Subject: LUSA: MPs, parliamentary staff get Portuguese language certificates

East Timor: MPs, parliamentary staff get Portuguese language certificates

Dili, March 30 (Lusa) - Twenty East Timorese lawmakers and legislative staff received Portuguese language certificates Wednesday in a ceremony attended by parliament Speaker Francisco Guterres.

Guterres described the event, also attended by Portuguese Ambassador João Ramos Pinto, as another step in "the affirmation of the (cultural) identity" of East Timor.

Parliament's Portuguese language program is carried out under an agreement with Portugal's legislature and Lisbon's Camões Institute.

"Today is a very special day for me because I've earned a Portuguese certificate", lawmaker Adalgisa Ximenes told Lusa.

"Portuguese will be our language for communicating abroad".

With independence in 2002, East Timor adopted Portuguese and the local Tétum dialect as national languages after nearly a quarter century under Indonesian occupation.

Lisbon's aid to its former territory centers heavily on education and, more specifically, the teaching and promotion of Portuguese.



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