Bishop Belo on 'collision course' with Gusmao over justice
Insisting on strict penalties for human rights violations appears to putting East Timor Bishop Carlos Belo in conflict with the more comprimising strategy of independence leader Xanana Gusmao.
Mr Gusmao told the Sydney Morning Herald that he did not believe reconciliation could be fostered exclusively through stiff penal measures handed down by the courts.
UN-administered courts are preparing to hear the first war crimes cases against Indonesian army-backed militia leaders responsible for the bloody mayhem.
However, Mr Gusmao warned these proceedings could jeopardise sensitive talks aimed at securing the return of thousands of refugees still living in militia-controlled camps in West Timor.
"My problem is if you try the militia, one or two immediately, the others will not come," he said.
Gusmao advocates a community-based reconciliation in which the leaders of pro-autonomy political parties and organisers of last year's violence return to the scene of their crimes and ask for forgiveness. But Belo would prefer to see them tried by the country's fledgling legal system.