quarta-feira, janeiro 14, 2009

Hope: The Stories We Were Once Told


All of us have heard stories of men and women, whose courage and determination have “moved mountains”. We heard of their triumphs in the name of justice, truth, peace, freedom, patriotism, religion and even love. We did not only hear the stories of Good vs. Evil, but we have also learned to differentiate Good from Evil.

Some of these stories were only fantasies, fairytales, the bedtime stories our parents used to read to us so that we were able to fall asleep or to simply educate us about different things and situations that we have faced or will eventually face. We read about and sometimes wished to become like the super heroes from the comic books we used to collect. We watched movies about great warriors and knights willing to sacrifice their lives in the name of God, their land or simply in the name of honor.

Religion teaches us about the prophets and their selflessness. Whether we are catholic, followers of Islam, Buddhists, or even non-believers, we have all learned, to an extent, about Jesus Christ, Mohammed, Buda and their followers. The faith that guided them and many times required them to sacrifice everything that they possessed, including their lives.

Today, we still learn and we still teach about the great works of even greater men and women like Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, Rosa Parks, Josina Machel, Che Guevara, Martin Luther King Jr., Eduardo Mondlane and Jose Rizal and the changes that resulted from their struggle against injustice, exploitation and discrimination. We keep their memories alive whether we call them heroes or mere idealists.

If we believe in these stories or not, if they are real or myth, if they were about men or women, if they had a “Shakespearean” style ending or if they “lived happily ever after”, it does NOT matter. The essence of it is what is important. The similarity between all of these stories hides itself behind the reason why we still read books to our children about heroes and about right and wrong, even when we think that we have stopped believing in them. It is behind the reason why we cry after reading some of the most beautiful love stories. The reason why we don’t mind reading some history books and “wasting” a few hours watching movies based on the lives of some of the most inspiring human beings that have ever lived. This purpose, this similarity, this reason, is what we simply call HOPE.

The hope to live a similar love story as the one that has made us cry. The hope that these bedtime stories will influence our sons and daughters to become great men and women when they grow up regardless of the pressure on them by the so called “real world” to push away any kind of idealist ambitions. The hope that more men and women will rise up and have the courage to continue and follow the works started by the leaders, who were responsible for some of the greatest social changes ever achieved. The hope to finally make the world a better place. A better world that has been written so much about but for now it keeps itself safe on pages of numerous inspiring books.

This was the same hope Timor-Leste represented during the struggle to restore its independence. We learn the stories about our heroes and their battles. We cry when hear about the tragic love stories that occurred during the war, and the stories of the bruises that will never heal. We keep the memories alive of those who taught us not just regarding our RIGHT to be free but about our NEED to be free as well. There is a need to keep what we call HOPE alive. Hope that our struggle could and still can inspire not only us, Timorese, but also show to the rest of the developing world that “the only impossibility is the lack of possibilities”.

All this is what keeps us believing. All this is what keeps us optimist when we look at the current situation of our beloved nation. It is what helps us understand that although we have defeated the colonial regime and the Indonesian illegal occupation, we still struggle to hold what is ours by right: freedom. It is what motivates us to face these present difficulties, with our heads high. To face the “horror” stories created by the corrupt, the deceiving and by the traitors.

A great friend sent me a quote by Samuel Johnson very recently, which said: “great works are performed not by strength, but by perseverance”. And like many of the children of Timor-Leste, I will continue to persevere. I will persevere because I hope one day to tell the stories of our heroes. I hope one to write most unforgettable songs about the most beautiful Timorese love stories. I hope that one day, we will be able to make our own movies inspired on our struggle. Because I hope that one day I will be able to read bedtime stories to my children. The stories of the people, the places, the myths, the suffering and the triumphs. And before they fall asleep each night, they will know how this hope gave them not just the right to be called Timorese, but it also kept alive their right to be free.

By: Lukeno Alkatiri

Parliament must prohibit silencers for police weapons


Media Release
Dili: Wednesday, January 14, 2009

FRETILIN will move to block a government proposal to equip Timor Leste's police with firearms silencers and other so-called "equipment to maintain public order" when parliament debates the proposed budget for the security sector starting today and going into next week.

FRETILIN Vice President and MP, Arsenio Paixao Bano, said today the purchase of silencers for a police "Rapid Intervention Unit" had not been "excluded from the budget" by a parliamentary committee as claimed by the Secretary of State for Security, Dr Francisco Guterres in a January 12 media release.

"A parliamentary committee cannot 'exclude' budget items proposed by the Council of Ministers – this can only be done by a formal resolution passed by parliament, as Dr Guterres would know," Bano said.

"Committee B (Foreign Affairs, Defence and National Security), chaired by Mr. Duarte Nunes MP, a member of Xanana Gusmao's CNRT party delivered its report to parliament on the proposed budget for the security sector but failed to mention the strong opposition from some committee members to the proposal to acquire silencers.

"Page 15 of the committee report still includes line items for the acquisition of minor capital: "equipment for public order; special operations equipment" which is where the silencers can still be acquired unless parliament specifically excludes them.

"That's why FRETILIN will put forward a resolution to ensure that silencers and other equipment such as laser illuminators, which help snipers target people with greater accuracy, are not acquired."

"Despite what some government MPs might say in a committee meeting, we can place no trust in the word of a government that is prepared to ignore even parliamentary resolutions. In April last year parliament voted to establish an International Commission of Investigation into the attempted assassination of President Ramos-Horta. Mr. Gusmao simply ignored the resolution.

"In July last year parliament passed a resolution prohibiting the government from using the state budget to build a second heavy fuel power station and calling for the funds to be invested instead in hydro-electricity. Mr. Gusmao has ignored this too."

Bano said the Secretary of State's media release, which sought to make light of the issue, failed to explain why the purchase of silencers was approved by the Council of Ministers, of which he is a member.

"Even some MPs allied to Dr Guterres' government are gravely concerned about the government's motives for having such equipment included in the budget submission in the first place.

"The Secretary of State may think it's a joke, but we doubt whether the students whose peaceful protest was brutally broken up by police last year would agree."

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT ARSENIO BANO M.P. ON +670 741 9505, Jose TEIXEIRA MP on +670 7287080 or fretilin.media@gmail.com fretilin.media@gmail.com


Todas as traduções de inglês para português (e também de francês para português) são feitas pela Margarida, que conhecemos recentemente, mas que desde sempre nos ajuda.

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... "

Malai Azul. Lives in East Timor/Dili, speaks Portuguese and English.
This is my blogchalk: Timor, Timor-Leste, East Timor, Dili, Portuguese, English, Malai Azul, politica, situação, Xanana, Ramos-Horta, Alkatiri, Conflito, Crise, ISF, GNR, UNPOL, UNMIT, ONU, UN.