EAST TIMOR HOSTS FIRST TRILATERAL POLICE TALKS IN DILI
Police officials from East Timor, Australia and Indonesia held first-ever trilateral talks in Dili today to discuss a wide range of regional security issues.
Representatives of the East Timor Police Service said the meetings were constructive and resulted in an agreement by which Australia and Indonesia will place full-time police liaisons in Dili in order to further trilateral cooperation.
Topics discussed today included efforts to increase cooperation among the three police forces, especially in the fight against cross-border crimes such as drug smuggling, money laundering and people smuggling.
The trilateral talks stemmed from a high-level meeting held in Denpasar, Indonesia, in February that was attended by SRSG Sergio Vieira de Mello and representatives from Australia and Indonesia.
East Timor representatives included ETPS Police Commissioner Paulo Martins and UN Police officials.
MONTH-LONG INDEPENDENCE SPORTS FESTIVAL LAUNCHED
East Timor’s Independence Celebrations organisers announced today the beginning of the 17-disipline sports competition taking place during the final month before the territory marks its transition to nationhood on 20 May.
The East Timor Independence Festival of Sport began last weekend with opening-round games of a national soccer competition. Similar tournaments – including basketball, volleyball and tennis, as well as traditional East Timorese sports – are scheduled to begin in the coming weeks.
“This is a very exciting chapter in the history of our new nation. I am glad that the people of East Timor are able to celebrate our new independence through the beauty of sport,” chief festival organiser João Carrascalao said at a press conference.
Foreign competitors have also been invited. A table tennis squad from Kupang, West Timor, will compete against an East Timorese team on 8 May; and on Independence Day, the East Timor National Soccer Team will celebrate its birth as first official national team in a match against a combined “Rest of the World” team selected from UNTAET peacekeeping and civilian personnel.
The Festival of Sport is being principally supported by the International Olympic Committee, the Australian Sports Commission and the Japanese Government.
“This festival represents the very soul of what the Olympic movement is about – bringing the youth of the world together in peace through sport,” IOC Vice President Kevan Gosper said in a statement today. “None of us will ever forget the moment of excitement and triumph when a small invitation team of athletes from East Timor entered the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games Opening ceremony along with representatives from 199 other countries. It was a fitting prelude to these events here in East Timor leading up to Independence Day on the 20th of May, 2002.”