01 December 2017

Speech by President Lu-Olo on the Celebration of the 42nd Anniversary of the Proclamation of Independence

Suai, 28 November 2017


Mr Aniceto Guterres, President of the National Parliament
Dr. Deolindo dos Santos, President of the Court of Appeal
Mr Prime Minister, Dr Mari Alkatiri, living pioneer of our Republic
Members of all bodies of sovereignty Most Reverend Bishops of Timor-Leste Representatives of all religious denominations present
Members of the Diplomatic and Consular Corps Distinguished guests
Beloved people of Timor-Leste

On this joyous occasion, when we  as a free and sovereign people  proudly celebrate the 42nd anniversary of the Proclamation of Independence, I first salute all sons and daughters of Timor-Leste, from Oecusse to the eastern end, from the southern coast to the northern coast and Ataúro. I salute also all our brothers and sisters who live, work, and study in faraway lands.

Independence is an achievement of which al of us, as citizens of this country, are proud and my thoughts are with all brothers and sisters  throughout the country and around the world.

I bow my head in memory of the heroes and martyrs of 1975 and those who sacrificed themselves, gave their lives and suffered during the 24 years of the struggle. I bow my head in memory of the beloved Nicolau Lobato, Francisco Xavier do Amaral, Nino Konis Santana, and the entire leadership of the struggle. I salute the greatness of character of all leaders of 1975, including my dear brothers Mari Alkatiri and José Ramos-Horta, who God willed to remain by our side, helping us guide and drive the country forward.

30 November 2017

Official Opening of WAP Art Gallery (Women Art Power) in The Asia Foundation

WAP (Women Art Power) Art Gallery, with its first Exhibition “MEMORIES”, on Thursday 30 November 2017, in The Asia Foundation

3 pm - Discussion Series at the Asia Foundation Conference Room
- H. E. Lurdes Bessa, the Vice-Minister for Education and Culture about the subject: Art, Culture and education.
- Introduction to the new Magazine PAW “Power Art Women”
- Discussion on the establishment of a Women Artists Association “AMA”

5:30 pm - Official Opening Reception of the Art gallery with the Exhibition "MEMORIES"
Speech and Ribbon Cutting Ceremony by H.E. José Ramos-Horta, Peace Nobel Prize Laureate

Woman’s Art Power - WAP is the new cultural program from KONSOLIDARTE.

This new artistic initiative, carried out by feminine elements only from different performative arts, aims to consolidate a passage through the past. Aware of the insurmountability of the space-time gap. Nine artists seek a reunion with memory. The project of rescuing the memory is a work of recreating a subjectivity, re-arrange residues of past experiences that are thus repositioned in the present. Memory is a process writing that inscribes the subject in the order of existence. A mnemonic language does not print what it captures. She thinks, composes and reproduces a record that is, forever, in becoming. More than an archive of recognition, a memory produces a mirage, an illusion of a possible truth. Memory traces should be provided as part of a cultural production. Attached to a chain of meanings, a memory doesn’t ensure the adaptation to reality, but a reproduction of a social pattern. It is an act of continuous and endless creation. What is truly important to the subject are the more intense memories. A memory preserves in itself and for itself, in a writing whose characters are indecipherable.

Nourished by a vital energy, the recording of traces from past experiences is instituted as a desiring project. In an incessant search for fulfillment, the energy of memory trails the paths of a forever insatiable desire. Faced with the impossibility of an encounter with the past, rests the desire of a potential reconciliation with history, memory and with its own life.
Maria José Barbosa, UNTL Teacher

29 November 2017

Nearly 140 arrested for martial arts and weapons law violations

East Timor Police and community members in Dili.
!WARNING! MACHINE TRANSLATION ORIGINAL PORTUGUESE TEXT LUSA NOVEMBER 10, 2017 07:35 - Nearly 140 young East Timorese are now being heard in Dili District Court after being detained in an operation of the National Police of Timor-Leste (PNTL) against illegal martial arts groups, the police commander told Lusa.

"150 youths, some of whom were minors, have been detained and have since been sent home. 139 of the young people, all over the age of 17, are being presented to the Court," Julio Hornay told Lusa.

"It is alleged elements of ritual and martial arts groups, including group 77, who participated in illegal actions, including oath and training, and were detained in the Taibessi neighborhood of Dili," he explained.

At issue, said Julio Hornay, is the violation of law 5/2017 approved in April by the National Parliament on "the practice of martial arts, rituals, white arms and ambon branch."

The ammunition - arms used at various points in the Indonesian archipelago, including Ambon - are a kind of slingshot with small arrows, blades or arrows, which are used sporadically in some districts of Dili, already causing several wounded and at least one dead.

An internal alert issued by the United Nations mission in Dili in June last year said that ambon rams are used to launch arrows at passersby by young "initiates" in rival martial arts groups.

In this warning the United Nations recommends that additional precautions be taken in some areas of the capital.

Its use was so prevalent last year that the Guido Valadares National Hospital in Dili has at least two rooms several arrows taken from patients who entered the unit, some with serious injuries.

The law passed this year notes that "the practice of martial arts aimed at promoting physical activities and vehicles for the transmission of cultural and ethical values ​​has undeniable social and cultural importance in any society, especially in the young."

However, according to the preamble, "when deviant from the ends that are natural to it, the practice of martial arts can threaten social peace and individual and collective security" and "certain techniques used in the practice and teaching of martial arts pose dangers to health and physical integrity for its practitioners and practitioners. "

The text also states that "in addition to diverting the martial arts from its ends, some segments of society have introduced the use of weapons in the practice of martial arts, of which the ambon dart stands out."

It should be noted that clashes between rival groups of martial arts have caused specific problems in East Timor, being responsible for several deaths and injuries and for the destruction of property.

The authorities note that the actions of these groups represent the greatest security threat in the capital and other areas of the country.

Timorese President guarantees implementation of the constitution in defence of the State's interests

East Timor President Lu-Olo
!WARNING! MACHIINE TRANSLATION ORIGINAL PORTUGUESE TEXT 28 DE NOVEMBRO DE 2017 10:24 Lusa - The President of the Timorese Republic today assured that he will apply the constitution always in defence of the national interest and not the interests of the Government or the opposition, calling for avoiding "useless struggles" that are disadvantageous for the people.

"If the motion is approved - most likely - the government will fall and Lu-Olo will have to choose between a new government solution in the current parliamentary scenario or early elections."

"In recent weeks, many people have invoked the Constitution, especially in political declarations, Dili newspapers and Facebook, to serve their convenience or private interests and partisans," said Francisco Guterres Lu-Olo in Suai in the south of Timor-Leste.

"I understand these attempts, but the President of the Republic can not do the same. When I took office as Head of State, I undertook to fulfill and enforce the Constitution and - to comply with the Constitution - I have to interpret its articles in the service of national interest, not in the interest of any party, neither the government nor the opposition, "he said.

Francisco Guterres Lu-Olo was speaking in Suai, 171 kilometers southwest of Dili, where the official commemorations of the 42nd anniversary of the proclamation of independence of Timor-Leste, a "victory for all citizens of the country", took place today.

The ceremonies took place at a time of great political tension in East Timor after the opposition majority in parliament rejected the government's program for the first time and filed a motion of censure that should be debated in early December.

If the motion is approved - most likely - the government will fall and Lu-Olo will have to choose between a new government solution in the current parliamentary scenario or early elections.

"It is important that everyone, without exception, be restrained and respected when we invoke the Constitution, to protect and defend it, as it guides the State and the people towards this collective destiny of the Motherland," Lu-Olo said.

"The Constitution, as the fundamental law that unites us, should not be lightly invoked, according to the particular convenience of the parties, nor should it ever be used as an instrument of division," he said.

Lu-Olo said in a speech full of historical references and the country's historic leaders, who fought for independence and against Indonesian occupation, inside and outside Timor-Leste, that the Timorese now enjoy the fruits of freedom.

"The brothers and sisters who dared to rise and raise the dignity of the Timorese in 1975 gave voice to the hope of the small and suffering people of this beloved land. We must honor the people's hope - and the citizens' will to make a better future , a better life - in a better country, "he said.

"The State must act with greater balance and with greater justice, I appeal to all, so that we do not disappoint hope, nor squander the opportunity of the people, with useless struggles that do not bring advantage to the people. with principles and values, "he said.

Lu-Olo paid tribute to those who fought inside and outside Timor-Leste to achieve independence, proclaimed in 1975 and restored in May. 2002.

"I bow to the memory of the heroes and martyrs of 1975 and of all those who sacrificed themselves, gave their lives or suffered in the 24 years of the struggle. I bow to the memory of the long-lost Nicolau Lobato, Francisco Xavier do Amaral, Nino Konis Santana and the whole direction of the fight, "he said.

"I welcome the greatness of character and steadfastness of all the leaders of 1975, including my dear brothers Mari Alkatiri and José Ramos-Horta, that God wanted them to remain by our side, helping to guide us and lead the country to front, "he said, recalling their role on the external front," complying with instructions "by Nicolau Lobato and later by Xanana Gusmão.

"I greet from the bottom of my heart my brother Kay Rala Xanana Gusmão, who succeeded Nicolau Lobato very brightly. I also greet Ma'Huno Bulerek Karataiano and Nino Konis Santana.And my brother Taur Matan Ruak, who succeeded him in the Command of the FALINTIL "said the head of state.

Timorese changemakers look to the past to build a peaceful future

Dili, Timor-Leste – At times of uncertainty it is everyone’s responsibility to create peace. This year more than 200 Timorese young people are joining together to spread peace through a two-day youth leadership conference, PeaceJam.  The theme of this year’s conference is looking at the past to build a peaceful future.

On the 29th and 30th of November the 4th PeaceJam event in Timor-Leste will take place at the National Chega Center. This year PeaceJam, the organization famous for the #billionactsofpeace campaign, is working together with the Rotaract Club of Dili, NGO Ba Futuru, the National Chega Center, and the Secretary of State for Youth and Work to make this happen. The main event sponsor, Brian Kelly, is the founder and CEO of The Points Guy (TPG), a digital platform renowned worldwide for all points, miles and travel related tips. Kelly brought a film crew to Timor-Leste (although he himself didn’t make it due to the volcanic ash in Bali) in order to help promote Timor-Leste as a tourism destination.

Media are invited to join the event:

Where: The National Chega Center
What: PeaceJam Timor-Leste 2017
When: 29 & 30 November, 2017

PeaceJam is an international peace education non-profit that has been nominated 9 times for the Nobel Peace Prize for its award-winning curriculum and transformational youth leadership conferences. For 20 years, PeaceJam has inspired youth leaders worldwide in 39 countries to greatly impact their communities through social action projects. After identifying an issue, the young people create service projects and receive mentoring from a Nobel Peace Prize winner.

PeaceJam’s Billion Acts Campaign is led by 14 Nobel Peace Laureates, including José Ramos-Horta, The Dalai Lama, Desmond Tutu and other Nobel Peace Prize winners who have worked with the PeaceJam to mentor over 1.2 million youth worldwide.

The Timor-Leste conference this year has dynamic speakers including Jose Neves (Deputy Minister of Education and Culture and former political prisoner), Nivio Magalhaes (Secretary of State for Youth and Labor), Nurima Alkatiri (Member of Parliament, Fretilin), Fidelis Magalhaes (Member of Parliament, PLP) and Naldo Rei (activist, author and former political prisoner).

This year the conference includes action projects and workshops with the support of Peace Corps Timor-Leste, Dili International School, Water Aid, Marie Stopes, UNDP’s Knua Juventude Fila Liman entrepreneurship program, as well as Cesar Trinito Freitas Gaio of Dilicious; Cristina Costa Ribeiro, founder of the Heritage International School; Sierra James, founder of NGO Ba Futuru; and environmental activist Jafet Potenzo Lopes, among others! Join us and see what it is all about!
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