Subject: RDP: Timorese bishop calls on UN for "Timorization" of administration

Source: RDP Antena 1 radio, Lisbon, in Portuguese 1300 gmt 24 Feb 01

Timorese bishop calls on UN for "Timorization" of administration BBC Monitoring Service - United Kingdom; Feb 24, 2001

[Presenter] Reporter Luis Nascimento has interviewed Dom Ximenes Belo [bishop of Dili and Nobel Peace laureate in 1996]. The bishop of Dili defended the "Timorization" of the administration of the territory... The bishop added that Timor is ready to hold an election already this year and he also mentioned the role of the church in the current transitional stage of East Timor:

[Belo] Our support? Well, we are concerned with our leaders, we want to have an atmosphere of peace and tranquility which will encourage the emergence of new parties, which will favour an atmosphere of understanding and of national unity, so that everything can work out all right. In relation to the economic and financial resources necessary for the country's development, we still have many restrictions, so the only thing we can do is to provide moral help, which is our job.

[Reporter] As you are aware, the National Council for East Timor approved its political calendar this week, but did not establish a date for the independence. In the past you have raised several questions about the fact that independence was being planned for the end of the year.

[Belo] Well, I believe that if the elections for the Constitutional Assembly [new East Timorese parliament] were held on 30 August [2001], as it is rumoured here, future developments would be dependent on the actual establishment of the same assembly, because it will be the assembly itself which will determine the fundamental laws and also the characteristics, or the structure of the East Timorese government, and only then we will be able to say when the presidential elections and the independence day can take place. So, a lot of preparation is needed. Secondly, we hope that, during this period of transition, the UN will take immediate steps for the Timorization of the administrative ranks, in order to have financial transparency and to prevent the Timorese from suffering further disappointments and dissatisfaction.

[Reporter] In other words, the country is ready for the August elections?

[Belo] I think so. The law on the legalization of political parties seems to have been finally approved, something which will be implemented in early March [2001], and after that, the campaigns, the applications and the registration of the population will be possible, thus leaving us prepared for the 30 August.

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