Subject: Lusa: Portuguese ambassador inaugurates Bishop Belo's new residence

East Timor: Portuguese ambassador inaugurates Bishop Belo's new residence

20-06-2002 13:31:00 GMT


Portugal's ambassador to East Timor, Rui Quartim Santos, Wednesday inaugurated the official residence of Dili's Catholic Bishop Carlos Ximenes Belo, a euros 300,000 building entirely financed by Lisbon. The new residence of Bishop Belo, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate, was built on the ruins of his former home, which was razed in anti- independence militia violence in September 1999. Dili newspapers reported that joining Ambassador Quartim Santos and Bishop Belo at the inauguration ceremony were Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri, whose family is Muslim, Parliament Speaker Francisco Guterres and Defense Force chief Brigadier Taur Matan Ruak, among other dignitaries. Belo, who played a discreet, but pivotal, role in East Timor's struggle for freedom from Indonesian occupation, is widely considered to be the spiritual leader of the new nation, which, like Portugal, is predominantly Catholic.

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