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Background information on East Timor

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The Wangaratta Rural City Council has a formal friendship relationship with the East Timorese sub-District of Lacluta (being part of the District of Viqueque). That brings the current problems in East Timor closer to home. But what do we know of the people of Lacluta?

Lacluta is located in the hills just 39 nautical miles from Dili and the people there would be in imminent danger todat. This community has been through hell in the past.

On 19th January 2006, Sian Powell wrote an article in The Australian titled, Forced march ended in massacre discussd the “fence of legs” campaign in 1981, which rounded up civilians – young and old, sick and hungry – and made them march across the island. Around 500 people were massacred.

These people will need all the support they can get. The RCoW has recently formed a “Friends of Lacluta” committee and when we are asked, we need to get behind them. The committee charter is to support and promote:

• Human rights and social justice for all people
• Gender equality
• Sustainable social and economic development
• Good governance and active citizenship
• Community empowerment and civic participation
• Consultation, collaboration and joint agreement on projects

The City of Geelong is also supporting this district with their Geelongeast Timor Friendship program. Their web page shows the practical ways they have been able to help the District of Viqueque. Let us hope we can do as well.


Written by Greg Naylor

29 May 2006 at 8:31 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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