3. Primordial Leadership

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“Primordial Leadership” Photo Gallery

 This is a collection of photos and pictures of people and events mentioned in Primordial Leadership: Peacebuilding and National Leadership in Timor-Leste”published by the United Nations Press in September 2013 (ISBN: 9789280812244). The book covers the period from July 2002 to September 2006 when I served in Timor-Leste as the special representative of the Secretary-General of the United Nations (SRSG) and deputy SRSG as well as the resident co-ordinator of the UN system’s operational activities for development. Post-conflict peacebuilding was successful in Timor-Leste for the Timorese leaders’ commitment to national interest and unity, and their willingness to change their mindset and mentality, harmonize the universal ideals and principles of governance with local community values and customs, and to pursue the future rather than the past. I have endeavored to identify the photographers of photos as many as possible and wish to invite any photographers to inform me if any of their photos are shown without indication of their names. (Sukehiro Hasegawa)

[Primordial Leadership] Photo Gallery No. 1

 Taur Matan Ruak, as his nom de guerre indicates, is an intelligent fighter with “Two Sharp Eyes” who penetrated the minds of people he came across. When I arrived in Timor-Leste, he was the Commander of the FALINTIL-Forças de Defesa de Timor-Leste (F-FDTL). Prior to serving in the F-FDTL, he was the last commander of the Armed Forces of National Liberation of East Timor or FALINTIL (Forças Armadas para a Liberação Nacional de Timor Leste), the insurgent army which resisted the Indonesian occupation of the territory from 1975 to 1999. He endured the hardship and became the Commander-in-Chief of FALINTIL upon Xanana Gusmão`s resignation from FALINTIL. Being a revolutionary fighter, TMR was disciplined and demanding. In March 2006, when I asked him why he was hard on his soldiers, TMR pointed out that “many of the newly recruited soldiers demanded comparatively easy treatment; this contrasted with the severe hardship he and other guerrilla fighters had endured, without any reward, during the independence struggle. He felt the need for more discipline among young soldiers…” (Hasegawa “Primordial Leadership” pp.117)

[Primordial Leadership] Photo Gallery No. 2

 “Shortly after they took office, both President Gusmão and Prime Minister Alkatiri initiated the programmes of ‘Open Presidency’ and `Open Governance`. Both campaigns had the same explicit purpose of communicating with the general public at large with regard to what they were doing, and what people wanted from the leaders. They shared the same objective of gaining and sustaining the popular support essential in democracy. I was invited to many of the public gatherings hosted by both the President and the Prime Minister in 2003 and 2004. These events were well organized. Large crowds of people numbering from several hundred to a few thousand attended. Taking advantage of his Presidency, Gusmão from time to time held “National Dialogues” aimed at airing out some issues of contention that had wider national implications.” (Hasegawa “Primordial Leadership” pp.24)

[Primordial Leadership] Photo Gallery No. 3

 ”In 2002, the Timorese government and other state institutions assumed sovereignty and started to function in an atmosphere of jubilation, with smiling faces seen everywhere. In the early days, the leaders showed a spirit of confidence and tolerance towards one other. Yet, as in many other post-conflict countries, disharmony soon began to appear, and this developed into a schism between the two organs of governance……the executive government and the National Parliament, dominated by FRETILIN, and the Office of the President, respectively.” (Hasegawa “Primordial Leadership” pp.74)

[Primordial Leadership] Photo Gallery No. 4

 ”SRSG Sharma and I visited Jakarta periodically to brief ambassadors of interested countries and the Government of Indonesia.” The Ad Hoc Tribunal in Jakarta was one of the key issues discussed extensively. “The dismal outcome of the Ad Hoc Tribunal reinforced the feeling that the United Nations had an obligation to help realize a credible process in Timor-Leste. […] This ‘inequality of arms’, I felt, should be rectified […] asked for an increase in the budget for defence lawyers, to improve the credibility of the SCP. I also asked for an increase in the number of judges, as we only had enough judges for one panel, and I felt it was essential to have two fully staffed panels of judges to carry out trials efficiently and effectively.” (Hasegawa “Primordial Leadership” pp.167)

[Primordial Leadership] Photo Gallery No. 5

 ”On 16 May 2005 Hedi Annabi, Assistant Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, presenting the Secretary-General’s end of mandate report on the United Nations Mission of Support in East Timor (UNMISET) to the Security Council and “expressed his serious concern about the security gap that would be created by the departure of the backup security forces. I also conveyed my concern to the officials of key Security Council members when I visited London, Paris and Washington. They, however, considered that the situation was quite stable, and that Timor-Leste had matured in exercising democratic governance. This perception led the Security Council to remove all armed personnel and to leave behind just 40 unarmed police advisers to train PNTL officers, and 35 additional advisers […] in support of the development of the Border Patrol Unit (BPU). The 2006 crisis illustrated to the Security Council members that the UN mission was rendered incapable of responding to the security situation. They were reminded of the importance of not withdrawing peacekeeping troops and police forces prematurely.” (Hasegawa “Primordial Leadership” pp.271)

[Primordial Leadership] Photo Gallery No. 6

 ”I discovered to my dismay that the mandate of UNMISET and UNOTIL missions did not authorize us to be directly involved in the institutional capacity-building of F-FDTL in order to establish its proper management capacity. The Security Council wanted UN missions to build the national police force, but not the national defence forces. The military was left to bilateral partners such as Australia, Malaysia, Portugal and the United States. Despite the UN’s inability to support F-FDTL institutional capacity-building, in March 2006 I told the key Timorese security leaders that I would request the United Nations to provide ten advisers for improvement of F-FDTL management.” (Hasegawa “Primordial Leadership” pp.156)

[Primordial Leadership] Photo Gallery No. 7

 ”The resignation of Mari Alkatiri as the Prime Minister was a turning point in the post-independence history of Timor-Leste and was expected to ease the tension. However…Several thousand supporters of FRETILIN, mostly from the eastern districts, gathered just outside the capital, showing support for their party. Alkatiri addressed them, and the broadcasting of part of his address on television sparked several hours of street protests. Houses and public buildings in Dili were even set alight, and there was fear of clashes between pro- and anti-Alkatiri groups. However, anti-Alkatiri groups from the western districts were withdrawn from the city to avoid any confrontation when the pro-FRETILIN demonstrators from the east entered Dili.Newly arrived international forces were also there by then, to control the situation. As a result of this, some have said that Alkatiri did not have the chance to incite his followers to armed struggle against the group led by Gusmão. However, from my perspective, Alkatiri could have incited his followers to engage in violent acts, but showed prudence in recognizing the need for self-discipline. I recall Mari Alkatiri repeatedly telling me that he still had the power to destabilize the country and plunge it into a civil war if he had wanted to do so in June 2006. The Timorese leaders, including Mari Alkatiri, proved themselves committed to the national interest, and capable of subordinating their personal interests to the need for national stability.” (Hasegawa “Primordial Leadership” pp.142)

[Primordial Leadership] Photo Gallery No. 8

 ”In early May, Ramos-Horta suggested that the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights should send a Rapporteur to investigate human rights violations during the incidents of 28 and 29 April…(As the armed clashes took place between F-FDTL and PNTL), I was convinced that the incidents required a transparent and impartial investigation by an international entity. I also considered it imperative to establish the accountability for specific criminal actions committed. I spoke to Foreign Minister Ramos-Horta and together we persuaded other key Timorese leaders to request the United Nations to invite an independent commission to investigate the armed incidents that took place at the end of the petitioners’ demonstration on 28 and 29 April as well as the series of clashes that took place between police and military personnel from 23 to 25 May 2006.” (Hasegawa “Primordial Leadership” pp.145 and pp.172)

[Primordial Leadership] Photo Gallery No. 9

 Weekend tennis with UN staff and Timorese friends helped me not only physically but also mentally – for maintaining healthy body, mind and spirit. (Sukehiro Hasegawa)

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