In memory

The above photo, care of La’o Hamutuk Nug Katjasungkana, is from the former residence of Manuel Carrascalão in the Lecidere neighborhood of Dili, where families of the victims of the April 17, 1999 massacre gathered yesterday to pay respects and demand justice.

The massacre was perpetrated by pro-Indonesia militias with encouragement and support from the Indonesian military. The survivor’s statement boldly says the following

We, survivors and victims families lament yet understand the lack of initiatives of our own leaders in demanding justice and fair trial. As many have forgotten and find it easier to move on choosing to remain silent. Our plea is to not disregard the need for justice.

I stayed there as a researcher, as it is now home to the Fundação Oriente, and I was truly haunted by what happened there in 1999 and Irene Cristalis’ account of the massacre, to be republished next week.

It is simply impossible to forget.

Some say the victims are delusional to continue to ask for justice. But there are more than enough examples to show that it is never too late.

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