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TIMOR TODAY 03 MAY 2000

For full text see… http://www.easttimor.com/

NEWS

1) Post office's stamp of success Sergio Vieira de Mello, head of the U.N. Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET), left, and Jose Alexandre "Xanana" Gusmao, president of the National Council of Timorese Resistance, right, stamp the first letters to be sent through the East Timor Postal Service, in Dili. The Postal Service is the first for the nascent country since its violent and destructive secession from Indonesia last year. (AP Photo/Joel Rubin) 04/05/00 (Sydney Morning Herald) Dili - East Timor's first new post office was so successful that it ran out of stamps. The stamps, bearing the image of the independence leader Mr Xanana Gusmao, sold out quickly when the post office opened at the weekend, and counters had to be closed on Monday and Tuesday.

2) Evidence taken from 'torture centre' 04/05/00 (Sydney Morning Herald) DILI - United Nations police and human rights investigators have begun inspecting what is claimed to have been a militia torture centre used last year to force independence activists to support integration with Indonesia.

3) East Timor remembers dead journalists 04/05/00 (Associated Press Newswires) DILI, East Timor - Journalists marked World Press Freedom Day, by holding vigils Wednesday at the sites where two reporters were murdered in the capital during the turmoil that followed East Timor 's independence vote.

4) Tension rises in West Timor camps. 04/05/00 (The Irish Times) WEST TIMOR- Tjitske Lingsma, reporting from one of the most notorious of the refugee camps, considers West Timor may end up with the monster created by the Indonesian army: the East Timorese militiamen.

5) CNRT moves for constitutional conference next year 04/05/00 (LUSA) DILI - Acting for a speedy independence, the National Council of Timorese Resistance (CNRT) has proposed the creation of a joint commission with the territory's transitional United Nations administration to prepare a constitutional conference next year.

6) Former Timor governer fails to turn up for questioning. 04/05/00 (The Australian) JAKARTA - One of the chief suspects believed to be behind the violence and destruction in East Timor last year, former governor Abilio Soares, has failed to answer a summons to face questioning by a team of government investigators.

ANALYSIS

7) The Australian Army in East Timor 04/05/00 (Jane's Defence Weekly) SYDNEY - Much work is still required to ensure a complete transition to independence in East Timor. In broad terms, however, the International Force East Timor (INTERFET) peace- enforcement operation was a success.

8) Australia’s role not so noble 04/05/00 (Canberra Times) 'A former diplomat says Australia sullied its reputation by being ready to sacrifice East Timor lives. Retired ambassador Tony Kevin told a Senate inquiry that Australia saw the Timorese as expendable in pursuit of big prizes and the rush to last year's vote.

REPORTS

9) UNTAET Daily Briefing 3 May 2000 04/05/00 (UNTAET) DILI - The UNTAET Civilian Police and Human Rights Unit are investigating a Torture House in Bilako, a town in the subdistrict of Zumalai, Suai.

10) UNTAET Humanitarian Pillar Situation Report 29 Apr - 02 May 2000 04/05/00 (UNTAET) DILI - Quick Impact Projects: To date, out of approximately 100 received proposals, 44 proposals have been approved under the UNTAET Trust Fund. In addition, 55 proposals under the OCHA Fund and four projects under UNHCR's Qip impact projects have been approved. As a result, some 103 QIP activities are under way with over 3,000 persons employed.

11) Response to East Timor and Indonesia crisis 03/05/00 (Catholic Relief Services) EAST TIMOR - Survival has been the primary concern of the people of East Timor after the scorched earth policy of the militias left few buildings or facilities in their towns and villages in post-ballot violence last September. Catholic Relief Services has completed food distributions to the people of Baucau and Viqueque districts in the eastern part of the new country.

12) Repatriation at a halt 03/05/00 (UNHCR) TIMOR - The repatriation program from West Timor has practically come to a halt. Only a few dozen people have registered to return to East Timor over the past week.

13) UN and Indon open first land crossing between East and West Timor 03/05/00 (UN) DILI - The first land border crossing between East Timor and Indonesia opened today in Batugade, according to the United Nations mission in East Timor.

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