Dili, 25 February 2000
First UNTAET death
The UN flag was flown at half-mast in Dili today. A CivPol officer died today at a hospital in Darwin, Australia, after being admitted with possibly Dengue fever.
The officer was evacuated to Australia on Wednesday, and passed away this morning. He was 32 years old and was stationed in Liquica.
This was the first death in UNTAET's mission.
The autopsy result is expected for tomorrow.
In the last three months, there were approximately 230 cases of fever illness, 30 suspected cases of dengue, and 60 of malaria among the civilians, local staff, CivPol, and U.N. Military Observers.
Interfet and UNTAET PKF reported 134 cases of malaria, and 209 of dengue.
The Universal Postal Union has confirmed the official status of the postal administration of East Timor under the authority of UNTAET.
The Portuguese Postal Service will be providing technical advice on the establishment of the East Timorese service and will donate equipment for the initial two postal offices, one in Dili and one in Baucau. There will also be a third facility at Komoro airport, but it will not be public - it is for sorting and processing mail.
The new East Timorese postal service is expected to start operating by early April and it will, in its first phase, employ 18 Timorese.
UNTAET will provide transportation for both domestic and international mail. Correspondence will be transported to Darwin, where it will be picked up by the international mail system. Eventually, the transport service is expected be operated by a commercial contractor.
The first stamps have already been designed and approved by the Transitional Administrator. Portuguese artists designed them and they are being printed in Portugal.. They have no value printed on them, so they give flexibility during the setting up phase of the service.
A second batch of stamps will be produced in the near future and this time there will be a public design competition among Timorese artists.
TNI canceled family reunion
Indonesian National Troops (TNI) canceled the family meeting at the border point of Batugade that was expected to take place tomorrow.
The UNTAET PKF commander of Sector West, which includes all the 120 Km of border with Republic of Indonesia, repeatedly and strongly urged the family reunions to continue, but the TNI refused arguing that 30 Timorese from West Timor are still missing since last Saturday's incident.
UNTAET and the UN agencies were ready for the family meeting tomorrow, and hope that the meetings can resume as soon as possible.
NCC approves border regime
The National Consultive Council met yesterday and approved a regulation on a border regime for east Timor. The regulation establishes a Border Service that will deal with the exit and entry of persons and goods in East Timor.
Council members also reviewed the changes they had made when approving two other regulations. One on banking licensing and supervision, which deals with the procedures, conditions and authority for licensing banks as well as with banks' standards of operation. And the other on a provisional tax and customs regime, which deals with imports into East Timor, exports and excise duty on goods produced in the country.
The next meeting of the NCC will be on 6 March. The consultative body is expected to adopt regulations on public procurement for civil administration in East Timor, and on the organization of courts.