CHAIRMAN OF UN HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION ARRIVES IN DILI
Ambassador Leandro Despouy, Chairman of the UN Human Rights Commission, arrived in Dili today for a five-day official visit during which he hopes to get a first-hand view of the final stages of East Timor’s transition towards independence.
Soon after his arrival, Ambassador Despouy met with SRSG Sergio Vieira de Mello, Chief Minister Marí Alkatiri, and representatives of UNTAET’s Human Rights Unit.
Despouy is tomorrow scheduled to meet with Minister of Foreign Affairs José Ramos-Horta, as well as with representatives of the UNTAET’s Serious Crimes Unit and the interim office of the Commission on Reception, Truth and Reconciliation.
TWO PATROL BOATS PRESENTED TO EAST TIMORESE NAVY
Transitional Administrator Sergio Vieira de Mello on Saturday formally received two modified Albatross patrol boats from Portugal’s Defense Minister, Rui Pena, at a military ceremony in Dili.
The two patrol boats, “Ataúro” and “Oecussi”, will be used by the East Timor Defence Force Navy for patrolling East Timorese waters and protecting its economic interests. The boats are fitted with electronic equipment and diesel engines that can be used for 17 hours at a stretch.
“We thank the Portuguese Government for having responded to the request of the Transitional Administration and the East Timorese at the Brussels’ Donor Conference in November 2000,” Vieira de Mello said at the ceremony.
Minister Pena said “Today we are taking one more decisive step so that the future East Timor Defense Force can maintain the sovereignty of the State…As the Portuguese Defense Minister, I feel honored to be part of this ceremony to hand over the vessels that mark the birth of the East Timorese Navy.”
The ceremony was attended by dignitaries including Chief Minister Marí Alkatiri, East Timor Defence Force Commander Taur Matan Ruak, Peacekeeping Force Commander Winai Phattiyakul, Bishop Carlos Ximenes Belo, Constituent Assembly Speaker Fransisco “Lu-Olo’ Guterres, independence leader Xanana Gusmão, and diplomats.
Minister Pena left Dili this morning along with Taur Matan Ruak, who will pay a two-month official visit to Portugal.
POLICE OFFICERS GRADUATE FROM TRAINING COLLEGE
One hundred and forty eight officers – 125 males and 23 females – graduated from the Police College in Dili on Saturday, bringing the strength of the UNTAET-trained East Timor Police Service to close to 1,400.
The training given at the Police College included administration, investigations, crowd and traffic control, close protection, along with patrolling and conducting operations with their international Civilian Police counterparts.
Another 150 students today started a new three-month training program at the College.
The East Timor Police Service has a projected target of 3,000 trained officers by the year 2003.