Dili, 22 November 2021 — The Government of Timor-Leste and the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) have signed a $5 million grant agreement to enhance Timor-Leste’s national accountability and capacity to build the country’s better future in peace, justice and prosperity by learning from the past 25 years of violations of human rights and injustice during the political conflict (1974-1999).
The grant, financed by the Korea International Cooperation Agency of the Republic of Korea, will support the government’s efforts to build a digital archiving system in Centro Nacional Chega!; develop a quality history and peace education; and strengthening capacities and partnerships for conflict reconciliation and peace building.
“Digitalization is indeed one of the keys”, said Rui Augusto Gomes, Minister of Finance Timor-Leste. “As the Government is embarking on initiating the installation of submarine cable linking Darwin to Dili, the Digitalization of Chega! will have even more potential to fulfilling a moral mandate for our country and projecting a strong commitment toward peace and reconciliation, respect for human rights and human dignity not only in the country but also regionally and globally.”
“Korea and Timor-Leste, we have had similar historical experiences from occupation to independence in our modern times. To recover the damages and the pains caused during the conflict era, we need to remember and learn from the history of violating human rights and justice. Today, we officially step forward shedding a light on the dark history of Timor-Leste. Through this support, Timorese people will be encouraged to cultivate proper history memory and awareness,” said Jeong Ho Kim, Korean Ambassador to Timor-Leste.
This Signing Ceremony marks an important point in the progress of the work that has been developed by Centro Nacional Chega! – CNC is an important institution established in October 2016 under the Decree-Law No. 48/2016, when Dr. Rui Maria de Araújo was the Prime-Minister.
By July 2017, CNC was operational with the appointment of a supervisory board and executive body tasked to bring to life the message of Chega!, the CAVR’s final report, and recommendations of the Commission for Truth and Friendship.
On 28th November, Timor-Leste shall celebrate the 46th Anniversary of its independence. More than 200 thousand lives died during the more than two decades of struggle to gain independence. Centro Nacional Chega! documents all human rights abuses from 1974 till 1999. ***