UN hands over police duties and public broadcasting services to East Timor
As the United Nations today handed over key police duties and public broadcasting services to the authorities in East Timor, UN officials hailed these steps as evidence of progress in the world’s newest country.
“This is the beginning of the exciting and challenging process,” Kamalesh Sharma, who heads the UN Mission of Support in East Timor (UNMISET), told a ceremony in Dili marking the handover of the Police Training College, a special police unit, and operational control of two districts from UN Police to the East Timor Police Service. “The existence of an independent, democratic police service to maintain and enforce law and order is one of the fundamental pillars of any State,” he added.
Mr. Sharma, who has been meeting with a wide range of senior East Timorese officials since taking up his duties earlier this month, plans contacts shortly with the diplomatic corps and UN agency representatives based in Dili.
Meanwhile, UNMISET today handed over control of East Timor’s public radio and television to the Government. About $500,000 in assets – including TV and radio transmitters, TV cameras and studio equipment – along with the management of broadcasting staff was officially transferred to the Government control, said Mario Zamorano, outgoing director of the UN Office of Communications and Public Information in East Timor.
“You, the Timorese, have been through so many challenges,” Zamorano said during a handover ceremony. “We are absolutely sure that tomorrow you will have an excellent public television and public radio.”