Timorese Leader Dies in Lisbon
LISBON, Portugal (AP) _ Moises Costa da Amaral, who led the conservative Timorese Democratic Union and helped reconcile political opponents within the Timorese nationalist movement, has died in Lisbon at age 50.
Amaral became ill at his home Wednesday and died en route to a hospital, the family said. No cause of death was given.
″He was a great man respected by all members of theTimorese community here for his qualities as a fighter for the national cause,″ said the Rev. Apolinario Guterres, a Timorese priest who conducted the funeral Thursday.
East Timor, a former Portuguese colony 400 miles north of Australia, was invaded and annexed by Indonesia in 1975.
″We considered Amaral to be a genuine Timorese nationalist despite our political differences,″ said Abilio Araujo, leader of the leftist Fretilin movement in Lisbon.
Amaral formed the Timorese Democratic Union in 1975. He and Araujo formed an alliance in 1986 that has worked with Portugal to promote self- determination for East Timor.
Human rights groups say more than 100,000 Timorese, about one-sixth of the population, died in fighting at the time of the invasion or have perished since from famine or disease.