|East Timor||ADELAIDE ARCHBISHOP ADDS VOICE TO PEACE FORCE CALLS|
The leader of Adelaide's Catholic community, Archbishop Leonard Faulkner, today supported sending Australian forces as part of a UN peacekeeping force.
"We are concerned about the fate or ordinary East Timorese people," Archbishop Faulkner said.
He said while the Church recognised the need to evacuate UN observers and other personnel, at the same time this left the local East Timorese people in a "very precarious position".
"It leaves them exposed to great danger," he said.
"The UN Security Council should move quickly to establish a peacekeeping force, and we commend the readiness of Australian forces to shoulder this responsibility.
"The fact Australian soldiers are very much ready to act is a sign of the willingness of the Australian Government to show leadership on this pressing humanitarian matter, which has developed into a life or death question for the people of East Timor.
He said an Adelaide Catholic priest, Fr John Herd, who has just returned from observing the voting as part of a Caritas Australia visit to East Timor, had reported to him yesterday on his fears for the safety of more than 200 people who had sought shelter in Bishop Carlos Belo's compound in Dili.
Archbishop Faulkner said on a personal level he was deeply concerned about the safety of Bishop Belo and those sheltering in the grounds of his house, and the many hundreds of others also being hounded by the militia.
- Catholic Communications (Adelaide) 12:07pm 7/9/99