The Asian Paralympic Committee (APC) sends its deepest condolences to family, friends, and colleagues of Isabel da Costa Ferreira, President of National Paralympic Committee of Timor Leste, who passed away at the age of 49 on Sunday (18 May 2023).
da Costa Ferreira, the wife of the former President and current Prime Minister of the Democratic Republic of Timor Leste (RDTL), Taur Matan Ruak, died after a long battle with cancer. She is survived by her husband Taur Matan Ruak and two children.
da Costa Ferreira, a jurist, human rights activist, and politician, was a passionate advocate for the participation of people with disabilities in para-sports. She served the Paralympic Committee of Timor Leste since 26 April 2019 as its President.
She also held several important government positions in the Republic of Timor Leste including Legal Advisor to the Ministry of Home Affairs (Feb- June 2015), SES Legal and Policy Advisor – Secretary of State for Security (Feb 2009 – Feb 2015), Deputy Minister of Justice (Aug.- Dec 2006), Child Advocate and Advisor to Minister of Education (Sept. 2015 – Aug. 2017), Advisor to Secretary of State for Civil Protection since August 2018.
Said APC President Majid Rashed:
“We are deeply saddened by the news of the passing of Isabel da Costa Ferreira who led the NPC so well, including being at the helm when they won their first ever gold medal at any multi-sport Games at the Asian Para Games 2018 in Indonesia. She was very kind and passionate to develop the Movement in the country. She will be deeply missed. In this time of grief, we stand by the family, friends and colleagues of the NPC.”
She was also active in organisational and institutional activities including establishing several social organizations like Quesadhip Ruak Center, Dili (2012-2021), Member of Citizens’ Peace-loving circle (Aug 2017- July 2021) and helping underprivileged children, including people with disabilities and visually impaired.