Asia Justice and Rights (AJAR), Assosiasaun Chega Ba Ita (ACbit) and Centro Nacional Chega! (CNC) is hosting a 20-Year Commemoration of the Referendum, Timor-Leste.
Jakarta, August 26, 2019 –– On August 26-30, 2019, Asia Justice and Rights (AJAR), Assosiasaun Chega Ba Ita (ACbit) and Centro Nacional Chega! (CNC) are taking part in celebrating the 20th anniversary of the referendum in Timor-Leste. The 5-day program will gather representatives of Timorese society, international actors, and youth participants across the Asia region.
AJAR’s Executive Director, Galuh Wandita, remarked, “We remember the violence that took place with impunity twenty years ago, and celebrate the achievements the people of Timor-Leste have made to protect human rights.”
20 years ago, the people of Timor-Leste casted their votes in a United Nations–administered popular consultation to determine the fate of the country, with the majority of people voting for independence. Over the last two decades years, Timor-Leste has made great progress in rebuilding their country, including establishing the truth about the mass violations that took place between 1974-1999.
However, the struggle for justice, equality, and transparency remain a challenge. Jose Luis de Oliveira, AJAR’s Director in Timor-Leste remarked: “Timor-Leste is still struggling to fulfill the human rights of all its citizens today, including those who were victims of human rights violations. The 20th anniversary of the referendum is a critical moment when representatives of Timorese society and leaders gather to remember the struggle, the sacrifices and building the solidarity.”
AJAR is conducting a number of parallel activities to remember the past and promote peace in the region. This includes a Seminar on Timor-Leste’s Journey of Truth, Justice, and Reconciliation, an evening of discussion with Ian Martin (former head of the UNAMET), and the launch of a new film on human rights and music, “Generation 99: Truth, Reconciliation and Rock and Roll.” Throughout the 5-days, AJAR is also hosting a workshop with Transitional Justice Asia Network (TJAN) on Reparations in Asia and Pacific, and the International Youth Exchange for Human Rights.
Executive Director of AJAR
Jose Luis Oliveira
Director of AJAR Timor-Leste