UNTAET Daily Briefing 24 Mar 2000

Dili, 24 March 2000

Today, the Transitional Administrator, Sergio Vieira de Mello, inaugurated the Public Service Commission. The Commission is an independent body that will oversee the proper functioning of the East Timorese administration. Three Timorese and two internationals were sworn in after signing the oath of office.

The Public Service Commission will formulate policies and guidelines related to recruitment, salary scale, rights and obligations of civil servants and other employees of public agencies.

The SRSG stressed the independence of the public service commission as its primary characteristic. The commission, he added, can t favor one group or another . He stressed that merit will be the principle of any promotion in the Civil Service.

In a briefing to the press in Dili, Andrew Whitley, the Director of the Civil Service and Public Employment Department of UNTAET, said that the first priority of the commission is setting a permanent salary scale, Setting the terms and conditions of employment, the hours of work, the holidays, the manner in which people will be hired.

The names of the members sworn in today are: Padre Aureo, Etelvina Lebre, Duarte Nunes, Cecilio Adorna and Andrew Whitley.


Today is world Tuberculosis day. Tuberculosis is one of the major public health issues in East Timor. The World Health Organization estimates that between 10 to 15,000 people in East Timor are infected with Tuberculosis.

This estimate was calculated after the evacuation of East Timorese to Darwin last September. At that time, it was established that 3% of evacuees from different age groups carried the TB virus.

The National TB Program of East Timor resumed in February under coordination of the Interim Health Authority and combines an immunization program and a program of treatment of infectious cases. Currently, 557 patients have begun treatment in Dili, including 161 who are smear positive. In the other regions there are fewer than 50 TB cases registered.

According to the Program, it is expected that all the regions will have clinics or hospitals equipped to work on TB by the end of the year.


East Timor Police Training College will open on Monday with the first class of 50 cadets commencing the training course.

The 50 were chosen as top scorers from some 16,000 people who submitted their applications. Their selection came following the assessment of applications, interviews, fitness and medical tests.

During the first three months, the candidates will be trained in the concepts of human rights and community policing, basics of criminal law, police techniques, traffic rules, investigation techniques and driving skills.

The recruitment for East Timorese Police Service is an ongoing process and will take three years to recruit 3,000 policemen.


Today the Transitional Administrator, Sergio Vieira de Mello, went to Maliana (West of Dili) for a two-day visit.

The SRSG have scheduled meetings with CNRT (National Council of Timorese Resistance) representatives of local church, community leaders, women and youth organizations. Among other visits, Sergio Vieira de Mello is going to see the work of reconstruction in the local school and will visit a carpenter s workshop. Mr. de Mello is going to return to Dili Saturday afternoon.