His Excellency Dr. Jose Ramos-Horta

Jose Ramos-Horta was born in Dili, East Timor. He was educated in a Catholic mission in the village of Soibada. Of his eleven brothers and sisters, four were killed by the Indonesian military.

A moderating influence in the emerging Timorese nationalism, he was mandated in 1974-75 by the pro-independence parties to represent East Timor abroad. He left the island three days before the Indonesian troops invaded. Jose Ramos-Horta spent the next 25 years denouncing the illegal invasion and annexation of his homeland by Indonesia, always defending the right of the East Timorese people to self-determination.

He had presented the case of East Timor and pleaded for the respect of Human Rights, lending his voice to the voiceless, before the UN and the European Parliament.

In December 1996, Jose Ramos-Horta shared the Nobel Peace Prize with his fellow countryman, Bishop Carlos Filipe Ximenes Belo. The Nobel Committee chose to honour the two laureates for their "sustained efforts to hinder the oppression of a small people".

Jose Ramos-Horta has been profiled in various film documentaries. Most recent was "The Diplomat", which was a box office success in Australia.

For East Timor, the withdrawal of Indonesian troops saw elections follow. Official Independence Celebrations were held in May 2002. In May 2007 Dr Ramos Horta was elected the second President of the Democratic Republic of Timor- Leste after winning a landslide victory in the country's Presidential elections. Dr Ramos Horta has now set his goal to rebuild Timor -Leste into a successful, thriving,democratic country. An integral part of this development is the careful building of a sustainable environment to protect the nations natural resources.

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