As friends of Timor Leste who were present during the peaceful elections in June and met the leaders of the main political parties, we are deeply concerned at the violence that has greeted the forming of the new government. Democracy is about channelling the differences that exist within every society through the appropriate institutions created to preserve the peace, the freedom of expression and the rule of law. If there are disagreements about the constitutionality of the process they must be resolved peacefully through the legally established courts. Violence on the streets and the senseless destruction of public property will never solve them. We call upon the leadership of all political parties to continue to urge restraint on their followers and to take the necessary measures to ensure that their instructions in this regard are followed throughout the country. The people of East Timor have seen too much destruction in their lives and it is unworthy of the free and fair election which they so successfully held that they should be suffering again.
Signed: Cassam Uteem (former President of Mauritius)
Mike Moore (former Prime Minister of New Zealand)
Sir Robin Christopher (GLF Secretary General)
GLF Global Leadership Foundation
14 August 2007