Pastor has been hitting the pasta

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 14 September, 2002, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 14 September, 2002, 12:00am

Father Franco Mella will be putting even more weight behind the right-of-abode seekers after his return from a four-month visit home to Italy - where he piled on 10kg.

The 53-year-old, who will begin a hunger strike on Monday to promote the right-of-abode cause, said the home-made pasta, pizza and salami served up by his 79-year-old mother were behind his expanded waistline.

The priest, who now weighs about 95kg, pointed out that he lost about 10kg when he staged a 10-day hunger strike with the abode seekers before returning to his home in Borghetto Lodigiano, 40km southeast of Milan, in April.

'When my mother first saw me, she asked me never to fast again. But when she later saw me becoming fatter and fatter, she said: 'You better go back to Hong Kong',' Father Mella said.

He said that during his stay in Italy he secretly staged a hunger strike to mark the second anniversary of the fatal August 2 arson attack at Immigration Tower.