A NEWLY independent East Timor has the potential to become an Easter pilgrimage destination for Southern Hemisphere Christians, says former Australian Deputy Prime Minister Tim Fischer.
Mr Fischer, a Catholic, led an Australian Observer Delegation to help oversee the popular consultation for independence in the troubled territory last August.
His impressions have been published in a book titled Ballot and Bullets: Seven Days in East Timor, which was launched last month by Governor-General Sir William Deane.
In an interview with The Catholic Leader last week, Mr Fischer said East Timor faced a bright future. He said tourism was likely to be one of the best opportunities for the new fledging nation.
He said the island’s giant statue of Jesus Christ could be a focal point for pilgrimages and suggested Australian tour operators could start preparing for the first pilgrims to visit East Timor as early as Easter 2001.