Subject: IO: Xanana’s recorded speech broadcast in pro-independence campaign rally
Date: Sun, 15 Aug 1999 23:49:24 EDT

Indonesian Observer 16th August 1999

Xanana’s recorded speech broadcast in pro-independence campaign rally

JAKARTA (IO) — Thousands of pro-independence East Timorese yesterday began their campaign with a recorded speech by detained leader Jose Alexandre ‘Xanana’ Gusmao broadcast at the event.

Yesterday was the second day of the campaign period that was opened on Saturday which saw a rally by pro-autonomy supporters ahead of the August 30 ballot.

Nearly 5,000 people attended yesterday’s rally culminating with a flag-raising ceremony.

During the campaign, pro-independence East Timorese also officially opened a branch office of the Xanana-led National Council of East Timor Resistance (CNRC), according to the state-run radio RRI.

In his recorded speech, Xanana urged his supporters to show respect for other East Timorese who want autonomy within Indonesia.

"For the past 24 years our enemy has not been the East Timorese people who want integration with Indonesia. Our main enemy has been the Indonesian military," Xanana, who is still under house arrest in Jakarta, was quoted by AP as saying.

Speaking in the local Tetun language, he said the Indonesia Defense Forces (TNI) and particularly their top commanders, bore responsibility for killings and other forms of violence committed in the province.

At Saturday’s gathering, UN officials hailed the good behavior of the anti-independence crowd, describing it as a promising start to the campaign. Many had feared it could be marred by violence between the rival factions.

Meanwhile in Portugal, the pro-autonomy Timor Nationalist Party (PNT) has held series of campaign activities ahead of the direct ballot.

"We, the PNT, hold a campaign door-to-door and provide information on the autonomy policy. We will soon also distribute pamphlets," PNT chairman Abilio Araujo told Antara on Saturday evening.

Araujo, who is a former leader of anti-integration Fretilin, said he will provide the people with detailed information on the wide-ranging autonomy package.

He said he believes the door-to-door campaign and pamphlet distribution will be more effective.

"East Timor people must understand exactly all the consequences for the next generation of East Timor people. In this case, PNT wants to uphold the detailed concept of autonomy," he added. Araujo added that East Timor people should be convinced that all problems should be regarded rationally.

"The current trend is globalization which means unified. Ideas on the secession of East Timor from Indonesia are obsolete," he said.

In the meantime, East Timor people in Portugal attended a gathering organized by the High Commissioner for Transitional Period in East Timor (CPATT) and the CNRT.

"Most of us do not understand the campaign. But Catholic Priest Melicias has organized a gathering here," said Da Costa, an East Timor youth who lives in Lisbon. Priest Vitor Melicias is a Portuguese with CPATT, who was inaugurated by President Jorge Sampaio on June 2.

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