Singaporean general named next commander of UN peacekeepers in East Timor
In a letter to the President of the Security Council released today, the Secretary-General says he intends to appoint Maj. Gen. Tan Huck Gim as the UNMISET Force Commander, effective 31 August.
Major General Tan would replace Lt. Gen. Winai Phattiyakul of Thailand, whose tenure comes to a close on 30 August.
Meanwhile, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) today reported that it was ready to assess possible asylum claims from a group of 56 passengers aboard a boat from Sri Lanka, which docked Sunday in the east Timorese capital, Dili, should they be allowed to disembark and if they wished to seek refuge in the new nation.
The agency, which has been in touch with East Timor's authorities, said it has distributed food and other supplies to the mostly male passengers on board, and a doctor from the UN World Health Organization (WHO) has also been brought aboard to assess their medical condition.
UNHCR said it was unclear why the boat, which reportedly left Sri Lanka on 21 June and was apparently headed for New Zealand, decided to stop in East Timor.