Subject: LUSA: Alkatiri Appeals for End to Domestic Violence against Women

04 Dec 01 12:23 East Timor: Alkatiri Appeals for End to Domestic Violence against Women

East Timor´s chief minister, Mari Alkatiri, has expressed concern over mounting domestic violence against women, urging his people to put an end to such practices as part of the territory´s larger efforts at reconciliation.

"I have been informed with preoccupation that cases of domestic violence are increasing and that many of us consider the beating of women to be a private affair that should not broached in public", Alkatiri said in a statement issued at the weekend.

He added that his government was "preoccupied" with the "process of reconciliation" between the territory´s pro-independence majority and those who had defended integration into Indonesia, stressing that reconciliation should begin at home, "inside the family".

The government, Alkatiri said, sought to create a "culture or peace and respect for human rights", underlining that "our women and girls should enjoy these freedoms without violence".

Alkatiri´s statement was issued to mark the recent celebration of the International Day to Eliminate Violence against Women.

SAS -Lusa-

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