DILI, 26 december 2023 (TATOLI) – President of the Republic, José Ramos-Horta, today welcomed children with disabilities from Alma Bebonuk Orphanage, totaling 12, and Children of the PRR Liquiça Sisters Home, who joined children from the Presidential Library, totaling 111, to share the 2023 Christmas lunch.
On this occasion, the children, along with collaborators from the Presidency of the Republic, also staged a “surprise” to wish the Head of State a happy birthday as he turns 74 today.
“We all here wish Happy Birthday to the President. We don’t have a nice Present to give the President, because we really don’t know what to give the President. All of us gathered here to convey to Dear President, our wishes for good health, wisdom, and happiness to the President to be a father to the nation and a father to all the people of Timor-Leste, to lead the people of Timor-Leste to prosperity,” said the Chief of Staff, Jesuína Maria Ferreira Gomes, who went on to say: “This simple surprise ceremony is to show our profound respect for the President.”
In response to the surprise, the Head of State expressed his gratitude and said: “I thought I wouldn’t leave home today because I have a ‘tolerance-for-punctuality’. Then I was told there was an event with children from Alma (Orphanage). I said let’s not just stay home, go back to the palace, because I didn’t expect this event. (…) Thank you for your attention.”
“I try my best through the presidency, through the Government and all institutions to take care of the little ones. I don’t do much. I do little by little, but if we can only help one person, that’s one person we help already.”
At this simple event, besides talking to the children, the President of the Republic also distributed gifts, such as Christmas presents to the children.
Journalist: Camilo de Sousa
Editor: Filomeno Martins