Subject: E. Timor's Birth Registry Opens; Gusmao registers birth of baby boy

Associated Press December 6, 2000

East Timor's Birth Registry Opens

DILI, East Timor (AP) - East Timor's civil registry office opened Wednesday with the man widely expected to become the nation's first president certifying his infant son.

Jose Alexandre ``Xanana'' Gusmao registered the birth of his baby boy at the office in the capital, Dili. He was accompanied by his Australian wife, Kirsty Sword.

Two-month-old Alexandre Brian Sword Gusmao did not cry once during the brief ceremony. Xanana and his wife were given a computer-printed document bearing a watermark.

U.N officials say setting up and maintaining a registry is essential for preparing the country for elections in six months. By the end of 2001, the United Nations, which currently administers East Timor, hopes the entire population will be registered.

``East Timorese people are now happy because they can get affirmation of their individual identification as East Timorese citizens,'' Xanana said.

The opening of the office, which also certifies weddings, deaths and adoptions, will be followed by 13 others in the territory.

Indonesia ruled East Timor until its people voted overwhelmingly for freedom in a U.N.-sponsored referendum last year. The United Nations is overseeing the territory's transition to independence.

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