UNTAET Daily Briefing 31 Jan 2001
CABINET AGREES ON FALINTIL VETERANS ASSOCIATION
In an extraordinary meeting today, the East Timor Transitional Cabinet agreed to the creation of a Falintil Veterans Association which would serve as the trustee and depositary of the heritage of Falintil during its transition into the East Timor Defence Force. Tomorrow, on 1 February, a ceremony will be held in Aileu to mark the transition of Falintil into the East Timor Defence Force. The new Defence Force will consist of a light infantry force of 1,500 regulars with a phased approach to reach that number over three years, and 1,500 reservists, with Falintil as the core of the force. The first battalion will be composed entirely of Falintil. 650 Falintil members have been selected for the first battalion. For the next battalion, recruitment will be open to all Timorese above the age of 18, including women. The Falintil Veterans Association will also retain the flag and the symbols of the independence fighters. In addition, the Cabinet agreed to pursue the development of legislation to allow for the courts to adjudicate conflicting claims of names and symbols.
ETTA RECEIVES REFURBISHED BUILDINGS IN BAUCAU
The East Timor Transitional Administration today officially received its first rehabilitated public buildings in Baucau from the construction companies. The rehabilitation of the Public Prosecutor's Office, the administration building of the prison and the court, which were destroyed during the violence in 1999, was completed in December. All works were carried out by East Timorese companies. At the handing-over ceremony, Baucau's District Administrator Marito Reis underlined the importance of using East Timorese workers in rebuilding their country. A total of 28 public buildings have been totally of partially refurbished by the East Timor Administration since the beginning of the present fiscal year, at a budget of US $5,2 million.Thirteen East Timorese companies and seven foreign companies have conducted the rehabilitation works, employing a total of 400 East Timorese workers. Eleven buildings have been refurbished and four major ministry buildings are currently under reconstruction. These are expected to be completed by May. In addition, 13 public buildings are awaiting the closure of the tender process and are expected to be completed before June.