Kompas Online

Saturday, 12 October 1996

Indonesia regrets Nobel Peace Prize to Belo and Horta

Oslo, Friday

The Norwegian Nobel Prize Committee gave on Friday (11/10) the Nobel Prize for Peace for 1996 to the Bishop of East Timor (Timtim) Carlos Ximenes Filipe Belo DSA and Jose Ramos Horta.

"This prize symbolizes very hard work which still must be done in the future. We must work...to prepare the future," said Bishop Belo whose motto is "Justice from Love, and Love from Justice" to CNN when asked what will further be done.

The Chairman of the Nobel Prize Committee Francis Sejersted said at the announcement of granting the prize that they were evaluated "to have given a significant contribution to peace through negotiation and reconciliation."

In its statement the Committee hoped that the rewarding of the Nobel Prize for Peace would more urge the creation of peace.

At the announcement of the Nobel Prize winner for Peace, Bishop Belo who was born on 3 February 1946 in Kelikai, Baucau, Timtim

was leading the mass in Dili.

"Yes, that is what I feel," he said when asked whether he was happy to receive said prize. Interviewed by CNN he said that the prize was "for every man, particularly for the Timtim people and those who worked for peace and reconciliation."

The former director of the Technical School in Fatucama, Timtim (1982) said that the money (1.12 million US dollar for two persons) will be used to "help the Diocese Peace Commission". The prize will be handed over in Oslo, Swedia on 10 December at the centennial death of Alfred Nobel, the founder of the Nobel Prize.


Meanwhile the Chairman of the Ist Level Regional House of Representatives of East Timor Antonio Freitas Parada stated that he was shocked to hear that Bishop Mrg Carlos Filipe Ximenes Belo, SDB and Dr Jose Ramos Horta obtained the Nobel Prize for Peace this year.

"For Ramos Horta it is clearly improper. His father was from the Portuguese "Gestapo" during the colonial period. How can a tiger give birth to a lamb," said Parada to reporters at his home on Friday (11/10) night.

On the considerations of the Committee Parada commented, "Where was Horta's struggle for the Timtim people? All was for his own interest. Nonsense if it is said that he defended the human rights of the Timtim people. It was exactly he who fanned the war which took thousands of Timtim people who died suffering."

Asked for his comments on the rewarding of the Nobel Prize for Peace to Bishop Belo, Parada stated to be confused and questioned in what capacity Bishop Belo received that prize.

"I do not see any remarkable activity of Bishop Belo which makes him proper to receive that prize. Exactly his foregoer, Bishop Don Jose was more remarkable and fitting to receive that prize. Bishop Don Jose dared to resist the Portuguese colonizers courageously," said Parada.

Meanwhile the Governor of Timtim Abilio Jose Osorio Soares choose to remain silent on the matter.

While the member of the National Committee for Human Rights, Albert Hasibuan stated that the choice of Ramos Horta and Bishop Belo as Nobel Prize winners would more increase the focus of the international society on Timtim.

Therefore the Timtim settlement must more be based on the spirit of respect for human rights and the law. He welcomed the choice of Bishop Belo as Nobel Prize winner.

"At any rate Bishop Belo recognizes Indonesia and is efforting Timtim development under Indonesia. While about Ramos Horta, our political views clearly differ."

About their choice Hasibuan said it was fully the evaluation and vision of the Nobel Committee. "We can impossibly interfere in the evaluation of the Nobel Committee."(*)