|East Timor||US BISHOPS ASK GOVERNMENT TO HELP EAST TIMOR|
The President of the US Catholic Bishops Conference, Bishop Joseph A. Fiorenza, sent President Clinton a strongly worded letter asking for an urgent action to put end to the persecution that thousands are suffering in East Timor.
The letter, sent last Thursday, emphasised the need to send a peacekeeping force to the afflicted region.
Bishop Fiorenza of Galveston-Houston, speaking on behalf of the Bishops of the United States, condemned both the "bloody persecution" that the Church suffers in the island, and the Indonesian government's negative to permit the action of the UN peacekeeping forces, which were accepted only at the beginning of this week.
"We have been overly concerned not to offend the Indonesian authorities who, by all accounts, are themselves unable to control the murderous bands in East Timor, but have been fully successful in preventing the essential deployment of an international peacekeeping force," said Bishop Fiorenza. The UN has informed that they will temporarily close their compound in Dili, menaced for days by rampaging militiamen. The UN mission will close "because of the very poor conditions in the compound and security concerns", informed a spokesman. Nearly 1300 persons were evacuated and sent to Australia.
EWTN 11:05am 15/9/99