'Much to be done': new president brings Timor-Leste hope for a better future

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Via Network Front | The Guardian by Helen Davidson in Dili

Francisco 'LĂș-Olo' Guterres says he will pursue the long-running matter of maritime and land borders with Australia and Indonesia

National pride is a serious business for Timor-Leste, a young country with a violent history. So on the eve of a presidential inauguration and the 15th anniversary of the nation's independence, the capital Dili is covered in flags. They adorn houses, fences, bikes and cars. They are draped over balconies and the arms of the half-dozen flag sellers on each block.

As the sun sets on Dili, the seaside road fills with cars, bikes and bemos taking thousands to the historic Tasi Tolu, a park on the outskirts of the city that is deeply embedded in the story of Timor-Leste's path to freedom. It is where Pope John Paul II once led a mass in the local language, Tetum. It is also where thousands first rallied against the Indonesian occupation, where th ousands more sheltered during political upheaval, and where in 2002 the government formally proclaimed its independence.

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