Item CAETANpics1.3 - Canada - Timor Church to Church Contacts

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Canada - Timor Church to Church Contacts


  • 1988 (Creation)

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East Timor (Timor-Leste) was invaded in 1975 by Indonesia and occupied by the Indonesian armed forces until 1999, with widespread resulting human rights violations. The East Timor Alert Network (ETAN/Canada) was founded in 1986 to raise awareness about the situation of East Timor and to change Canadian government policy, which accepted Indonesian rule.


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In 1983, Monsignor Martinho da Costa Lopes became the first Timorese voice to speak in Canada since the 1975 invasion. He had recently been removed as apostolic administrator of the diocese of Dili – in de facto terms, head of the Timorese Catholic church – for being too critical of Indonesia’s human rights record. Msgr da Costa Lopes came at the invitation of the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace, meeting Canadian Catholics and also lobbying the government and speaking to the
Canadian media.

  • The same year also saw the release of Peter Monet’s film “Betrayed But Not Beaten,” the first documentary to be produced in North America about East Timor.
    -Image: screen shot of Martinho da Costa Lopes from the film


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