12 November 2008

Fretilin statement on proposed peace march


FRETILIN has already proved its maturity and heightened sentiment of state many times throughout history.

Recalling only the last three years we can cite:

1. The 20th of May 2005, immediately after nineteen days of the demonstration organized and lead by the hierarchy of the Timor-Leste Catholic Church to bring down its Secretary General, FRETILIN mobilized more than seventy thousand people into Dili. The concentration of such a high number of people occurred in an ordered and disciplined manner;

2. On the 26th and 27th of June 2006, when members and leaders of FRETILIN were the targets of violent acts from disordered demonstrators in numbers no greater than two thousand people, who sowed death and the destruction of property, around twenty thousand members and supporters of FRETILIN travelled towards Dili. FRETILIN’s leadership was able to control them in Hera. In an organized and orderly manner around half of that number of people concentrated in Metinaro entered Dili, suffering aggression but never for one moment responding the violence against them with violence.

3. In 2007, during the presidential and legislative electoral campaigns, once again FRETILIN demonstrated itself to be an organization, perhaps the only one, which rejected violence and never responded to the physical aggression from the supporters of other parties who carried out acts of violence against them.

4. Peace and stability exists today in Timor-Leste because FRETILIN has rejected violence and also because the promoters of the violence in 2006 are today in power.

This is clear proof of political maturity and sentiment of state. But to have political maturity and to intransigently defend it does not mean to inhibit one in the face of threats and be held hostage to those who only know the language of violence, of authoritarianism to attain and maintain one in power. To have a sentiment of state does not have to mean to stand idly by whilst the State is in the hands of usurpers of power and assisting its destruction as a Democratic State Under the Rule of Law.

A State Under the Rule of Law is a state where there is respect for the supremacy of the law, where the will of the Legislator stipulated in the Constitution and in the Laws is above all other will. The Political bodies must always defend the laws and, as a consequence, the rights of its citizens. The use of power to negate these very rights and to inhibit citizens from expressing their will in a peaceful manner should never be permitted.

To be mature and to have a sentiment of state should not be confused with being complicit with a situation created by the establishment of an unconstitutional government, illegitimate and, more so, exceedingly acknowledged today, as a corrupt government.

The citizen has the right to freely express their will in a permanent manner. Responsible citizenry is translated in the capacity of the citizen to make it known at any time, within the limits set out in the Constitution and the Law, his or her choice, opinions, their will.

Because of this, they are called upon regularly to express their will through the deposit of their vote in the ballot boxes to elect their representatives.

But democracy and the will of the majority is sacrosanct and because of this should be respected.

All the mechanisms to surpass situations of impasse that the Constitution foresees and the Laws regulate should only be used after proof – whilst always respecting the precursors and procedures prescribed by the basic Law – that the will of the majority coming from the ballot box cannot be confirmed in the National Parliament, through the approval of the Government Program or the Budget of the State. But no act of the National Parliament can open the path for valued judgment by those who have to make decisions.

When the whole course cannot be respected, the will of the majority expressed at the ballot box is disrespected; the essence of democracy is negated. In a Democratic State Under the Rule of Law, acts of this type create creates revolts but, above all, put the state itself at risk. The bodies and institutions established on the basis of decisions that wound the spirit of the letter of the Constitution are then born necessarily, themselves wounded by unconstitutionality.

When this occurs, the majority that expressed their vote at the ballot box won the right of not accepting those in power and can use all means prescribed in the constitution and the Laws to express this rejection.

When an unconstitutional government joins with corruption, for greater reason the Government should be put in question. The population should be mobilized to express with vehemence their repudiation of a corrupt Government.

For all of these reasons, more than ever a Peace march is justified. When the Retreat at Holarua in October 2007 decided to recommend it and the subsequent meeting of the FRETILIN Central Committee deliberated in favor of effecting the March, it was only on the basis of the rejection of the unconstitutionality of the government. Today, other reasons are joined for a march to be effected – the bad governance and the corruption. Because of this, Lets all Go to The Peace March.

Lets all stop the corruption screaming:

Corruption is a Crime;

We want Justice

Xanana must be dismissed.

Dili, 8th of November 2008

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