DHARAMSALA, 28 April: The Tibetan spiritual leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama has extended his congratulations to José Ramos-Horta on his election as the new President of Timor-Leste.
“It has been a privilege to have known you for so many years, beginning with your visits here to Dharamsala in the early 1990s.” the Dalai Lama has said in a missive addressed to his fellow Nobel Laureate following his election victory
The Dalai Lama has further stated that “a great responsibility now lies ahead of you once more” as the former independence fighter became President of south-east Asia’s youngest country for a second time.
Expressing his confidence in the 72-year-old statesman, East Timor’s best-known politician, the Dalai Lama wrote, “I trust that under your leadership the people of Timor-Leste will continue to enjoy peace, prosperity and progress.”
“I particularly hope that you will be able to improve the lives of the less fortunate members of society.”
The octogenarian Tibetan leader concluded by offering his prayers and good wishes for Ramos-Horta’s “success in meeting the challenges that lie ahead in fulfilling the hopes and aspirations of the people of Timor-Leste.”
Ramos-Horta has previously served as East Timor’s foreign minister, prime minister and then the country’s second president, from 2007 to 2012.
According to media reports, Ramos-Horta secured a decisive 62% win in Tuesday’s ballot, well ahead of his opponent, incumbent president Francisco “Lu Olo” Guterres with 37%.
He will be inaugurated on 20 May, the 20th anniversary of Timor-Leste’s independence from Indonesia, which occupied the former Portuguese colony for 24 years.