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Speeches

A.P. Martin: Hope for East Timor

Reflections on the World Summit on Peace
Seoul, Korea, January 16, 2009

Mr. Agostinho MartinI want to tell you about my country, East Timor. It is a country with big problems but a country of which I am still proud. Timor is a small country, 33,917 sq. km., with one million people and many confusing ideologies. Most of us can’t see any solutions and are easily manipulated. Most of us don’t even know how to choose the right leaders for our country.  I think it is very important to educate my people.

I am Catholic; I am a catechist and I teach in my church, but sometimes I want to run away because I can’t give anything because the world is so damaged. As a Timorese, I have to recognize that God wants us to look at the problems, rather than running from them. God the father chose his own son Jesus Christ to face the world, so Jesus must be my strength and inspiration.

Last October I invited government ministers and members of parliament to meet with my Bishop in Macau and talk about One Family Under God. [See report.] I wish each of one of them could come to this kind of conference. If they could meet you, I think we could change my country.

The value of what I have heard here is very important and I’m very thankful to you. I want to thank the Universal Peace Federation. Since we are one family, I look at each one of you as vital tools to restore a real peace and real family under God. I believe that with the help of God and all the ideas that have been delivered at this conference, we can work together to change my country. Believe me, most of people in Timor are fed up with what has been said by politicians.

After listening to all the speeches I became convinced that the principles must be implemented as soon as possible. The holy idea of One Family Under God is the common ideal we share.

If I go to my country by myself and say this, people will look at me and say, “You are so foolish; we have been working so many years with the help of so many talented people and even UN staff, and we still can’t make this country perfect.”

East Timor is between Australia and Indonesia. Australia to our east is a rich country, but on the other side of the border to our west, our brother Indonesia is still as poor as we. I thank former Indonesian president Dr. Abdurrahman Wahid, who spoke at this summit on peace, because without him and the grace of God, our country would still remain under Indonesian military occupation. He is a real brother and a father of democratic change in Timor and in Indonesia also.

Guns and ammunition have disappeared from military and police headquarters; people have witnessed the distribution of these guns. Guns have divided my people into warring groups that can be manipulated. My country wants to make progress like the Koreans and Australians have made. We want to live in peace and harmony.

What the people are saying in this conference makes sense. We are surely inspired by this God-given opportunity to go back and help our countries. There are many talented people in East Timor, but my country is not being governed according to law and justice! In Nepal UPF made a difference; why not in Timor? I believe we can do something for Timor.

Note: For more information about East Timor see the New World Encyclopedia article.