APCET Statement on 10th Dili Massacre Anniversary
Ten years ago today, a massacre in Dili stunned the world.
The brutal killings of mostly innocent
youths marching to bury one of their own at the Sta. Cruz cemetery was
vividly captured on video and eventually galvanized international condemnation
of the barbaric secret of Indonesia’s occupation of this tiny, gentle nation.
The Asia-Pacific Coalition for East Timor (APCET) joins the East Timorese people and the rest of the world in commemorating today’s 10th anniversary of the Sta. Cruz massacre.
Today, we pause and salute the almost more than 300 martyrs of the November 12 mass murder as well as the thousands others who spilled their blood since 1975 so East Timor can be free.
But as we pay tribute, and even as East Timor is almost at the end of the road to full independence, one vital thing has yet to be done. And that is for justice to be achieved by the victims and kin of the illegal tenancy of Indonesia of their land.
Today’s commemoration should re-kindle our outrage for the seeming nonchalance the international community and the Indonesian government afford this righteous call. We cannot help but feel mortified that justice has yet to come for this brave people. That some of the masterminds and executioners of the scorched earth policy in East Timor remain scot-free, some living in luxurious mansions in Jakarta or reprising brutal military operations in Aceh, West Papua and elsewhere in Indonesia.
We are even more chagrined that the Western powers are adamantly reluctant to initiate international criminal court proceedings against the criminals. It is the least they could do to redeem their own role in either encouraging, if not, planning the 1975 invasion with Gen. Suharto and his cabal. They are averse perhaps because they know that there is also blood on their hands.
The crimes against East Timor are also crimes against humanity.
It is time that the international community close this grim chapter in world history by convening an international human rights tribunal for East Timor. It is time that the Indonesian government redress their past wrongs by cooperating, if not, initiating proceedings to convene this international court.
It is time for the victims and kin of all crimes in East Timor to rest.
It is time for East Timor to be completely free.
ASIA-PACIFIC COALITION FOR EAST TIMOR (APCET)
Victor C. Sapar
Initiatives for International Dialogue (IID)
Tel.: (63)(82) 2992574 and 75
Fax: (63)(82) 2992052
Coalition for East Timor (APCET) Updated Oct 31
APCET is a coalition formed in Manila in 1994 to support the self-determination of East Timor. APCET has at present 17 affiliates from Asia-Pacific countries.
27-D Galaxy St., GSIS Heights, Matina 8000 Davao City, Philippines
Telefax: (63)(82) 299-2052 Tel: (63)(82) 299-2574
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