DAILY CATHOLIC     THURSDAY     January 28, 1999     vol. 10, no. 19

NEWS & VIEWS
from a CATHOLIC perspective

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INDONESIA RAISES POSSIBILITY OF EAST TIMOR INDEPENDENCE

          JAKARTA (CWNews.com) - For the first time since invading and annexing the former Portuguese colony 23 years ago, the government of Indonesia raised the possibility of independence for East Timor on Wednesday.

          Foreign Minister Ali Alatas said at a news conference on Wednesday, "If they want to have their freedom, they are welcome." Information Minister Yunus Yosfiah quoted President B.J. Habibie as saying that Indonesia's highest legislative body could take up the issue later this year of East Timor's leaving this southeast Asian nation.

          East Timor, which is predominately Catholic, was invaded by Indonesia, the most populous Muslim nation in the world, in 1975 and annexed it the following year in a move not recognized by the United Nations. The region has suffered bloodshed and human rights abuses since then as revolutionary groups and government soldiers battled for control of the region.

          The remarks follows weeks of clashes in other parts of Indonesia between Christians and Muslims that have resulted in dozens of deaths, hundreds of injuries, and enormous property damage. The worst economics crisis in decades has exacerbated divisions and suspicions in the country, igniting riots and violence.


Articles provided through Catholic World News and Church News at Noticias Eclesiales. Both CWN and NE are not affiliated with the Daily CATHOLIC but provides this service via e-mail to the Daily CATHOLIC Monday through Friday.

January 28, 1999       volume 10, no. 19
NEWS & VIEWS

DAILY CATHOLIC

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