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ETAN at 20

Timotio de Deus, Timor-Leste and  Korea  

The Massacre Santa Cruz was happened in 1991. It is known to all Timorese people and many other people in world as November 12, 1991. During that Massacre, there were at least 271 Timorese people were killed, 278 people were wounded, 103 people were hospitalized and 270 people were disappeared (see At that time, I was just a 6th grade Elementary School student in my beloved sub-village Hatuhei. Hatuhei is one of the fourteen sub-villages in Ducurai Village. It is located in Letefoho Sub-District, the District of Ermera. I just followed the news about Santa Cruz Massacre, at that time, through radio channels and heard from many of my related family members, cousins and others who participated in the demonstration and survived the massacre.


We appreciate your great commitment in advocacy for defending human rights and human right defenders, advocate for upholding justice and rule of law, especially in Timor-Leste.

As a sixth grade elementary school student at that time, of course my knowledge about things happened within the country and abroad was limited. I did not realize that ETAN is a global network, which contributes much to the freedom and the self determination of Timor Leste since 1991. Yes, to be honest, even during the three and half years staying in Yogyakarta-Indonesia, from September 2002-November 2005, I had never used ETAN as a network to read updated news on Timor-Leste because I did not know that it exists as a global media network.

I began to know and got familiar with ETAN when I began my career as a young Timorese lawyer with the Judicial System Monitoring Program (JSMP) from the beginning of 2006-September 2008. Nearly all JSMPís publications were also published by ETAN. Since then, I became to realize that East Timor and Indonesia Action Network (ETAN) is one among other global networks that plays a tremendous role in defending human rights and justice for all Timorese and Indonesian people and contribute much to the development of Judicial system and advocacy for upholding rule of law within these two neighboring countries. Through its direct engagement with UN Security Council, the international communities in the world may know and understand about the issues on human rights, justice and rule of law that happen within these two countries and to address and advocate for the improvement if the situation becomes worst.

In this remarkable 20th anniversary of ETAN, as a Timorese, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to ETAN for the tremendous contribution it had done during the two decades. I believe there are many things and victories have been achieved by ETAN so far. Congratulations. We are proud of your existence, your activities and achievements. We appreciate your great commitment in advocacy for defending human rights and human right defenders, advocate for upholding justice and rule of law, especially in Timor-Leste.

I wish ETAN a very happy anniversary. I hope ETAN will become stronger and stronger to continue support and contribute to the development of Timor Leste and Indonesian judicial system through media communication and advocacy, as well as to contribute to defending and protecting human rights for all people in these two neighboring countries. I have a strong desire and believe that through contribution of all parties including ETAN, upholding rule of law and justice and human rights protection in Timor-Leste and Indonesia will be achieved. I am confident to say that absolutely many Timorese young generations have a dream of changes to Timor-Leste future development. Things will be getting better and better although needs time to achieve.

Happy Anniversary to ETAN for the celebration of 2 decades of ETAN Existence and I wish ETAN will achieve more.

Best Wishes

Timotio de Deus
Graduate Student
Transnational Law and Business University (TLBU)
Graduate School of Law in Seoul

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