Commission for Reception, Truth, and Reconciliation sworn in
more detailed bios below
On 21 February [January?] 2002, the National Commissioners of the East Timor Commission for Reception, Truth, and Reconciliation were sworn in to office, with speeches by Jose Ramos Horta, Sergio Vieira de Mello and Xanana Gusmão, and messages from Mary Robinson and Rev. Desmond Tutu. The following are the names and brief biographies of the Commissioners, from the program for the swearing-in ceremony.
Jacinto Alves, from Manatuto District, is Coordinator of the Ex-Political Prisoners Association and a founding member of the NGO Commission for Human Rights in East Timor. He is currently a Senior Policy Advisor to the Commission’s Interim Office.
Olandina Caeiro, from Ermera District, is the Director of East Timorese Women Against Violence and for Child Care and a businesswoman. She has served in the Provincial Parliament (1997-99) and as Chairperson of the Public Service Commission (2000-01).
Fr. Jovito Araujo is a Catholic Priest and member of the Centre for Peace and Development. He is President of the Dili Diocese’s Catholic Youth Commission and originally hails from Hatolia in Ermera District.
Isabel Guterres was born in Viqueque, spent fifteen years in Australia and now lives in Maliana. Isabel is a registered nurse and works with Jesuit Refugee Services in refugee return and resettlement.
Aniceto Guterres Lopes is Director and cofounder of the well-known human rights NGO Yayasan HAK. He was appointed to the National Council of East Timor, co-founded the East Timor jurists’ Association, and is a current member of the UNTAET Judicial Transitional Services Commission.
José Estêvão Soares was appointed a member of the National Council in October 2000 after a long career as a civil servant in the Indonesian administration in East Timor. Jose was born in Manatuto District, and currently serves (with Jacinto Alves) as a Senior Policy Advisor to the Commission’s Interim Office.
Rev Agustinho de Vasconselos has worked as a Protestant Church Minister in Oecussi, his home district of Baucau, and now in Dili. He is Secretary to the Youth Department of the Protestant Church.
The names and brief biographical details of the Commissioners are as follows:
Jacinto Alves was born in Manatuto district in 1957, and now lives in Dili. He has been Coordinator of the Association of Ex-Political Prisoners in East Timor since January 1999, and was a political prisoner following the Santa Cruz massacre in November 1991. He was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment, serving seven years until his release in 30 December 1998. Alves was also a founding member of the NGO ‘Commission for Human Rights in East Timor’ in 1999, and was active in providing emergency assistance to displaced persons in Dili. He has been a Senior Policy Adviser to the Interim Office of the Commission for Reception, Truth and Reconciliation since July 2001.
Olandina Caeiro is from Ermera district, where she was born in 1956. A businesswoman who has also dedicated many years of work to public service and especially to the prevention of violence against women, Caeiro has been the Director of East Timorese Women Against Violence and for Child Care (ETWAVE) since 1998. She also served as a member of the Indonesian Commission for the Elimination of Violence Against Women in 1998. She was Chairperson of the Public Service Commission in East Timor (October 2000 - 2001), and served as a Provincial Parliament member in Dili (1997 - 1999).
Father Jovito Araújo is from Hatolia, Ermera district, where he was born in 1963. He now lives in Dili. He has been a Catholic Priest in Dili Diocese since 1996. As President of the Catholic Youth Commission of Dili Diocese for the past three years, he has developed strong links with the youth community. Father Jovito is particularly concerned with human rights issues. He has been an active member of Resistência Nacional dos Estudantes de Timor Leste (RENETIL), a resistance organisation based in Indonesia and East Timor, since 1987.
José Estevão Soares was born in 1955 in Laclobar, Manatuto district, and currently lives in Dili. He was a founding member of the pro-autonomy political organisation Forum Persatuan, Demokrasi dan Keadilan (FPDK) in 1999. He left East Timor in September 1999, spending one year as a refugee in Denpasar, Bali, before returning in October 2000. Immediately upon his return, he became a member of the National Council of East Timor (October 2000 - July 2001). He has been a Senior Policy Adviser to the Interim Office of the Commission for Reception, Truth and Reconciliation since July 2001. Soares previously worked as a civil servant for the Indonesian administration in East Timor. He was a government spokesman and Chief of Public Relations (1993 - 1997), and later worked for the Co-ordination Board of Investments for East Timor (BKPMD). He also held the position of Secretary of the Indonesian Public Servants’ Organisation in East Timor (KORPRI) in 1999.
Aniceto Guterres Lopes was born in Tapo, Maliana district, in 1967 and currently lives in Dili. Director of the well-known human rights NGO Yayasan HAK (Human Rights Foundation) since 1997, of which he was a co-founder, Aniceto Guterres is a human rights practitioner and lawyer by profession. He is highly active in the promotion of justice in East Timor. He has served on the UNTAET Judicial Transitional Services Commission since January 2000, and was a founder of the Jurists Association of East Timor in April 2000. He was a member of the National Council of East Timor (October 2000 - July 2001), and previously served as Secretary General of Yayasan ETADEP (East Timor Agriculture and Development Project Foundation) from 1992 - 1996. Guterres has also been an active member of Resistência Nacional dos Estudantes de Timor Leste (RENETIL) since 1989.
Isabel Guterres was born in Viqueque in 1958, and now lives in Maliana district. She has worked with a range of organisations in the field of humanitarian assistance, most recently with the Jesuit Refugee Services in providing support to people returning to East Timor. Isabel Guterres lived for 15 years in Australia, where she practiced as a registered nurse. After returning to East Timor in November 1999, she continued to use her professional experience in the health sector in her work with Medecins Sans Frontieres and World Vision.
Reverend Agustinho de Vasconcelos was born in 1970 in Kaiualita, Baucau district and now lives in Dili. He has been a Protestant Church Minister in Dili since 2000, previously serving as Minister of the Maranatha Church in Baucau district (1999 - 2000), and the enclave of Oecussi (1996 - 99). He is an active supporter of youth activities, and is currently working as the Secretary for the Youth Department of the Protestant Church in East Timor. He has participated in workshops and trainings on reconciliation issues in West Timor and other parts of Indonesia.
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