FRETILIN FRENTE REVOLUCIONARIO DO TIMOR-LESTE INDEPENDENTE Media Release Dili, 21 May 2009 FRETILIN committed to peace, democracy, stability: But will continue struggle against AMP ill-governance and corruption
FRETILIN’s Secretary-General and former Prime Minister, Mari Alkatiri, today said that his party, which celebrated its 35th anniversary today and is the largest party represented in the Timor-Leste parliament, will continue to make its contribution to the consolidation of peace, democracy and stability in Timor-Leste by being a strong and critical de facto opposition to the unconstitutional AMP government led by Xanana Gusmao.
Dr. Alkatiri was speaking to a large gathering of FRETILIN members and supporters at its 35th Anniversary celebration in Dili yesterday (20 May), at which FRETILIN President, veteran freedom fighter and former President of the National Parliament, Francisco Guterres “Lu Olo” also spoke.
The celebration was also attended by Timor-Leste’s President Jose Ramos Horta, the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General, Atul Kare, the Ambassadors of the USA, Cuba and Indonesia, diplomatic representatives of Australia, Great Britain, China, Japan, Brazil, the Head of UNICEF, amongst many other dignitaries representing national and international organizations.
“We have peace and stability in Timor-Leste today because FRETILIN desires and does everything to maintain it. Unlike the political forces who used violence in 2006 to cause the crisis and attempt to overthrow the legitimate FRETILIN government, we cherish the rule of law and democracy far too much to resort to the same unlawful and violent means of achieving our objectives as an opposition. This is despite our continued assertion that the Gusmao government is unconstitutional and despite the growing prevalence of corruption and ill-governance by the AMP. Democracy and the rule of law must prevail.
“We are witnessing the almost daily revelation of scandal after scandal in the parliament and in the media that warrant minister after minister resigning, in any other democratic nation to the point of warranting the dismissal of the government, the dissolution of the parliament and early elections. In some countries people would have taken to the streets on masse. The time is fast approaching for us to hold the March for Peace and Democracy we have been publicly committed to holding, because of how badly Xanana’s AMP is misgoverning,” Alkatiri declared.
Alkatiri said that the time for the Peace March was imminent, but that the party’s reorganization, which has been underway since last year, had to be completed first. He added that in the meantime FRETILIN will continue to use the parliament, the courts of law and the courts of public opinion to make its case that this de facto AMP government cannot govern the full term because it is rife with corruption, and is incompetent and wasteful.
Dr. Alkatiri was reinforcing the same message expressed by FRETILIN President Lu Olo, who as a former liberation fighter recounted the decades during which he and his comrades struggled for the freedoms and democracy Timor-Leste has today. He urged FRETILIN to maintain the peaceful and democratic spirit of national struggle for a freer, more just and more equitable society.
Timor-Leste’s President, Dr. Jose Ramos Horta also spoke, recounting the inspirational days of how together with Dr. Alkatiri, the late heroic President of Nicolau Lobato and the late heroic FRETILIN central committee member Justinho Mota, began Timor-Leste’s national independence movement by co-founding the Timorese Social Democratic Association in 1974, which later in that year became FRETILIN.
Acknowledging and expressing his strong feeling of honor at being a co-founder of FRETILIN, President Ramos Horta paid tribute to FRETILIN’s historical as well as current role as the defender of the Maubere (Timor-Leste) people. In a speech warmly received by the FRETILIN crowd President Horta closed by saying, “as the President of the Republic I cannot declare myself for any political party. But as a co-founder of FRETILIN I can say, Viva FRETILIN!”
For further information contact Jose Teixeira MP on +670 728 7080