Xanana Gusmão

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Xanana Gusmão in 2011

Xanana Gusmão (born 20 June 1946) is a East Timorese politician. He was the Prime Minister and President of East Timor in 2007–2015 and 2002–2007 respectively.


  • The problem now (after East Timor independence from Indonesia referendum) is that we the East Timorese are without means. We are so dependent, we feel very small and fragile. But I have confidence that this will not last too long. We have hopes that after the (United Nations-backed) transitional period, we can rebuild our country.
  • In response to a painted sign in a local school stating - Rich People Fly with Money - Poor People fly with education - Xanana said “Yes you are right ‘Rich people fly with money’ but you are wrong because ‘Poor people walk with poverty’”. - 28th October 2023

When Xanana says "poor people walk with poverty," he means that poverty can be a constant obstacle in the lives of those who are economically disadvantaged. In this context, Xanana is highlighting that financial hardship can make it more challenging for people to access education and opportunities, forcing them to "walk with poverty" as it remains a persistent part of their lives.

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