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Anniversary tribute to police in East Timor.

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Wednesday 30 August 2000


Anniversary tribute to Police in East Timor Minister for Justice and Customs, Senator Amanda Vanstone, said today’s first anniversary of the self-determination ballot in East Timor was an appropriate time to recall and pay tribute to the dedicated service of Australian Federal Police in East Timor.

"Federal Police were among the first international contingent into East Timor, back in June 1999. They kept peace in the lead-up to the self-determination ballot in some extremely difficult circumstances.

"Without that group and their willingness, or rather determination to hold on in sometimes desperate and dangerous circumstances, the United Nations may have withdrawn.

"Our police, now joined by State and Territory Police from throughout Australia are still serving in East Timor," Senator Vanstone said.

"Unlike the military contingents which followed, Federal Police have not enjoyed the logistical support that moves with a large military operation.

"The conditions for each of the four contingents of police men and women to serve in East Timor have been rough to say the least.

"Some individuals have faced particularly difficult and hazardous conditions, as well as direct threats to their safety.

"On this anniversary, I want to thank all those Australian Federal Police and members of State and Territory Police services who have, and who still are serving in East Timor.

"The success of the ballot for self-determination a year ago today and the transition since then is a measure of the valuable and recognised role of Australia’s police men and women."

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