Child

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This scene in the movie also occurs on the wharf. The child is based on a real character - the son of Isabel Lobato and Fretilin prime minister Nicolau Lobato.

Here is what occurred1:

8th December 1975, just after 0800h: Isabel Lobato (the wife of Fretilin prime minister Nicolau Lobato), Fretilin members and relatives of Fretilin members are escorted to the port area. According to an eyewitness:

The person I saw down there [in the harbour] was Senhora Isabel. Her child was crying, still pulling at his mother's skirt. Then Rosa Bonaparte, Borja da Costa and another person [were taken into the harbour]. There were three or four people.

Another eyewitness stated that he saw dozens of corpses in the port area including that of Isabel Lobato, who had been shot in the back.

At 1400h, fifty-nine men, some Chinese and some Timorese, are brought to the wharf. The Indonesian soldiers order them to stand on the edge of the pier facing the sea. Many of the men are on their knees pleading with the soldiers for their lives. The soldiers shoot them all one by one, ordering the crowd of about 500 people to count as they do so. The soldiers stand by after the men have fallen into the water and fire at the bodies if there is any sign of life. Notable people on the wharf (and re-enacted in the movie):

  • Isobel Lobato, Wife of Nicolau Lobato. She was wearing tais. Her pre-teenage son is crying, still pulling at his mother's skirt.
  • Rosa Muki Bonaparte, member of Fretilin Central Committee, key female figure in East Timor.
  • Bernardino Bonaparte, member of Fretilin Central Committee.
  • Francisco Borja da Costa, member of Fretilin Central Committee
  • Bimba da Silva, member of UNETIM (Uniao Nacional de Estudantes de Timor - National Union of Timorese Students)
  • Silvinia Epifania M. Da Silva, member of UNETIM

The soldiers loot houses, churches and the Seminary. They burn books and take cars, motorcycles, radios, furniture, cutlery, even windows to the harbour and place them on Indonesia-bound ships. They repeatedly round up young girls in trucks and take them away to rape them. They shoot or beat severely Timorese men who object or refuse to surrender their daughters. As Timorese chiefs are usually buried with some of their jewels, the Indonesian soldiers dig up graves in search of loot. They also dig up the grave of a priest (Father Martins) and remove his gold tooth.

1 See Chega 2005, Final Report 7.2 Unlawful Killings and Enforced Disappearances, pp 41-2.