Proclamation Day and 500 year Commemorations observed throughout the nation

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

Official Spokesperson for the Government of Timor-Leste

 Díli, November 30th, 2015

 Proclamation Day and 500 year Commemorations observed throughout the nation

On Saturday the 40th Anniversary of the Proclamation of Independence was celebrated throughout the nation. The day was also the highpoint of commemorations taking place in 2015 marking 500 years of the interaction of Timor-Leste and Portugal and the affirmation of the Timorese identity. Large events were held in Oe-Cusse Ambeno and in Dili.

Speaking in Lifau, Oe-Cusse Ambeno on the eve of Proclamation Day, Prime Minister Rui Maria de Araújo noted that it was fitting that the guests coming from many nations were meeting at the place where 500 years ago the Portuguese navigators first moored their vessels and the first capital of Portuguese Timor was set up. He said “the Portuguese and the missionaries brought and left behind many linguistic and historical features knowledge values and feelings that took root and remain in our culture today.”

Prime Minister Araújo used the occasion to thank Portugal for their diplomatic efforts to promote the independence of Timor-Leste during the 24-year struggle and to acknowledge the solidarity and friendship Timor-Leste enjoys as a part of the Community of Portuguese Language Countries [CPLP].

Whilst acknowledging the past he said that this is a time to focus on the future, to use celebrating “what we are today as a people, our identity and what we have been able to achieve” to “fuel our desire to achieve even more in the future”, a future where “we Timorese are at the helm”.

Spokesperson for the Sixth Constitutional Government, Minister of State Agio Pereira noted “Despite many negative aspects, as a result of being colonized by Portugal five centuries ago Timor carved out a unique identity and culture that lead to the Proclamation of our Independence on 28th of November 1975 and then ultimately, after 24 more years of suffering and struggle, led to Timor-Leste being admitted as the 191st member state of the United Nations in 2002.”