Timor-Leste 8 November: Dili

An exciting arrival in Dili

A heartfelt welcome

As we got off the plane we were welcomed by representatives of the Secretariat of Youth and Sport.

Traditional dancers and musicians escorted us to the VIP lounge.

Our first recipient was Jose Luis Padua de Oliveira, Director-General of the Secretariat of Youth and Sport.

Each of us was presented with scarves hand woven with the Timor-Leste flag motif.

We got to know our new friends as our immigration details were very kindly being taken care of.

Mara Bernardes de Sá (left) who has been the focal point for Peace Run Timor-Leste meets with Harashita (centre), our Asia-Pacific Regional Coordinator and Suhashini (right), our Indonesian Coordinator.

Mr. Francesco Kalbuadi Lay, Minister of Tourism and President Committee Olympic National graciously welcomed us.

It was Mr. Francesco Kalbuadi Lay who first encouraged us to bring the Peace Run to Timor-Leste when we met him in February, 2013.

Mr. Francisco Kalbuadi Lay officially introduced the Peace Run to the press conference.

After speaking about the Peace Run we even broke into song.

Just some of the press photographers who were in attendance.

Salil took great delight in meeting students from S. Miguel which is one of the schools in Dili.

Outside the airport there was a lot of Timorese youth waiting just to greet us.

They will be running with us tomorrow.

These young women are representing Timor-Leste in Miss World competition.

The traditional dancers.

The torch was then driven through the streets of Dili to the National Parliament.

We officially presented the torch to the President of the Parliament H.E. Mr. Vicente Guterres.

H.E. Mr. Vicente Guterres greeted us all.

He then lit the cauldron which is in the grounds of the National Parliament. The cauldron will stay lit for our entire visit.

We had a photo with the statue of Sri Chinmoy, who founded the Peace Run in 1987. On the far right Mr. Mateus da Cruz who serves as Deputy President of the Timor-Leste Olympic Committee and who has worked very hard serving as President of the Peace Run in Timor-Leste.

This statue of Sri Chinmoy, which stands on the grounds of the National Parliament, was inaugurated in February of 2013.

Traditional dancers performed a welcome dance.

Carol Carvalho ably served as the master of ceremonies.

The press gallery made sure they captured all the happenings.

Harashita, as Asia-Pacific Regional Coordinator, spoke about the Peace Torch's journey from its beginning this year in Tomsk, located in Siberia Russia to Mongolia, China, Korea, Japan, Nepal, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Australia, New Zealand, Timor-Leste and then onto Vietnam.

Sri Chinmoy's statue looked on.

Agraha spoke about how delighted we are to be here and recalled the soul-stirring programme when Sri Chinmoy came to Timor-Leste in January 2004 and was honoured by the government with the Medal of Freedom national award. Then, nine years later, the statue of Sri Chinmoy was inagugurated at the entrance to the Parliament. He offered gratitude to all the people of Timor-Leste for their boundless courage and kindness.

H.E. Mr. Vicente Guterres, graciously welcomed the Peace Run to Timor-Leste and talked about how peace is a crucial foundation for Timor-Leste's continued development and his hope that the Peace Run will provide an opportunity for that peace to continue flourishing in Timor-Leste.

We wanted all the youth to have a chance to hold the torch.

Advisor to the Deputy Prime Minister, Joel Maria Pereira, with colleagues.

Carol Carvalho and Fabiola Lourdes with the torch.

Hegilda, Secretary to the Parliament of the President.