Subject: Bishop Belo undergoes surgery

Received from Joyo Indonesia News

East Timor's Bishop Belo Undergoes Prostate Surgery

DILI, East Timor, July 17 (AP)--East Timor's Roman Catholic Bishop Carlos Filipe Ximenes Belo, who was awarded a Nobel Peace Prize for his nonviolent resistance to Indonesia's occupation of his homeland, was recovering in hospital Thursday after undergoing surgery on his prostate gland.

The two-hour operation at Baucau Hospital to remove a benign tumor from the gland went smoothly, said hospital director Liborio da Costa Alves.

"The operation was successful," said da Costa Alves. "The bishop is well."

Belo, 55, was admitted to the hospital, about 130 kilometers east of the capital, Dili, three days ago after complaining he was having trouble urinating.

Belo stepped down from active duty in November, citing poor health, after he underwent undisclosed medical treatment in Portugal.

Belo was the spiritual leader of East Timor's 800,000 people during Jakarta's brutal 24-year rule in the country, which ended in 1999 after it voted for freedom in a U.N.-sponsored referendum.

In 1996, he shared the Nobel Peace Prize with Jose Ramos-Horta, a prominent independence activist who is now East Timor's foreign minister.

Belo advocated nonviolent resistance to Indonesian rule, which was marred by human rights abuses.


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