Timorese rebel may surrender to the Catholic Church
Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest Addthis

.- A rebel commander who took part in the assassination attempt on the president of East Timor surrendered to Timorese security forces early Sunday morning, inspiring hopes that a rebel leader will soon surrender to the Catholic Church, the Sydney Morning Herald reports.

Amaro Da Costa was at the home of East Timor’s President, Jose Ramos-Horta, the morning the president was shot and seriously wounded.  Da Costa has agreed to tell authorities all he knows about the attacks.

Da Costa’s surrender is considered a breakthrough and has fueled speculation about the imminent surrender of other rebels.   Da Costa, a former police commando, was a confidant of the rebel leader Alfredo Reinado, who was killed during the gunfight at President Ramos-Horta’s house.

Another rebel leader, Gastao Salsinha, reportedly has been negotiating his surrender to the Catholic Church.

East Timor Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao, who was also targeted in the attacks, has approved the Church’s role, saying he does not want rebels killed during a hunt by Australian SAS troops.

Support for Salsinha has weakened after the attacks.  More than 500 of his former soldiers have arrived in Dili for negotiations to settle their grievances.  The soldiers had been fired from the army after going on strike, triggering a violent upheaval that killed 37 people and drove 150,000 from their homes.  The government has indicated that it is willing to give the former soldiers three years’ salary or reinstate them in the army.

President Ramos-Horta continues to recover from his critical wounds in Royal Darwin Hospital in Australia.  According to Reuters, the president has forgiven the rebel leader. 

Acting President Fernando Lasama, who visited the president over the weekend, told a news conference in Dili that the president had forgiven Reinado and has asked the government to look after the rebel’s family.  "The President also asked people to end the violence in the country," Lasama said, adding, "the operation against rebels must continue until petitioners and Salsinha's group give up and hand over all weapons."

The announcement is seen as an attempt to pave the way to reconciliation and to encourage the president’s attackers to surrender.

Prime Minister Gusmao has explicitly appealed for the remaining rebels to surrender.  “I am asking you to co-operate with the joint command so that people can live in tranquillity," he said from the government palace on Sunday, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.

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

Liturgical Calendar

January 29, 2015

Thursday of the Third Week in Ordinary Time

All readings:
Today »
This year »

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