Enduring legacy created in Battle of Timor: Gusmao
Lema Samandar
February 20, 2012
The Battle of Timor forged strong bonds between Australia and East Timor, the country's Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao says.
Mr Gusmao was in Sydney yesterday to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Timor, fought against the Japanese during World War II. Japanese forces invaded the island on February 20, 1942, and fought predominantly Australian allied forces.
''It was a defining time in the relationship between the Timorese and Australians,'' Mr Gusmao said, ''but also a time in which nationality was transcended, and as human beings our people not only suffered deep pain, they also demonstrated acts of great altruism.
''It has resulted in bonds of friendship and honour that have left an enduring legacy.''
Mr Gusmao said the Australian troops had shown great courage and spirit.
Mr Gusmao also opened an exhibition telling the stories of the battle at the Anzac War Memorial in Hyde Park.
''It showcases exhibits from the Second World War, and tells the stories of men and women in times of darkness, and highlights acts of courage and compassion,'' he said.
Earlier yesterday, Mr Gusmao and other dignitaries laid wreaths in Sydney's Martin Place. AAP

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