Dili, 27 March 2017 – H.E. the President of the Republic, Taur Matan Ruak, on Tuesday presided over the celebration of the 17th anniversary of Timor-Leste National Police (PNTL) during a ceremony held at the Police Academy in Comoro, Dili.

On this occasion, the Head of State granted the Insignia of the Order of Timor-Leste to the PNTL and the Commandant-General of the PNTL, Commissioner Julio Hornai for the services provided to ensure public security and peace,

The public acknowledgement that this ceremony represents, by granting the Collar of the Order of Timor-Leste to your institution and placing the respective badge on the National Banner in your custody, is, therefore, an act of justice. It was with this feeling of deep gratitude and the intention to express my recognition to the National Police, that I decided to also take this opportunity to publicly acknowledge, by granting the Insignia of the Order of Timor-Leste, for the services provided to the country as Commandant-General of the PNTL, to Commissioner Julio da Costa Hornai. It was with great pleasure that I bestowed upon him the insignia.”

H.E. the President also praised the PNTL for its hard work within the community policing programme,

It is fair to highlight the work developed by the PNTL in terms of improving the capacity-building of its human resources, the results obtained in its operational activity, and the work conditions of the members of the PNTL, intensifying the community policing programme with the VIP model (Visibility, Involvement, and Professionalism), strengthening bilateral and multilateral cooperation with security forces and services from other countries, and consolidating the PNTL as an institution that is essential to ensure public security, peace, and stability within the territory.”

 The Head of State also took the occasion to congratulate the Timorese people for the ‘orderly and peaceful’ manner in which they participated in the most recent election and to call on them to continue this way in the upcoming elections.

The Head of State also called for an investment in modern infrastructure and equipment so as to increase PNTL’s operational capacity, as well as in career enhancement.

18 top-ranking officers were awarded the medal for services rendered. The Medal of Merit-Public Security and the Exemplary Behaviour Medal were also awarded to PNTL members and outside personnel who have improved the quality of the services delivered by the PNTL.

This was the last time the H.E. Taur Matan Ruak presided over a ceremony hosted by the PNTL as Head of State, since on 20 May he will hand over power to President-elect Dr Francisco Guterres Lu-Olo.

Present at the ceremony were Prime Minister Dr Rui Maria Araújo, members of the government, the vice-president of National Parliament, members of parliament, the representative of the president of the Court of Appeal, the Attorney General of the Republic, the General Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces Major General Lere Anan Timur, the Minister of the Interior Dr. Longuinhos Monteiro, PNTL members, and representatives of the diplomatic corps, among other guests. END