Church people, refugees want end to violence in East Timor
Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest Addthis

.- Church people and refugees in East Timor are hoping foreign troops will be able to end the violence that has seen thousands of residence take refuge in church and NGO-run centers, reported UCA News.

Trouble flared in East Timor in April after the government fired more than one-third of its 1,400-member army. Close to 600 soldiers were dismissed after they went on strike claiming discrimination and a lack of promotion.

The violence the erupted in and around Dili has pitted government forces against dismissed army soldiers and their supporters. Several people have been killed and the sound of gunfire echoed through streets. As a result, the capital has emptied and its residents have fled for safe haven, many to church-related centers, such as the Don Bosco Center, 10 kilometers to the west.

Press reports say foreign troops including Australian and Malaysian soldiers have landed in East Timor, following a call by the government for assistance. New Zealand is sending two military aircraft and some troops to assist with evacuations and troop transport, while Portugal reportedly is sending 120 military police.

About 9,000 East Timorese have taken refuge at the Don Bosco Center, where volunteers have had to stop armed fighters from entering the compound.

Br. Adriano Maria D'Jesus, 35, a Salesian and the skills-training center's coordinator, told UCA News apart from his volunteers disarming people who come into the compound, his immediate concern is the health of the thousands of children at the center.

"This is the rainy season and we are concerned about the condition of the children who have to sleep on the floors of our center," he said. "There are not enough mosquito nets," he added.

Br. D'Jesus said the Catholic Church's Caritas agency, World Vision International and other aid groups are trying to help the refugees.

Violence is still fresh for many East Timorese. Following the August 1999 referendum in which voters chose independence from Indonesia, pro-Jakarta militias went on a rampage, killing hundreds of people and destroying infrastructure. Indonesia then relinquished control of the former Portuguese colony, which it had brought under its rule in 1975. After more than two years under a transitional United Nations administration, Catholic-majority East Timor became an independent country in May 2002. The country’s population is one million.

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages


Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google

Featured Videos

Cardinal Luis Tagle to Pope Francis
Cardinal Luis Tagle to Pope Francis
Pope Francis in the Philippines: Manila Welcomes the Pope
Pope Francis in Sri Lanka: Highlights
Pope Francis in Sri Lanka: Interview with Cardinal Ranjith
Pope Francis in SriLanka: Inter-religious Faith Meeting
Little Sisters of the Poor press conference in Denver
Family thrilled to see Pope Francis in Istanbul
Syrian Refugee, Sara, 14, Before Meeting Pope
Ebola orphans thousands of children in West Africa
One year after Haiyan: Philippines rebuilds homes, lives
An Indian contribution to the Vatican's Synod on the Family
Christ Cathedral CNA video Sept 2014
Alejandro Bermudez of CNA accepts ice bucket challenge
'The Real Albania,' remembering those who fled
Pope Francis in Albania, "one of the most important visits of the post-communist era in Albania"
Pope Francis greets paralyzed man who risked all to see him
Franciscans on the banks of the Tiber in Rome, working for the New Evangelization
Pilgrimage from Czech Republic to Assisi and Rome for intentions
Testimony of young Indian who met Pope in Korea
Preparations of the Closing Mass of 6th Asian Youth Day

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mk 4:1-20


Daily Readings

Saint of the Day

St. Romuald »


Homily of the Day

Mk 4:1-20