19 September 2012

Poverty a threat to security, say President Taur Matan Ruak

A woman scavenges on a Dili street
ETLJB 19 September 2012 - The new President of East Timor and former resistance leader of the armed struggle against the Indonesian occupation, Taur Matan Ruak says that the high levels of poverty in East Timor constitute a threat to security.

“Timor-Leste's leaders and its people have succeeded in resolving the big obstacles of the past such as fighting against the Indonesian occupation, but after independence we are not able to resolve small problems such as reducing poverty,” said the President of the Republic.

The President also said that if the people of Timor-Leste continue living in poverty, that will threaten the security and stability of the country.

The death of Uncle Antonio
In regard to poverty in East Timor, it is with great reluctance and sadness, that ETLJB wishes to draw our readers attention to the brutal reality of the deprivations and indignities which many citizens in East Timor suffer by re-publishing here a photograph of a recent tragic death of an older man on the streets of the capital Dili.

The photograph was published on Facebook last week. The poster wrote "This poor man died a lonely death in a public place, with only his dogs staying by his side.  He was known as Uncle Antonio was found dead on the steps of the Sporting Club building, in this half clothed state, with his two loyal dogs sitting above him as the only witnesses of his sad passing. He was known to be a poor street dweller who was often found begging including for food."

Uncle Antonio's death in such terrible circumstances, as well as the daily horror of going through rubbish on the street in order to survive such as this elderly lady faces defy comprehension; particularly when one has regard to the enormous wealth accumulated in the Petroleum Fund which has now passed US$10 billion.

No comments: