|East Timor||TIMORESE REMEMBER MASSACRE AT CHURCH|
More than 10,000 East Timorese gathered in the southern border town of Suai on Wednesday to commemorate the massacre one year ago of more than 100 people in a parish church.|
Bishop Carlos Belo of Dili celebrated Mass in the shattered Church of Our Lady of Fatima in the town of Suai in memory of the dead.
"We wanted to establish a new East Timor, and for this we had to pay with suffering and bloodshed," he told the openly weeping congregation. "Once a seed is thrown onto the earth, from this seed will grow a new creation so there will be new life and new hope," he said. "So let us look to a better future, for after last year's massacre we enter into a new life and a new East Timor."
The exact number of those killed at the church, which before the referendum sheltered up to 2800 refugees from militia violence and intimidation, has yet to be determined. Estimates vary widely and only about 50 bodies have been found.
"The rest were thrown into the sea, into rivers, into lakes so I think it is very hard to locate and retrieve them," said Father Rene Manubag, who added that he has confirmed there were 146 victims in the massacre.
On 6 September last year, Indonesian police allowed militiamen to enter the church complex with automatic weapons, machetes, and grenades. Later, eyewitnesses recounted stories of soldiers and militiamen removing bodies, which was later confirmed by exhumation of 26 corpses.
|8 Sep 00|