Subject: XG: Speech at the swearing in ceremony of the members of the government

Speech of HE Prime Minister of Timor Leste, Kay Rala Xanana Gusmao, at the swearing in ceremony of the members of the government.

His Excellency the President of the Republic of Timor-Leste;

His Excellency the President of the National Parliament;

His Excellency the President of the Court of Appeal;

His Excellency the Special Representative of the Secretary-General of UN;

Reverences, the Bishop of Dili and the Bishop of Baucau;

Honorable Members of the Parliament and Government;

Mr. Brigadier-General and Commander in Chief of the F-FDTL;

Mr. Interim Force Commander of the PNTL;

Your Excellencies, Members of the Diplomatic and Consular Body; Representatives of the International Agencies;

Members of the Civil Society and Press.

Today is another important landmark in our young Timorese democracy, because it is the culmination of a long process, one initiated this year with the presidential elections, followed by the legislative elections. This last election especially, taking into account the official results, was a true test of the Constitution of Timor Leste and the democratic maturity of the Timorese.

This maturity was present in those who presented and defended their candidatures, those whose commitment made possible the electoral process, those who were present at the polling booths to endorse confidence through their vote, those who throughout this month participated and contributed to a truly democratic dialogue, searching for the best solution to attain stability in this country. We have all been active agents in this democratic process.

The results of the election on the 30th June were absolutely clear, opening a new political cycle in this country. The Timorese elected their representatives to the national parliament, affirming a majority in the parliament and this majority was a clear mandate to form a stable government.

This mandate revealed the political need for change for all Timorese, a sign of confidence, but also a demand for exigency and this is why I dedicate this mandate to all Timorese, from Lospalos to Oé-cusse. It was because of you and for you that I received the incumbency and challenge of leading the 4th constitutional government, that Your Excellency, Mr. President, agreed to appoint us, invested with democratic and constitutional legitimacy.

Today, I represent, as the new sworn prime-minister, the culmination of the efforts of four political parties, united in an alliance to form a parliamentary majority, which take upon themselves the challenge of redefining the path that the country will take, as a unique opportunity to transform Timor-Leste into a stable national community, united and looking to the future.

It is, thus, the will of the Timorese, the will of change, the will for a new and reforming political plan that as of today has been sworn in.

We also accept, with appreciation, the trust endorsed in us and we are convinced that we are not going to disappoint the expectations of you all, because the thing that united us to form this government was the interest of the people. That was the reason why various political parties are united under one set of ideas and plans to accomplish the noble mission of granting to this country, specially to the future generations, the hope in a future where respect for others and tolerance would walk together with the social and economic development of this country.

Ladies and gentlemen;

Looking back to our past it is not difficult to conclude that all Timorese bear on their shoulders a heavy burden of pain and suffering. After hundreds of years of Portuguese colonialisation and 24 years of Indonesian occupation we finally succeeded, and with immense personal sacrifice, in freeing our land!

The people have proven that the policy of intimidation and violence is not sufficient to discourage them, and at any crucial moment to say yes or no to their own future. We did it in August 1999, we did in August 2001, and we did it, without hesitation, in June 2007. Our people have always been able to overcome all obstacles and difficulties in order to confirm its desires. And, in elections, the hope is that the vote is understood as a vote to improve the social, political and economic conditions that encompass the daily living of our people.

The greatest desire of our people is to live in peace; free of political persecution, free of insecurity in their lives, free of threat or violation of human rights! The people of Timor-Leste want to live in peace, without shooting or war, between Timorese or with others.

The strengthening of the state is difficult. We have all understood this during the last 5 years. The strengthening of the state necessarily includes respect for our constitution and for universal values, to which we also adhere.

Without this sound base of democratic principles, enshrined in the constitution, the raising of the state would be fragile. The most sacred national interests are revered in the constitution.

Last year, we all were participants and spectators to violence that lives on as a nightmare, part of both our distant and recent past. We accept, with disappointment, the reopening of wounds that were not healed and the opening of profound new ones. We lived through an extremely difficult political climate, where tolerance gave way to social corrosion, where harmony surrendered to violence, where the spirit of peace gave way to attempts to corrupt our mentality, where the dignity of humanity submitted to political manipulation, intimidation and threat.

It is imperative to reflect on these events, to investigate responsibility and resolve the hurt of the crisis. For this, it seems obvious to pursue the recommendations of the report of the Special Independent Commission of Inquiry, so that the people understand what occurred and to halt the cloud of distrust over them.

As well, there is the report of CAVR concerning this collective experience over 25 years, which must be considered. This common experience helps us to understand our past and to better know ourselves. And for that reason we cannot ignore the lessons of the past in order to understand the current crisis, and protect the future.

Understanding our common history, the government of the Alliance for Parliamentary Majority (AMP) is proposing today that we free ourselves from ties of the past, dignifying the heroes of our liberation and with the strong foundation of our culture and the sense of belonging to a community, we will build for all a better Timor Leste.

Your Excellencies Ladies and Gentlemen

The democratic process of Timor Leste is at a stage of growth and is still very fragile.

We received from UNTAET, in May 2002, a draft of what the modern state could be: democratic and functional. It was left to Dr. Mari Alkatari and his government a remarkable task to build from scratch the basis of a democratic system, establish state institutions and develop public administration.

It is unquestionable that to plan a framework for sustainable development and progress is an arduous task for anyone who inherits a country with the situation of a deficit economy, with much of the infrastructure destroyed and non-existent public administration, without even mentioning the series of other indicators characteristic of an underdeveloped and post-conflict country.

Despite this, I want to express my personal recognition of the efforts and successes that have been achieved in many fundamental areas of the country’s development. Many of the political priorities established by Dr. Mari Alkatiri and later reinforced by his successors, Dr Ramos-Horta and Eng. Estanislau da Silva, will be taken into account by the government of AMP.

Still, there is a strong desire to change the things that our predecessors could not, with the humility of one who receives a precious gift, but with the determination of one who wants complete transformation of the system, with the goal to advance the real and profound reform of state management.

The commitment that I assume today before Your Excellency, Mr. President of the Republic, and before the people, is that no political party, no institutional entity, no representative of civil society, no citizen, will be excluded from the democratic process because all will be called to participate consciously and actively in the construction of our country, safeguarding the greatest values of democratic doctrine.

So, with the participation of all, integrating an active civil society and responsible opposition, the government can honour its commitments, respecting the political program that receives the support of the majority of voters ­ in our case, a fusion of four programs. The overall program is open to the proposals of all, but oriented by its own ideas, its own plan, its own agenda.

You may have noted that the formation of this government lacks the significant presence of women, and this is not because of a lack of esteem for Timorese women. We accept the criticism, but our political will has been more oriented towards the efficient implementation of our program of reform. This government embraces a significant percentage of non­political professionals, aiming to create a solid basis for growth. The AMP has a considerable number of women in the national parliament, and the government is planning a strategy for the more coherent training for women’s involvement in the various sectors of public life.

Ladies and gentlemen

The government that today assumes responsibility for a vision and plan that will be accomplished. The government of AMP is structured in order to respond to concrete goals of reform, supported by the principles and values that will orient our political conduct, promoting such things as:

i) the values of civic human rights;

ii) the values of tolerance and respect;

iii) the peaceful solution to problems;

iv) the principles of good governance, assured by the existence of strong and efficient mechanisms to fight corruption, collusion and nepotism;

v) the participation of all to respond efficiently to the basic needs of the population;

vi) the fundamental principle that all should comply with the law.

Excellencies,

Ladies and gentlemen;

The action that the government considers its first priority, and to be implemented by the end of this year, is to regain the confidence of the organs and institutions of the state.

In order to attain this goal, we commit ourselves in the short term to:

* consolidate security in Dili and the rest of the country, guaranteeing the return home of those who are still living in a situation of serious humanitarian crisis in IDP camps, deploying the necessary means to re-establish their lives

* solve the problems of the petitioners, analyzing and putting into practice the recommendations of the report of the Commission of Notables, promoting dialogue with F-FDTL and applying measures of social justice;

* solve, in light of prior efforts, the problem of Alfredo Reinado and his group, guaranteeing that this will be an example of how justice in our country may be slow, but does prevail;

* contribute to community development, through funds recently allocated by the former government to the community leaders (chefe do suco), guaranteeing efficient application within community development and creating community centres to accommodate the needs of youth;

* activate auditing within public institutions to promote transparency;

* approve a transitional budget, that matches the priorities of necessary goods and services until 31 December 2007;

* prepare a national state budget for the fiscal year 2008, adjusted to the real needs of the country, in order to follow an integrated national development plan, making possible real transformation of the living conditions, altering immediately the fiscal year to the civil year.

This government was conceived with the idea to change the present and the immediate future of Timor Leste through radical reform that will mobilize all Timorese for the shared purpose of national development, the intention of improving the lives of the population. We share the desire for decentralization of power, dividing the administration of the country, so that the process of decision-making is entrusted to local government, that the people feel that the power to make decisions is not the monopoly of a distant centralized government.

To recover the confidence of the people we must make a dynamic launch into progressive growth, capable of fighting against unemployment and social inequalities. Only with a strategic plan for economic development, people will understand and follow the phases of the process of national reconstruction, in which the people will be the main actors.

Ladies and gentlemen;

No development plan will be direct and realistic if it does not offer an option for industrialization of the country. To realize this, agriculture, fisheries and stock farming are priorities of the national development. Timor Leste is still in the stage of subsistence agriculture and we have to overcome this situation. We need to move from this phase of subsistence to production for markets and we need to move from the state of small scale production to a regional specialization of products. We also need to move away from a constant cycle of drought by building infra structure for water reservoirs and irrigation systems, securing the production, and, irreversibly, the development of agriculture.

The government intends, with the administrative division of the country, to implement a plan of diversification and intensification of agricultural production, in order to establish a domestic market that guarantees markets for our products and, as an objective, to achieve adequate food security. It is also possible to consider, in the medium term, targeting external “niche markets”.

In the same way, fisheries will be better supported in order that, in the inland regions/districts, the population can gain access to fish consumption in their daily diet. The development of small to medium industries in this sector, and of other sea products, will be a source of job creation and a source of income to this country.

The Government contends that stock farming should be better supported and receive more incentives in order to guarantee domestically the foundations for the development of the small and medium industries of meat by-products, milk, butter and cheese for domestic consumption, or, in the future, for export.

Ladies and gentlemen;

The government shall also put considerable effort into developing, in a sustained way, the standards of living of all Timorese, and this objective will underpin political initiatives, bearing in mind the need in housing, public works, transportation, communication, water, electricity, basic sanitation, not only in the capital but spreading across the country, in order to improve standards of living of those in immediate need and in serious shortage.

The government, immediately, assumes a commitment to develop an environmental policy for this country, guided by basic principles of sustainable development and harmony, integrating them in a common platform of environmental, economic, social and cultural components. Bearing in mind that this half-island is rich in natural resources, we now face the challenge of increasing the economic value of our resources and of establishing and promoting a system of land management and territorial planning that will safeguard and will not depreciate the economic value of our natural resources.

Promoting a clear policy for the protection of sea life and especially the sea corals (the reefs) will avoid their immediate corrosion and destruction and plan their future as important centers of tourism. Re-forestation is equally urgent. We need to educate our population in order to avoid the continuous destruction of our natural resources and to implant new mentalities in our children which respect our soil and the natural environment.

The government, in its plan for national development, will include the execution of analytical studies of the preservation of forests, in order to stimulate a well-established, sequential and systematized production of native wood of commercial value and the introduction of analytical research into the possibilities of introducing new species in order to generate, in time, self-sufficiency with minimum imports on this particular class of goods.

Ladies and gentlemen

It is not a new concept that the private sector is an essential partner in the national endeavor for development. It generates wealth and self-sustained employment outside public sector jobs and activities. For that reason, it is now absolutely necessary to insure that investors shall be better informed about the investment opportunities available in this country in order for them to invest in accordance with our country’s interests and economic profile.

Revising the investment policy in order to encourage direct foreign investment will be one of the means for job creation for our youth. It is then necessary to correct prior mistakes and to promote an environment of true tolerance and respect for others in order to convert our country into a magnet to attract foreign investment.

The government strongly endorses the creation of a specialized agency to deal with investment issues, with autonomy and independence from political power because an agency of this nature guarantees more and better transparency which is absolutely critical to the development of these type of activities. This government shall also commit itself to amend and eliminate the on-going system of favoritism that has been responsible for causing an unfavourable impression of our country overseas, that only favors very few and to the sole benefit of the installed political elites controlling power in this country.

The private sector will also receive careful attention from this government. We are going to request from all the compliance with compulsory minimum legal standards in everything related to the incorporation of firms, and by doing that, we will also promote economic consolidation of daily activities and economic transactions, providing an improved chance for active participation in our future development. Bearing this in mind, our national private sector should, in the future, receive more incentives from the state, with no discrimination. These incentives should only be dependent on criteria of technical competence, value added by the project, professional record of implementers and technical ability of developers. We also have to fight political influences that undermine the process of reconstructing this country and the chance of enlarging our national businesses fabric. Transparency in the awarding of projects and transparency in the annual fiscal accountability of each company will be our indicator for the assessment of sector economic growth.

The government affirms before all of you that it will accept all needed support in the formation in this country for small and medium companies, not only to add value to our national products but equally to give incentive to all productive activity in order to create more jobs to our people. The government is also committed to providing incentives to support cooperatives, to overcome difficulties encountered by small individual producers.

For all this, the government has a firm commitment to creating a National Bank for Development, to offer credit that will boost the private sector.

Ladies and gentlemen;

In the short term Timor-Leste will proceed to overcome some factors that have been restricting our economic development. In order to do that, we will subscribe to the proposal presented by Dr. Ramos-Horta ­ set-up while he was prime-minister (chief of cabinet) of the 2nd constitutional government ­ to create a new and simplified smart tax system to favor impoverished citizens and that will also give additional incentive to the private sector, foreign investment and job creation.

We will also pursue sound public finances and transparency, being a pre­requisite for our economic development. Additionally, adequate management with proper transparency, rigor, exigency and reliability is fundamental in the domain of public finance and national budgeting. Transparency and reliability in public spending in the long-run is the only clear way to assure sustainability and sound accountability in public spending and to assure competitiveness in the overall economy, and more credibility in the eyes of our people and the international community.

This government is determined to create an Anti-Corruption Commission with real powers to intervene, which, together with the office of the public prosecutor will bring about a culture of integrity, rigour, and professionalism in public administration.

In one week time, those who are invested today in this inaugural act will produce a public statement of their personal properties and assets, what each of us possesses, and this list will be published and sent to the state office for justice and human rights.

Excellencies,

Ladies and gentlemen;

In order to put into practice ambitious political measures it is necessary, first, that the state itself goes through a thorough and radical transformation to, among other things, denounce party politics, centralization, red tape and inefficiency which corrupts public service mentalities.

It is the duty of this government, which has assumed the political commitment of rejecting any kind of favoritism, to oversee cabinet members in order to guarantee that none will prioritize individual interests above collective interest and to promote a general environment of responsibility and integrity within the Council of Ministers. We want this policy to become an example and a model to be followed by all civil servants.

The recovery of our confidence in the future is linked to the prestige of our democratic institutions and the dignifying of their conduct in the eyes of Timorese citizens. Thus, we need to restore credibility in our political system and that is going to require reforms in the way they are structured and also in their respective modus operandi.

The government will accelerate professional training within the complete range of civil service and, with the help of a proper framework, secure certainty in career progression and promotions, including time and conditions for retirement.

Ladies and gentlemen;

Investing in education is, primarily, investing in the future of our country.

The government will single out priority areas for immediate intervention in the education sector. Our plan of action is guided by the urgent need for reform in our educational system.

We will fight against the proliferation of private schools and universities open without proper criteria, without proper quality standards in their teaching materials. Instead, we will invest in guided professional formation, that will, in fact, build capacity in our young adults in order to empower them with the necessary tools for their participation in the development of our country, in sectors that are fundamental to us. This will bring certainty and with it integration into the working force by using adequate remedies to fight the unemployment challenge in our youth.

This government considers that our schools and universities are not just conveyors of technical and scientific knowledge. They also serve to widen horizons, develop capacity of reasoning, to mould conducts and behaviors.

Schools and universities are an obvious space for creation of basic conditions for civic education. In the light of this, children and youth will be able to share respect for human dignity, exercise common-good, and contribute to the reconstruction of the state in the spirit of the democratic values, civic and human rights.

We consider equally important the physical development of our youth. Consequently, we will build sport infra-structure in all schools in order to guarantee that our children will mature, healthy in body and mind. Progressively, we plan to extend this program to all districts and sub­districts.

This government will seriously consider free primary education for all children in Timor-Leste, alleviating the burden on thousands of families. This Government will give incentives each year, financial awards to the best students around the country, and implement a rigorous and transparent policy of scholarships in order to raise the intellectual capacity of our next generation.

Ladies and gentlemen;

In relation to the health sector, I should congratulate Dr. António Maria de Araújo for the magnificent work he has developed in this sector. This government will pursue a similar policy as previously defined, but will dedicate special attention to the development of a national health system that will guarantee a reliable supply of good health care to our population. This government hopes to combine this objective with a system of preventive disease measures and sanitation education, food-related issues and hygiene, absolutely crucial in the remotes areas of this country. We are a small country and there is no justification for our population to go on living in isolated clusters, far from any basic services providers.

Your Excellencies, Ladies and gentlemen;

To raise the quality of our democratic system in Timor-Leste, necessarily, our justice and security systems must be instruments to serve the rights of citizenship.

Justice constitutes one of the essential goals of the state, and one of its undeniable functions. To promote a culture of justice -credible, independent and impartial - within the Timorese judicial system, implies a clear administration of justice and more active magistracy.

Democracy, development and the well-being of the population depends essentially on a functional justice system. The approval of legislative acts such as the penal code will receive immediate attention. But this alone will not be enough because it is our priority to give more permanent and continuous operational capacity to the district courts which still lack proper facilities, equipment and administrative services.

This government proposes the creation and installation of a tribunal to judge the legality of public spending (tribunal de contas) in order to make accountable any government, now and in the future, for decisions taken on public spending.

Ladies and gentlemen;

Security is also a fundamental area, one of our state pillars, because the state has the obligation to fight for the dignity and well-being of its citizens as well as for the security of the individual and property. We will, in the capacity of new invested government, give continuity to a policy of innovation in the PNTL making this institution truly professional, non partisan, and worthy of credit at the eyes of people and communities.

We will be committed to revising the security sector and implementing mechanisms that will capacitate PNTL with human and non human resources necessary to accomplish their mission.

In the defense sector this government will be committed to revising the existing policy for the armed forces, making military personnel an example of professional good conduct and behavior, not only in order to have them take a more active role in the reconstruction of the country, but also in better participation, with dignity, in international missions, contributing to a more peace world, the longing of all people.

To do this, we will reinforce the role of the armed forces, enacting the adequate legislation needed for the improvement of the army performance, namely, the national defense law and improvement of the armed forces in order to create a structure and establish a methodology that will define the system of national forces and their mechanism of activity, as well as the human and physical resources needed for the accomplishment of any missions. It is also urgent to implement the reforms that are related to the study group of the force 2020, concerning the edification of the institutional capacity of the F-FDTL .

A concerted policy in the defense sector and security sector is fundamental to guarantee the freedom and sovereignty of the country and the consolidation of a democratic state where the rule of law reigns. Thus, it is not merely accidental or arbitrary that these two areas will be under the office of the prime-minister.

Ladies and gentlemen;

An integral part of a democratic state is the right to be informed and it is in this sense that we assume the commitment to guarantee freedom of the press and the independence of the public media, before economic and political power. We want to contribute to a public service of radio and television that protects and represents the culture and traditions of Timor-Leste and guarantees pluralism of expression.

We consider that the media can be an important vehicle to develop avenues of civil education and the promotion of good citizenship, in innovative ways, contributing to the understanding of the national political process, for which they can count of the organs of sovereignty.

Your Excellencies, Ladies and gentlemen;

No political project will be successful without taking into consideration other fundamental areas of national stabilization. We will commit ourselves to social policies to fight poverty and social inequality, because we cannot close our eyes to what we see, when we travel around our country, where the majority of our population, particularly our children, still do not have access to essential goods and services, almost touching on disrespect for humane conditions.

We will not rest while our elderly, after 24 years of sacrifice, still endure hunger, cold, sickness and isolation in the last years of their lives. These people, along with the disabled, the widows, and the orphans of our freedom, will be the target of concrete projects that ensure their protection.

Continuing the efforts previously developed, and that I personally promoted to the extent that was constitutionally possible, I can guarantee immediately that we will not ignore what is owed to the veterans.

This government proposes to:

* accelerate the process of pensions and compensation, provided in Law 3/2006 in the Statutes of the Combatants for National Liberation;

* accelerate the process of demobilization of FALANTIL members, in order to award them special retirement pensions, retroactively to January 2000;

* revise Law 3/2006 in the Statutes of the Combatants for National Liberation, relative to cadres of the clandestine organization, to also have the right to a special retirement pension, retroactively to January 2000;

* grant a life-time monthly subsidy to the Chefes do Suco and Aldeia, to free them from all other activity needed to sustain their families;

* immediately revise salary scales for F-FDTL and PNTL;

* study the need for remote-area subsidies for civil servants that work in isolated areas and in precarious conditions, to maintain their families;

* make an effective evaluation of the international NGOs that have demonstrated exemplary performance of independence, dedication and good accountability. This will be a step for the government to study ways for concrete support to build them as partners in civic, social and economic development, with duties to the whole community. We will establish a mechanism of responsibility and transparency in accounting;

* establish a MOU with the Church, making it the recipient of an annual subsidy that will correspond with their annual activity, specifically in education, professional training and social, economic and cultural areas. We will establish a mechanism of responsibility and transparency in accounting.

Your Excellencies, Ladies and gentlemen;

We are evidence that the establishment of a country is not limited to only its internal efforts. Since the beginning of our existence as a sovereign state, we have cultivated policy, friendship and cooperation with various countries, especially with those that are closest to us, those geographically and those historically. I am obviously referring to Australia, Indonesia and Portugal.

This government will reinforce ties of friendship and promote even closer cooperation with these governments and also promote ties of cooperation with all countries around the world, guided by the principles of mutual respect and non-interference with internal matters of each state.

We will commit ourselves to putting into practice the universal principles of human rights to which we have adhered, enshrined through international covenants, and to participate in the best possible way within the United Nations, that will reinforce the democratic values of dialogue, tolerance and peace, dignifying the presence of Timor-Leste within world organizations.

We will continue with the process of adhering to ASEAN and to participate in the South Pacific Forum, ACP and APEC, to increase the opportunities of cooperation, especially the economic cooperation, to the benefit of the people of Timor-Leste.

We will maintain our existing relations with the Community of Lusophone Nations, which is an expression of universality, given that through this relationship we also relate ourselves with Africa, America and Europe.

This government is counting on all partners in civil society to achieve success in all these objectives that we commit ourselves to pursue, not only through dialogue, but also through the involvement of civil society in the institutional capacity building of the state.

To make necessary change effective, we also count on the indispensable participation of the Catholic Church, secular institutions, strong and conciliatory within the Timorese society. This government will invite the Catholic Church to be an active part in this change of mentality, towards a culture of peace, tolerance and equality, assuming a more predominant role in education and training of Timorese, in human development and in the necessary fight against poverty.

To reinforce cooperation with other religious denominations is also one of the objectives of this government, convinced that they can provide valuable contributions to development of the individual and consequently to all Timorese society.

National and international NGO`s have always performed an active role in the development of the country and we want to reiterate the invitation for their participation in this grand endeavor of transforming Timor-Leste. For that, we invite them to present proposals and suggestions to this government on how to better resolve the community problems given that these organizations are privileged interlocutors with the communities.

I cannot conclude without expressing my gratitude to the United Nations for the support that has been giving to the people of Timor-Leste. I also want to acknowledge and congratulate the governments of our four friends; Australia, Malaysia, New Zealand, and Portugal, that have responded, without hesitation, to our appeals, first during the crisis and since then by maintaining a continuous presence in the national territory in order to guarantee public order and to restore normalcy and security around the country.

The presence of the international community through the United Nations gave us the opportunity to exercise the right to vote in tranquility and to choose, democratically, our representatives. To all these men and women I want to express our most profound gratitude.

Excellencies,

Ladies and gentlemen;

The Alliance for a Parliamentary Majority is conscious of the responsibility that it is assuming before those electorates that have entrusted their political confidence in us and also before the electorates of Baucau, Cova Lima, Lautém and Viqueque and all the other that did not vote for us.

To those of you with more disquieted souls I would like to make it clear that the government of the AMP is not going to be a government hostage to political interests, and can never become and act as such. That would be a complete betrayal of the spirit of solidarity that we assume before you, the people of Timor-Leste. You are the beginning, the meaning and the ultimate goal of our mission.

To those of you that voted for FRETILIN, the AMP wants to be clear and express a word of comfort and political commitment: in our government your aspirations and your needs will be addressed very seriously and with sincere respect. Also addressing all of you civil servants, administrators and members of the PNTL, who have been actively supporting FRETLIN, I affirm that the government of the AMP will not proceed with any political discrimination against you. However, our policy is one of correcting and reforming the institutions and mentalities, under fair and transparent criteria.

The AMP is committed to making some reforms for the best of this country’s governance and we are 100% convinced that the government alone cannot assume this priority inscribed in our national interest without a serious and honest institutional solidarity of all organs of sovereignty, in their close relationship with Your Excellency, Mr. President, and with Your Excellency, the speaker of the national parliament.

The organs of sovereignty were recently invested and all of them, with no exceptions, have assumed ambitious programmes for the development and stability of our country. I should refer as an example the action plan of Your Excellency, Mr. President of the Republic, to fight poverty in the context of a presidency open to the poor.

It is the obligation of the national parliament and the government to unconditionally give support to this plan. It is all people who need to be served and it is up to us, the organs of sovereignty, to execute this mission.

To conclude, I appeal to our people to never relinquish their degree of exigency in their representatives elected to the organs of sovereignty and especially with the government. It is up to us to conduct and execute the general policy of this country. It is up to the people to call us to account for our failures. The project that I present is ambitious and we will only arrive at the chequered flag if all of us will work together, overcoming challenges and obstacles with permanent dialogue ­ if for any reason you would feel that your voice is not echoing in our hearts give it a try and shout! But please never be silent! However, we should, once and for all, say: no to violence!

Viva Timor-Leste

AUGUST | O8 | 2007.

*The original version of this speech appears in Portuguese which should be referred in authenticating meaning.


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