Promoting Conflict Resolution and Peace in Bazartete, Liquiça through the implementation of Tara Bandu

Promoting Conflict Resolution and Peace in Bazartete, Liquiça through the implementation of Tara Bandu

Image ChildFund Timor-Leste

LIQUIÇA, 11 june 2024 (TATOLI) – Communities in Suco Fatumasi, Bazartete Adminitrative Post, Liquiça Municipality implemented of a ‘Tara Bandu’ ceremony in suco Fatumasi, with the support from Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) Belun and ChildFund. The Tara Bandu ceremony focuses on conflict resolution, prevention, and the promotion of peace within the community. Organized in partnership with local leaders, community members, government representatives, and relevant stakeholders, this significant event marks a crucial stride towards achieving social harmony and sustainable peace in Liquiça.

Tara Bandu is a revered Timorese tradition that involves the establishment of community agreements to manage social issues including conflicts and maintain social order. It is a potent symbol of unity and collective responsibility, reflecting the community’s dedication to promoting peace and resolving conflicts amicably.

“Tara Bandu is a rigorous symbol that allow us to adhere to the traditional codes of conduct established by our ancestors. This Tara Bandu will firmly bind us, enabling us to live with mutual respect as humans, respect for nature, and respect for the surrounding environment,” the interim Post Administrator for Bazartete, José dos Santos Gonçalves, said in a statement.

Through this ceremony, the communities in Fatumasi will possess Tara Bandu norms and regulations that can serve as a benchmark for addressing conflicts that have and will arise within the community.

This Tara Bandu initiative also envisaged the bond between the elders and the youth will be fortified, facilitating the transfer of cultural knowledge from the elders to the younger generation, thereby ensuring its continuity in the future.

Key Highlights of the Ceremony:

  • Conflict Resolution and Prevention: The ceremony establishes existing and new community guidelines aimed at preventing conflicts and providing frameworks for peaceful conflict resolution. These include protocols for addressing disputes, promoting dialogue, and fostering mutual respect among community members.
  • Peace Promotion: At the core of the Tara Bandu are principles that foster harmony and cooperation. The ceremony highlighted the community’s dedication to these principles by implementing specific measures to support vulnerable groups and ensure inclusive participation in decision-making processes.
  • Community Empowerment: The event involved local leaders, elders, religious leaders, Martial art leaders, civil authorities, youth, and women, vulnerable groups, students, emphasizing the critical role of inclusive community participation in peacebuilding initiatives. This collective engagement fortifies social cohesion and empowers the community to sustain peace.
  • Cultural Heritage: Through revitalization of the Tara Bandu, communities in Fatumasi, Bazartete along with its partners, ChildFund and Belun are preserving a vital aspect of Timor-Leste’s cultural heritage while concurrently addressing modern social challenges. Additionally, it educates the new generations, particularly young women and men, about the significance and practice of Tara Bandu, thereby ensuring they can uphold this tradition in the future.

“Tara Bandu is a significant Timorese custom for peace and reconciliation, providing the foundation for public agreements and  it has considerable power. The European Union is a major supporter of peace, globally. Our objective in Liquiça is to empower communities to enhance peace through cultural practices such as Tara Bandu,” stated Viktorija Kaidalova from the EU Regional Office in Bangkok.

ChildFund Timor-Leste’s Country Director, Alzira dos Reis, highlighted the significance of the ceremony, stating, “Cultural practices, such as the Tara Bandu, are extremely important because they greatly contribute towards peace within the community. The initiatives we undertake in this Tara Bandu ceremony will regulate relationships between people, people and their surroundings, and people and with nature, ensuring that all members of society feel included, belonged, recognized and involved.”

The Strengthening Social Cohesion Project: promoting inclusive and culture-based practices for conflict prevention, preparedness, and resolution through youth-focused peacebuilding is a project implemented in Lampung in Indonesia and Liquiça in Timor-Leste, and co-funded by the European Union with EUR 999,998. The project is implemented by ChildFund International in Indonesia, and in Timor-Leste by ChildFund Timor-Leste in partnership with the NGOs Ba Futuru and Belun.


Journalist: Camilio de Sousa

Editor: Filomeno Martins 


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