Subject: DPA: Timor boxer's gloves in internet auction; gets Kofi's support

Also: Timor boxer gets letter of support from Kofi Annan

Deutsche Presse-Agentur September 19, 2000 East Timor boxer's gloves to be auctioned off for charity


Boxer Victor Ramos, the first athlete from East Timor to compete at the Olympics, Tuesday donated his gloves to the Olympic Aid programme to be auctioned off for charity.

The gloves will be auctioned off on the Olympic Aid home page, the income going to refugee children around the world.

Ramos made the gesture after being presented with a letter of support from United Nations head Kofi Annan. Ramos lost his opening bout to Russian Alexander Maletin.

East Timor has four athletes at the Olympics after gaining independence from Indonesia in a popular vote. It came at the prize of a civil war and the country is currently under U.N. mandate before becoming an independent state next year. dpa jb bw

-- Agence France Presse September 18, 2000, Monday Timor boxer gets letter of support from Kofi Annan

SYDNEY, Sept 18

East Timorese boxer Victor Ramos might have lost his opening fight but he won praise from UN Secretary General Kofi Annan who penned him a letter of support.

"I share in the pride the people of East Timor and your colleagues from the United Nations have in you," Annan said.

"The congruence of East Timor, the United Nations and the Olympics in your person underscores the potential for peace in the world."

A year ago, the 30-year-old had to flee to a mountain hideout to escape rampaging pro-Jakarta militias who had his name on a death list after East Timor voted for independence.

Fighting as an Individual Olympic Athlete in the lightweight category, Ramos lasted until 1:37 into the second round of his four-round contest on Sunday before going under to Ghana's Raymond Narh on points 15-0.

The letter was presented to him by the UN's representative at the Games, Iqbal Riza.

"The fact that East Timorese athletes are here under the International Olympic Committee as individual athletes os of tremendous significance," said Riza. "It has great meaning for us."

IOC vice-president Kevan Gosper said the gesture symbolised a great day for East Timor, its athletes, the IOC and the UN.

Sporting a deep scar in his side from a shrapnel wound suffered as a five-year-old when Indonesia invaded East Timor in 1975, Ramos said it was a proud moment.

"We are proud and happy to be here and thank the people who helped us come here and participate in the Olympic Games," he said.

He is one of four East Timorese competing in Sydney under the Olympic flag as "Individual Olympic Athletes."

The others are marathoners, Aguida Amaral and Calisto Da Costa, and weightlifter Martinho De Araujo.

East Timor received permission from the IOC on May 26 to compete as Independent Athletes at the Sydney Olympics following pleas by East Timorese independence hero and Nobel laureate Jose Ramos-Horta.

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