Professor Noam Chomsky and Ambassador Robert Van Lierop honoured in New York City

Minister of State and of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers and

Official Spokesperson for the Government of Timor-Leste

 Díli, October 4th, 2015

Professor Noam Chomsky and Ambassador Robert Van Lierop honoured in New York City

In a ceremony conducted on behalf of the Office of the President, two tireless activists in Timor-Leste’s struggle for self determination have been honoured in New York City. The Collar of the Order of Timor-Leste was awarded to Professor Noam Chomsky and the Medal of the Order of Timor-Leste to Ambassador Robert Van Lierop by Prime Minister, Rui Maria de Araújo, on the 30th of September.

In his address to some sixty guests gathered for this special occasion the Prime Minister pointed out that  “The Order of Timor-Leste is the highest honour awarded by Timor-Leste” and “is a way for our Nation and State to thank and acknowledge those whose initiatives and actions benefited our people.”

Professor Noam Chomsky, an internationally renowned intellectual and scholar, advocated intensely for Timor-Leste over two decades bringing the plight of the Timorese before the American people and the International community, calling for freedom, respect for human rights and self rule. He presented several statements at the 4th Special Committee on Decolonisation and at the General Assembly of the United Nations in favor of Timor-Leste, published countless editorials and texts and paid for the travel arrangements of refugees from Lisbon so that the US media could listen to their stories.

Ambassador Robert Van Lierop came to know of the struggle of Timor-Leste in his work as an activist for decolonisation of the Portuguese speaking African countries. Once aware of Timor-Leste’s situation he dedicated himself to supporting those who fought on the diplomatic front and in his role as the Permanent Representative of Vanuatu in the United Nations for more than a decade, gave voice to the aspirations of the Timorese people within the international community.

Rui Maria de Araújo commended them both expressing the gratitude of Timor-Leste, noting their “actions were crucial to our cause of independence.” Professor Chomsky responded saying that he regarded his work for Timor-Leste as an honor and that he regarded “the restoration of Timor-Leste’s independence as one of the miracles of the twentieth century.”

Spokesperson for the Sixth Constitutional Government, Minister of State Agio Pereira noted “these two gentlemen, true friends of Timor-Leste, served our cause with great passion, intellect and courage. Great men in their own fields, they were humbled by the resilience and determination of the Timorese people in our struggle for self-determination. As we inspired them, in turn their solidarity and advocacy was a great encouragement to our cause. On behalf of the Government I add to the expressions of our President and Prime Minister, my warm thanks and congratulations.”