Subject: Tempo: East Timor marks anniversary of 1991 cemetery killings

BBC Monitoring Asia Pacific

East Timor marks anniversary of 1991 cemetery killings

Source: Tempo website, Jakarta, in English 13 Nov 07

Text of report by Jose Sarito Amaral in English by website of independent Indonesian news magazine Tempo on 13 November

Dili: Thousands of Timor Leste citizens commemorated yesterday (12/11) the tragedy of 12 November 1991, when Indonesian soldiers fired on a crowd of youths in Santa Cruz cemetery, Dili. Around 200 people died then, but most of the victims' graves have not been found.

The Commission of 12 November Tragedy issued a petition addressed to Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and the murderers. The petition was submitted via the Indonesian embassy in Dili.

The tragedy was started when thousands of youth scattered flowers in Santa Cruz for the death of Sebastiao da Silva, who was shot by Indonesian soldiers. But the funeral was cut short by the shooting. Hundreds of people died and where they were taken is unknown.

The commission chairman, Gregorio Saldanha, said they asked Indonesia, especially the murderers, to show the bodies that were moved at that time. So far, he said, only 65 bodies have been found. Saldanha guaranteed that this will not affect the good relations between Indonesia and Timor Leste.

The witnesses and the victims' family only asked for the moral responsibility of Indonesia, especially the perpetrators, to show the victims' grave.

"In line with Timor Leste's tradition, every human being must have a grave, especially the 12 November victims, because they're not animals whose bodies are thrown away easily," said Saldanha.

Deputy Prime Minister Jose Luis Guterres said the government will cooperate with President Yudhoyono to approach the perpetrators and witnesses of the tragedy to indicate the victims' grave, including the victims of other killings after the incident.


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