terça-feira, 31 de janeiro de 2012

“Xanana: Tuda Hau Nia Feen Hanesan Tuda Ha’u”

Jornal Timor Post - Tersa, 31 Janeiru 2012

Primeiru Ministru (PM) Xanana Gusmao lamenta ho atetude membru organizasaun Naun Govermental (ONG) balun ne’ebe tuda nia feen, xefe Governu ne’e dehan, tuda nia feen hanesan mos tuda nia rasik.

“Tuda hau nia feen “Kristy) ne’e hanesan tuda bah au (Xanana),” Xanana hateten ba jornalista sira iha Aeru-Portu Internasional, Comoro, Segunda (30/01), relasiona ho membru ONG balun neebe tuda surat tahan ba Kristy Sword Gusmao iha Kampus UNTL, semana kotuk, kona ba implementasaun lian maternal iha ensinu baziku.

“Hau atu dehan deit katak, se lingua maternal destroi unidade nasional iha durante funu ba libertasaun tinan 24 nia laran, entaun mai hasoru hau ita atu deskute,” nia koalia ho triste.

Xanana esplika tan katak, Timor Leste la presiza koalia tetum para manan funu, Timoroan manan funu tamba koalia lian maternal mos.

“Hau ba iha mambae nia hau koalia mamabae, hau ba iha fataluku hau koalia fataluku, ne’ebe unidade nasional ne’e la’os lian, maibe unidade nasional ne’e objetivu, Tarjetu saida mak ita atu hakarak, ita lapresiza hotu-hotu koalia tetum ho portugues atu manan funu ne’e,” nia realsa.

PM Xanana haktuir katak, iha tinan hirak liu ba iha sidadaun balun ne’ebe husu atu Timor Leste bele simu autonomia ho Indonesia, tamba respeita lian Portugues.

“Iha 1984, hau hasoru ema balun, hau la temi naran, dehan katak, diak liu ita simu autonomia tamba Indonesia promete atu ita nia estrada ho naran Dom Mozinho no ita nia fatin sira ho Portugues sira sei respeita, hau dehan, se ita atu respeita de’it iha portugues maka ita atu hetan autonomia, hau prefere koalia tetum no imi aprende tetum hau koalia ho imi,” nia salienta.

Ho akontesementu ne’e Primeiru Ministru xanana Gusmao dehan, ONG ne’ebe moris atu eduka povu no sai matadalan ba povu atu hatudu, sai fali nune’e.

“Hau atu hasoru ONG sira atu koalia de’it portugues ho sira, tamba konstituisaun dehan lingua ofisial, ne’eduni hau hakarak koalia ho sira, se ONG sira koalia lia fuan bahasa ida, hau dehan imi la folin, se defende potugues, agora mai ita koalia portugues ho hau no mos mai koalia portugues ho hau nia feen, tanba hau nia feen koalia portugues diak liu fali balun, ne’ebe balun defende portugues agora,” Xanana

Xefe Governu ne’e mos hatutan tan katak, membru ONG hatene mak kritika de’it, maibe la hatudu atetude ne’ebe ema presiza simu no hatudu atetude ne’ebe halo povu sira tuir hodi tuda malu.

“Sira hanoin dehan hau nia feen atu lori ba koalia inglesh, kuitadu….. balun kritika hau dehan, tamba hau nia oan sira iha internasional School, sira ne’ebe kritika hau ne’e, sira nia oan sira mos iha Internasional School,” nia deskobre ho tristeza.

Doctorism v. Big Brotherism: A response to Big Man Culture V. Mauberism

By Fidelis Magalhaes

I found Anderson´s article on Big Brotherism v. Mauberism rather romantic. In his attempt to draw a philosophical, or rather cultural, divide among the Timorese leaders, he fails to reflect the reality on the ground. So in this response I set out to clarify a number of issues.

First, he claims that the ‘Big man’ culture means that local and political conflict are seen as resolvable by the intervention of a great personality, a hero or mediator. The ‘big man’ politician, like the clan leader or the Liurai, can be seen as a unifying force, expected to impose himself on the situation and then distribute benefits. Still in the same context, he draws a parallel with the Melanesian culture of a big man who garners loyalty by distributing club goods. Although, this quick assertions may ring true if we conduct a hasty analysis, but once one goes deeper one would find that things are not that black and white. In fact that very big brotherism that he chastises in fact is a subset of Mauberism it-self. Big Brotherism is a product of the resistance years. It did not come out of the blue without a clear genesis. Big brotherism, despite the fact that it had already been used in the jungle among the FALINTIL fighters partially due to the near annihilation of its original leaders and in search for comfort out of a collective orphanhood, became popularized by the sudden participation of the youth circa. 1989. This last wave of participation and their obvious age difference with Xanana and other FALINTIL leaders allowed this big brotherism to grow.

Returning to the meaning of big brotherism, unlike the big man culture in Melanesia (and also common in Africa), big brotherism is not totally hierarchical and has less emphasis on the distribution of club goods. Although big brotherism implies a hierarchy of political seniority, it, nevertheless, provides a space for criticism. In the meetings that I participated in as a member of the youth wing during the resistance and in more recent political conventions, brotherism grants a room for open criticism within the spirit of brotherhood. Even the big brothers themselves are not insulated from criticisms. Instead, big brotherism and brotherism in general, allow people to criticize their leaders without fearing any harsh retaliation, as the discussion was conducted in the spirit of brotherhood. Having pointed out the meaning and origin of big brotherism, I also concur that this kind of reference to political leaders have the potential to be manipulated for the purpose of centralizing power. But if we take a more critical stance, any terms employed to characterize human relations are inherently precarious and prone to political manipulations. This is because power itself is not a thing. In fact power lies in human relationships. Power exist only in relation to others and not independent in the self.

Going deeper into the relationship between mauberism and big brotherism, they both have an origin in the resistance. Both expressions invoke a shared narrative--the nationalist grand narrative. So in a sense, putting our own conviction aside, it is not right to ignore the connection between the two. Brotherism and Mauberism are not that far off. The commonality of experience and brotherhood in arms of every Timorese articulated in Mauberism that gave life to brotherism and big brotherism.

Secondly, in the article Anderson claims that big brotherism is only used by Xanana, JRH and TMR. This assertion is mere accidental, or intentional since his attempt is to develop a coherent argument for the article. I prefer to go with the second guess. He excludes the fact that even Lu Olo himself is a member of the club. Mr. Lu Olo is often referred to as Maun Lu or Camarada Maun Lu not only by party members but by most of those who participated in the resistance regardless of their current party affiliation. This is a way to show him respect and to demonstrate some degree of trust. Even TMR still refers to Mari Alkatiri and Lu Olo as maun and alin. In fact he addresses Mari Alkatiri as Maun Bo'ot for being one of the founding fathers of this nation. Lu Olo still uses the term to refer to others in various occasions. So to cut it short the big brotherism is not only used by one or two individuals but in fact by all the historical figures; they only differ in frequency.

Thirdly, supposedly Mari Alkatiri and Lu Olo do not use big brotherism, they still something else that is not mauberism. They use what I call doctorism (in my view they use a mix of doctorism and big brotherism). This should have been analyzed in the article as well. As we are currently witnessing, there is an attempt to portray Mr. Lu Olo as another Dr, the other being Dr. Alkatiri.Without losing my admiration to Mr. Lu Olo's commitment to learning and his intellectual aptitude, I find the excessive use of doctorism runs in contrary to the mauberism that Anderson claims. When Mauberism means egalitarianism and 'stress[ing] identification with these same people. Common rural people (and not a European-style working class) were seen as the revolutionary subjects of an independence movement aiming at ‘ukun rasik an’ (self determination)'. The fact speaks louder than discourses. The self proclaim doctorism stands quite far away from the mauberism. This rather than revolutionary, on the contrary, reminds me of what Frantz Fanon said about the post-colonial elites. This mimicking is no less or more than the big brotherism. They represent the post colonial mindset. Moreover, doctorism runs in direct contradiction with Mauberism, because it springs out from the European bourgeoisie class. It is commonly used in Portugal and is a sign of distinct social and economic class. How, then one asks, can it represent the mauberes? One hypothesis is that we needed philosopher kings. But this also does not hold as soon as we begin to problematize. This is another example of the objectification of the maubere people who are in need for the enlightened ones. This is not different from Anderson's Big Brotherism.

Finally, I think that what we need to do in Timor Leste is to politicize politics. I understand why there is an attempt to characterize Taur Matan Ruak as an anti-Maubere/FRETILIN who is somewhat subject to exogenous pressures. There is even an attempt to portray him as a puppet of the current Prime Minister. I agree that the brotherly relations between all the resistance figures will to some degree continue to have an influence on their policy. But this relationship is shared not only between TMR and Xanana but also with other figures such as Lu Olo and Mauhuno. This very relationship, despite how negative it appears, that has allowed them to criticize each other without killing each other. Despite all the politics there still is a mutual respect and soft spots for each other. This is also why TMR's presidency is going to be different. He can with his own credential have a frank discussion with whoever in charge of the government. His entry into politics is to ensure that we achieve the dream of independence. Tolerating bad governance is not in the agenda, but frank discussions to have a better governance is. We will see who can work to better the lives of the Mauberes, let's wait and see.

Timorese elections: ‘big man’ culture v. ‘mauberism’


This year’s (2012) elections in Timor Leste will not just be about a clash of parties or personalities, but also a confrontation between two important themes: ‘mauberism’ and ‘big man’ culture.

Fretilin’s better known ‘mauberism’ is an assertion of indigenous identity which stresses cultural pride and collective action. ‘Maubere’ was the derogatory word used by the Portuguese for ordinary Timorese. Fretilin reclaimed the idea to stress identification with these same people. Common rural people (and not a European-style working class) were seen as the revolutionary subjects of an independence movement aiming at ‘ukun rasik an’ (self determination).

Many have written on the practical (e.g. literacy) and cultural achievements (post-colonial self-confidence) of ‘mauberism’. A criticism is sometimes made: did ‘mauberism’ elevate a racial element which was at times used against the many ‘mestizo’ or mixed race Timorese? If it did, the next question would be: to what extent does this matter?

Less has been said about ‘big man’ culture, a Melanesian concept which seems to also have roots in East Timorese culture, not least through the Liurai (kingly) tradition. The role of Xanana Gusmao in the post-independence scene is certainly the best example of this. In Timor it is sometimes referred to as the ‘maun bo’ot’ (big brother) idea.

‘Big man’ culture means that local and political conflict are seen as resolvable by the intervention of a great personality, a hero or mediator. The ‘big man’ politician, like the clan leader or the Liurai, can be seen as a unifying force, expected to impose himself on the situation and then distribute benefits.

Political weaknesses of this approach might be immediately apparent. The language is populist (promising more than is delivered, or hiding other agendas), accountability is ignored and corrupt private networks tend to displace the public sphere and to restrict participation. Mauberism, on the other hand, maintained the legitimacy of wider popular participation.

Xanana Gusmao joined his undoubted charisma and ambition with a disregard for conventional party politics. He left Fretilin in the 1980s, helped set up the Democrat Party (PD) prior to independence, then abandoned them for his new ‘CNRT’ in 2007. President Jose Ramos Horta invited this CNRT (with 24% of the vote in 2007, compared to Fretilin’s 29%) to form a government.

Horta himself, having built a prominent public profile, joined the ‘big man’ culture, unlike other prominent political leaders (like Estanislau da Silva and Rui Araújo, of Fretilin; or Fernando ‘Lasama’ de Araújo, of the PD) who continue to work, collegially, through political parties.

Many of Timor’s smaller parties (PD, PUN, PPT) are quite new, having been formed when the UN opposed a government of national unity (as was represented by the original ‘CNRT’, which included Fretilin) and pushed for a competitive multi-party system. As it happened, the first post-independence government, a Fretilin-led coalition, was almost a government of national unity. That all disappeared in 2006.

The multi-party system has arguably weakened the country. It certainly played a role in the conflict of 2006. Yet ‘big man’ culture was also prominent in divisiveness, and in weakening the young country’s political institutions.

The best example of this is the current, fictional CNRT party. As CNRT General Secretary Dionisio Babo-Soares admitted in Sydney a few years back, the CNRT ‘does not really exist’; but was more a ‘vehicle for change’. That is, it was a vehicle for Xanana to displace Fretilin.

Yet what replaced Fretilin was not a new party with alternative policies, but an unlikely coalition of various groups and individuals prepared to help squeeze out Fretilin, and to remain dependent on Xanana.

The extreme ‘big man’ dependence of the CNRT, and of its wider government coalition the AMP (Parliamentary Majority Alliance), subsequently crippled any real collegial policy formation. For example, the 2010 ‘Strategic Development Plan’ was pretty much an edict from the office of the Prime Minister.

Fretilin puts the weakness of the CNRT/AMP more or less this way: if Xanana Gusmao falls under a bus, that’s the end of CNRT/AMP; if Fretilin leader Mari Alkatiri falls under a bus, Fretilin goes on.

A practical consequence of ‘mauberism’ at the party level is that Fretilin maintains a strong network of branches at a village level; the CNRT, with its ‘big man’ culture, has no such base. In government, ‘mauberism’ encourages collegiality and public accountability; ‘big man’ culture tends to replace this with a supposed benevolence and charity.

Current presidential candidate Taur Matan Ruak – former resistance leader who recently resigned as head of the armed forces – presents another element of ‘big man’ culture in Timorese politics. Taur has set himself against Fretilin’s candidate (Francisco ‘Lu Olo’ Guterres), saying that only he (Taur) can deliver the country from the ‘divisions’ caused by Fretilin: a classic ‘big man’ line.

Like Xanana, Taur is undoubtedly popular, but what he actually represents, beyond the populist rhetoric, remains to be seen. He may have some type of alliance with Xanana, whose government has been weakened by a series of corruption scandals. If this is the case, we may see another ‘big man’ electoral alliance, similar to the Xanana–Horta team in 2007.

Many people, inside and outside Timor, will tend to judge these developments according to their view of the personalities. After all, western ‘presidential’ systems are another form of ‘big man’ culture; albeit more often linked to political parties. Nevertheless, in presidential politics policy building and collegiality seem to matter less than assertions of personal virtue, coupled with popular rhetoric.

Whatever else might be said about the ‘big men’ of post-independence Timor Leste, they are not exactly famous for their brilliant development initiatives.

Horta, a great diplomat, successfully pushed for the virtual abolition of most taxes, leaving Timor Leste with possibly the narrowest tax base in the world and extremely budget dependent on its petroleum revenues.

The administration of Xanana Gusmao has been marked by serious waste and corruption. The largest budgets in the country’s short history have focussed on private contracts for infrastructure, ‘stimulus’ packages and a critical neglect of education and health.

Even if Taur as President were highly ethical and more talented, what legacy does an individual leave behind, in a country which so much to build? Can ‘Big Man’ culture really help develop a nation? I think not. Surely there is more to be said for pooling talents and building some distinct Timorese solutions?

Sem Ramos-Horta e Xanana Gusmão "o país tremia" - bispo de Baucau

Díli, 30 jan (Lusa) - Sem Ramos-Horta e Xanana Gusmão, Timor-Leste "tremia um bocado", porque não há figuras de consenso ou de substituição, defendeu à Lusa o bispo de Baucau, Basílio Nascimento, destacando, por outro lado, a falta de capacidade de ambos para liderar o país.

"Se porventura acontecesse uma desgraça a ambos, o país tremia um bocado, porque neste momento não há uma figura de substituição, que seja de consenso, que seja respeitada pelo país", afirmou Basílio Nascimento à agência Lusa.

Por outro lado, o bispo de Baucau disse também que nem um nem outro -- " o Ramos-Horta um bocado" - têm preparação para levar Timor-Leste "como um país".

"Uma coisa é a liderança de líderes históricos, outra coisa é a administração de um país, penso que aí é o que nos falta", disse, estabelecendo uma relação com a preparação das pessoas.

"Não houve tempo para as pessoas se prepararem, se consciencializarem, cada um foi deitando para a arena política aquilo que cada um julgava que a política era", afirmou.

"Apesar de tudo, há coisas que andam, mais mal que bem, o parlamento funciona, o Governo tropeça muito, mas também vai andando, vai fazendo alguma coisa", mas, prosseguiu, "simplesmente 10 anos depois, as pessoas pensam que já é tempo de ter alguma coisa mais clarificada".

Em relação às eleições presidenciais de 17 de março, o bispo de Baucau afirmou que, se Ramos-Horta não se recandidatar, "a população não se sentirá tranquila".

Segundo o bispo de Baucau, todos os candidatos "têm folha limpa, têm nome", mas ao nível da maturidade e do bom senso que o povo exige "ainda não há fora dele, do Ramos-Horta, quem o assegure".

"Claro que os outros políticos não gostarão de ouvir isto", admite Basílio Nascimento.

Já sobre Xanana Gusmão, "ele impõem-se mais, não como primeiro-ministro, mas como uma figura de referência, uma figura que inspira uma certa confiança", salientou.

O bispo de Baucau disse também esperar eleições tranquilas porque a necessidade de paz é "uma coisa muito profunda".

"Pode ser que eu me engane, mas neste momento a consciência do país em relação à necessidade de paz é uma coisa muito profunda e isto dá-me esperança e confiança de que, talvez ao nível de palavras haverá a feira política, como sempre, mas julgo que no consciente coletivo do país e dos cidadãos há esta recomendação aos políticos para além desta fronteira que não se pode passar", concluiu.