13 November 2008

Timor Foreign Minister opens youth conference by paying homage to Santa Cruz demonstrators

Ministry of Foreign Affairs Public Relations Division Media Release 13 /11/2008 Minister Zacarias Albano da Costa opens youth conference by paying homage to Santa Cruz demonstrators

Representatives of 26 countries at the 'Youth, Identity and Nation-Building' conference in Dili today heard the Foreign Minister, HE Dr Zacarias Albano da Costa pay tribute to those who demonstrated, suffered and died in the Santa Cruz massacre on 12 November, 19 years ago.

Opening the four day conference hosted by the State Secretary for Youth and Sport in collaboration with the Royal Norwegian Embassy, Dr da Costa said youth was often characterized by rebellion; not conforming; a constant search for the ideal and what is best.

“Youth rebellion could contribute to a better world as a critical conscience of the system of government”, the Minister said.

“It is appropriate that this conference, that brings together representatives from 26 countries with rich experience to share, should convene in Dili, Timor-Leste, at this time to exchange ideas and views on the theme of the conference ‘Youth, Identity and Nation Building’,” Dr da Costa said.

He invited delegates to join him in reflecting on the true reason for the sacrifice made by young Timorese on that day in 1991, with a reading from of a poem by Timorese writer Crisodio de Araujo:

“I remember November
Tender and eternal
Like memories that will echo
Beyond the winds
Like the memories that will fly well above the sky
I remember November
Sadly sweet, now without tears
Because now they flow with the rains
Melded together for ever
With the land of Timor…”

The conference is taking place in the Conference Room of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Dili – Praia dos Coqueiros. It will end on the 15 November

For media contact: Maria-Gabriela C. Heard maria.heard@mnec.gov.tl Tel. + 670- 730 4231 / 723 5288 AlmerioVieira almerio.vieria@mnec.gov.tl 7230058 / 7321318

Image: East Timor Foreign Minister
Zacarias Albano da Costa

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