19 September 2008

East Timor President appeals for forgiveness and reconciliation

Presidency of the Republic
Office of the President
Department of Social Communications


Dili 18 September 2008

President Jose Ramos-Horta appeals for Forgiveness and Reconciliation

President of Republic, Dr Jose Ramos-Horta, accompanied by the Vice Prime Minister, Dr Jose Luis Guterres, and the Special Representative of the UN Secretary General in Timor-Leste, Dr Atul Khare, flew yesterday to Kraras, a village in the district of Viqueque to participate on the 25th anniversary of Kraras massacre where TNI soldiers killed many people.

This event was coordinated by Fr. Martinho Gusmao from Diocese Baucau and commenced with a mass that also participated by Minister of Social Solidarity, Maria Domingas Alves, Minister of State Administration and Ordainment Territory, Arcangelo de Jesus Leite, Secretary of State for Former Combatant of National Liberty, Marito Reis, Secretary of State for Culture, Virgilio Smith, F-FDTL Commander, Brigadier General, Taur Matan Ruak and the other military authorities, PNTL and local authorities, as well as the local community.

On a brief speech, the Head of State appealed to all Timorese to forgive each other.

“I also feel your suffering, but I would like to appeal that the best way for the Timorese is forgiveness and reconciliation, including to forgive the Indonesian because during this fight Timorese also killed each other and many Indonesian also died in this land. They died because of Suharto dictatorship at that time”.

“Therefore as I have appealed many times that even the biggest responsibility of Kraras massacre is coming from the Indonesian, however, they also suffer like us, so since 1999, “maun bo’ot” (Big Brother) Xanana Gusmao has opened an idea of reconciliation between two countries,“ said the Head Of State to the participants.

“There is no reason to hate each other. As the President as well as your “maun bo’ot”, I would like to appeal to all Timorese to avoid violence,” the President said.

“The President for the Poor” also congratulates and recognizes the government that in the very short period of time have been able to identify and provide supports to the most members of Former Combatants of National Liberty.

This ceremony also completed with putting flowers to remember the victims of the massacre, and continued with putting the first brick to establish a new monument of the massacre. The Head of State also inaugurated a solar panel project that is funded by the government to the locals.

At the end of ceremony, the President Ramos-Horta also handed offer some new clothes to the locals. These clothes are offered by the people of South Korea through its embassy in Timor-Leste. END

Contacts: telephone:(+670) 333 9003, mobile:(+670) 723 0160, e-mail Dep. Com. Social rriko .joel@gmail.com, or motaana48@gmail.com

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