Ezequiel Freitas – Fretilin bench MP Leonel Marcal said on 30 August 1999, 14 years ago, all Timorese closed their homes and went out to vote and changed the course of their destiny.
"We must all reflect on this and think that independence did not fall from the sky or was given to us for free. We all fought for independence, many suffered and many lost their lives," said MP Marcal at the National Parliament.
Meanwhile Democratic Party MP Paulino Monteiro said 30 August was a day of victory for Timor-Leste.
"We have to celebrate this day. During the hard times we all went together, walking with one another to go and vote so that in the end the majority voted and won," said MP Monteiro.
He added this was an important day to teach new generations the significance of the Referendum vote that led to the independence of the country.
"My message is this; we must all be proud of this day because on this historical day we delivered ourselves and got our independence."
Meanwhile the Minister for State Administration (MAE), Jorge Teme, said even though there wasn't going to be a rising of the flag ceremony, many other activities were planned to commemorate the day.
He said activities included a general clean up of the capital on 29 August from 7:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. and on 30 August a healthy march from the Government Palace to the An'nur Mosque, Dili.
"We will then come back and listen to a message from our leader the Prime Minister [Xanana Gusmao]," said Minister Teme.
He added other commemorative events include entertainment, traditional dances from groups from the four sub-districts of Dili and the drawing of raffles.