Subject: E Timorese wins Student Peace Prize
Date: Tue, 26 Jan 1999 09:43:02 -0000
From: "Paula Pinto" <paularoque@mail.telepac.pt>

For Immediate Release Contact Mr. Jørund Buen, phone +47 93 28 33 50, +47 73 59 53 20

Students’ Peace Prize

The International Student Festival in Trondheim (ISFiT), Norway is proud to announce the 1999 Students’ Peace Prize laureate:

Mr. Antero Benedito da Silva has been awarded the 1999 Students’ Peace Prize for his relentless and distinguished non-violent struggle against oppression and for an independent and democratic East Timor. Mr. da Silva has himself felt the terror of the Indonesian regime through the tragic loss of close family members and threats made against his own life. Nonetheless, he continues the work for reconciliation between the East Timorese and the Indonesians and among East Timorese of different convictions.

Da Silva is leader of the East Timor Students’ Solidarity Council (ETSSC). After the fall of President Suharto in 1998, ETSSC has taken prompt action to accelerate the process toward East Timorese independence. Worth noting, is Antero da Silva’s initiative to involve the poor people in the East Timorese countryside in the ongoing effort for self-determination.

Through close relations with Mr. Carlos Filipe Belo, 1996 Nobel Peace Prize co-laureate, da Silva has been invited to take part in discussions on a peaceful solution of the East Timorese conflict with UN and EU representatives.

The Students’ Peace Prize Committee commends da Silva’s altruistic and genuine work for the Timorese people. It stress his abilities to motivate and engage people in non-violent action against a brute oppressor. The tried people of East Timor needs hope for a better future – this hope it can find in young people who truly care, like Mr. Antero Benedito Da Silva.

President of ISFiT, Mr. Sigvart V. Eriksen, welcomes the Committee’s decision as a manifest that students will play a vital role in the transition to a new and democratic East Timor. Mr. Eriksen stresses the importance of encouraging Antero Benedito da Silva to continue his work of giving hope to the people of East Timor. His efforts are considered vital to the fragile process of change taking place in East Timor.

Antero Benedito da Silva is expected to arrive in the city of Trondheim, Norway, on March 12 1999 to accept the prize at the International Student Festival in Trondheim (ISFiT). Another prominent guest at the festival is Mr. Shimon Peres, former Prime Minister of Israel and 1994 Nobel Peace Prize co-laureate. Previous ISFiT conferences have been honored by the these fine guest speakers: His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Dr. Gro Harlem Brundtland, Chai Ling and Mrs. Nafis Sadiq.

The 1999 Students’ Peace Prize initiative has been endorsed by Mr. Francis Sejersted, head of the Nobel Peace Prize Committee.

Mr. José Ramos-Horta, 1996 Nobel Peace Prize co-laureate, supports Mr. Antero B. da Silva’s candidacy, as do several different organizations worldwide.

For more information about ISFiT and the Students’ Peace Prize, please contact Mr. Jørund Buen, phone +47 93 28 33 50, +47 73 59 53 20 (office), e-mail: mediekontakt-pr@isfit.ntnu.no or see www.isfit.ntnu.no.

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