Media Release 2 March 2004

CAVR Welcomes Australian Grant

At a ceremony held today at the CAVR national office, Australia’s Ambassador to Timor-Leste, H.E. Paul Foley, presented a cheque for AUD150,000 to CAVR Chairperson, Aniceto Guterres Lopes. The grant is additional Australian assistance to enable the Commission to complete its work for reconciliation in Timor-Leste over the coming months. The Ambassador was accompanied by Ms Cynthia Burton, head of AusAID in Timor-Leste, whose agency provided the grant.

In presenting the grant, Ambassador Foley said the Australian Government wanted to provide this additional assistance to CAVR because the Commission was ‘a very effective organisation which had made a magnificent contribution to peace and reconciliation in Timor-Leste’.

Aniceto Guterres Lopes said Australia has been an excellent friend to CAVR having contributed a total of AUD450,000 in cash and support for five international staff over the life of the Commission.

‘We deeply appreciate Australia’s generosity and also the efficient manner in which the assistance has been provided’, said Mr Guterres Lopes. ‘Australian aid has always been timely, strategic and streamlined making minimum bureaucratic demands on CAVR and maximum contribution to our core work for reconciliation’.

Mr Guterres Lopes assured Ambassador Foley that CAVR ‘will do our best to meet our obligations to fulfill the hopes and expectations placed in us by your Government and the people of Timor-Leste, not least those who have suffered most over the last 25 years’.

The CAVR Chair also said he hoped that Australia’s generosity would encourage other donors to contribute funding to CAVR.

Further information: Pat Walsh 723 0699 or