According to Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao, 500 years ago the Portuguese arrived in Timor-Leste with the objective of finding riches.
The head of government added that Europeans, especially the English, Portuguese, Dutch and French invaded other countries around the world with different objectives.
The Prime Minister explained that the objectives of the colonialists were to suck up the wealth of the colonies, secondly to spread religion, thirdly to rule and influence Timorese Regents in historic times.
"We have come here together not just for the economic zone, but to see that the preparations for the economic zone can also be part of the 2015 commemoration events, the 500 years since white man arrived here because of our sandalwood," said the Prime Minister during a cultural ceremony to install a sacred rock at the Lifau Monument, last Monday, 21 April 2014.
Xanana said that sandalwood was Timor-Leste's greatest wealth, and one which provoked the colonial powers to invade.
Xanana also declared that, Mari Alkatiri is from the historic FRETILIN party, and he is from the CNRT party, but when it comes to speaking about to the world about Timor-Leste's development, which will begin from Oecussi, both Xanana and Alkatiri are at one in their thinking, because Timor-Leste is one people and one nation only. Source: Jornal Independente 22 April 2014 Edited by ETLJB Image credit: http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks05/0501051h.html
See also Sandalwood and Environmental Law in East Timor