Timor again (sorry Lou)

João Paulo Monteiro jpmonteiro at SPAMmail.telepac.pt
Sun Nov 14 06:08:09 MST 1999

Gary MacLennan wrote:

> Now the other interesting item concerned a warning from Gusmao to 'UN
> humanitarian groups that 'they must change their ways or leave as tensions
> between international and local organisations escalated.(BCM 12.11.99 p 16)
> It seems Gusmao was speaking after Australian troops conducted three raids
> on the home of his deputy Leandro Issaac.

Yes, thinks are definitely turning sour between the east-timorese
resistance council (CNRT) and the australian forces and the humanitarian

Xanana Gusmão said that if the humanitarian organizations were not ready
to coordinate their efforts with the CNRT (who best knows the needs of
the populations) they had better leave.

Leandro Isaac said he was all too accustomed to seeing his house
searched by the indonesian TNI, precisely with the same excuses the
australians are employing now. The australian forces (visibly
transfigured by fear) are
behaving in the most arrogant and stupid of all possible manners,
ostensibly escorting the east-timorese leaders (including Xanana) at gun
point whenever they travel through the cities.

Mario Carrascalão, vice-president of the CNRT (and most probably future
prime-minister) is strenuously denouncing the "colonialist occupation"
of the country. His home (probably one of the few good houses left in
Dili) is occupied by the australian command and he is being forced to
live in a tent on his garden.

Now the australians are making some noises to the purpose that the
east-timorese should adopt english as their official language. To which
the east-timorese are saying: no way! Maybe this will drag the
portuguese government into the melee.

The appointed head of the UN transitional administration (UNTAET) is the
brazilian Sergio Vieira de Melo. He is also under fire from various
members of the CNRT, for insufficient relliance on east-timorese cadre
in the arrangements for the UNTAET.

As I predicted, the culture of the east-timorese resistance cannot adapt
to compliance on a neo-colonialist solution.

The CNRT line on foreign policy is alignment within Asia, with the best
possible relations with Indonesia, now much facilitated by the changes
in its government (the new indonesian president Abdurrahman Wahid is a
friend of several east-timorese leaders). East-Timor will apply for
membership in ASEAN.

João Paulo Monteiro

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