domingo, 22 de abril de 2007

Media Release - Lu’Olo: “Youth of Timor-Leste, This is Your Time”

Francisco Guterres “Lu Olo” for President
“I shall be a President of all and for all”

Media release
22 April 2007

Lu’Olo: “Youth of Timor-Leste, This is Your Time”

“The yearly Cruz Juventude gathering in Los Palos with youth from all over the country is a wonderful example of young people coming together in peace and harmony, to celebrate their faith and values,” said FRETILIN President and Presidential candidate, Francisco ‘Lu’Olo’ Gutteres, speaking today in Dili. “It is also an opportunity for our country to acknowledge the great contribution that our youth make to our independence.

The constitution of Timor-Leste guarantees the rights of youth, as equal citizens of the country. In Timor-Leste, youth have a right to contribute to social and political development.

Accordng to Lu’Olo. “Youth have rights to share in the peace and prosperity of our country, not just in the future, but now, today.”

Lu’Olo spoke also of his own experiences. “I am personally indebted to the youth of this country”, he said. “When we were fighting in the mountains, it was the youth in the cities and the villages who helped us and supported us. Without the youth, there would be no independence.”

“We need to work together now, again, to overcome the crisis that has befallen our nation. Many young men and young women are now in leadership roles, helping to build their communities, our nation. Young people are involved in peacebuilding, in education, in health, in community development.”

Lu’Olo went on to make a specific commitment to take action on youth issues:

“As President, I commit to be the advocate of youth. I will give youth a central place in my presidency, by establishing a national non-partisan and inclusive Office for Youth Advocacy, staffed by young people. I will engage in regular dialogue with youth and youth organisations, and help them engage with government and religious confessions and non-government organisations. Already I have been an advocate with the government for the establishment of youth parliaments in the schools. As President, I will continue to support youth to mobilise their capacities now, to build the nation.”

When asked about the needs of youth in Dili, Lu’olo said:

“Too many people have blamed the youth for the violence and the crisis. I do not agree with this. Youth come to Dili with high expectations. Too often, they are disappointed. But most young people are doing excellent work, supporting their families, studying, helping their communities. We need to respect our young people, listen to them, and work with them as they find their own solutions to the problems they face.”

Lu’Olo said that he is already talking with youth and students about their visions and needs.

“I have heard youth and students tell me some of the things they want,” he said. “Youth want opportunities for long distance education in their own districts, instead of having to travel to Dili. They want Youth Resource Centres in the districts. They want help to develop their own peace and security initiatives, to do training, to learn computers, and to organise sports and cultural festivals. Youth want to work with women and farmers in rural areas, to establish co-operatives and livelihood projects. I know youth who are already doing these things now, and I undertake to support them to broaden and strengthen these initiatives. Youth in the districts want to be part of the modern world, and they have a right to it without being forced to leave their homes. I do not agree that quick-fix schemes like building dormitories for students in Dili are the answer.”

Lu’Olo concluded with a direct appeal to the youth:

“Youth have always played a central role in our struggle for independence. I say this to our youth: This is your time. Let us all continue to work together for the future of our country.”

For more information contact:
Harold Moucho (Lu Olo’s political adviser) (+670) 723 0048 (Dili)
Jose Manuel Fernandes (Lu Olo’s official election representative) (+670) 734 2174 (Dili),,