Subject: XG: Appeal to the Nation

Presidencia da Republica

Gabinete do Presidente

Official English Version

APPEAL TO THE NATION From His Excellency the President of the Republic, also on behalf of His Excellency the President of the National Parliament And His Excellency the Prime Minister

Palácio das Cinzas, 5th of October 2006


The Independent Special Commission of Inquiry is about to present its Report. Since the time the United Nations transferred the powers of independence to us, in May 2002, this is the first time that our State had wholeheartedly opened our hands and asked the United Nations to establish a commission to investigate the situation in our country. The United Nations agreed to the request of the sovereign organs of Timor-Leste and established a commission which became known as the Independent Special Commission of Inquiry.

The mandates entrusted by the United Nations to the Independent Special Commission of Inquiry are as follows:

* To establish the facts and circumstances relevant to the incidents of 28 ­ 29 April, 23 ­ 25 May, and other events or issues which contributed to the crisis;

* To clarify responsibility for those events;

* To recommend measures to ensure accountability , and in doing so, with regards to the alleged serious crimes and violations of human rights throughout the period covered by the mandate of the commission, will take into account the existing legal and judicial mechanisms in Timor-Leste;

Timor-Leste conveyed to the United Nations the request to establish this commission on 8th of June, when Dr. Ramos-Horta as the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation wrote to His Excellency the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Dr. Kofi Annan, and requested that an Independent Special Commission of Inquiry be established. That letter was sent by Dr. Ramos-Horta on behalf of the entire State of Timor-Leste, including the undertaking that the Government of Timor-Leste, meaning all of us, will ensure that the results that will come out from this inquiry will strengthen our security sector and ensure accountability for the criminal offences and human rights violations allegedly committed during the crisis.


People of Timor-Leste

The time has now come for all of us to receive the result of the Independent Special Commission of Inquiry with its recommendations in order to assist us in the development of our security sector, enhance the respect for human rights, and to put an end to the political violence, ensuring that this crisis will not take place again in our country.

It is for the good of the State, and not for the good of any one person or leader. It is to contribute towards the enhancement of the development of the State, through democratic means and the Rule of Law.

As organs of sovereignty, the President of the Republic, the President of the Parliament and the Prime Minister, today, we are gathered here, in this conference, with one voice only.

We have not seen the report and the recommendations which the Independent Special Commission is yet to issue. We only know that the Commission will present its report and recommendations in the coming days.

We also know that the Commission’s report and its recommendations may turn out to be a heavy burden for many people; a heavy burden for the leaders, for many citizens, for civilians as well as the military and police forces. All these heavy burdens are, after all, a burden for the entire State.

That is why, today, we, the Prime Minister, the President of the National Parliament and the President of the Republic, jointly appear, here, at the Palácio das Cinzas, so together we can convey the following appeal:

That we shall receive with open heart the report and the recommendations which the Independent Special Commission of Inquiry will deliver to our beloved country;

That we shall receive with serene mind and with the sense of responsibility because that was a strong characteristic which the entire people of Timor-Leste have already demonstrated during the 24 years of national resistance embracing the resistance until we achieved our right to self determination and independence;

That we all shall welcome this report and recommendations, with a sense of dignity, strength and courage as has already been displayed by our people on 30th of August 1999, seven years ago, when our people casted their votes at the polling stations around Timor-Leste, and ended the illegal occupation in our land to gain independence.

These historical steps, we had made with the assistance of the United Nations, within its legal framework and in accordance with international laws.

Compatriots People of Timor-Leste

Once again, with the assistance of the UN, our people will receive the recommendations from the United Nations’ Special Commission, the Commission which we ourselves had asked to be established, to assist us in finding out how exactly this serious crisis came about.

When in the very near future, the Independent Special Commission of Inquiry presents its report, all of us as a nation and people, all leaders and all citizens with the spirit of dialogue and reconciliation, with the spirit of justice and national unity, with courage and serenity, we must welcome the report and all the recommendations, so that we can transform them into our own, for the sake of our Nation!

From the three of us to you all, our best wishes for happiness and the best of health!

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