Paulina Quintao – The government through the Secretariat of State for Youth and Sport (SSYS) has allocated $120,499.25 to the November 12 organizing committee for National Youth Day, held to commemorate the Santa Cruz massacre of 1991.
Secretary of State Leovigildo da Costa Hornai said this year's event would differ from previous years as there would be a number of sports activities.
"The commemorations are not just a party but a reflection for Timorese people, from the leaders of 1975 to the new generation, to reflect and look to the future of Timor," he said.
He said the objective was to strengthen the spirit of patriotism and nationalism among young people, as well as honor those who died on November 12.
The 1991 Santa Cruz massacre shocked the world and hundreds of young people were shot dead by the Indonesian military during a pro-independence demonstration in Dili. The remains of the majority of the victims have still not been identified.
Timorese people commemorate the massacre every year to honor those who died in the incident.
Meanwhile, President of the November 12 organizing committee Gregorio Saldanha said this year's commemoration would be held under the theme "To honor and dignify the heroes".
"This is to inspire us, especially the young people to change their attitude and life and make a contribution to the development of the country," he said.
He said regular activities would be held, including mass, a march from Motael church to the Santa Cruz cemetery and a reflection for victims at night. There will also be various competitions, including sports, a quiz and traditional koremetan music.