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10 November 2012

Remains of hundreds of East Timorese murdered by Indonesian military buried in mass grave

Baucau District Sucos. Click for lerger view
ETLJB  10 November 2012 - On 29 October, The Dili Weekly reported a story about the skeletal remains of what are believed to be the victims of a mass killing by the Indonesian military in 1982 in Urabaha Village, Venilale Sub-district, Baucau District buried in a common grave in a cave.

It is believed that the skeletons are of people captured by the Indonesian Batallion 745 in 1982 and were killed in this cave site. The skeletons were first discovered by three foreigners (2 men and 1 woman), however they said the site is yet to be visited by Timorese who might have lost loved ones during the that time (1982).

"We do not know the identity of these people”, said a member of the community of Fatulia Joaquin Sarmento Pereira recently in Fatulia, Baucau.

The Dili Weekly reported comments by another resident who said that the human remains are of East Timorese from all the 13 districts and that the remains were located near the sacred house of Kaibosi located just 10 meters from the entrance of the cave. One of the builders of the sacred house of Kaibosi, Jose Olo-Loi, said the human remains remains were not just of people from Venilale but belonged to Timorese from all the districts.

“We can see the skeleton remains have different tais [traditional cloth] because the tais found in the cave are from the District of Suai, Oe-cusse, Lospalos, Baguia as well as from other districts,” said builder Olo-Loi. “The cave is deep and we climbed down into it to see the remains scattered inside the cave”, he added.

The community urged all Timorese from the 13 districts who believe they lost their relatives around 1982 to come and visit the cave.

Battalion 745 was based at Fuiloro village, about seven kilometres north of Lospalos town. Three of its five companies (A, C and D) were based at Fuiloro, while the others had compounds not far away. The battalion had a record of human rights abuse stretching back to its formation early in the Indonesian occupation. It was fiercely loyal to the idea of East Timor remaining part of Indonesia and had many East Timorese soldiers, but East Timorese were never trusted with senior command positions.

Battalion 745 engaged in further acts of human rights violations during its withdrawal from its HQ is Los Palos in 1999.The East Timorese soldiers in the battalion were the special responsibility of Lt Camilo dos Santos, a platoon commander within D Company who was indicted for crimes against humanity but who was in Indonesia which refused to cooperate with the UNTAET trials of human rights violations. Edited by Warren Wright Sources: The Dili Weekly. Masters of Terror. Christian Science Monitor. East Timor - From Hell to Hope in Two Years. Map: Wikipedia

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