As the flag of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste was hoisted at 5:00am on the 20th of August in a ceremony in Betano, the official state celebrations of the 38th Anniversary of FALINTIL began.
The commemoration of the historical day of the Armed Forces for the National Liberation of Timor-Leste occurred throughout the nation as the people paid homage to the heroes that defended Timor-Leste so that it could be independent.
Three major celebrations took place in Betano in the district of Manufahi; the Celebration of the 38th Anniversary, the Ceremony of Demobilization and Recognition of the Combatants of the Armed Resistance and the Inauguration of the Betano Power plant.
The President of the Republic, H.E. Taur Matan Ruak, the Prime Minister, H.E. Kay Rala Xanana Gusmao, President of the National Parliament, H.E. Vicente Guterres, members of National Parliament, President of the Court of Appeal, Commander in Chief of the F-FDTL, members of the Diplomatic Corps and many distinguished national and international guests joined with the F-FDTL, PNTL, local government, local authorities and the people of the Manufahi district on this important occasion.
The state of Timor-Leste has a program to recognise, demobilize and support former National Liberation Combatants. This ceremony held in Betano was the Second Demobilization, the first having occurred in 2011. In line with the Decree Law No 37/2011 Ceremonies will be ongoing, taking place in a phased manner with priority given to those with more years of participation in the struggle for liberation.
In Betano 219 combatants were honoured and demobilised in an "official, public and solemn ceremony" that included the presentations of uniforms and bivouacs and the conferring of insignias of rank, commemorative medals and a diploma of honour.
The President of the Republic in his address saluted those in all the resistance fronts, Armed, Clandestine and Diplomatic, "who never stopped working towards building a new country".
He thanked combatants for "their dedication to the struggle and their resolve to pursue the ideals of freedom and prosperity of the Nation" and noted that the Timorese People must now "show the same determination today in fighting for the development of our country, as we did during our liberation struggle."
After the completion of the Demobilization Ceremony, which included a parade, lunch and harnessing of the flag, the ceremony of Inauguration of Central Electric Betano began. The Betano plant is the second but most powerful of two new power plants that are a foundation of the National Electrification Project. Betano power station is set to produce 136 MW of electricity, whilst the station in Hera has capacity to produce 120 MW.
[Source: Government of East Timor Media Release 29 August 2013 Edited by Warren L. Wright.]