Subject: LUSA: Baucau´s Muslims Celebrate Reconstruction of Burned Down Mosque

Also - UNTAET: Re-Build Mosque Inaugurated

05 Dec 01 12:51 East Timor: Baucau´s Muslims Celebrate Reconstruction of Burned Down Mosque

The small Muslim community of Baucau, predominantly Christian East Timor´s second largest city, celebrated the reconstruction of their riot-destroyed mosque last weekend.

The mosque´s reconstruction, costing nearly USD 70,000, was primarily funded by Malaysia, with additional contributions from Portugal and the territory´s UN peacekeeping forces.

On visiting the burned down mosque shortly after the riots last March, UN administrator Sergio Vieira de Mello spoke of the "shame" he felt over destruction and apologized to Baucau´s Muslim community for what he called a "crime".

SAS -Lusa-


UNTAET Daily Briefing 12 Dec 2001


Deputy SRSG Dennis McNamara today attended an inauguration of the rehabilitated Baucau mosque that was destroyed in March during a series of violent incidents.

"To the representatives of the Muslim community I would underline that this ceremony marks the commitment of the local Administration, the Transitional Government, and the broader international community, that the wrongs visited on you last March, and the violation of your place of worship, will not be tolerated in the future," McNamara said.

Bishop of Baucau Basilio Nascimento, and the Malaysian and Portuguese ambassadors were among those that attended the ceremony.

Malaysia financed the bulk of the reconstruction project with a US$60,000 donation. Portugal donated US$5,000 and the United Nations Peacekeeping Force raised US$3,500 from its members.

The rehabilitation work was initiated in September, and the Mosque became functional early this month. The Moslem community in Baucau had asked that the mosque be formally inaugurated before the end of Ramadan, which finishes on Monday.

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