DILI, 06 november 2023 (TATOLI) – The 12 November Committee held its 3rd National Congress at the Dili Convention Centre (CCD), where survivors of the Santa Cruz Massacre called for strengthening national unity.
At the opening of the event on 7 november, the President of the 12 November Committee, Gregório Saldanha, said that the 3rd Congress aims to restructure the committee.
During the congress, the committee also presented updated data on the Santa Cruz Massacre survivors. More than 560 survivors part in the congress.
“It’s a great opportunity to bring together all the victims and survivors to choose the new leader of the committee, but also to update the data of the victims and survivors of the Santa Cruz Massacre,” Saldanha told reporters at the DCC, on monday.
According to the 12 November Committee, 2889 victims of the Santa Cruz Massacre have been registered, 2563 of them men and 326 women.
Saldanha asked the government to continue supporting the Committee, in collaboration with Australia and Argentina, to conduct DNA tests to identify the remains of the victims who are still missing.
The congress received financial support from the Civil Society Services and Social Auditing (SASCAS), totaling US$4,842.
The Santa Cruz Massacre was a historic event important for the country, considering it a “national milestone” that “represents a huge sacrifice made by the Timorese youth.
On the 12th November, 1991, hundreds of people gathered in a march to pay homage to the young Sebastião Gomes, killed in october of the same year, towards the Santa Cruz cemetery in Dili, where a massacre occurred.
The Massacre portrayed the importance of unity, therefore, it is important for the new generation to maintain the same spirit in order to ensure peace and stability in the country.
Journalist: José Belarmino De Sá
Editor: Filomeno Martins