|East Timor||BELO CALLS FOR FORGIVENESS BUT SAYS ARMED DEFENCE IS JUSTIFIED|
Bishop Carlos Belo said pro-independence supporters may use arms to defend themselves, the Portuguese daily Publico said Saturday. But he also called for a firm spirit of forgiveness.
He told the daily: ``If others kill with weapons, why can't people defend themselves with weapons? There is self-defense, which even morals allow.''
Then on Sunday he urged them to adopt an attitude of forgiveness. Speaking during Sunday Mass at Lisbon's Salesian church, he said: ``We must open a spirit of forgiveness without limits and work to transform bad into goodness, dark into light, battle fields into fields of bread, and arid desert into a water-spring."
Meanwhile, in another interview in Lison on Saturday, he said that Indonesia must hand over ``war criminals'' responsible for killings in the former Portuguese colony to international courts.
``I lament the actions carried out by the Indonesian army and by the (pro-Jakarta) militias,'' he told a news conference after meeting Portugual's Prime Minister Antonio Guterres.
``Unfortunately, at the end of the 20th century, we are still witnessing barbaric crimes against a people, a nation and above all the Catholic church,'' he added.
``We ask the Indonesian people to take the war criminals to the international courts, especially those who have committed crimes against humanity,'' the bishop said.
``I am confident that with the solidarity of the international community, the people of East Timor can end their suffering and start a new phase of their history with hope.''
Reuters, AP & Reuters 12:40pm 13/9/99