Díli, 11th June 2019: His Excellency, the Prime Minister, Taur Matan Ruak, launched, on Monday, the Program of the 20th Anniversary Commemoration of the Referendum and the arrival of INTERFET in Timor-Leste, as well as opened a photographic exhibition related to the historical events of 1999, held in CHEGA! Centre in Balide, Díli.
On the opening speech, the Head of Government emphasized that this year is very important for Timor-Leste because 20 years have passed since the important events of 1999, namely the Referendum, which determined that Timor-Leste is now a sovereign country, and the arrival of the INTERFET in Timor-Leste to restore peace and stability, following the total destruction caused by the pro-Indonesian militias, in the 1999 Referendum aftermath.
“This year is very important for Timor-Leste, primarily because we have completed seventeen years since Timor-Leste restored its independence as a sovereign nation, secondly because we turned 20 years on referendum, which determined Timor-Leste’s status as an independent state, and because this year also marks the 20th anniversary of the arrival of the International Force for East Timor (INTERFET) to Timor-Leste, to restore peace and stability, and helping with the transition period in our country”, said the Head of Government on his opening remarks.
At the same occasion, the Head of Government extended his gratitude towards the Secretary-General of the United Nations, the UN officials detached in Timor-Leste and appreciated the endless contribution of the International Community to Timor-Leste, from the very beginning up to the present.
“On behalf of Timorese people, I extend my especial gratitude to the United Nations, all United Nations agencies who are here, particularly to the Secretary-General of the United Nations, and I would not forget to thank those who were serving here on United Nations’ missions, such as: Mr Ian Martin, Mr Sergio Vieira de Mello, Mr Hasegawa, Mr Kamaleh Sharma and others, who offered their contribution to Timor-Leste. On behalf of my country, I would also like to welcome the Japanese Ambassador, the Portuguese Ambassador and other Ambassadors who represent their countries here, and have offered a great contribution to the development of Timor-Leste and do convey this message to your Governments that Timor-Leste would like to thank you all for your generosity, from the bottom of our heart”, added the Prime-Minister.
In this ceremony, the Head of Government also appealed to all citizens to fully participate in this popular celebration because this is a people’s party and the celebrations belong to them.
The Prime Minister also thanked the Chairman of the Organizing Committee, Kay rala Xanana Gusmão, and the groups integrated in the Organizing Committee, such as CHEGA and other groups established for the preparation of the 20th anniversary commemoration of referendum and the arrival of INTERFET in Timor-Leste, which will be held on august, and September 2019.
After the launching ceremony, Prime Minister and the guests visited the photographic exhibition on the 1999 tragic events, before and after the referendum on 30 august 1999.
Take part in the ceremony the Vice-President of National Parliament, Maria Angelina Sarmento, several members of the Government, the F-FDTL General Chief of Staff, Major-General Lere Anan Timur, the Ambassadors and diplomatic corps, including other important guests and the students. End