Subject: AP: Bishop Belo 'ashamed' to see violence return to East Timor

Associated Press Worldstream

October 18, 2006 Wednesday 9:00 AM GMT

Nobel laureate 'ashamed' to see violence return to East Timor

DILI East Timor

Bishop Carlos Filipe Ximenes Belo, whose resistance to Indonesia's bloody occupation of East Timor earned him a Nobel Peace Prize, said Wednesday he was embarrassed to see violence and political unrest return to his nation.

Belo who returned to East Timor on Wednesday following several years in Mozambique as a missionary urged his people to put aside their differences and work toward peace.

"I'm ashamed," he told reporters upon arriving at the Dili airport. "I won the Noble Peace Prize on behalf of the East Timorese people ... but in my own country there is no peace."

"My people do not know how to forgive or respect each other."

East Timor descended into chaos in April and May following the dismissal of 600 soldiers by then-Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri, a move that split the armed forces into factions and later spilled over into gang warfare that left at least 33 people dead and sent 150,000 fleeing from their homes.

Calm returned with the arrival of international peacekeepers and the installation of a new government, but isolated acts of violence have continued.

The 1996 Nobel laureate shouldered some of the blame, saying "I did not do a good job teaching people to respect each other, to forgive each other and to love each other."

East Timor won independence from Indonesia in 1999 following 24 years of often brutal rule.


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