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Caritas Australia remembers the Santa Cruz Massacre

Yesterday Caritas Australia recalled East Timor's Santa Cruz massacre, urging Australians to continue to provide financial support for the people of East Timor as their new nation struggles to provide for its people.

The Santa Cruz massacre took place 12 years ago, on 12 November 1991. Indonesian troops opened fire on a peaceful demonstration moving towards a cemetery in the capital Dili. More than 250 East Timorese died on that day or shortly after, as a result of their injuries.

The violence was witnessed by foreign journalists who alerted the world, helping make the incident a turning point in the struggle for East Timorese independence.

"We urge all Australians to pray for peaceful resolutions wherever there is conflict, rather than the use of brute force," said Jack de Groot, National Director of Caritas Australia, one of only a few international aid agencies which still have a presence in East Timor.

"Today, East Timor is an independent nation but it's simplistic to suggest the struggles are over. East Timor is now in the grip of a drought which has brought crippling food shortages and the people still need our help to build justice, education, health and commercial infrastructure," Mr de Groot said.

The freecall number for donations to support the work of Caritas Australia in East Timor is 1800 024 413.

Caritas Australia remembers the Santa Cruz Massacre (Caritas Australia)

Santa Cruz Massacre (ETAN)
Caritas Australia | East Timor Video

13 Nov 2003