I have more two or three police posts this year, three or four schools here. But our people live, our children live far away from schools. There is a big rate of dropouts. Our people live far away from the health service. Our people cannot bring their product to the cities or to the towns because of bad roads. Our people, our children cannot study because they don't have light at night. Our small enterprises, our medium enterprises cannot do anything because we don't deliver electricity, power to their houses.

And what will move the economy? Not only the big investments but also the rural capability to make sure that productive activities are there, are in place in the rural communities. It is what we think about capital development.

Jim Middleton:While you were in Australia you've met with executives from Woodside Petroleum about their plans for exploitation of the gas field at Greater Sunrise. They seem to think that they will not proceed with plans to process the gas in East Timor. Is that a disappointment and is that the end of the story as far as you're concerned?

Xanana Gusmao:I don't believe so.

Jim Middleton:Do you have other options? I mean is it actually a matter for Woodside to decide?

Xanana Gusmao:... the end of the story because the decisions should be from all of us.

We did one decision, important decision in our history - unilateral proclamation of independence in '75, nobody, no-one supports this, no-one, only a few countries supported us. Unilaterally it is the wrong way to seek for solutions, no? We have to seek for other options also. It is in our interest.

We cannot go and discuss something that we don't know. We have to know, we have to look at the possibilities.

Jim Middleton:So are you saying there are other options beyond Woodside?

Xanana Gusmao:We are trying, we are trying to, we are doing the feasibility studies. For us the problem will be, the problem for us, the decision will be more in technical factors - feasibility, safety, commercial viability, including the cost in each options - will be the deciding factors for this issue.

That is why we promise that in the first quarter of the next year we will announce our own findings. Because it is fair that you, somebody present in the table, one part present his options, and another part present also its options. And only the technical and commercial factors will decide, and we will decide together.

Jim Middleton:So are you saying it's not up to Woodside alone to determine how it proceeds, it is up to East Timor as well?

Xanana Gusmao:Of course.

Jim Middleton:East Timor as well and you could say no to the whole deal?

Xanana Gusmao:Of course. We will discuss. We'll be, there will be Commission for Greater Sunrise. Also we are drawing the protocol to make clear the rules of engagement. We, next year we will announce the strategic planning, the development planning. This is not unilateral problem. It is bilateral problem.

Jim Middleton:Let's go to one final subject which of course is the traumatic events at the beginning of the year with the assassination attempt on Jose Ramos-Horta, I think also yourself.

Has the country been able, do you think, in the intervening months been able to put that entirely behind it? Do you think that has now, the trauma is over, stability has returned? Do you think it's as simple as that now?

Xanana Gusmao:Yes. Only by one factor. We started to understand that the fragile state only can come when the institutions of the state don't work together. But if they are together in big national interest issues the state is not fragile. The state can consolidate year by year. And by only this factor I can tell you yes.

Jim Middleton:Prime Minister, it's been a pleasure to talk to you.

Xanana Gusmao:Thank you.

Published: 28/08/2008


Todas as traduções de inglês para português (e também de francês para português) são feitas pela Margarida, que conhecemos recentemente, mas que desde sempre nos ajuda.

Obrigado pela solidariedade, Margarida!

Mensagem inicial - 16 de Maio de 2006

"Apesar de frágil, Timor-Leste é uma jovem democracia em que acreditamos. É o país que escolhemos para viver e trabalhar. Desde dia 28 de Abril muito se tem dito sobre a situação em Timor-Leste. Boatos, rumores, alertas, declarações de países estrangeiros, inocentes ou não, têm servido para transmitir um clima de conflito e insegurança que não corresponde ao que vivemos. Vamos tentar transmitir o que se passa aqui. Não o que ouvimos dizer... "

Malai Azul. Lives in East Timor/Dili, speaks Portuguese and English.
This is my blogchalk: Timor, Timor-Leste, East Timor, Dili, Portuguese, English, Malai Azul, politica, situação, Xanana, Ramos-Horta, Alkatiri, Conflito, Crise, ISF, GNR, UNPOL, UNMIT, ONU, UN.