Quarta-feira, 13 De Abril,2011

Massacres in Timor Leste: Liquica 12 Years On




April 8, 2011


By Fidelis Leite Magalhães[1]


April 6 was the commemoration of the 12th anniversary of Liquica massacre. Pro-Indonesian militias together with the Indonesian police and army stormed into the compound of the local church and massacred 60 people who sought refuge there. Several of the survivors of the Liquica church would subsequently be massacred in the house of the late Manuel Carrascalão two weeks later on April 17, 1999. The youngest son of Mr. Carrascalão, Manuelito, was also among the dead.


Those killed in Liquica came from Liquica and Maubara sub-districts. They fled from their homes and sought protection at the local church after pro-Indonesian militias, Besi Merah Putih (BMP), and the Indonesian army (TNI) began widespread campaign of terror in the district. Reacting to the event, the then spokesperson of the pro-Indonesian faction Gil Alves claimed that the militias only responded to shootings originated from inside the compound. In a plain language, Mr. Alves justified the massacre as an act of self defense on the part of the militias, the police and the army. This was the first comment made by the pro-Indonesian side. Mr. Alves is the current minister for trade and commerce of an independent Timor Leste.


The commemoration in Liquica was sad but also cathartic. The community got together, memorialized to momentarily relive the experience. Relatives of the heroes have to deal with the biggest pain—the struggle to remember and not to forget.  Many no longer have photos of their loved ones. Their remains have not been recovered. On top of that the Timorese state exerts its political power to advocate forgiveness without truth. Forget justice!

Amidst the commemoration, Mr. Mario Reis, Secretary of State for Veteran Affairs, said that the government plans to build many more statues in the districts to honor the fallen heroes. This is another way to simply create construction schemes. While it is necessary that people remember the past and honor the fallen heroes, it is ironic when the Timorese government is yet to openly request Indonesia to identify the whereabouts of the “heroes”. The future sites for remembrance will be built with little valorization.


Until now Timor Leste has not even managed to request Indonesia to locate the whereabouts of Nicolau Lobato, the country’s first prime minister who was killed on December 31, 1978 and after whom every public insfrastructure is named. The Timorese state, runs by his comrades, does not have the courage to include identification of burial sites as part of a set of conditions presented to Indonesia in the process of normalizing relations. The normalization was conducted with no conditions attached. Timor Leste gave in too easily. Now it is obvious that it has lost the moral high ground and has in fact appeared to be the key apologist of Indonesia’s rights violations. The Timorese government goes as to behave like a PR firm for Indonesia. Not only did we try to exculpate Indonesia from its roles in our country we also actively advocate for the lifting of foreign military sanctions against Indonesia due to its rights records.

There is the need to rethink our foreign policy strategy. We need to have a more frank diplomatic engagement. Foreign policy makers should be held responsible by the national electorates. It cannot be crafted only by a few political elites. Truth seeking should be brought back on to the table. Indonesia should be able to swallow this demand. This is the most reasonable Timor Leste can do. In fact, there is more Indonesian interest in Timor Leste that any deterioration of relations between both countries is not in their best interests. Telling the whereabouts of the remains of the fallen heroes and the veracity surrounding past events should be in Indonesia’s interests as well. This is important if it wants to sustain the argument that Indonesia of today is far different from the” pre-reformasi” Indonesia.   


In 2009 Bishop Gunnar Stalsett, Former Vice-Chairman of the Nobel Prize Committee and Norway´s Special Envoy to Timor Leste, and I worked together to establish the National Consensus Dialogue on Truth, Justice and Reconciliation. The goal of the Consensus Dialogue was to produce national consensus on matters of key national interests rather than simply according to party politics. The inaugural dialogue received a lively participation of all state institutions and political parties. Another goal of the event was to facilitate dialogue between civil society and state institutions. The three day meeting was a closed door event. Many issues, inter alia, justice, post-CAVR institutional follow up and memoralization were discussed. At the moment, I was told, two proposed laws are sitting in the parliament awaiting further debates. Not much has been achieved.  


So I begin to doubt whether following the consensus approach is the best way forward. I think the best way is to take advantage of the upcoming elections in 2012. For the truth to be known and for the remains to be recovered we've got to have a new government that is willing to openly ask Indonesia to provide information. As such, in the next election all the organizations and individuals interested in the identification of burial sites should pressure political parties to put the issue on their list of priorities. Timorese foreign policy should acquire a different character. Even if that means that a different approach should be adopted in dealing with Indonesia. We cannot go on living in amnesia. This is the least we could do for our heroes if we think they deserve to be honored at all. Now is the time! People should vote only for political parties that promise that they can identify the remains of our fallen heroes.



[1] Former Head of the National Consensus Dialogue and Presidential Adviser.  He currently studies in Lisbon

publicado por Eskalabis às 11:18
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Masakre sira íha Timor Leste: Liquica tinan 12 ona


Husi Fidelis Leite Magalhães [1]


Loron 6 fulan Abril hanesan komemorasaun masakre Liquiça ba dala 12. Milisia pro-Indonezia sira hamutuk ho polísia no militar ataka igreja lokal nia fatin no oho ema na´in 60 ke subar íha neba. Sovrevivente sira balu husi igreja Liquica mos oho tuir íha masakre matebian Manuel Carrascalão nia uma semana rua liu tiha íha loron 17 Abril, 1999. Sr. Carrascalão, nia oan ikun, Manuelito, mos mate íha neba.

Sira be mate íha Liquica mai husi Liquica no sub-distritu Maubara. Sira halai husi sira nia uma no buka protesaun íha igreja lokal wainhira milisia pro-Indonezia, Besi Merah Putih (BMP), no militar Indonézia (TNI) hahu sira nia kampaña teror íha distritu. Reaje ba masakre ida ne´é, porta-voz ba faksi pro-Indonézia Gil Alves deklara katak milisia sira hatan ba tiru ke mai husi igreka laran. Ho lian momos, Sr. Alves justifika masakre hanesan asaun ba defeza pesoal. Ida ne´é hanesan komentária dahuluk husi parte pro-Indonézia sira. Sr. Alves agora dadaun hanesan ministru ba industria no komérsiu ba Timor-Leste independente.

Komemorasaun íha Liquica halo triste no mos katartíku. Komunidade hamriik hamutuk, hanoin hikaas fali sira-nia esperiensia. Família ba aswa´in sira tenki enfrenta todan boot ida, atu hanoin hikaas fali atu labele haluha. Barak mak laíha ona foto ba sira nia família matebian. Sira nia mate-restu mos lahetan. Maibe Estadu liu husi nia poder politíku halo advokasia ba fo perdaun laliu husi lia loos. Haluha tiha justisa!

Ho komemorasaun ne´é, Sr. Mario Reis, Sekretáriu Estadu ba Asuntu Veteranu, hatete katak governu íha planu atu harii estatua barak liu tan íha distritu atu fo onra ba matebian aswa´in sira. Ida ne´é hanesan maneira ida atu simplesmente halo skema ba konstrusaun nian. Presiza tebes atu ema hanoin hikaas sira nia pasadu no fo onra ba ba aswa´in sira, no iróniku tebes wainhira governu Timor seidauk husu momos ba Indonézia atu identifika "aswa´in" sira nia mate restu. Fatin memorial sei harii maibe ho deit valor hitoan.

To´o ohin Timor Leste seidauk buka atu husu Indonézia atu lokaliza Nicolau Lobato nia mate restu, Timor nia primeiru ministru ba dahuluk ne´ebé mate íha 31 Dezembru, 1978 no ho nia naran mak infraestrutura públiku sira nia naran barbarak tau ba. Estadu Timor, ninia kamarada sira mak lidera, maibe laíha korajen atu inklui identifikasaun ba rate fatin hanesan parte ba kondisaun atu normaliza relasaun ho Indonézia. Normalizasaun hala´o lahó kondisaun nem ida. Ita fo aan fásil tebes. Agora obviamente ke lakon moral no sai fali apolojista ba Indonézia nia violasaun direitu sira. Governu Timor ninia hahalok sai hanesan empreza Relasaun Pùbliku ba Indonézia. Laos deit buka atu hasai tiha sala husi Indonézia ho sira nia hahalok íha ita-nia rai, ita mos fo advokasaun ativu atu hasai tiha sansaun militar husi estranjeiru kontra Indonézia tamba sira nia violasaun ba direitu.

Presiza atu hanoin fila fali ita-nia estratéjia polítika esterna. Ita presiza atu íha ligasaun diplomatiku abertu. Tenki lori fila fali lia loos ba meza leten. Indonézia tenki tolan buat ida ne´é. Ida ne´é hanesan ideia ke razoavel liu atu Timor-Leste bele halo. Tuir faktu, íha liu fali interese husi Indonézia íha Timor-Leste atu relasaun entre rai rua ne´é labele sai aat. Atu hatete sai aswa´in sira nia mate restu hakoi íha ne´ebé no verasidade ba eventu uluk nian mos interese Indonézia nian hotu. Ida ne´é importante se karik hakarak atu manten argumentu katak Indonézia ohin nian lahanesan ona ho Indonézia” pre-reformasi” nian.

Íha tinan 2009 Bispu Gunnar Stalsett, Antigu Vise-Prezidente ba Komite Prémiu Nobel no Norwegia nia Enviu Espesial ba Timor-Leste, hamutuk ho ha´u servisu hamutuk atu estabelese Dialogu Konsensu Nasional kona-ba Lia Loos, Justisa no Rekonsiliasaun. Objetivu ba Dialogu Konsensu ne´é mak atu produs konsensu nasional íha interese xave nasional no laos liu husi konsensu partidu poílitiku. Dialogu dahuluk hetan partisipasaun barak husi instituisaun Estadu nian no partidu polítiku sira. Objetivu ida seluk ba eventu ne´é mak atu fasilita dialogu entre sosiedade sivil no instituisaun estadu. Enkontru loron tolu hanesan enkontru taka ida. Buat barak mak inter alia, justisa, follow-up no memoralizasaun iinstitusional ba post-CAVR mos diskute hotu ba. Agora dadaun, tuir saida mak ha´u hatene, proposta lei ba buat rua ne´é sei hein hela debate íha parlamentu.

Ho buat sira ne´é hotu, ha´u komesa kestiona konsensu sira be halo hanesan maneitra ida ke diak liu ba oin. Ha´u komesa hanoin maneira ida ke diak liu ke íha mak hanesan buka vantajen ba eleisaun 2012 be sei mai ne´é. Ha´u hanoin atu lia loos tenki hatete sai no atu mate restu sira bele buka hetan ita presiza governu foun ida ke hakarak atu husu momos ba Indonézia atu fo sai informasaun sira ne´é. Ho ida ne´é, íha eleisaun be mai ne´é, organizasaun no individu hotu-hotu ke íha interese atu indentifika hakoi fatin tenki fo presaun ba partidu polítiku sira atu tau fali isu ida ne´é íha sira nia kompromisu eleisaun nian. Polítika esterna Timor nian tenki buka karater oinseluk ida. Nia tempu mak agora dadaun!




[1] Es-Xefe ba Dialógu Konsensu Nasional no Asesor Prezidente. Agora dadaun estuda íha Lisboa

publicado por Eskalabis às 10:54
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