Timor-Leste 8 February: Dili
Today we were blessed by the Nation of Timor Leste. We were received by the entire Timor Leste Parliament including H.E. President Taur Matan Ruak (third from left), H.E. Prime Minister Xanana Gusmão (far right), former Prime Minister H.E. Dr. Mari Alkatiri (far left) and H.E. President of the Parliament Vicente Guterres (second from left) as well as H.E. Francisco Guterres.
The Timor Leste Parliament took a recess to officially receive a statue of World Peace Dreamer Sri Chinmoy, who founded the World Harmony and Oneness-Home Peace Runs.
The Timor Leste Parliament.
A priest representing the Bishop of the Diocese of Dili, Dom Alberto Ricardo da Silva, offered an ecumenical prayer.
President of the Parliament, H.E. Vicente Guterres officially welcomed us to the National Parliament of Timor Leste.
Dr. Agraha shared Sri Chinmoy's feelings on Timor Leste as well as introducing Sri Chinmoy's 40 years of service for world peace.
The prominently placed statue of Sri Chinmoy offering the Peace Torch to future generations.
An extremely talented youth group performed the national anthem.
Ms. Carmen da Cruz and Mr. Filomeno Aleixo served as Masters of Ceremony for the event.
World Harmony Run Director, Salil Wilson, was honored to present the Torch-Bearer Award to these two real-life heroes H.E Prime Minister Xanana Gusmão (left) and former Prime Minister, H.E. Dr. Mari Alkatiri (right) who gave so much in the building of their nation.
His Excellency Prime Minister Xanana Gusmão was the great leader of the people of Timor Leste during their quest for independence. As military head of FALANTIL he led the resistance with boundless courage and charisma. Now as Prime Minister his all-inclusive leadership is guiding Timor Leste to new and unimaginable heights.
His Excellency Dr.Mari Alkatiri was the first Prime Minister Alkitiri of Timor Leste. He and a few other great national leaders started the independence movement for Timor Leste and founded FRETILIN. Through his tireless dedication, the world began to hear about the Timorese Leste people’s devastating sufferings and to take action. When Sri Chinmoy came to Timor Leste in 2004 Dr. Alkatiri warmly welcomed and honoured Sri Chinmoy with the Medal of Freedom award. Sri Chinmoy presented Dr. Alkitiri with the first World-Harmony-Dreamer Award.
These two nation builders are united by an unparalleled and unstinting love for their country in a way and at a depth that can only be felt and never described.
In a spontaneous and symbolic gesture Prime Minister Gusmão then walked to the gates of the Parliament grounds and ran to former Prime Minister Alkatiri who took the torch and relayed the Peace Torch to H.E. President Taur Matan Ruak (pictured below).
Prime Minister Gusmão graciously accepted the Torch-Bearer award and encouraged us to continue with Sri Chinmoy's important and pioneering efforts to share a message of peace saying. ""We celebrate this occasion recalling Sri Chinmoy's entire life dedicated to promoting peace and the idea that mankind consolidates itself on the basis of our unity. I feel honored by being awarded such a peace medal. It is my honor and my responsibility to also promote peace and love in our territory. I am confident that all of us dreamt of a world where there is stability. We wish to keep away from anything that is prejudicial to our common vision insofar as the future of this country and the life of its people are concerned."
Timor Leste's first Prime Minister Dr. Mari Alkatiri reminisced about his meeting with Sri Chinmoy and reflected on the need for ongoing commitment to peace commenting, " The value of peace, which we all treasure, is many a times very lofty and difficult to attain. We must undertake a permanent exercise in order to acquire the capacity of thinking and of modifying our attitudes so that we may obtain peace. I myself want peace, and, to that end, there is a need for a daily dedication to peace-building, both in theory and in practice. What is important is to preserve peace in our hearts and in our thoughts. Many a time people question the reason of us resorting to the statue of a personality that is unknown to the Timorese people, but who they will get to know, because we have reached peace thanks to the efforts of many people from all over the world, and we must value this."
Our choir offered a rendition of Sri Chinmoy's song for Timor Leste composed Jan 29. 2004.
President Taur Matan Ruak requested choir director Prachar Stegeman to share the words to the song with the gathering.
The words are:
"Timor Leste, Ti mor Leste, Timor –
No more bondage shackles, no more!
Freedom winner, freedom, freedom –
your clime is a promise kingdom.
Progress-whispers from the Golden Shore –
The world-attention, your heart door.
- Sri Chinmoy
We then moved over to the statue for the official ribbon cutting.
President H.E. Taur Matan Ruak officially cuts the ribbon.
From left to right, H.E. Francisco Guterres, H.E. President of the Parliament Vicente Guterres, H.E. President Taur Matan Ruak, former Prime Minister H.E. Dr. Mari Alkatiri and H.E. Prime Minister Xanana Gusmão.
The media doing their best to capture every moment.
H.E. President Taur Matan Ruak and H.E. Prime Minister Xanana Gusmão.
President of Parliament H.E. Vicente Guterres and H.E. Taur Matan Ruak.
Former Prime Minister Alkatiri with Prime Minister Gusmão.
Two nation builders share a lighter moment.
H.E. President Taur Matan Ruak offered the closing speech saying, "This organization is motivated by the action and strength of its spiritual leader and founder Sri Chinmoy who dedicated his life to seeking Harmony and Unity."
"Sri Chinmoy showed an interest in Timor-Leste and visited our country in 2004, aware of our peoples effort to build harmony after so many years of war and suffering."
The President concluded saying, "We have the duty to work hard, to continue our path and use the next 5 to 10 years to uplift Timor Leste and transform our land into a symbol and example of the miracle performed by Peace, Harmony and Unity in improving the life of the peoples."
Sculptor Kaivalya Torpy expressed his gratitude to the people of Timor Leste for graciously receiving the statue.
On behalf of Ranjana Ghose, Director of the Jharna-Kala foundation, Executive Director of UNICEF Iceland Gangane Stefánsson presented a selection of Sri Chinmoy's Paintings for World-Harmony to Timor Leste.
H.E. President Taur Matan Ruak receives first painting presented by Prachar Stegeman of Australia.
H.E. President of the Parliament Vicente Guterres received the second painting from Tilvlia Hurwitt of USA.
H.E. Prime Minister Xanana Gusmão received the third painting from Bhagirathi Savage of USA. Prime Minister Gusmão then presented the painting to the Church.
Former Prime Minister H.E. Dr. Mari Alkatiri received the fourth painting from Ashirvad Zaiantchick of Brazil.
H.E. Dr. Mari Alkatiri then presented the painting to the Military.
One final shot with the torch.
The First Lady of Timor Leste holds the torch.
The women's team just got a little bigger with these wonderful young singers.
Husiar and Dr. Agraha who, along with Ashirvad Zaiantchick, were instrumental in making the arrangements for our visit.
The entire team along with Ms. Anita Tilman (holding the torch) who served as H.E. Dr. Mari Alkatiri's personal secretary and was instrumental in arranging Sri Chinmoy's visit in 2004.
Sri Chinmoy's spirit of peace is preserved and perpetuated in the statue.
Dr. Agraha (USA), Husiar Johnsen (Norway), Ashirvad Zaiantchick (Brazil), Snatak Kjeld (Iceland), Salil Wilson (Australia), Tilvila Hurwit (USA), Gangane Stefánsson (Iceland), Mahiyan Savage (USA), Bhagirathi Savage (USA), Lunthitha Duthely (USA), Prachar Stegeman (Australia), Nirbhasa Magee (Ireland), Aparajita Fishman (USA), Agragati Siegel (USA), Pedro Gaspar (Portugal), Nayak Polissar (USA), Kaivalya Torpy (UK)
Gallery: See more images!
Video of Timor-Leste Statue Inauguration >|