Subject: Pro Integration Party Joins the CNRT

Report from Lisbon, Portugal: A Pro-Integration Party Joins the CNRT 23 Aug 2000 16:53:40 WIB

TEMPO Interaktif, Lisbon : The pro-integration Apodeti (Associagco Popular Timorense) Party decided to join the CNRT (Conselho National de Resistancia Timorese/The East Timor National Resistance Movement), according to a press release obtained by TEMPO Interaktif in Lisbon on Tuesday, August 22. The Apodeti Party issued the statement as the CNRT Congress continued in Dili, East Timor. According to the press release, the Apodeti Party decided to join the CNRT to show its support for reconciliation efforts and national unity in East Timor. Apodeti called on all factions to join the CNRT and build the new Timor Lorosae nation. Apodeti is the only native East Timorese political party that supported integration with Indonesia. Therefore, Apodeti was labeled pro-autonomy during the referendum process.

Domingos Soares, a founder of the CNRT Congress, told TEMPO Interaktif that the Apodeti Party decision to join the CNRT will make the East Timorese people more optimistic about national reconciliation. In reality, a single language (Tetum) and a common set of traditions boads well for East Timorese unity. We must use a cultural approach to heal past traumas. The people of East Timor were victimized by Portuguese colonialism for 450 years and Indonesian colonialism for 24 years, he said. Soares added that the time has come for the East Timorese to enjoy the freedom promised by referendum process.

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