Oslo, 11 October 1996.
East-Timor Bishop Dom Ximenes Belo and José Ramos Horta, from the maubere resistence were awarded the Piece Nobel Prize today for their work towards a fair and peacefull solution to the conflict with the indonesian occupants.
The two will share the prize worth 1.12 million dollars.
"We hope this prize will contribute to the diplomatic solution of the conflict", said Francis Sojersted, president of the Peace Nobel Prize Committee. The Committee defines the people of East-Timor as "a small but opressed people".
East-Timor, mainly catholic, was anexed in 1975 by Indonesia, the world's largest muslin country. Indonesia was severely condemned by the international community when its troops killed scores of pro-independence demonstrators in Dili, November 1991.
"Ximenes Belo, East-Timor bishop, as been the most important representative of the East-Timor people", according to the Nobel Committee. Ramos-Horta is described as "the main international speaker for the cause of East-Timor since 1975".
The Nobel Prize of 1996 arrose more speculation than usual before today's annoucement. Would be candidates were: U.S. special peace envoy to Bosnia Richard Holbrooke, former U.S. president James Carter, chinese dissident Wei Jingsheng and Dom Ximenes Belo the actual laureate.
The Peace Nobel prize will be handed in Oslo, the 10th December, the aniversary of Alfred Nobel's death.