Bishop Belo is "too busy" to meet Kohl

 

THE 1996 Nobel Peace laureate and Catholic Bishop of East Timor, Dr Carlos Belo, declined to meet the German Chancellor, Dr Kohl, and Indonesian bishops in Jakarta yesterday.

Dr Kohl, under domestic pressure to raise human rights, said he discussed East Timor "intensively" with Gen Suharto, with whom he went fishing in the Java Sea. Dr Kohl said also that the trade delegation he is leading signed contracts worth over half a billion pounds with Indonesian businessmen.

Dr Kohl said the bishop had said he was "too busy" in East Timor. The invitation was issued some time ago. Indonesia had agreed to provide a plane.

"In our opinion, it is very important that the issue of East Timor be settled together with the people, of East Timor in a peaceful, just and acceptable manner," Dr Kohl said without elaborating.

The bishop's co Nobel winner, Mr Jose Ramos Horta, said yesterday in Lisbon that he would donate his share of the £725,000 prize to establishing a Lisbon based Timor foundation.

Meanwhile a report said that East Timorese rebels had shot dead the head of a district military command.

In nine Australian cities and towns hunger strikers protested in solidarity with Indonesian and East Timorese people, the Portuguese agency, Lusa, reported.

. Andy Syahputra (31), an Indonesian journalist for an outlawed newspaper was arrested and jailed on charges of defaming Gen Suharto. He was stopped for a driving offence and 300 copies of the paper were found in his car sources said.