East Timor: UN lauds move to dissolve CNRT resistance organization

East Timor: UN lauds move to dissolve CNRT resistance organization

Sergio Vieira de Mello, the head of the United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET), has called the dissolution of the East Timor resistance umbrella organization CNRT a difficult and painful decision, but a "politically courageous, wise and timely one."

Speaking at the Dili Municipal Stadium on Saturday, when thousands of people had gathered for the official ceremony that ended the existence of the CNRT (the National Council of Timorese Resistance), Mr. Vieira de Mello said it was rare in history that a national liberation movement decided to dissolve itself and give the power to the people.

"CNRT has taught the world an important lesson," he said. "Even in the most difficult circumstances, a people that is united and organized is able to go through the most terrible times and conquer the right of self-determination."

The UNTAET chief said the UN mission would do its utmost to assist former CNRT members applying for positions within the Civil Service. The UN Development Programme (UNDP) and the World Bank also pledged to finance training programmes designed to help former CNRT staff pursue new careers.

CNRT was created in 1998 and formally dissolved on 7 June after a three-day extraordinary conference in Dili. The conference decided to set-up a veteran's association, which will support vulnerable groups in East Timor.

In other news, Fretilin (Frente Revolucionária de Timor-Leste Independente) on Saturday received its official political party certificate of registration from the Independent Electoral Commission. This is the fourth party to be registered with the Commission for the purpose of presenting candidates to the elections for a Constituent Assembly on 30 August.

Fretilin's registration application was the subject of various objections based on the claim that it should not be allowed to register with the name Fretilin or with the symbol that it submitted to the Independent Electoral Commission. The Board yesterday decided that Fretilin should be registered as a political party with the name and the symbol that it submitted in its registration application.