Estevao Nuno – The government through the Secretariat of State for Arts and Culture (SEAK) is ready to support the construction or rehabilitation of the sacred houses of Timor-Leste.
Secretary of State Teofilo Caldas said the law allows the government to support the sacred houses across the country.
"The Secretariat of state is ready to help and once it is finalized we will support with $1,500 or $3,000 and for its inauguration," he said in Dili.
He said there are almost 20 sacred houses across Timor-Leste with some houses burnt in 1999 that have not been repaired until now.
"Timor has 10 to 20 sacred houses altogether. One Uma Liurai [Traditional King Sacred House] each, for example in Ainaro-Manutasi, they have the houses of Terala-Lau, Baha Lala, Baha Tilu sacred houses and others, but they have only one main sacred house," he said.
Meanwhile, the chief of suku of Gricenfor, Francisco S. de J. B. Boavida, agreed with this support and said this is a positive step from the government for the people.
"As a chief of suku and as a Timorese I am happy with government's initiative to support the sacred houses," he said.
He said this is a good initiative because many sacred houses, especially those in rural areas have been damaged and need government support to rebuild.
"This is a good plan and as the chief of suku I am in support of rural areas that need government help not only money but also with materials," he said.
On the other hand, member of Commission G of the National parliament, MP Sabino Soares Guntur, said sacred house are a part of the culture and Timor's culture needs to be preserved.
"It is very important for Timor-Leste because through culture, people respect each other and it makes us live in harmony. It also helps us know our identity and where we are from," he said.
He urged the development of laws and regulations that ensure the preservation of Timor's culture handed down by the ancestors.
"Because we are now in the modern era but we should still know and preserve our culture," he said.