Dili, 4 February 2015 – H.E. the President of the Republic, Taur Matan Ruak, this Monday participated in the celebration of the 14th anniversary of the establishment of the FALINTIL-FDTL which took place at Headquarters of the F-FDTL in Fatuhada, Dili.
“We celebrate today the day of the Armed Forces which is held annually on 2 February. It is a day for us to remember the difficult moments we experienced as we took the first steps towards transforming the F-FDTL from a guerrilla force into a modern army. As Mr General mentioned today, it wasn’t easy. Those who witnessed and followed the process closely are aware of the difficulties we faced in 2001 when our Armed Forces were established,” the Head of State said in his speech.
On the same occasion, H.E. the President, as Supreme Commander, pointed out the role of UN special envoy Sérgio Vieira de Mello in the establishment of the Armed Forces during UNTAET. The Head of State also thanked Portugal, New Zealand, Australia, the United States and Malaysia for their support to the development of the F-FDTL since their establishment.
“As Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces and former General Chief of Staff, I wish to express my sincere appreciation for the progress made by the Armed Forces to which we are all witnesses. All States have Armed Forces, Security Forces, as elements of cohesion to uphold the interests of the nation and strengthen political and social stability which are essential to national development and the citizens’ welfare. Timor is no exception”, he added.
The Head of State also pointed out that, even though only 14 years have passed since their establishment, the F-FDTL have already contributed to United Nations peacekeeping missions.
To conclude, the Head of State asked the Government to continue to give priority to the development of the F-FDTL.
Also on the occasion, seven captains were promoted to the rank of major, including captain Henrique Piedade da Costa “Fitun”, H.E. the President’s aide-de-camp. Three second lieutenants were promoted to the rank of captain, two second sergeants to the rank of second lieutenant and one corporal to the rank of second sergeant.
Before the ceremony, the Head of State met with the Chief of Staff of the Indonesian Navy (TNI), Admiral Ade Supandi, who was invited by the F-FDTL Command to participate in the celebration as special representative of the General Chief of Staff of the Indonesian Armed Forces. The meeting was aimed at discussing the future cooperation plan between the F-FDTL and the TNI.
Present at the celebration were the representative of the General Chief of Staff of the Indonesian Armed Forces (TNI) – the Chief of Staff of the Indonesian Navy (TNI), Admiral Ade Supandi -, the Command Dandrem Kupang and Dandim Atambua, the General Chief of Staff of the Timorese Armed Forces and his superiors, members of the diplomatic corps, members of the Government and other dignities
The Armed Forces for the National Liberation of Timor-Leste (FALINTIL) officially became Falintil-Timor-Leste Defence Forces (F-FDTL) on 2 February 2001.