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Bishop Belo undergoes prostate surgery

East Timor Bishop and Nobel Peace Prize winner Carlos Filipe Ximenes Belo is recovering in hospital after undergoing surgery on his prostate gland.

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

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

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

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

He 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 UN-sponsored referendum.

Meanwhile President Gusmao has thanked members of Bishop Belo's Salesian Congregation for their commitment to social reform in the country. He was speaking during a graduation ceremony at the Don Bosco technical school.

Sydney Morning Herald/Vidimus Dominum

The kid who became bishop and hero calls it a day (The Age 18/12/02)
Caritas Australia extends its admiration to Bishop Belo (29/11/02)
A Letter from East Timor (Salesian Bulletin Jun 03)

18 Jul 2003