Subject: SMH: Army Sets-Up Base for 3,000

- Arsonists Set Buildings On Fire In E. Timor Capital

- SMH: Army rushes to set up base for 3000 in Timor

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Arsonists Set Buildings On Fire In East Timor Capital

DILI, East Timor, June 21 (AP)--Arsonists set at least six buildings ablaze in East Timor's capital Wednesday in a continuation of the worst violence to hit the tiny Asian nation since it voted for independence from Indonesia seven years ago.

Amid the disturbances, East Timor's prime minister looks likely to resign, his spokesman said Wednesday, as the country's president and members of the beleaguered leader's own party joined a chorus of people saying he no longer had their trust.

"The prime minister will meet with his Cabinet colleagues (Thursday) to discuss whether he should resign," Miguel Sarmento told The Associated Press.

Many East Timorese say Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri's decision to fire 600 disgruntled soldiers in March was to blame for the subsequent clashes and gang warfare that has left at least 30 people dead and sent nearly 150,000 people fleeing from their homes.

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Sydney Morning Herald Thursday, June 22, 2006

Army rushes to set up base for 3000 in Timor

By Nick O'Malley

THE depth of Australia's military commitment to East Timor has been revealed in an urgent tender document for the establishment and maintenance of a base for up to 3000 soldiers and civilian support staff from Australia and "coalition partners".

A virtual township complete with everything from a sewerage system to a swimming pool is to be built in Timor and maintained for up to 15 months, the documents reveal.

The tender was opened just this month and closed at midday yesterday, with some services to be available by next month and the base to be up and running by August 24. The Defence Department was unable to comment on the apparent haste of the project.

No matter how difficult and dangerous life on the streets of Timor might be for soldiers, the Government is going out of its way to make life in the camp as comfortable as possible.

The tender outline describes a camp that within 60 days after the contract begins - D+60 in the military jargon of the document - will be furnished with a vast range of services from basic to luxurious. It will be served by its own airport and seaport, a helipad, a postal service, generators, public transport to Dili, workshops and even car-hire services and a hotel.

Buildings will offer air-conditioned office space as well as sleeping quarters. Australian soldiers and civilians on the base, as well as members of the New Zealand and Malaysian contingents, will have access to the internet, an air-conditioned gymnasium, a swimming pool and an outdoor theatre.

The services shall be bain-marie style from the kitchen and dining facility to be operated by the contractor at the ADF sites, the document's catering section says.

"The contractor shall provide a menu board for each meal at the servery listing meal choices available and ensuring that low fat and vegetarian choices are clearly indicated.

"The contractor shall provide sufficient hot and cold beverages at each meal for all diners in the dining facility. Selections are to include coffee and tea (including caffeine-free coffee and tea), cordial and chilled bottled water. The contractor shall ensure that the brands used are of a superior quality."

Contractors will also be responsible for security and for building and maintaining a fence around the airfield.

The tender documents obtained by the Herald call for master contractors who can manage the project, with subcontractors to bid for the provision of the various services and construction. Next month, as the private contractors begin working, the army is expected to scale down its own logistical support work in East Timor.

According to a spokesman for ABL, which advises clients on bidding for defence contracts, the Defence Department began to turn to private enterprise for logistical support as a matter of policy in the late 1990s. Patrick Defence Logistics, an arm of Patrick, Australia's largest stevedoring operation, provided services to Defence in its operations in the Solomons.

There are 2600 Australian Defence Force personnel in Timor and a large presence is expected to be maintained at least until next year's elections.

HOME COMFORTS

The Timor camp will include:

* Internet access.

* Air-conditioned gym.

* Outdoor theatre.

* Vegetarian and low-fat meal choices.

--------------- Joyo Indonesia News Service


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