The 25th of April marks ANZAC day, which is probably Australia’s and New Zealand’s most important national occasion. It commemorates the anniversary of the first major military action fought by Australian and New Zealand forces during the First World War, but has been broadened to include Australians and Kiwis killed in all the military operations in which Australia and New Zealand have been involved.
Fundasaun Mahein (FM) would like to pay homage to all these men and women who fought for their country and in particular to those who lost their lives while attempting to defend Timor-Leste. Both forces have a special link to Timor-Leste. During WW2, Australia had a small force, known as Sparrow Force, to defend the island of Timor from a Japanese invasion.
More recently, during 1999 and 2000 about 6,000 Australian troops were stationed in Timor-Leste as part of a United Nations effort to help the country establish itself after its vote to return to independence from Indonesia.
In 2006, following the crisis, the International Stabilization Force (ISF) was deployed in Timor-Leste and includes units from both Australian and Kiwi forces. In light of these numerous events, FM would like to pay homage first and foremost to all those Australian and Kiwi military personnel who lost their lives here in Timor, but also to all those that played a role in the defence and the rebuilding of this country.
The ISF is scheduled to be withdrawn by the end of the year and in light of this, FM has decided to dedicate a Mahein Nia Lian report on the main accomplishments undertaken by the ISF between 2006 & 2012. We hope to release it in the coming months.
Once again on this ANZAC day, FM would like to pay its respects to all those who have sacrificed or continue to sacrifice their lives for their country and show its gratitude to the Australian and Kiwi forces for their role played in the stabilization and development of Timor-Leste.