Against the backdrop of the celebration of the 21st anniversary of the Suai Massacre (6 September 1999, ‘Black September’), Hugo Fernandes, Executive Director of Comissão Nacional Chega! (CNC), spoke about CNC’s ongoing programme to identify historical sites (see here).
Hugo Fernandes recalled that CNC has grouped historical sites into four categories: (1) sites where massacres took place; (2) sites used as prisons and interrogation centres; (3) sites where people demonstrated demanding self-determination and independence; and (4) shelters (abrigos) used by the Armed Resistance.
CNC’s Executive Director announced that the identification work had been completed in six municipalities: Dili, Aileu, Ainaro, Ermera, Manatuto. In the Baukau municipality, work had not yet been completed due to difficulties in executing the budgetary allocation due to the COVID-19 outbreak. In Dili, CNC’s work has progressed well in 21 locations.
The aim is to build small memorials to remember the people whose lives are associated with those sites. In the future, the memorials should become the venues to celebrate the events that took place there.
Hugo Fernandes also mentioned a request from the Presidency of the Republic for CNC to design a memorial for the Palácio Nobre, in Lahane .
As regards the category ‘Resistance shelters’, Hugo Fernandes recalled that it is up to the Archive & Museum of the East Timorese Resistance (AMRT) to classify them as historical sites.