DILI, 17 november 2023 (TATOLI) – The re-elected president of the 12 November Committee, Gregório Saldanha, has revealed the programs for his five-year mandate (2023-2028).
“Together with the committee members, we have defined the programs for the next five years,” Saldanha told TATOLI.
He said that one of his programs is to raise funds to support all the Committee’s activities over the next five years: “The funds would be used to support the survivors of the Santa Cruz massacre, such as building houses, etc.”
Saldanha said that the Committee, under his leadership, would work to get some additional funds from international and national organizations.
“The government, through the Civil Society Support and Social Audit Services (SASCAS) of the Prime Minister’s Office, provides financial support to the Committee every year, but it’s not enough,” said Saldanha.
With financial support from SASCAS, the Committee has built three houses for the survivors of the Santa Cruz Massacre, including one in Dili, one in Covalima, and one in Viqueque.
In addition, he said that another program is civic education with the provision of information on Timor-Leste’s history of struggle and teaching young people to respect Timorese heroes.
Saldanha said that, during his next mandate, he would cooperate with the Ministry of National Liberation Combatants Affairs to accelerate the construction of the Santa Cruz Massacre Monument in Santa Cruz Cemetery, in Dili.
“We are also going to speed up the verification of the data of survivors of the Santa Cruz massacre,” said Saldanha.
“I have been working for the commission since I was released from Cipinang prison and I will continue to work hard to dignify the young people who sacrificed their lives for the country’s independence through the Santa Cruz Massacre on 12 November 1991,” he said.
He called on the government to continue supporting the Committee’s program to dignify the survivors of the Santa Cruz Massacre.
The Committee has already registered more than 2,900 survivors of the massacre and around 800 have received subsidy.
Journalists: José Belarmino De Sá
Editor: Filomeno Martins