DAILY CATHOLIC     WEDNESDAY     June 10, 1998     vol. 9, no. 112

NEWS & VIEWS
from a CATHOLIC perspective

To print out entire text of Today's issue, go to SECTION ONE and SECTION TWO

INDONESIA READY FOR CONCESSION ON EAST TIMOR

          JAKARTA (CWNews.com) - The new president of Indonesia said on Monday that he was willing to grant an unspecified special status to East Timor, but resistance leaders in the mainly Catholic region said it may not be enough.

          President B.J. Habibie was quoted by an anonymous president aide as saying mainly Muslim Indonesia would grant some form of recognition to the region's culture and Catholic faith. Indonesia invaded the former Portugese colony in 1975 and annexed it the following year in a move not recognized by the United Nations. The capital city of Jakarta, as well as some few other regions of Indonesia, enjoy a special status that gives local governments only a few, mostly symbolic privileges.

          The British Broadcasting Corp. also reported that Habibie ordered the release of 10 Timorese resistance fighters, although it was made clear resistance leader Xanana Gusmao wouldn't be among them. Fernando Araujo, an East Timorese activist and former political prisoner who is in regular contact with Gusmao, said the withdrawal of Indonesian troops and Gusmao's release were requirements for any peaceful solution.

          Habibie replaced former President Suharto last month when the leader stepped down after 32 years in power following widespread protests over economic conditions and lack of freedoms.


Articles provided through Catholic World News Service.
CWN is not affiliated with the Daily CATHOLIC but provides this service via e-mail to the Daily CATHOLIC Monday through Friday.

June 10, 1998       volume 9, no. 112
NEWS & VIEWS

DAILY CATHOLIC

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