Nicolau dos Reis Lobato

Nicolau dos Reis Lobato (24 May 1946 – 31 December 1978) was an East Timorese politician who is considered a national hero.

Nicolau Lobato
Rotunda do Aeroporto.jpg
President of East Timor
In office
7 December 1975 – 31 December 1978
Preceded byFrancisco Xavier do Amaral
Succeeded bySérgio Vieira de Mello as UN Administrator 1999–2002
Xanana Gusmão as President 2002–2007
1st Prime Minister of East Timor
In office
28 November 1975 – 7 December 1975
Preceded byPosition Established
Succeeded byMari Alkatiri (as Prime Minister in 2002)
Personal details
Born(1946-05-24)24 May 1946
Bazartete, Portuguese Timor
Died31 December 1978(1978-12-31) (aged 32)
Manufahi, East Timor, Indonesia
NationalityEast Timorese
Political partyFretilin
Spouse(s)Isabel Barreto Lobato (1972–1975; her death)
ChildrenJosé Lobato
Military service
Years of service1975—1978
Battles/warsIndonesian occupation of East Timor

He was born in Soibada, Portuguese Timor. Lobato was the 1st Prime Minister of East Timor from 28 November to 7 December 1975. Upon the invasion by the Indonesian military, Lobato, along with other key Fretilin leaders, fled into the Timorese hinterland to fight against the occupying forces. On the final day of 1978 Lobato was ambushed by Indonesian special forces led by Lieutenant Prabowo Subianto (later son-in-law of President Suharto). He was killed after being shot in the stomach, and his body was brought to Dili to be inspected by Indonesian press. What then happened to his body is unknown, but the East-Timorese government continues to pursue the issue with the Indonesian government, so that his remains can be given a proper burial.[1]

East Timor's main airport was renamed Presidente Nicolau Lobato International Airport in his honour.



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Political offices
Preceded by
Mário Lemos Pires as Governor of Portuguese Timor (18 November 1974 – 27 November 1975)
Prime Ministers of East Timor
(UDI government)

28 November – 7 December 1975
Succeeded by
Sérgio Vieira de Mello as UN Administrator (25 October 1999 – 19 May 2002) and Mari Alkatiri (from 2002)
Preceded by
Francisco Xavier do Amaral
Presidents of East Timor – nominal
Succeeded by
Sérgio Vieira de Mello as UN Administrator (25 October 1999 – 19 May 2002) and Xanana Gusmão (from 2002)