Subject: Age: Baby worth the wait for Gusmao

The Age [Melbourne] Monday 2 October 2000

Baby worth the wait for Gusmao


Xanana and Kristy Sword with new son  
East Timor's independence leader, Jose Alexandre "Xanana" Gusmao, and his Australian wife, Kirsty Sword, look at their first child, a son whom they have named Alexandre Sword-Gusmao Sunday Oct. 1, 2000. Gusmao was present at the birth Saturday at Dili's Central Hospital. The child weighed 3.4 kilograms (7 pounds, 8 ounces) and measured 50 centimeters (19 inches.) (AP Photo/Str)

Parenthood: East Timor independence leader Jose "Xanana" Gusmao's Australian wife Kristy Sword gave birth to a son on Saturday night in Dili. The pair met in 1994 while Gusmao was serving a 20-year sentence for subversion in Jakarta's Cipinang Jail.

East Timor independence leader Xanana Gusmao is a father again. His wife, Kristy Sword, gave birth to a son late on Saturday night in Dili Central Hospital.

Margherita Tracanelli, a close friend of Mr Gusmao's Australian wife, said the baby was delivered after a 12-hour labor.

"There were no complications. It was just a very, very long wait," Ms Tracanelli said.

Mr Gusmao was by his wife's side during the labor, along with Ms Sword's mother, Rosalie, she said. An Irish nurse acted as midwife.

Mr Gusmao's advisers have not officially announced the birth.

Medical staff at the Dili hospital said Mr Gusmao and his wife and baby had checked out and returned to their Dili home on Sunday.

The baby, named Alexandre Sword Gusmao, was born at 11.44pm on Saturday weighing 3.4 kilograms and measuring 50 centimetres.

Mr Gusmao, 54, has two adult children from a previous marriage. His first wife, Amalia, migrated to Australia after Indonesia invaded East Timor. She lives in Melbourne.

The independence leader first met Ms Sword, 34, in 1994 while serving a 20-year sentence for subversion in Jakarta's Cipinang Jail.

Ms Sword, an aid-agency worker from Melbourne, acted as a go-between delivering messages to Mr Gusmao from East Timor's clandestine independence movement.

"She was a long-time member of the resistance. She did a lot of conveying of information and carrying encrypted messages," Ms Tracanelli said.

The couple were married in the seminary town of Dare outside Dili in July.

Mr Gusmao is believed the person most likely to become president of an independent East Timor.

Residents of the former Portuguese colony voted overwhelmingly for independence from Indonesia in a referendum on August 30 last year. A transitional United Nations administration now rules the territory.

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