Subject: TLGOV: Soldiers and police rally to show solidarity, peace and trust

DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF TIMOR-LESTE OFFICE OF THE PRIME MINISTER

MEDIA RELEASE Dili, November 15 2006

Soldiers and police rally to show solidarity, peace and trust

In an extraordinary display of solidarity, trust and friendship, hundreds of Timor-Leste’s soldiers and police will this afternoon march together to the Palacio do Governo where they will be received by the President of the Republic, the President of Parliament and the Prime Minister.

President Xanana Gusmão, the President of Parliament Francisco Guterres “Lu-Olo”, and the Prime Minister Dr José Ramos-Horta will greet the marchers around 5 p.m. and each of the nation’s leaders will make a short speech.

“I invite all the people ­ Timorese and the international community ­ to come and join our soldiers and police at the Palacio,” President Gusmão said today.

“The wounds of recent events are healing and our forces are showing us the way towards a lasting peace.

“I am moved by the unity and friendship shown by our soldiers and police, and particularly by their leaders.

“They have faced a most severe ordeal and emerged even stronger. Their unselfish actions send a very clear message to all of Timor-Leste, and that message is one of peace, unity and harmony.”

Tomorrow’s rally at the Palacio follows meetings held recently between the President, the Prime Minister and leaders of Timor-Leste’s army and police.

“I have had many meetings with the leaders of the soldiers, F-FDTL senior officers, both formally and informally sharing conversations and meals with them,” Dr Ramos-Horta said.

“And in the last couple of weeks Brigadier Taur Mata Ruak, the army’s commander, has met President Xanana for frank and fraternal discussions on how, and where, this country should progress.

“These meetings were followed by larger gatherings involving the President, myself and all senior and middle-ranking army and police officers. The informal gathering at President Xanana’s private residence in Balibar last Thursday was a particularly moving one.”

President Xanana said he hoped as many people as possible would come to the rally.

For further information please contact:

Joel Maria Pereira Information Officer Gabinete Primeiru Ministru Email: riko_joel@yahoo.com Telephone: +670 7254740

Ivana Belo Information Officer Gabinete Primeiru Ministru Email: unugina2004@yahoo.com Telephone: +670 724 3559.

Julian Swinstead Communications/Media Advisor Office of the Prime Minister Email: jswinstead@hotmail.com Telephone: +670 732 7776.


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