Apr 27, 2007
East Timor – 27th April 2007 – Presidential candidate, Prime minister and Nobel Laureate Dr José Ramos-Horta yesterday returned to Dili having spent three days visiting mountain towns spreading his message of peace and unity for East Timor. He was accompanied on the campaign trail by former president, Francisco Xavier do Amaral who has given his old friend Ramos-Horta his full backing, and urged his supporters to do the same.
The road show took in Dare, Ainaro, Hatudo and Dotik, with an overnight stop in Same, where Ramos-Horta received a warm and resounding welcome. Attendance was good at all venues, with over 2000 people attending yesterday’s rally in Dotik.
Ramos-Horta told the assembled crowds, “It is time for our youth to fight with their minds – education is the way of the future, I urge you all to learn, learn, learn – that is the way that our country will be able to rebuild and prosper.
“Everyone immediately thinks that fighting means violence, that is not so. Violence helps no one. If we continue to fight each other then we will get no-where, we have to unite in peace and work together to build a better future. I urge the youth of our country to learn that the biggest fight we have is to learn to put the aggression of our past behind us, and unite to bring our people together and build our proud nation.
“We have to give hope and help to the people. Fretilin concentrate purely on the oil and its revenues, but refuse to use the money to help the people. This is true of Alkatiri and his presidential candidate will follow. The oil will allow us to build the infrastructure of our country and address the immediate needs of our people, but we need to look at the bigger picture. We need to educate our youth, focus on education. We need to teach them the skills to develop agricultural interests, expand our coffee production for export, commercialise rice production. We need to give our people the skills they need to support themselves, grow goods for export and create a viable economy and a secure future.”
Former president and a candidate in the recent first round ballot, Francisco Xavier do Ameral, head of the ASTL party announced his complete backing for Ramos-Horta and called upon his supporters to lend their weight behind him in the upcoming elections.
He stated, “I was the one that signed the papers to send Jose to the United Nations in 1974, when he was our foreign minister. Things did not work out as we envisioned, but for the next 24 years he fought tirelessly on our behalf in the international community. He may not have been in the country, a criticism many throw at him, but there is no one that fought harder or believes more in our independence. I believe he will continue his fight for our people in the role of President - it is in his heart.
“Fretilin may pay you money and hand out food for your support, but I call on the people to use their minds and their hearts, and vote for the person to unite our country. I pray for you to think of the long term and vote for the diplomat that we need to represent us in the international community. That person is José Ramos-Horta.
“I saved Lu’Olo’s life in the past when he was in trouble, but I certainly wouldn’t vote for him. It is time for change, we need to unite behind someone who truly cares for the country and its people, we need to unite behind José Ramos-Horta.”