DAILY CATHOLIC    THURSDAY     September 30, 1999     vol. 10, no. 186

NEWS & VIEWS
from a CATHOLIC perspective

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EAST TIMOR BISHOP ASKS GERMANY TO SUPPORT REBUILD PLAN

        BERLIN (CWNews.com) - Bishop Carlos Belo of Dili, East Timor, called on Germany on Wednesday to support a proposed plan to rebuild the country following weeks of violence by anti-independence militias.

        Bishop Belo said the destruction, which he compared to the damage to Germany at the end of World War II, has devastated the territory's economy and infrastructure just as the people had decided to separate from Indonesia.

        Indonesia, the most populous Muslim nation in the world, invaded mainly Catholic East Timor in 1975 and annexed it the following year in a move not recognized by the United Nations. In August, the region held a Jakarta-proposed referendum to allow Timorese to choose either autonomy within Indonesia or full independence. After the pro-independence results were revealed, pro-Indonesia militias, armed and backed by Indonesia's military, went on a rampage, killing thousands and forcing hundreds of thousands to flee the former Portugese colony.

        The bishop left East Timor during the violence when militias burned his home and threatened his life. He has been traveling throughout Europe to raise awareness and support for humanitarian aid. On Wednesday, Bishop Belo met with Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder and Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer.


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September 30, 1999       volume 10, no. 186
NEWS & VIEWS

DAILY CATHOLIC

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