sexta-feira, junho 09, 2006


Perante a actual crise em Timor Leste, achei interessante um artigo de Paul Kelly (jornalista australiano) sobre esta problemática. Permite-nos perceber melhor o panorama circunstancial de Timor em 1975, o passado e o presente de Mario Alkatiri, e enfim os interesses australianos na região.
A maior lição a tirar pelos Australianos e Portugueses é que Timor Leste, nunca foi um conto de fadas, ao contrário do que se pensava em 1999. Para ajudar a perceber esta noção recorro ao Cambridge Dictionary: Fairy-tale - having a special and charming or beautiful quality, like something in a fairy-tale.

AUSTRALIA'S necessary military intervention in East Timor is now hostage to the political divisions and constitutional deadlock that have been played out during the past week. This should end the romantic and unrealistic view of East Timor that has shaped Australia's public debate since the 1975 Indonesian invasion, driven relentlessly by Australia's media. The ministries in Jakarta will be rocking with laughter this week. In seven short years East Timor has ceased to be Indonesia's problem and has become Australia's problem.
Consider these harsh truths. The reason Indonesia invaded East Timor 31 years ago (having previously ignored the territory) is because Jakarta had no faith whatsoever that an independent East Timor in 1975 would have been other than a divided, unstable, pro-Marxist entity, chronically weak after its brief civil war, yet resistant to Indonesian leverage and susceptible to penetration by other powers in an Asia where Vietnam had fallen to communism six months earlier.
Of course, being right about East Timor in 1975 justified neither Indonesia's invasion nor its subsequent brutality. It confirms, however, that East Timor's story has been more complex than the fairytale spun for Australians for so long.
Consider that Foreign Minister Jose Ramos Horta in 2002 said of the East Timorese performance in 1975 "that we were inexperienced, immature and stupid", that the civil war was a blunder and that Fretilin's unilateral declaration of independence in November 1975 was a "tactical political error". Indeed, it made Jakarta's invasion inevitable. One of the ministers in that brief Fretilin government was Mari Alkatiri who, 31 years later, is Prime Minister in another East Timorese government subject to military intervention.
This time Australia, as a friend, has been invited in by East Timor in contrast to Indonesia's 1975 invasion. Australia does not "own" East Timor in the way that Indonesia did, but Australia has prime responsibility for East Timor and, frankly, if this can be discharged successfully over the next five years then Australia will be fortunate.
The chief difficulty has been on display all week. Australia underwrites police and military security in East Timor yet it cannot dictate the domestic political outcomes on which any enduring stabilisation of the country depends. We have responsibility without power.This means Australia must devise a new strategy for dealing with East Timor.East Timor's epic political struggle this week between President Xanana Gusmao and Alkatiri was resolved in a compromise that favoured Alkatiri, who heads the anti-Australian Mozambique clique.
Alkatiri's survival is an immense political obstacle for Australia in seeking to shape East Timor's future.
At the time of Australia's military intervention, the Howard Government knew East Timor's political crisis was reaching a climax. John Howard and Foreign Affairs Minister Alexander Downer knew the game plan was for Gusmao to remove Alkatiri and for Ramos Horta to become acting prime minister. In this struggle Gusmao examined both options: forcing Alkatiri's resignation and sacking him under the constitution.
Alkatiri survived for three reasons. There were doubts over the President's constitutional power to dismiss him. There was support for Alkatiri from Fretilin parliamentarians who feared his removal would be tantamount to an admission the violence was Fretilin's fault. And there was fear that Alkatiri, if removed, would mobilise sections of the armed forces on his behalf, only escalating the crisis. Australia had intelligence giving credence to this risk.
The upshot was a disputed compromise between Gusmao and Alkatiri in which the President declared a state of emergency, took control of the armed forces and internal security from Alkatiri and saw the resignation of two of Alkatiri's supporters, Interior Minister Rogerio Lobato and Defence Minister Roque Rodrigues. When Alkatiri disputed the details of this compromise, he told the ABC that if Fretilin rallied for his support "we will get up to 100,000 or more people in the streets", an ominous warning.
At least the thwarted Ramos Horta was good for a joke. Asked whether Alkatiri's resignation has been considered during the talks he said that "it has been looked at by everybody else in the country".
Alkatiri's survival entrenches the split within the armed forces. East Timor's rebel military leader, Major Alfredo Reinado, has no trouble with the Australian troops but demands, in effect, Alkatiri's resignation as the price for a settlement.
"You can't deal with a criminal," Reinado told the ABC's AM program. "Mari Alkatiri is responsible for so many criminal acts that have happened in Dili."The Australian intervention is achieving its primary purpose in stabilising the situation, but Australia cannot solve East Timor's political crisis, and without this solution the security situation will remain fragile.
Meanwhile, cabinet's National Security Committee has endorsed an Australian military-civilian strategy for East Timor's future based on a paper from Downer.
This envisages that Australia will control military security in the short term through the Australia-led coalition that now exists and influence East Timor's military structure in the long run. The aim is to minimise the influence of the UN or other nations, notably Portugal, on East Timor's military structure.Downer believes the worst decision the UN took at East Timor's independence was to agree to the creation of an army. This was demanded by Fretilin to employ its resistance fighters from the old Falantil banner. This army is no protection against Indonesia or Australia but it does pose a danger to the East Timorese people: witness the rebellion and the politicisation of the military.
However, Australia's preference will be hard to achieve: it is a gendarmerie model that combines the military and police.
The lesson Australia has drawn from the intervention is that its security views cannot be marginalised any longer as they were ignored at the time of independence. The feature of East Timor's brief history is that Portugal has exercised more influence than Australia, notably on its language, constitution and institutions. This is one of the reasons for its failure. It is obvious that as ultimate security guarantor, Australia must exert a greater authority.
At the same time Australia wants a stronger UN civilian role in East Timor's governance, its civil service and its police. Australia will support a UN police presence to assist in keeping law and order and in training the East Timorese police.
East Timor constitutes a new challenge for Australia as a regional power. This intervention has a significance beyond its immediate stabilisation objectives. It will test Australia's diplomatic and political skills and its commitment to bolster a deeply fragile neighbouring state. Australia's intervention was necessary because the East Timor national experiment had failed and that experiment must be renewed. Australia has a decisive role but it cannot substitute for East Timor's leaders, the real heart of the problem.
Paul Kelly
in The Australian.

1 comentário:

Tiago Lemos disse...

Uma patrulha de soldados australianos tomou hoje de assalto uma residência de médicos cubanos em Díli. Os soldados, supostamente, tinham a informação que poderiam ser encontradas armas na residência. De acordo com o Ministro da Saúde timorense, a patrulha australiana cercou o edifício e, mesmo na posse das chaves da residência, os soldados rebentaram as portas e entraram. O sucedido foi comunicado ao Ministro dos Negócios Estrangeiros e da Defesa timorense José Ramos-Horta, que entretanto visitou o local e afirmou que os soldados australianos não actuaram da melhor forma. Os residentes no local asseguraram que os militares australianos não procederam a qualquer detenção nem encontraram armas na residência.

Primeiro intimidam os militares da GNR e agora os médicos cubanos. O que quer a Austrália? Afastar os amigos de Timor e determinar a seu belo prazer os destinos da ilha?

Timor, a ilha do crocodilo nos mares do sul, foi um emblema para o mundo, da resistência de um povo perante um gigante regional. A Indonésia saiu de Timor no final de 1999 e eis que agora surge outro gigante no território, disposto a adoptar politicas pró-activas que lhe permitam assumir-se como potência regional perante países como a Indonésia, a Índia, as Filipinas e mesmo a China, o Japão e a Coreia do Sul.
Tiago Lemos