Abrão Saldanha: “September 4th was the end of the suffering for Timorese”

Abrão Saldanha: “September 4th was the end of the suffering for Timorese”

The Secretary of State for Youth and Sport, Abrão Saldanha Nokosiko (Image/ TATOLI)

DILI, 03 september 2022 (TATOLI) – Timor-Leste marks September 04, as a historic day for the announcement of the results of the referendum. The day that Indonesian troops started attacking civilians and created a wave of violence in the region.

Militia intimidation and terror reached their peak after the majority of East Timorese voted to separate from Indonesia in a referendum held on 30 August 1999.

Four days after the Popular Consultation, on September 4, 1999, the United Nations Independent Electoral Commission announced the results and issued its opinion.

UN Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, stated that the results of the Popular Consultation to the Security Council – 94,388 (21.5%) supported the autonomy proposal submitted by Indonesia, and 344,580 (78.5%) rejected the Indonesian occupation.

The Secretary of State for Youth and Sports, Abrão Saldanha, considered this date to mark the end of the Timorese who suffering from the struggle for independence.

“The celebration of this date allows Timorese to see the history of our struggle for independence. Apart from the various resistance leaders, organizations, and commandos of the struggle. Decisions were made by the people, through the vote in 23 years ago,” he told Tatoli, in Lecidere.

For the Foreign Minister, the appreciation of this historic day involves the active participation of citizens in the national development process.

The young Maria do Céu Gusmão, on the other hand, remembers September 4 as a dark moment. 23 years ago, families gathered at home, in a tense atmosphere, awaiting the results of the referendum announced by the United Nations.

The young Maria, four years old at the time, witnessed, after the results were announced, the terror created by the militia and the burning houses. She had to flee with his mother to Dare.

Maria noted, however, that despite the wave of violence, this date led to Timor-Leste’s independence.

“I ask the young people of Timor to continue to respect this national day because the independence of our country is not an offer. It came to us through the struggles and sacrifices of our heroes”, he exclaimed.

Ambrósio Colo also considers the date to be “the beginning of a new chapter of the country’s independence after a long struggle”.

“We are part of a new generation. We must contribute to the national development process because the future of the nation is in our hands,” he said.



Journalist: Jose De Sa

Editor: Nelia B.


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