GABINETE DO PRIMEIRO-MINISTRO
22 July 2006 For immediate release
PM ENCOURAGED BY NEW FOUND ENTHUSIASM AND VIGOUR IN THE COMMUNITY
Prime Minister Dr José Ramos-Horta has expressed his satisfaction for the positive response he has received from both public and private sectors and the community in general to his Government’s new direction.
“I’ve been encouraged by the new found enthusiasm and vigour throughout Timor-Leste,” Dr Ramos-Horta said. “It augurs well for the future of our country.
“The level of cooperation of my two Deputy Prime Ministers, Eng Estanislau da Silva and Dr Rui de Araújo, is very high and has been beneficial in rolling out our services to people, and this in turn seems to have reinvigorated the work ethic of all ministries,” he said.
As examples of this, Dr Ramos-Horta cited the work of the Minister of Labour and Community Reinsertion, Arsénio Bano, who for the past few weeks has coordinated the humanitarian assistance to the many thousands of displaced Timorese.
“Now Minister Bano is driving, in close cooperation with aid groups and the international forces in Timor-Leste, the government’s plan for the safe and sustainable return of our citizens to their communities,” the Prime Minister said.
Dr Ramos-Horta was delighted with the efforts by the Ministry of Education which responding to his request, very quickly and efficiently organised the end-of-school-year’s exams for students throughout Timor-Leste except Dili and Atauro, where the exams are expected to take place in the second week of August.
“Last weekend in an admirable logistics exercise, and with the help of my office in facilitating security and transport by the UNOTIL helicopter to Oe-Cusse, the officials of the Education Ministry were able to distribute the exams’ papers to every school in Timor-Leste, even in the smallest and most remote village and the exams were held from 17 to 21 of July,” Dr Ramos- Horta said.
“This enabled 43,146 students to sit for the exams – 22,706 grade 6 primary students; 12,796 grade 9 students sitting for their end of junior school; and 7,644 grade 12 students sitting for their final exams for access to university.
“They will know the results on August 6. I hope that the last few weeks have not been very disruptive in their preparation for the exams and I wish all students the best of luck. They are the future of our county.
“I congratulate the Ministry officials, teachers and students on their hard work and dedication,” Prime Minister Ramos-Horta said.
Meanwhile, Dr Ramos-Horta has continued his program of visits to all ministries to learn about their work and to meet staff and exchange ideas on how best serve the community. After his visit to the Ministry of Justice on Tuesday, he also visited the Ministry of Planning and Finances and the Banking and Payments Authority of Timor-Leste.
Prime Minister Ramos-Horta has also continued to meet with representative community groups
He held discussions this week with the National Youth Council of Timor-Leste, representing 32 youth organizations from all districts, during which the issues of creation of jobs, education and ideas for reconciliation were discussed.
Today Dr Ramos-Horta presided over a Business Community Consultation to hear the views and vision of the business community for the economic development of Timor-Leste.
“My discussions are aimed at creating a business friendly environment in Timor-Leste,” Dr Ramos-Horta said. “We need their ideas, their investments and their technologies to help develop our country, to create jobs, to help all of us to have a better future.
“It is time we stop making life difficult to the business community and making prospective foreign investors feel unwelcome. They are helping us in our economic development.”
The districts have also not been forgotten with the Prime Minister travelling to Baucau on Thursday.
He was accompanied by the Minister for Labour and Community Reinsertion, Arsénio Bano (to address the issues of humanitarian aid and plans for a safe return home of the displaced Timorese); the Minister for Natural Resources, Minerals and Energy Policy, José Teixeira (to explain the electricity plans in the region); and the Vice-Minister for Finances and Planning (to explain the budget for 2006/2007).
Prime Minister Ramos-Horta visited the Bishop of Baucau, Don Basílio do Nascimento, with whom he had very positive discussions in relation to the socio, economic and educational work being undertaken by the Catholic Church in the region. He also met with many traditional and local government community leaders and many members of the public.
Dr Ramos-Horta continued is regular meetings with President Xanana Gusmão and chaired the weekly Council of Ministers meeting.
Yesterday he attended the swearing-in ceremony of his successor in the Foreign Affairs portfolio, José Luis Guterres, and the new Vice-Minister for the Interior, José Agostinho Sequeira, ‘Somotxo’.
REPÚBLICA DEMOCRÁTICA DE TIMOR-LESTE
GABINETE DO PRIMEIRO-MINISTRO
23 July 2006 For immediate release
ENGAGEMENT WITH REGIONAL PARTNERS MARKS DR RAMOS-HORTA’S FIRST TRIP OVERSEAS AS PRIME MINISTER
Nobel Peace Laureate Dr José Ramos-Horta will this week make his first trip overseas as Timor Leste's Prime Minister for talks with key regional partners in Jakarta and Kuala Lumpur.
In a gesture full of symbolic significance Prime Minister Ramos-Horta first stop is in Jakarta where he will hold talks on Tuesday with H.E. the President of the Republic of Indonesia, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.
“Although I have spoken on the phone with President Susilo and - he was the very first leader to call me immediately after I was sworn-in as Prime Minister – when President Susilo invited me to visit I took up the offer as I wanted personally to express Timor-Leste’s deep appreciation for the moral, political and humanitarian support given to us by the Government and the people of the Republic of Indonesia throughout the recent crisis,” Prime Minister Ramos-Horta said.
“I owe also very special thanks to Foreign Affairs Minister Hassan Wirayuda for his equally constant support and friendship, “Dr Ramos-Horta said.
Dr Ramos-Horta said he would discuss bilateral issues, including the commencement of border pass regime, which will further strengthen family, community, social and economic relationships between citizens of the two countries, and the completion of the demarcation of the land border.
“In my short stay in the Indonesian capital I will endeavour to meet with leading members of the business community to explore their possible involvement in the economic development of Timor-Leste,” Dr Ramos-Horta said.
Accompanying Prime Minister Ramos-Horta to Jakarta will be the Minister for Natural Resources, Minerals and Energy Policy, José Teixeira, the Prime Minister’s Chief of Staff, Marcos da Costa, and the Secretary General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Nelson Santos.
Prime Minister Ramos-Horta will then travel to the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur to attend the ASEAN Regional Forum, a group which discusses political and security issues, where he will sign Timor-Leste's formal request for accession to the 10-member Association of South East Asia Nations (ASEAN). The accession process would take about five years.
Timor-Leste has been the guest of AMM (ASEAN Ministerial Meeting) since 2002 and last year it joined the ASEAN Regional Forum.
In addition to ASEAN members Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam, the ASEAN Regional Forum groups Australia, Canada, China, the European Union, India, Japan, Mongolia, New Zealand, North Korea, Papua New Guinea, Pakistan, Russia, South Korea, the United States, and now Timor-Leste.
Prime Minister Ramos-Horta will join in Kuala Lumpur his successor in the Foreign Affairs portfolio, José Luís Guterres, who departs on Sunday to the Malaysian capital to participate in the ASEAN Ministerial Meeting as guest of the Chairman and later with the Prime Minister in the ASEAN Regional Forum.
Accompanying Foreign Affairs Minister Guterres to Kuala Lumpur are Juvêncio Martins, Designated Ambassador to Malaysia, João Câmara, Director of Multilateral-Regional Affairs, Lieutenant Colonel Filomeno Paixão, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Defence.
While in Kuala Lumpur, Prime Minister Ramos-Horta is scheduled to meet with his Malaysian counterpart H.E. Abdulla Ahmad Badawi and the Deputy Prime Minister, Najib Tun Razak, to thank them and the people of Malaysia, for helping Timor-Leste in a moment of grave crisis.
They responded without hesitation to Timor-Leste’s request for help and thanks to the prompt intervention of the Malaysian and other foreign forces, life is returning to normality and they are helping consolidate the peace in the country.