Melbourne Herald Sun - May 20, 2008 12:00am
TODAY is Timor-Leste Independence Day - a day of great celebration for all Timorese.
It is the sixth anniversary of the restoration of our sovereignty and independence.
After 24 years of struggle against illegal occupation, and three years of United Nations governance, we finally achieved democratic self-government on May 20, 2002.
Today we remember the sacrifice of our brothers and sisters, sons and daughters, and celebrate the liberation for which they fought.
While we commemorate our liberation, it reminds us of the great responsibility we have to reconstruct our country and ensure lasting peace and prosperity.
The challenges confronting Timor-Leste are very serious ones - food shortages, poor education, inadequate sanitation, limited infrastructure and high unemployment.
More than 40 per cent of Timorese people live on less than 55 cents a day.
We are working hard to address these challenges but it is taking time. Nations are not built in a day and our country is only six years old.
After the 1999 vote for independence, our country was literally destroyed - people were killed and most of our infrastructure destroyed.
Building our country and democratic institutions from the ground up takes time and patience. We are proud that we are heading in the right direction with vision and conviction.
When I became Prime Minister of the new Government in August 2007, we inherited serious problems.
They stemmed from the political crisis of 2006, in which lives were lost, homes were destroyed and people suffered.
The crisis left more than 100,000 displaced people living in makeshift camps, a third of the army departing with grievances against the state, the police and the army fighting each other and a group of armed dissidents roaming the country.
We are tackling these issues. In less than a year, almost all the departing army personnel have returned to Dili and we are working on their reintegration into civilian or military life.
The police and army, who were once confrontational, are working successfully together.
The armed dissidents who attacked the President and me have surrendered peacefully.
People are leaving the camps and returning to their residences.
A key priority is to address poverty and free our people from subsistence agriculture and food shortages.
We are focusing on improving access to basic services such as water, sanitation, health, education and justice. And we are pursuing economic development to create jobs and prosperity, and building a society based on tolerance and human rights.
With our petroleum revenue, each year we are investing a modest but sustainable amount in health care, education and critical infrastructure.
We are also implementing reforms to improve public sector standards and minimise the risks of corruption.
In this task, we are fortunate to have the help of my good friend and former premier of Victoria, Steve Bracks, who is volunteering his time as my special adviser.
In 2006 we were plagued with civil unrest. Today we have achieved stability and are looking towards the future.
Symbolic of this future, last weekend tens of thousands of our youth gathered peacefully for a rock concert in Dili where they celebrated in a spirit of solidarity and optimism.
We are humble enough to acknowledge that we cannot achieve what we have to without our friends. One of our closest friends is Australia, a country with which we share a deep and special bond.
Only days after the assassination attempts on February 11, Prime Minister Rudd visited Dili and committed Australia to protecting our shared values of democracy and the rule of law.
We also have a special bond with the Australian people, with relationships at all levels, including between our schools, our churches, our hospitals and our community groups.
I am confident that together, and with our friends' help, the East Timorese will achieve true freedom through peace and prosperity.
Kay Rala Xanana Gusmao is the Prime Minister of East Timor
terça-feira, maio 20, 2008
Melbourne Herald Sun - May 20, 2008 12:00am
Por Malai Azul 2 à(s) 17:19
Obrigado pela solidariedade, Margarida!
Mensagem inicial - 16 de Maio de 2006
"Apesar de frágil, Timor-Leste é uma jovem democracia em que acreditamos. É o país que escolhemos para viver e trabalhar. Desde dia 28 de Abril muito se tem dito sobre a situação em Timor-Leste. Boatos, rumores, alertas, declarações de países estrangeiros, inocentes ou não, têm servido para transmitir um clima de conflito e insegurança que não corresponde ao que vivemos. Vamos tentar transmitir o que se passa aqui. Não o que ouvimos dizer... "