28 March 2012

President’s address at Xavier do Amaral’s funeral

Mar 10, 2012 oIn honour of the memory of Francisco Xavier do Amaral

Grandfather Francisco Xavier do Amaral was a good and brave man who loved our Nation, Timor-Leste. I remember him well, in the 1970s, when he had the courage to join his voice to those of other nationalist youths mobilised to build a better future for our people and our country. We were all very young. Francisco Xavier do Amaral was the oldest amongst us.

His voice rallied our people for the construction of a free nation and fairer society. His generous heart and his ability to communicate with the people, with inspiring speeches, contributed to advance the liberation cause in the years during which modern Timorese nationalism developed, grew and gained support from the largest social groups.

In the early 70s, Francisco Xavier do Amaral contributed to transform the Timorese people’s dream of freedom into structures and organization. He participated in the creation of the original ASDT and, later, in the original ASDT’s transformation into FRETILIN. The creation of these political structures contributed to give new strength and new capabilities to the Timorese nationalist movement.

In those heroic times of our youth, Francisco Xavier do Amaral was amongst the leaders who showed us the way. On November 28, 1975, it was Francisco Xavier do Amaral’s far-reaching voice who announced, to the Nation and to the world, the proclamation of our Independence and the creation of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste.

It is as the proclaimer of Independence that our people and future generations will remember Francisco Xavier do Amaral.

Grandfather Xavier has all of our respect and a place in the history of Timor-Leste as a symbol of unity in the collective aspiration to independence and freedom. He has a place in history as a courageous nationalist with faith in democracy.

With an open spirit towards the new times, he joined tradition and change in a balanced manner. He came a long way, from the feudal society environment of 1930s Turiscai, where he was born, to the open and modern society of our days, which strives for Justice and Equality, and hopes that Democracy, achieved at great sacrifice, will help improve living conditions of the poorest families and promote the well-being of the Nation.

I bow before Grandfather Francisco Xavier do Amaral and his memory as the brave proclaimer of Independence and extend my deepest condolences to the entire bereaved family in this hour of great sadness to us all.

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