|Subject: etpost - AP/AFP: Bishop Belo allowed to
leave Indonesia for US
Date: Sat, 17 Jul 1999 09:34:48 -0400
From: "John M. Miller" <email@example.com>
Bishop Carlos Ximenes Belo gets go-ahead to travel to United States
07/16/1999 Associated Press Newswires Copyright 1999. The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Bishop Carlos Felipe Ximenes Belo of Indonesia got the go-ahead to travel to the United States for a conference on social activism after American officials spent two days sorting out a passport problem.
The U.S. State Department intervened to allow Belo to leave Jakarta, Indonesia, said Organizers of Jubilee Justice, a four-day Catholic conference at the University of California, Los Angeles dealing with social activism.
Belo, who won the 1996 Nobel Peace Prize for his work on behalf of peace and democracy in the troubled Indonesia territory East Timor , is scheduled to give a keynote address Saturday.
Belo was not allowed to leave the country Wednesday, prompting friends and supporters to speculate the Indonesian government was retaliating against Belo for his activism in East Timor . Catholic officials originally believed Indonesian officials prevented Belo from traveling because nationals are not allowed to leave the country within six months of their passport expiration dates.
Belo's passport expires in October.
A State Department official on Friday said the decision to stop Belo actually came from Singapore Airlines, who relied on an interpretation of a U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service rule. The rule forbids foreigners from entering the United States within six months of their passport expiration date.
In a note faxed to the conference, Belo said he had tried unsuccessfully six months ago to renew his passport. He could not be reached immediately for clarification.
The State Department sent Jakarta the necessary papers to override the rule and allow Belo to travel, said Tom Quigley, a policy adviser to the U.S. Conference of Bishops.
-- Bishop Belo allowed to leave Indonesia for US
LOS ANGELES, July 16 (AFP) - Roman Catholic Bishop Carlos Felipe Ximenes Belo of East Timor, co-winner of the 1996 Nobel Peace Prize, was expected to arrive here Friday after he was barred from leaving Indonesia earlier this week.
"He was able to leave today," author Arnold Kohen said, citing a fax received from a priest of Belo's Salesians of St. John Bosco religious order.
Kohen, who recently wrote a book on Belo, was awaiting the bishop's arrival in Los Angeles.
Belo was scheduled to speak Saturday at the University of California, Los Angeles to some 3,000 Catholics attending the National Catholic Gathering for Jubliee Justice.
He was barred earlier this week from leaving Indonesia to attend the conference because his passport was due to expire in less than six months, US Catholic church leaders said.
Belo was the co-winner of the 1996 Nobel Peace Prize along with independence East Timor activist Jose Ramos Horta.