A section of Taur Matan Ruak's interview, translated from Tempo Semanal (weekly) edition 108. Taur Matan Ruak is the chief of the TL's defense force.
(TS): A few days ago local newspapers published your words, which caused some people to say that you are interfering too much in politics by getting too close to AMP and to ignore Fretilin. How do you comment to that?
(TMR): I want to make it clear once more than as the chief of the army, I represent an institution which dedicates its whole existence to maximum neutrality and total impartiality. I also want to say that the interpretation made against my words were literal. In other words, I wanted to say that the peace march which people have been talking about has not been put into practice, why are so afraid of it?
I want to also say that our Constitution guarantees the right to everyone to organise demonstrations. But what our Constitution does not allow is violence. If we look at the past, Fretilin's actions have been very good. We can see this in the 2006 crisis. Fretilin mobilised its supporters from the districts to come to Dili but their behaviour at that time was very good despite many provocations.
I congratulate them for this action. Fretilin has also proved a lot through its actions which show that they are against violence themselves. Therefore I believe that even when they do organise the peace march there will be no violence.
Now, as a national institution which is following the developments in the country, naturally we are also worried. We are worried not because Fretilin will use violence when they have (the peace march), but because other people can use this action to cause violence to destabilise the situation in our country, a situation which we all know is still very fragile.
But this does not mean that we will block (the demonstration). To the contrary, our Constitution has shown the way. Simply, what every Timorese want is that there can be no violence just as stated in our Constitution.
Original Tetum extract:
(TS): Depois de loron hirak liuba jornal lokal sira halo publikasaun konaba ita nia liafuan, halo ema balu dehan ita intervere liu politika hodi afilia liu ba AMP no haluha tiha Fretilin. Oinsa ita nia komentariu?
(Brig): Hakarak rafirma dala ida tan katak, nudar Xefi Estadu Maior General Forsas Armadas, reprezenta institusaun ida nebe orienta ninia vida tomak ho neutralidade maximu no insensao total. Hakarak hateten mós katak, interpretasaun hau nia liafuan iha momentu neba a letra liu; husi liafuan seluk karik, hau hakarak hateten “marsa da paz” nebe ema koalia seidauk tau ba pratica, tansa maka ita tauk demais los.
Hau hakarak hateten mós katak ita nia Konstituisaun fó direitu ba ema hotu-hotu atu bele halo manifestasaun. Maibé buat ida ke ita nia konstituisaun la fó maka labele iha violensia. Se ita haree fila fali iha pasadu, Fretilin nia komportamentu diak teb-tebes. Ita bele haree ida ne’e iha krize 2006, Fretilin mobiliza nia ema husi distritu mai duni iha Dili maibe sira nia komportamentu iha momento neba diak teb-tebes apejar de iha provokasoens barak.
Hau fó parabens ba sira nia hahalok ida ne’e. Komportamentu barak mós mak Fretilin hatudu ona mai ita katak sira rasik kontra violensia. Tanba ne’e hau fiar katak mesmu iha loron ruma sira sei halo “marsa de paz” ne karik mos sei la uza violensia.
Agora, hanesan instituisaun nasaun nian ne’ebé akompania mos dezenvolvimentu situasaun iha rai laran, naturalmente ami preokupa. Preokupa laos tanba Fretilin halo karik atu uza violensia, maibe liu-liu tamba asaun nee bele ema seluk uza karik atu halo violensia hodi halo at karik situsaun iha ita nia Rain, situasau nebe ita hotu hatene nanis sei fragil no deficil liu.
Mas ne’e la signifika katak ami impede, pelo contrario ita nia Konstitusaun rasik fo dalan atu halo. Simplismente buat ne’ebé ke Timor oan hotu-hotu husu maka labele iha violensia, hanessan ne mos ita nia Konstituisaun.