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Bad story turned good: Jakarta Dua

In the old days the name “Jakarta Dua” had very bad connotations in Timor-Leste.

Sometimes during the Indonesian occupation of Timor-Leste clandestine pro-independence activists would get arrested.  In many cases they and their families were told that they had been taken to Jakarta.  They would sometimes never return.

In actual fact they had not been taken to Jakarta at all, but rather to a cliff top in Ainaro.  There they were reportedly shot and hurled off the cliff, or just pushed off in order to save a bullet.  This place became known as “Jakarta Dua” or “Jakarta 2″.

While much has changed for the better between Timor-Leste and Indonesia since the bad old days, Jakarta Dua is now home to a bamboo furniture manufacturer named of all things the “Groupo Jakarta 2″, located in, yes you got it Jakarta Dua, Ainaro.

Despite everything life goes on.  If you want some bamboo furniture and want to spend it in a place which has had a tough time – check out the business profile on

Screenshot of Groupo Jakarta 2 on

Peace Dividend Trust (PDT) cooperates with the Government of Timor-Leste’s Ministry of Tourism Commerce and Industry (MTCI) in the development of in Timor-Leste.  This activity is funded by AusAID.

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  1. This is very nice article

  2. matt says:

    thanks for the article Ed.. but I’m curious: why did they choose the name? Out of commemoration? To change the stigma to something good? Or because it’s simply such a well-known place, that anyone would be able to find them if they had that name? Tragic history become normal, perhaps..?

  3. Edward Rees says:

    Matt – Very good question. I think it is likely because they live there. But I think it would be interesting to find out why. I will look into it. Edward

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