Bobonaro, 9 February 2017 – H.E. the President of the Republic, Taur Matan Ruak, on Wednesday morning held a dialogue with the community of the suco of Cota-Boot. In the afternoon he met with the community members of the suco of Carabau. Both sucos belong to the administrative post of Bobonaro, Bobonaro municipality.
The Head of State began his speech by explaining the main goals of his visit, namely to thank communities for their contribution to the liberation struggle and to call on them to further contribute towards well-being. H.E. the President also took the opportunity to highlight the significant strides made by the country and the challenges facing Timor-Leste, to call for the improvement of household economy through animal husbandry, the cut of expenditure on life and death celebrations, and to point out the importance of working together with the local authorities with a view to developing their suco.
The Head of State also reported on the progress made by other sucos, which should serve as an example and inspiration to other sucos.
During the Q&A session held in Cota-Boot, a youth expressed concern over the hoisting of political party flags by some heads of suco in their front yards, which he believes makes those with different political beliefs feel a bit uneasy.
On this occasion, the Head of State said that there is no reason for concern because it is the duty of heads of suco to serve all citizens regardless of their own partisan affiliation. His Excellency also said that any claim regarding the impartiality of any head of suco should be presented to the post administrator and the president of the municipal authority.
In the dialogue session held in Carabau, one of the people in attendance suggested reintroducing the practice of Gotong Royong (mutual help) – extinguished since the Indonesian withdrawal – across the entire national territory with a view to developing the sucos.
On the practice of Gotong Royong, the Head of State said, “I agree that we should reintroduce it. After the restoration of independence, foreigners were paying us three dollars just to learn to sweep our front yard. When I took office, I asked the government to put an end to this programme, because it was making us lazy. The people of Bobonaro are experts on it. I always share your experience with other sucos so as to inspire them.”
On the same occasion, H.E. the President lauded Carabau youths’ initiative to establish a Computer Science and English Language training centre and suggested establishing a partnership with the SEPFOPE.
In both sucos, community members took the occasion to report on the main local challenges, namely the shortage of food due to rain shortage, the lack of a road connecting Ainaro and Bobonaro and passing through Colimau, the lack of health facilities in Carabau and the poor conditions of the water distribution system.
To conclude, H.E. Taur Matan Ruak offered the heads of department, directors and the president of the authority of the municipality of Bobonaro the opportunity to answer the questions being asked.
During the community meeting, the Head of State was accompanied by the administrator of the Laulara (Aileu municipality), the head of suco of Abafala (Baucau municipality), the head of suco of Matahoi (Viqueque municipality) and the head of suco of Kampung Alor (Dili municipality).