|East Timor||EAST TIMOR TIPPED AS HUB FOR PILGRIMS|
A newly independent East Timor has the potential to become an Easter pilgrimage destination for Southern Hemisphere Christians, according to former Australian Deputy Prime Minister Tim Fischer.
Mr Fischer, a Catholic, led an Australian observer delegation to oversee the popular consultation for Independence in the troubled territory last August.
His impressions have been published in a book entitled 'battle and Bullets: Seven Days in East Timor', which was launched last month by Governor-General Sir William Deane.
In an interview with The Catholic Leader, Mr Fischer said East Timor faced a bright future. He said tourist was likely to be one of the best opportunities for the fledgling nation.
He said the island's giant statue of JEsus Christ coiuld be a focal point for pilgrimages and suggested Australian tour operators could start preparing for the first pilgrims to visit East Timor as early as Easter 2001. - The Catholic Leader