Subject: SMH: Belo boost for Fretilin

Sydney Morning Herald. Monday, July 23, 2001

Belo boost for Fretilin

The Nobel laureate Bishop Carlos Belo has indicated support for a Fretilin victory at the election for a Constituent Assembly on August30.

Party faithful, diplomats and United Nations officials who attended a Fretilin congress a fortnight ago were almost unanimous in saying that Bishop Belo's presence amounted to tacit support for the party that led the 24-year struggle to end Indonesian rule.

He told the congress he was not present in an official church capacity or as a member or supporter of Fretilin, but as someone who had been invited twice before to attend a Fretilin congress but had been unable to.

He acknowledged Fretilin's revolutionary credentials, but urged it to become a modern democratic political force.

"You must fight against corruption, nepotism, violence and poverty," he said.

Analysts believe Fretilin could win up to two-thirds of the vote.

Mark Dodd

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