Subject: LUSA: Past struggle recalled on anniversary of armed resistance

20-08-2002 13:58:00. Notícia nº 4018415 Temas: new destaque4

East Timor: Past struggle recalled on anniversary of armed resistance

The commander of the East Timor Defense Force (ETDF) said Tuesday that the Dili government should build a monument to honor resistance fighters killed in the independence struggle against Indonesia and also clarify who fought as FALINTIL guerillas.

Brigadier-General Taur Matan Ruak, commander of the ETDF, was speaking at a ceremony in Dili to mark the 27th anniversary of the creation of FALINTIL, the ex-armed wing of the Timorese resistance movement.

"I want to remind the government that in the last two years, the most complex and controversial matter has been ex-FALINTIL members", said Matan Ruak, who added that the government should begin to identify who was, and who wasn't a member of the armed resistance.

Separately, an ex-guerilla commander strongly criticized the United Nations, the international community and Timor`s defense forces in a speech also commemorating FALINTIL`s anniversary.

Ologari Assuain told a crowd of around 2000 that the ETDF was an organization "imposed by foreigners". The former UNTAET administration and Timorese National Resistance Council were responsible for current instability, Assuain said.

Foreign Minister Jose Ramos Horta told the crowd "we are all human" and said dialog was the best option. Ramos Horta appealed to all, especially the young, not to succumb to xenophobia as support of the international community was crucial to Timor`s future.

Dili`s foreign minister told Lusa he was surprised at the inflammatory tone of Assuain`s address, saying that this could incite violence. However, such extreme views were "normal" in the light of Timor`s experience and dialog must always be kept up, he added.

CJB/ASP -Lusa-

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