A MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT
Fernando "Lasama" Araujo
Dili, 5 August 2006
Excellency Vice-Prime Minister, Dr. Rui Maria de Araœjo Excellency Director of IRI, Mr. John Poepsel Excellency Mr. Mark Harris, Political Affairs of UNOTIL Fellow Presidents of ASDT and PSD parties Fellow District Presidents, Secretary-generals of Democratic Party Coordinators of Sub-districts, Presidents of Districts Democratic Youth, Presidents of Districts Democratic Women, Political Commissioners, Heads of Departments, Members of Democratic Party, and all the guests who are gathering in this place,
We all gather here in today's event called National Conference of the Cadres of Democratic Party during a time where the nation encounters huge problems. Many people have lost their houses, many live under tents, and some have lost their belongings. All people live in fear. And the big numbers of people have lost their lives.
The leaders prefer to call such situation as a situation of crises by maintaining their credibility as authorities. Even though the situation has already deteriorated so much, they continue no to like the fact that the nation has entered into a state of emergency. Central and local governments do not function, Parliament does not carry its mission, PNTL was scattered; some were already involved in crimes, F-FDTL was split, and also many of them were involved in crimes. Ministers and Members of Parliament distributed weapons but the leaders find that the best definition for current situation is a State of
Distinguished guests and the conference participants, the children have the rights to freely live and obtain fresh air, and enjoy their childhood.
In 1999 we were pleased to accept the result of the referendum with the hope that the people had already started their tranquil life, people no longer live in fear, and people will no longer kill each other because the killers have gone back to their country.
We are all once again sad because people were killed due to the insensibility, incapacity, irresponsibility, arrogance and the ambition of those who are in power.
They are insensible because they think that dismissing 596 soldiers was a small problem, insulting people by saying that Òthey are thin, the youths have long hair but they do not wash themÓ was normal, and Òwhy the widows did not marry other menÓ were normal teasing words.
They are incapable because they do not know how to use the money given by friendly people from other countries to the people of Timor-Leste.
They are arrogant because by being in power they think they are the only experts in Timor-Leste, and also they are the ones who have the rights to talk about the lives of the nation, other groups and political parties have no rights to do so because they were the ones who have the legitimacy from 2001 elections.
They are irresponsible because they do not use the wealth of the people for the interest of the people but they used it for buying weapons, many vehicles, creating big offices, using facilities of the nation for the interests of the party, secretary of states receive salaries from people's money for carrying out political party's activities, making PNTL as the party's police, establishing armed wing of the party, intervening the judicial process, etc.
They are ambitious because they want to govern [the nation] for more than 50 years. Perhaps it is due to the fact that it is because of their misbehavior and bad governance, people start losing trust on them, they then chose to terrorize and intimidate people by distributing weapons to civilians. And also they realize that Democratic Party currently has become a threat for their interest and political ambition, then PD should become a scapegoat for all the things they did. They accused PD of being behind in all bad actions which caused the nation being divided due to the 'Loro-Monu and Loro-Sa'e' or 'Kaladi or Firaku' issue, and the case of petitioners. Sometimes, because of being desperate, they accused President of Republic, Church and Embassies in Timor-Leste of provoking the situation which turned into being bad. I would like to state to everyone that Democratic Party will not do politics with the suffering, blood and the lives of people.
All fellow companions, leaders of Democratic Party, as President [of the party], I feel very pleased because we can meet each other today. Along with Vice Presidents, Secretary-General, Vice Secretary-General and also fellows from central board of the party find that, through this conference, which belongs to all boards of Democratic Party from Tutuala up to Oecusse coming to this place by giving hands to each other and showing to those who have bad intention to the nation that the problem of 'Loro-Sa'e -Loro-Monu' was not a historical fact but it was the political fabrication aiming at weakening and diminishing the people of Timor-Leste that they will be able to be in power for years and years. In regards to this difficult situation, Democratic Party has declared many times that Fretilin's administration and the Parliament which the majority of its members are from Fretilin have lost the trust from people since the Parliament itself does not use its competence as enshrined in the Constitution to hold the practice of governance of former Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri's administration accountable. People do not feel any comfort from Mari Alkatiri's administration. During the crises, Parliament had not requested the Government for any accountability. On the contrary, the Parliament stood by the Government's side in trying to find scapegoats.
Democratic Party demands for the establishment of a transitional cabinet under the leadership of President. Such cabinet should be small and the task of the cabinet is to focus only on humanitarian matters such as problems of internal displaces persons, health, justice and stability, and how the internal displaced persons can return home, and prepare for general elections.
These are some parts of Democratric Party's views for finding a solution for the crises encountered by the nation at moment, which had been presented to the President of Republic. However, Fretilin continues to insist its power through legitimacy which Fretilin obtained from the elections for Constituent Assembly in 2001. Fretilin's concepts on general elections are like a fixed contract for five years. During five years people have elected them, therefore even though the Government kills people, being corrupt or destroys the nation is not a problem. The governing should continue within five years time.
All leaders of Democratic Party whom make me proud, you have crossed the sea from Oecussi and come here, you have crossed the mountains from Iliomar-up to Tilomar, Watucarbau and Lolotoe, and all districts as well as sub-districts throughout Timor-Leste. You came with big concerns that in Dili the security situation is not good, but you have very big courage, and I believe that you came with a thought and two expectations. Firstly, it is how we gather opinions in order to find new alternative solutions for the crises encountered by the nation and the latter, it is that Democratic Party will prepare itself well in order to participate in the upcoming general elections.
I express a very big respect to Dr. Rui Maria, Vice Prime Minister who really has a generous heart representing Prime Minister to come here, and be with us to share some thoughts on how the people can tackle these big crises. With the continuous respect and big consideration to the two Timorese sons (Rua Maria and Ramos-Horta), allow us to state that the people of Timor-Leste have no hope for the Cabinet that you lead since this cabinet continues to be full of those who were part of the conflicts causing the crises for the nation. Prime Minister and Vice Minister should double their efforts. Dr. Ramos Horta is no longer a Minister of Foreign Affairs. He is the Prime Minister who has the task to tackle the crises, and it is not the money from Kuwait which becomes the way for the solution [of the crises], and also it is not because of Timor-Leste's being not yet as an ASEAN member which made the crises exist.
The People of Timor-Leste need leaders who become the comfort, words which become as fresh water, and programs which can give them hope.
Democratic Party wishes to declare some of its positions on the Transitional Government as follows:
• The Transitional Government has no rights to sign treaties with other countries and also the Parliament which now has become part of the conflicts causing the crises, has lost its legitimacy to ratify treaties signed by Mari Alkatiri's administration;
• Fretilin and the administration which it created has lost credibility in the eyes of Timorese people, therefore Fretilin will no longer govern [the nation] next year;
• The Transitional Government should focus its activities mostly on how to solve the crises;
• The Transitional Government should work hard with multinational troops to disarm weapons which are still in the hands of civilians;
• Those who distributed weapons and committed crimes should be identified, and taken to the court;
• Meetings in all "bairros" [outskirts] in Dili should be promoted for dialog;
• Youths in Dili should participate as actors for stability.
We all are Timorese, and we hope that any burden should not be left behind for other fellows who will lead the nation next year.
All fellow companions, the life of the nation should go on. Democratic Party as a component of Timor-Leste should continue to exist like now it does in order to give all people hope that the nation of Timor-Leste will not follow the scenario wanted by Mari Alkatiri and his group.
As President, I hope that through this two-day meeting, Democratic Party will provide good alternative solutions [for the crises]. All the leaders of the party will also define the most priority of Democratic Party's activities much better, starting during the time of this meeting until general elections. All the leaders will define a definitive calendar for district level congresses for districts which have not done so, and also they will decide the date for national congress.
All leaders of Democratic Party should continue to show their responsibility, they should make efforts even harder so that the people of Timor-Leste will not lose hope for the independence which people had paid with their own lives. Please promise to one's self that this bad experience will not repeat again. Democratic Party is really an alternative, and Democratic Party is the hope of Timor-Leste.
Lastly, congratulations for all of you for your courage to come to Dili.
Long Life Democratic Party!
Fernando Lasama de Araújo President