Timor Santa Cruz Massacre Day

Timor Santa Cruz Massacre Day (National Youth Day)

November 12
The Santa Cruz Massacre Day ( National Youth Day ) remains among the most significant anniversaries for veterans of the Timorese independence movement, which was active during the Indonesian occupation between 1975 and 1999. In 1991, 271 protesters—many of them students—disappeared or were killed at the Santa Cruz cemetery in the Timor-Leste capital, Dili. That massacre sparked international outrage and kept the spotlight on the Indonesian occupation until it ended in 1999.
Before Indonesia withdrew forces, the anniversary of the Santa Cruz Massacre inspired several political protests, in towns and cities of Timor-Leste and among sympathetic communities throughout the world. In 1994, on the third anniversary, a group of Timorese activists scaled the fence of the U.S. embassy in Jakarta, Indonesia, to request political asylum.
The tone of the day was and remains mournful. During the occupation years, Timorese often lit candles, and it was often an occasion for public figures to rally the people. On the fifth anniversary of the massacre, NobelPeace Prize–winner JosÉ Ramos-Horta called on Timorese to begin a new phase of their campaign for self-determination.
Embassy of the Democratic Republic of Timor Leste
4201 Connecticut Ave. N.W., Ste. 504
Washington, D.C. 20008
202-966-3202; fax: 202-966-3205