Note of Condolence on the death of Jorge Sampaio, a friend of Timor-Leste

Presidency of the Council of Ministers

Eighth Constitutional Government


Dili, September 10th, 2021

Press Release

 Note of Condolence on the death of Jorge Sampaio, a friend of Timor-Leste

The Government of Timor-Leste, on behalf of the entire nation, expresses its deep regret for the death of the former President of Portugal, Jorge Sampaio, who during his terms in Belém always fought for the free and democratic exercise of the Timor-Leste’s right to self-determination.

The Former Head of State of Portugal died this Friday, on September 10th, age of 81, in the Santa Cruz Hospital, in Lisbon, where he had been hospitalized since August 27th, after having felt breathing difficulties.

Linked to politics since his time as students at the Faculty of Law of the University of Lisbon, he led the Socialist Party and was elected Mayor of Lisbon in 1989. In 1996 he was elected as the President of the Republic, a position he held until March 2006.

He was appointed in 2006 by the Secretary General of the United Nations Special Envoy for the Fight Against Tuberculosis. Between 2007 and 2013 he was the High Representative for the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations.

In 2016, Jorge Sampaio received the timorese State’s highest award, the Grand Collar of the Order of Timor-Leste, in recognition of his “solidarity and active support” in the struggle for the independence of our country. The award was presented by the current Prime Minister, Taur Matan Ruak, in Lisbon and at the time as the President of the Republic. On the occasion, Taur Matan Ruak expressed “the deep recognition for humanism, the countless expression of solidarity and the active support of over the years, they have revived the struggle for freedom, self-determination and independence of Timor-Leste”.

In 2006, the National Parliament had also awarded Jorge Sampaio the title of Honorary Citizen of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste.

The Prime Minister, in a message published today, stated that Jorge Sampaio “ went  down in history as the President who contributed a lot to the Restoration of National Independence, which he witnessed as a guest of honor at the ceremony that took place on the 20th of May 2002”. The Head of Government also said that the late Former President Jorge Sampaio will be remembered in the world as a major figure of causes and freedom and recognized as a Great Friend of Timor-Leste and the Timorese”.

The Government Spokeman, Minister Fidelis Magalhães presented his condolonces to the family and friends of the late former President and stated that “Jorge Sampaio will forever be remembered by the timorese people for his deep commitment to human rights, justice and solidarity”. END