Subject: RDP: Church reportedly invited to help draw up constitution

East Timor: Church reportedly invited to help draw up constitution

BBC Monitoring Service - United Kingdom; Sep 11, 2001

[Presenter] Fretilin [Revolutionary Front for an Independent East Timor] is commemorating its 27th anniversary, in the wake of its electoral victory...On this occasion, Dom Ximenes Belo [bishop of Dili and Nobel Peace laureate in 1996] has said that he hopes those elected will be up to the job they have been elected to do.

[Belo] This is democracy. There will always be parties which win, others which do not get votes. But what happened to Fretilin is natural. It is the weight of history, people have suffered, they were tortured, some disappeared - all because they were accused of belonging to Fretilin. Naturally the population, under the weight of history, has voted for Fretilin. But now I hope Fretilin will be able to meet the aspirations of the people. I hope they will pull up their sleeves and start working to meet these aspirations by creating more humane and dignified living conditions.

[Reporter] During the Fretilin anniversary commemorations, the bishop accepted an invitation to contribute to the drawing up of Timor's constitution. Dom Ximenes Belo is only waiting for this invitation to be made officially.

[Belo] I am waiting for a written invitation, and to be given a place. We do not know the procedure for the church hierarchy to contribute. We are certainly open to this. Our vision is of a pluralist and democratic society, with equal opportunities for all Timorese. We will be there to give our contribution to the building of this Timorese society.

Source: RDP Antena 1 radio, Lisbon, in Portuguese 0800 gmt 11 Sep 01

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