Subject: RDP: Ruak announces structure of future armed forces

BBC Summary of World Broadcasts

Leader announces structure of future armed forces Source: RDP Antena 1 radio, Lisbon, in Portuguese 0900 gmt 25 Dec 00

Excerpt from report by Portuguese radio on 25 December

[Presenter] Xanana Gusmao [president of the National Council of the Timorese Resistance] spent part of Christmas day with Timorese children. Antonio Veladas reports:

[Reporter] Xanana Gusmao received Timorese children in Dili's gymnasium. Thousands of children dressed in their best clothes received their presents from the president's hands. This is a well deserved Christmas' present, isn't that so, Xanana Gusmao, because they are the future of Timor?

[Gusmao] Yes, that is so. At least, this is the realization of the fact that we are moving towards a new future and, as you have observed, some enjoy it in their best clothes, others in their everyday ones. We always want to give the children a bit more comfort because, in fact, everything we are doing, we do it for them.

[Reporter] Do you hope to have a permanent Christmas in Timor?

[Gusmao] Things have been improving, things have been improving.

[Reporter] Apart from the presents, what do you wish for the Timorese people this Christmas, for the people who regard you as the man who will lead them to full democracy?

[Gusmao] I believe that the essential now is political stability, and it is with this in perspective, that we have been asking all political leaders to be aware that without political stability things will become more difficult. For me, this is the most important...

[Presenter] ... Political stability is also important for the creation of the future Timorese armed forces. Falintil [East Timor National Liberation Armed Forces] Commander Taur Matan Ruak announced that the Timorese armed forces will only be made of two branches, the army and the navy, in a total of 3,000 men.

[Ruak] It was decided to have a total of 3,000 soldiers, of which 1,500 will be permanent and 1,500 reserves. In this way, the number of soldiers recruited from the Falintil will be only 636, 36 for the navy and 600 for the army, for its first battalion. The remaining forces will have to be recruited later.

[Presenter] ... These soldiers will receive training from the Portuguese army and also from the armies of Australia and New Zealand. The training programme will start in January [2001].

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