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17th of April 1999 Massacre Statement

Massacre at house of Manuel Carrascalao, in Dili


Photo: 2009 Commemoration of Massacre at the house of Manuel Carrascalao. Lao Hamutuk.

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Human Rights & Justice page


“Let us commemorate it not only as a calendar of an event, but commemoration of a real situation of pain, suffer, humble, sadness with new inspiration, integrity and hope for a just and fair process for victims to leave in peace.”

Lita Sarmento

We, survivors and victims families lament yet understand the lack of initiatives of our own leaders in demanding justice and fair trial. As many have forgotten and find it easier to move on choosing to remain silent.

Our plea is to not disregard the need for justice. We are building a nation that should have been based on just principles with the key ingredients such as justice, equality, integrity and dignity.

We as a country have adhered to all major UN Conventions. We have agreed to abide by it. In Article 2 of the Genocide Convention that we are signatory of, defines genocide as "...any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group, as such:

(a)  Killing members of the group;

(b)  Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;

(c)  Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;

Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide

Which part of this article did not happen in 1999?

We implore you all to answer to us.

It continues to Article 3 of the Convention which defines the crimes that can be punished under the convention:


Our plea is to not disregard the need for justice. We are building a nation that should have been based on just principles with the key ingredients such as justice, equality, integrity and dignity.


(a)  Conspiracy to commit genocide;

(b)  Direct and public incitement to commit genocide;

(c)  Attempt to commit genocide;

(d)  Complicity in genocide.

Eurico Guterres incite in front of over 1000 (one thousand) militias gathered in front of what today is the Palacio do Governo. His speech was made in front of all the Indonesian Authorities, from Abilio Osorio to Tono Suratman to Timbul Silaen, not to mention that it was live on air on Radio Republic Indonesia.

The mayhem incited caused many of the survivors to still bear the marks both psychologically and physically.

Ten years onwards and we stand firm on our demand for justice.

We have witnessed the puppet trials in Jakarta where Eurico Guterres, was absolved by Indonesian Supreme Court, the good name of Tono Suratman restored as he was held responsible for the crimes in Timor-Leste as well. Moreover, none of the Generals in Jakarta was ever tried regardless of the direct involvement in the conspiracy and complicity during the crisis.

We continue to call for:

  • All the perpetrators of crimes against humanity to be brought to justice.

  • The perpetrators should be extradited and be held accountable for the horrendous crimes committed.

  • An independent International Tribunal for all the human rights violations in Timor-Leste.

  • The National Parliament should consider drafting national law regarding Serious Crimes and amnesty.

Amnesty risks the just execution of law against the perpetrators of serious crimes. The family victims are those put on the disadvantage for there is no justice and truth. The feeling of distrust will continue to linger since the criminals are not being brought to justice but given amnesty. Hence. this will only give the impression that crimes can go unpunished. 

17th of April 2009
Family victims and survivors of Manuel Carrascalao’s house

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