SRSG TRAVELS TO INDONESIA
The Transitional Administrator, Sergio Vieira de Mello, traveled to Indonesia, this afternoon for meetings with Indonesian top officials in Kupang and Jakarta.
In Kupang, the SRSG and the Commander of the Peace keeping forces, Lieutenant General De Los Santos, will meet with Indonesian Minister of Defense, Juwono Sudarsono, and Major General Kiki Syahnakri, TNI Commander in West Timor.
At the meeting, UNTAET will be asking for the Memorandum of Understanding on border issues to be signed by Indonesian authorities without further delay.
In Jakarta, next Thursday, Mr. De Mello is going to pay a courtesy call on President Wahid to talk about the developments in East Timor since his visit to Dili in February.
Mr. de Mello will also meet with Attorney-General Marzuki Darusman to discuss the resumption of negotiations on judicial cooperation. Sidney Jones, the head of UNTAET Human Rights Division, is also going to attend this meeting. They will provide a handful of cases of human rights violations considered by UNTAET mature for action by the Attorney-General.
The SRSG will meet Ambassadors of key donor countries to brief them about the situation in East Timor.
On Friday, Mr. de Mello is having separate meetings with the Indonesian Foreign Minister, Alwi Shihab and the Defense Minister, Sudarsono with a follow up of the previous meetings in Kupang and Denpasar.
The Head of UNTAET Political Office, Ambassador Peter Galbraith, is also going to join the SRSG in this trip after his meetings in Denpasar.
A delegation of UNTAET officials headed by Peter Galbraith concluded a two day meeting with representatives of the Indonesian Government in Denpasar.
These meetings are part of regular exchange of views between higher officials from UNTAET and Indonesia.
The representatives of both parties discussed a range of issues, including the establishment of three entry ports on the border where all the activities regarding customs, immigration and sanitary control are going to take place.
They are also discussing education matters, in particular, the implementation of President Wahid s recent offer to continue to give scholarship to East Timorese University students in Indonesia.
EXCHANGE OF LETTERS ON JUDICIAL COOPERATION
An exchange of letters between SRSG Sergio Vieira de Mello and the Indonesian Attorney-General, Marzuki Darusman, concluded an interim agreement between the two sides on the provision of mutual assistance in legal, judicial and human rights matters.
The agreement is an arrangement pending the conclusion of a more formal and comprehensive Memorandum of Understanding on those matters. The arrangements of the agreement are valid for eight weeks starting on 27 March.
It comes following the communiqué signed on 29 February during the visit to East Timor of the Indonesian President Abdurrahman Wahid. UNTAET regards this agreement as a good initial basis for cooperation in the investigations of serious violations of international humanitarian and human rights law in East Timor that are currently underway within jurisdictions of UNTAET and the Indonesian Government.
SRSG WILL MEET UNEMPLOYED GROUP
On Monday, the SRSG, Sergio Vieira de Mello, is going to meet a group of representatives of unemployed people who have protested in front of the UNTAET s Governor Office, in Dili.
The decision was made today, after around 500 people gathered in front of UNTAET s Office, just before the SRSG left to Kupang and Jakarta on an official visit.
Nagalingam Parameswaran, UNTAET s chief of staff, José Ramos-Horta, CNRT Vice-President, and Avelino Coelho, a CNRT and National Consultation Council member, will also attend the discussion session.
ALMOST 30 MILLION DOLLARS IN GRANTS FROM THE ASIAN DEVELOPMET BANK
Today the Transitional Administrator Sergio Vieira de Mello signed a grant agreement with the representatives of the Asian Development Bank. The agreement is worth US$ 29.7 million and will be used in projects to rebuild East Timor s infrastructure.
The funds will be channeled through the World Bank Trust Fund and will be allocated over the next three years for roads, ports and electricity repair and maintenance.
Twenty million US dollars will be spent for emergency road repair and the works are expected to employ some 750 people over the next 12 months. 2.2 million will go for reconstruction and maintenance of the ports and the remainder of some 7.5 million for the re-establishment of the electricity network.
The funds should be made available some time in late April.
DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS FUNDED BY JAPAN
A delegation of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) met representatives of UNTAET yesterday to discuss the grant of 60 million US dollars that Japan is giving to East Timor.
The Emergency grant is part of the 100 million US dollars pledged by Japan during the Donors Meeting in Tokyo last December. The assistance covers a period of 3 years.
The Japanese Agency is expected to spend 30 million US dollars in the infrastructure sector, agriculture, health and community assistance until September.
Some of the projects funded by JICA had begun in February like the rehabilitation of roads in all East Timor, the improvement plan for water supply system in 15 cities and the rehabilitation and strengthening of the capacity of rice farmers in Lautem and Manatuto. There is also the health system rehabilitation in Aileu and the provision of medical drugs in East Timor.
The Japan International Cooperation Agency is also going to help fishery training and development.
PEACEKEEPING FORCE ACTIVICTY UPDATE
The efforts of reintegrating former militia in their villages continue. Of the 23 former militia who were threatened by locals in Same (South of Dili), seven have been accepted by their villages over the past two days, ten have been brought back to villages earlier today with assurances from CNRT that they will be accepted, and one is scheduled to return to his village today.
The remaining five who were accused of serious crimes have been sent back to Dili, and are being held in the Civil Detention Center.
Yesterday, CivPol reported to Peacekeeping Forces that two 81mm mortar round had been found in a field near the Santa Cruz Cemetery, in Dili. When the Peacekeepers from Portugal arrived, they found five mortar rounds half buried in the ground.
The rounds were heavily corroded and had been buried for many years. The investigators suspected that the rounds are of Portuguese origin, and date back to the times of Portuguese rule, when there was a military garrison in the area.
Peacekeeping troops will assist CivPol in searching the area to establish whether more explosives may be buried in this location.
Peacekeeping Force also concluded that the device that killed three teenagers in the village of Humboi (South west of Dili) last Monday was a hand grenade. The device was reportedly found half buried in a riverbed by a group of teenagers, who took it to the village. The origin of the grenade...(Incomplete for technical difficulties).