The historic leader of the East Timorese resistence movement, Xanana Gusmao, who fought the mighty power of the US-armed and trained Indonesian Army with a band of a few hundred badly-armed fighters for 25 years, has walked out of the provisory Parliament over the permanent in-fighting between the factions. Instead of standing united to form a new country, the political factions in East Timor are showing precisely the same divisive and disunited tendencies which brought the Indonesian army to intervene on 7th December, 1975. With the political in-fighting increasing, Xanana slams the door and says he is not interested in participating in a Parliament whose political leaders fight like enemies instead of discussing issues as friends. Xanana Gusmao will be replaced in the provisory parliament by Nobel Peace Prize-winner, Jose Ramos-Horta. The planned celebration of full independence for East Timor, at present a United Nations Protectorate, has already been postponed from later this year to 2002, without a fixed date having been stipulated. If the East Timorese politicians do not put country before party or their individual interests, the country may again slide into civil war and next time, nobody would help them if Indonesia decided to invade again.
TIMOTHY BANCROFT-HINCHEY PRAVDA.RU LISBON
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