TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Timor Leste's first president Xanana Gusmao visited late BJ Habibie's residence at Patra Kuningan, Jakarta, on Saturday evening to submit two letters and express the deepest condolences of the entire people of his country on the passing of BJ Habibie.
Accompanied by Timor Leste's Ambassador to Indonesia Alberto Xavier Pereira Carlos, Gusmao arrived at Habibie's home at around 8:25 p.m. local time. Shortly after getting off the car, they directly entered the house.
Gusmao and Carlos were received by Habibie's family members, including his two sons, Ilham Akbar Habibie and Thareq Kemal Habibie.
"I came here as the representative of the Government and People of Timor Leste to bring their messages to Habibie's family and to express our deepest condolences on the passing of Habibie," Xanana Gusmao told journalists after the meeting.
He praised Habibie for his excellence in the mastery of science and technology, saying that this Indonesia's third president was an inspirator owing to his smartness in science and technology and his consistency of upholding the universal values and principles.
Gusmao also highlighted BJ Habibie's roles when leading Indonesia in 1998-1999 that paved the way for the birth of Timor Leste after the UN-sponsored plebiscite ended with victory of the pro-independence camp.
"At a very brief and tough time, Mr.Habibie gave the entire people of Timor Leste (East Timor) their rights to participate in a self-determination. Therefore, we shall ever forget him," he said.
Several days ago, there was a video footage showing Xanana Gusmao's moment of visiting Habibie at a hospital in August. These two figures have made good friendship for long time.
The 83-year-old former president passed away at 6:05 p.m. Wednesday (Sept 11) at the Gatot Subroto Army Hospital (RSPAD) where he was being treated by the best doctors, including those from the Presidential Doctors Team, since September 1.
The former president was buried at the heroes' cemetery with full military honors on Thursday (Sept 12).
Along the way from the mourning house in Patra Kuningan to the National Heroes' Cemetery in Kalibata, South Jakarta, numerous people stood along the road shoulders to pay their last respects to BJ Habibie.