Lospalos-Lautem, 21 July 2015 – H.E. the President of the Republic, Taur Matan Ruak, accompanied by the First Lady, Isabel Ferreira, and former Prime Minister Kay Rala Xanana Gusmão, this Tuesday inaugurated a monument paying homage to the victims of the Tchaivatxa tragedy at the hamlet of Tchaivatxa, Soru village, Lospalos administrative post, Lautem municipality.
The tragedy of Tchaivatxa occurred on 21 July 1985 following a failed attempt to create peace between the enemy and the FALINTIL. Nine FALINTIL members, including the First Commander of the Red Brigade unit, Miguel Pereira (code name: Falutxai), and a few others from the Indonesian side were killed in the clashes.
In his speech, the Head of State said that many other similar tragedies occurred within Timor-Leste’s fight for independence.
“All those who lost their lives here, in the mountains, are heroes. We gained our independence thanks to these heroes. These are our true heroes. We will never forget them,” the Head of State said.
H.E. the President pointed out that the sacrifice of these heroes has brought about a new fight, namely the fight for wellbeing.
“These heroes have placed a heavy burden on us. They have given us independence, but now we must fight for wellbeing. And wellbeing means good living conditions for the families, access to roads, water and education, being financially independent and not worrying about if tomorrow there will be food on the table. This is what we call wellbeing,” the Head of State explained.
H.E. the President took the occasion to thank the organizing committee and the families of the heroes for being committed to the construction of a memorial which, according to the Head of State, will perpetuate the memory of these heroes.
On the same occasion, former Commander-in-Chief of the Falintil and current Minister of Planning and Strategic Investment, Kay Rala Xanana Gusmão, referred to the heroes of Tchaivatxa as “the heroes of Timor-Leste” and asked the families, in particular the widow of Commander Falutxai and member of parliament Albina, to put sadness aside and be proud that their loved ones gave their life for independence.
The inauguration ceremony began with a mass, followed by the laying of flowers and the signature of the commemorative plaque.
Also present at the event were members of the Government and National Parliament, the Police Commander, the General Chief of Staff of the F-FDTL and members of the community of Lospalos Villa.