Launch of the Cultural Festival of the Popular Resistance

Mon. 26 of August of 2019, 16:46h

The Cultural Festival of the Popular resistance, an event that marks the beginning of the celebrations of the 20th Anniversary of the Referendum and the INTERFET mission began on August 25, 2019, in the municipality of Díli. The festival runs until September 7 at the Díli Convention Center (CCD).

The opening ceremony was attended the Minister of State of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers, Agio Pereira, who gave brief welcoming remarks and also was attended by the President of the National Parliament, Arão Noé da Costa Amaral, members of the VIII constitutional Government and the National Parliament, representatives of development partners and diplomatic corps.

During the Cultural Festival of the Popular Resistance there will be a showcase of representative crafts from the 12 municipalities and the Special Administrative Region of Oé-Cusse Ambeno (RAEOA), a painting exhibition about the period of the popular consultation, exhibition of Traditional medicine, poetry sessions, choir singing and music concerts of the resistance, a film about the referendum, traditional dances from all over the country and the exhibition "The last steps of national liberation-chronology".

The exhibition "The last steps of the National Liberation-Chronology" results from the publication produced by the Presidency of the Council of Ministers, edited for the first time in 2009, on the occasion of the commemoration of the tenth anniversary of the Popular consultation and now republished coinciding with the twentieth anniversary of the referendum. The publication reports the events that occurred between May and September 1999 that resulted in national independence.The printing of this second edition and the exhibition at THE CDC had the support of the United Nations in Timor-Leste.

The Minister of State in his opening speech thanked "the organizing committee of the celebrations of the 20th Anniversary of the Referendum and the INTERFET Mission, the work and effort placed in the organization of the celebrations and, particularly, of this Festival Culture of Popular Resistance "and honored" the courage and resilience of our people who expressed with determination their will regarding the independence of the national territory".

The Minister stressed that the Popular consultation is "a milestone in our history that is particularly dear to all the Timorese and that it is here [at the Cultural Festival of the Popular resistance] dignified by the transcendence that only art and culture can transmit". Adding that "culture and art are not luxury articles, unattainable, they are essential testimonies of our humanity and our history that identify and distinguish us from others, but simultaneously make us belong to a whole".

The Minister of State stated that it is "imperative to foster initiatives that promote tolerance and understanding, as well as safeguarding the material and intangible heritage of collective memory" and that "it is with cultural celebrations and initiatives such as these, that we ensure we don’t forget the past, without which we would not exist".