Mário Soares Foundation

In Timor-Leste


In the framework of the work done by the Mário Soares Foundation, people had to travel often to East-Timor, involving complex logistic issues and high costs.

First there was the preparation – and mainly the assembling and disassembling – of the exhibition “Our victory is just a matter of time – Memory of the Resistance of the East-Timorese People”. The building where it was to be held – the former Portuguese court of justice, at the centre of Dili – was destroyed. So, with the support of the Portuguese Armed Forces, we had to rent and assemble very large metallic structures and install temporary roofings. Simultaneously security at the building had to be ensured and so local staff had to be hired.

All subsequent tasks, directly related with the organisation of the Archives of East-Timorese Resistance, also required that technical teams flown in from Lisbon had to stay in East-Timor. Also some equipment had to be transported to meet the initial requirements of the project.

It should also be noted that, between 2002 and 2005 and 2007, these teams travelled extensively within East-Timor. They found it difficult to access the places they wanted to visit, in order to meet people who were involved in the Resistance struggle and look for documents that they might have with them.

During these travels to East-Timor, the Mário Soares Foundation always kept in close touch with the key civil, military and religious authorities, giving them detailed information on project, obtaining their statements and cues of action.

On other hand, it should be noted the permanent support of the Embassy of Portugal in Dili, namely the Ambassadors Rui Quartin Santos and João Ramos Pinto.

Lastly, it should be noted that these works were only possible due to the permanent co-operation with the President Xanana Gusmão and the Brigadier-General Taur Matan Ruak and the direct participation of Professor José Mattoso and Mr. José Sequeira, Somotxo, who were present in these visits and contacts.

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