Dear fellow countrymen Timorese in diaspora,
"Companheiros" of the struggle,

I take advantage of this opportunity to send to you all, dear brothers and fellow Maubere countrymen in exile, to all the leaders of the Resistance abroad, to all the Maubere fighters scattered throughout the world, to all the youths who, given the worsening conditions they experienced in our Motherland, fled, left to seek new ways of defending our Cause, I wish to seize this opportunity to make yet another appeal form the FALINTIL.

An ever growing and stronger unity of all the Timorese in exile, leaving aside political quarrels and divergence in opinions, ideological differences to rally in defence of a common thought: to free our Motherland.

Despite difficulties on all fronts inside the territory, we are engaging in great efforts to reinforce the ranks of our unity. You will have heard, through international broadcasts, or through the news which were recently echoed abroad, the positions defended by some elements, members of APODETI, who have reconsidered their stands and, today, are hostile to the Javanese presence in our Motherland. We believe that this is no coincidence. To the contrary, it is the result of our continued efforts to consolidate the unity of all the East Timorese.

Our people is united to its armed wings: the FALINTIL. Our fellow countrymen in the towns feel that we must keep consolidating our unity. We do not deny that in the trying circumstances we are experiencing and the brutality of the repression by the occupant there have been acts of treason such as the one suffered by Commander Daitula, a great fighter for our Motherland, and four others. It is not only today that the Resistance is enduring the attacks of the enemy. As our resistance in the mountains of East Timor is growing the enemy knows that it will never succeed in exterminating the FALINTIL guerrillas, or our resistance on the Clandestine Front, with the violence of weapons, the climate of terror and injustice. That is why, today, the enemy is favouring treacherous manoeuvring, the preparation of agents in our bosom in order to, in the short, medium and long run, lethally strike when we least expect it.

Despite all this, we continue to consolidate our unity, the unity of all the defenders of the Motherland in the mountains as well as in towns and villages, and it is these conjugated efforts which have enabled us to progress on the internal and organisational levels, in our ability to mobilise and have guaranteed our capacity to further our struggle.

Be assured, dear fellow countrymen, that all we are doing all we can to forge a new structure which will be able to encompass all the political and social forces of the Resistance.

We, inside the territory, are deeply aware of the crucial importance of the Leadership, which is why we are committed to readjust the Leadership of the struggle so as to give it a greater capacity to fight.

You, dear comrades abroad, have all the possibilities, the time and the opportunities to undertake the task of succeeding in creating a consensual resistance structure as well as a consensual Leadership.

Inside the territory, in spite of difficulties on all fronts, we are concentrating all our efforts to find, to succeed in the creation of a structure consensual to the entire Resistance. New elements are being recruited, comrades are being chosen, and we are doing everything, co-ordinating our efforts so that a Leadership might be rebuilt, as soon as possible inside the territory, on the Clandestine Front as well as on the Armed Front.

We will accept everything that will be democratically chosen and decided. We will humbly accept all decisions. And no one should be surprised, dear comrades, if, today or tomorrow, we have to step down to give other comrades our positions so that they can give their best to our struggle. Indeed, all of us must be aware that no structure is irreplaceable. These structures are defined to respond to a given necessity of our Struggle so that when they no longer correspond to its needs, they must be altered and adjusted.

It is on such basis and according to the leading principles of our democracy regulating the democratic operation of our organisation that we are stating in advance that courageous measures and decisions will be taken to give the Leadership of the Struggle greater capacity to fight. And it is in these conditions that radical structural changes can be implemented and we hope that they will not take anyone by surprise. To the contrary, the duty to serve our Motherland should be the motto of each and everyone of us. We will take courageous and crucial decisions that will give the Leadership a new composition, efficient, combative and able to assume its responsibilities.

It is in this context that I am also calling on our comrades in diaspora to humbly accept these decisions and the necessary adjustments in order to further our Cause. Because, above all, this is our People suffering and we all must serve our People.

On the ground, difficulties are growing on the Clandestine Front as well as, and above all, on the Armed Front. It is increasingly difficult for the FALINTIL guerrillas to survive. Survival is equally difficult for the Clandestine Front because of the conditions imposed by the enemy.

It is difficult for them to offer efficient support to the FALINTIL and to respond to the needs of our Diplomatic Front.

It is in this context as well that I call on all the East Timorese in diaspora to gain awareness of the difficulties experienced inside our Homeland and decide to support the Armed and Clandestine Fronts within their own ability.

I call on all the young East Timorese, who have been driven out by the situation , to study and get professional training as East Timor cannot be rebuilt by illiterates. East Timor will need your technical and professional expertise for its development. Although in our Motherland you could no longer continue the struggle, you must carry it on abroad; in the first place by studying to achieve skills, secondly, by participating to the struggle according to the circumstances of each of you.

Discipline and Responsibility - this is the motto which continues to rule our efforts.

The young East Timorese who are abroad must never forget that their brothersí blood continues to be shed in East Timor, and that their suffering is increasing every day. And you, in the community in exile, must strive to give all that is in your power to our Motherland, abiding completely and unconditionally by the directives of the Leadership abroad. Only this way can you really be an example of discipline, a reflection of your brothersí abnegation in the Motherland. If not, it would be as your fellow countrymen said that you were scared of death and left to find a better life while your brothers are suffering here. That is why, Maubere youth, the demand today is for discipline, responsibility in your acts and abnegation in your dedication to our Struggle.

That is all. Warmest regards to you all from all the FALINTIL guerrillas in the mountains of the Motherland.

Original in Portuguese and Tetum, presented by video in Lisbon on 20 August 1997 - 22nd Anniversary of the FALINTIL - National Liberation Forces of East Timor.
Translated by Rosa Isabel Goreti Loro Saíe.

"Gabinete do Dr. Jose Ramos-Horta - Lisboa"
Date: Fri, 22 Aug 1997

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