Dili, 11 June 2015 –His Excellency the President of the Republic, Mr Taur Matan Ruak, laid the first stone, this Wednesday in Marabia, near the Indonesian TV transmitter, for the construction of a memorial in honour of the tragedy of Marabia, which took place on the 10th of June 1980.
Before the foundation stone ceremony, the Head of State expressed his pleasure at participating in the event to honour the heroes who lost their lives 35 years ago.
In his message addressed to the families of those who were massacred in the tragedy, the Head of State noted, “These are the photographs of the heroes who lost their lives in the massacre of Marabia. When they died, they said: your death is our freedom.”
The Head of State added that the death of these heroes allowed Timor-Leste to become the independent and sovereign country it is today, and that their sacrifice will never be forgotten.
The funds for the construction of this memorial, in the amount of US$90,000, were awarded by the Ministry of Social Solidarity.
The tragedy in Marabia produced a great impact. On the 10th of June 1980, Falintil troops attacked the Indonesian forces. During the attack, several Indonesian soldiers were killed. In the wake of the attacks, 46 Timorese men were killed and 81 were declared missing at that time. Many were tortured and exiled to Ataúro and Cailaco.
This was the first attack of the Falintil against the Indonesian forces after the fall of the last base of support. Following the death of President Nicolau Lobato, Indonesia claimed that the war in Timor had ended. With the attack, the Falintil intended to show that the statements made by Indonesia were false and to confirm the existence of the Resistance.
The 35th anniversary of the tragedy of Marabia included the participation of the Deputy-Minister of Social Solidarity; the Chief-of-Staff of the F-FDTL, Colonel Falur Rate Laek; the president of the 12 November Committee, Gregorio Saldanha; relatives of those who were killed in the massacre and community members from Marabia.~~~END ~~~