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Soibada (East Timor)
Coordinates 8 ° 52 ′  S , 125 ° 57 ′  E Coordinates: 8 ° 52 ′  S , 125 ° 57 ′  E
Manatuto subdistricts.png
Basic data
Country East Timor

local community

Administrative office Soibada
Suco Fatumaquerec , Samoro , Manlala and Leo-Hat
height 638 m
Colégio Soibada
Colégio Soibada

Soibada ( Saibada, Soilaoa ) is the capital of the East Timorese administrative office of the same name Soibada in the municipality of Manatuto .


Climate diagram of Soibada
Altar with the Holy Mother of Aitara

The place Soibada is located in the interior of Timor , about 52 km as the crow flies (135 km of road kilometers) southeast of the state capital Dili and about 40 km south of the municipal capital Manatuto . Most buildings have walls made of bamboo, only floors made of tamped earth and are covered with palm fronds. The districts Uma Querec ( Umacuarec ), Sasahi and Hisuala are located in Suco Fatumaquerec . The districts of Dauloroc ( Dauroloc ), Lehutula and Manlala are located in Suco Manlala and Leo-Hat ( Leohat ) and Malushum in Suco Leo-Hat . The town center with the administrative headquarters of the administrative office is located in Suco Samoro . A relatively well-developed road leads to Manatuto. Further south the country road goes a few kilometers further to Manehat and then towards Uma Boco . Soibada has a preschool, elementary school, pre-secondary school, orphanage, helipad, community health center and market. There are several buildings from the Portuguese colonial era, the Missão do Sagrado Coração de Jesus . The Herz-Jesu-Kirche is the oldest church building in East Timor. The church of Santo António de Motael in Dili is considered older, but its building was not rebuilt until 1955 after it was destroyed in the Second World War .

In the Catholic school in Suco Manlala ( 638  m above sea level) 600 students from 6 to 16 years of age are taught, 78 of them live in the convent with the three nuns who work as teachers in the school. The freedom fighter and poet of the national anthem Francisco Borja da Costa , the later bishop Alberto Ricardo da Silva and the former presidents Nicolau dos Reis Lobato and José Ramos-Horta went to the oldest mission school in East Timor of the Colégio Nuno Álvares Pereira . The girls' college attached to the mission is called Colégio da Imaculada Conceição .

About a mile north of Soibada, in Suco Manlala, lies the Aitara hill ( 608  m ), on the top of which is a large banyan tree . This place has always been considered sacred. Next to the tree is a shrine of Mary dedicated to the mother of Aitara ( Nossa Senhora de Aitara ). She is said to have appeared here on October 16 to several women, which is why the mission was established in Soibada around 1900. The modern chapel surrounding the shrine was built on the foundations of the colonial chapel. Today it is a national pilgrimage site, where the apparition is commemorated every year with a big celebration.


The tower of the mission

At the beginning of the 18th century, the Dominican Manuel de Santo António proselytized in Samoro and converted the local Liurai to Christianity. The area around Soibada belonged to the kingdom of Samoro. In 1756 Samoro, like many other empires in the east, refused to follow Wehale into an alliance with the Dutch. They stayed on the side of the Portuguese.

In 1856 the Portuguese no longer registered Christians in the highlands of Manatuto, but in 1899 Jesuits and sisters of the Canossians founded the mission in Soibada, which then consisted of simple huts. The vicar general , who was responsible for the south of the colony, took his seat here in 1900. In the same year construction began on the home of the missionaries, the Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and two Colégios . The Colégio Nuno Álvares Pereira for the boys opened in 1904. The Colégio da Imaculada Conceição for girls started operating around 1910. Soibada was the religious and educational center in Timor at that time. On December 23, 1910, however, the Jesuits were expelled from Soibada by order of the new, republican administration. Only with the new Portuguese constitution of 1933 and the laws of 1935 was the decree of 1910 repealed. On October 13, 1936, the Nossa Senhora da Fatima seminary was founded in Soibada . There was also a school for the formation of catechists, the Escola São Francisco Xavier . The Mission's buildings escaped destruction by the Japanese in World War II as the local ruler Raimundo Doutel Sarmento stood up for them. But after the war, Soibada began to decline. In 1951 the seminary and catechist school were moved to Dare and a diocese was established in Barique .

Soibada became the headquarters of FRETILIN immediately after the Indonesian invasion in 1975 . At their congress here in May 1976, the former Prime Minister of East Timor, Nicolau dos Reis Lobato, was officially elevated to the position of military commander. In 1977 the Indonesians captured Soibada. The residents of Manlala fled to the nearby forests of Lehutala , where they built huts near their plantings. Shortly afterwards they had to flee to Fatuberlio , where huts, gardens and even a small school were built. Here some residents died from hunger and disease. Two months later the Indonesians attacked again, which is why the people from Manlala had to flee again within Fatuberlio. The harvest was lost as a result. After further attacks by the Indonesian army, the residents of Soibada fled again in August 1978. They surrendered to the troops only three months later.

At the end of 1979 there was an Indonesian camp in Soibada for East Timorese who were to be relocated by the occupiers for better control.

Economy and Infrastructure

Cornfield in Soibada

Corn, vanilla, grain, beans, citrus fruits, cassava, potatoes, pumpkins, sweet potatoes, taro, tapioca, carrots, cabbage and avocados are grown in Soibada for everyday use. Coffee, light nuts and cocoa are also grown . Cattle, water buffalo, goats, sheep, chickens and pigs are kept as cattle. These are rarely butchered for everyday use. Their meat is usually only available for celebrations such as religious festivals, funerals or weddings.

The supply of clean drinking water is a problem. Contamination diseases are common. There are two year-round rivers, but most of the villages have wells with groundwater.


Web links

Commons : Aitara  - collection of images, videos and audio files
Commons : Colégio in Soibada  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Seeds of Life
  2. a b c d e f Pittwater Friends of Soibada: Soibada ( Memento from February 16, 2014 in the Internet Archive ), accessed on September 27, 2013
  3. UNMIT map of the Manatuto district, August 2008 ( Memento of the original from December 3, 2011 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link has been inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. (PDF; 581 kB) @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  4. ^ Soibada Update - Our Lady of Aitara, The Marian Shrine of the Timorese people, October 31, 2010
  5. ^ Artur Teodoro de Matos: D. Frei Manuel de Santo António: missionário e primeiro bispo residente em Timor. Elementos para a sua biografia (1660-1733) ( Memento of the original from May 25, 2013 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. (Portuguese) @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  6. ^ Judith Bovensiepen, Frederico Delgado Rosa: Transformations of the sacred in East Timor , accessed December 27, 2017.
  7. ^ A b c Geoffrey C. Gunn: History of Timor. ( Memento of the original from March 24, 2009 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. Technical University of Lisbon (PDF file; 805 kB) @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  8. a b c Património de Influência Portuguesa: Mission of the Sacred Heart of Jesus , accessed on November 15, 2016.
  9. a b "Chapter 7.3 Forced Displacement and Famine" ( Memento of the original from November 28, 2015 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. (PDF; 1.3 MB) from the "Chega!" Report by CAVR (English) @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  10. ^ Pittwater Council: Friendship Agreement between Pittwater and Soibada in East Timor