Heads of State and Government take part in a national seminar to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Liquiçá Massacre

Mon. 08 of April of 2024, 16:11h

The Prime Minister, Kay Rala Xanana Gusmão, and the President of the Republic, José Ramos-Horta, took part in a national seminar marking the 25th anniversary of the Liquiçá Massacre. The event, entitled "Celebrating Victory and Fighting for Justice, We Are Not Victims, But We Are Historical Authors", took place on April 5th, 2024, in Tokodede, Liquiçá.

The Liquiçá Massacre took place in April 1999, five months before the referendum that led to Timor-Leste's independence. Around two thousand people took refuge in the local church after soldiers and pro-Indonesian militias burned and looted houses in the municipality. Militias attacked the church, and between 30 and 100 people were killed. The Liquiçá massacre was the first time that the militias raided a church, a place that had previously been considered a safe haven.

During the event, President José Ramos-Horta emphasised the importance of the national reconciliation process and the role of the Truth and Friendship Commission and said that the State must recognise the participation of all citizens in the struggle for independence, from the victims of massacres to veterans and the elderly, as living heroes, guaranteeing them the rights they deserve for their contribution.

The Prime Minister, Kay Rala Xanana Gusmão, reinforced the Government's commitment to resolving veterans' issues, taking care of our living heroes, especially those still living in hardship, and guaranteeing them their rights and justice. The Head of the Government also stressed the need for recognition and continued support for the families affected, as well as the commitment to preserving the historical memory of the massacre.

The President of the Liquiçá Municipal Authority, Paulino Ribeiro, expressed his gratitude for the presence and support of President Ramos-Horta and Prime Minister Xanana Gusmão, reaffirming his administration's commitment to collaborate with the families of the victims, the veterans and civil society to find the bodies of the lost victims and bring them to the Garden of Heroes and guarantee the due recognition that everyone is entitled to.