Subject: LUSA: East Timor: Confrontations reflect population's unsatisfaction, says Belo

From: Mariza Costa-Cabral <> LUSA: East Timor: Confrontations reflect population's unsatisfaction, says Bishop Belo

Lusa News piece number 4414272

Translation (unauthorized, amateur translation)

Dili, 5 December (Lusa) - Bishop Ximenes Belo has condemned Wednesday's violence in Dili, but said the confrontations were a result of the population being unsatisfied because of the lack of regulation in the spheres of employment, society, politics and economy.

In declarations to Lusa and RTP [TN: 'RTP' is a Portuguese television station], Bishop Belo said, "this is the result of great unsatisfaction among the population, which took the opportunity to let everything out, all the rage over the lack of norms and regulations in employment, society, politics and the economy."

"Without doubt, I condemn the violence, but unfortunately it has taken place."

"I am saddened because, well, we speak of democracy, moral norms in our social and religious life, but those things are not put into practice," said the bishop.

"I appeal to all Timorese people, including those in government, that we keep a cool head, that we keep it over our shoulders, that what has happened has happened but from here on now we must resolve things peacefully," said the bishop, while admitting that "the situation is difficult to solve."

Bishop Belo is certain that "behind these actions are groups interested in knocking done some government members."

On the topic of remodeling the government [TN:"remodelacao" or "remodeling" usually means to review the panel of government members and replacing some members], Ximenes Belo appealed to the executive government, including the prime minister (Mari Alkatiri), to "think seriously about these things and, if possible, to go ahead with remodeling."

With regard to which changes are necessary, the bishop said the people who have come to talk with him have mentioned the names of the prime minister himself, of the Internal Administration minister, Rogerio Lobato, and of the minister of Justice, Ana Pessoa.

"Those are the voices that reach me today. I don't know what exactly the problems are, but these are the complaints that are presented to me. It is best to listen to these voices, to ponder, reflect, and to act," said the bishop.

After stating that he does not know the groups involved in the confrontations, the bishop underscored that the most negative aspect is the destruction of property and infrastructure which had already been rebuilt, which reflects a very worrysome perspective for potential foreign investors.

Questioned about the criticism by some citizens that he [the bishop] should have intervened against the confrontations, the bishop replied that he considered doing so but that his health has not allowed him to do much, only to come outside of his residence because there was word that some hotels nearby his residence might be attacked.-end-

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