Subject: DPA: East Timor gets its own stamps
Stamps of the new republic. To order 1st day issues, blocks, etc. online go to Australian Post which printed and donated the stamps.

Deutsche Presse-Agentur

May 9, 2002, Thursday East Timor gets its own stamps


Australia Post on Thursday donated two million stamps to East Timor, the former Indonesian province that later this month will become the first new country of the new millennium.

The stamps are to be issued on independence day, May 20, and are likely to be highly prized by international collectors.

It was the first time Australia Post had produced a stamp issue free of charge for another country, spokesman Gary Highland told Australia's AAP news agency.

"This is a first, not just for Australia Post, but also to the best of our knowledge, the world," Highland said.

The stamps will be released on May 20 and sold in East Timor, at Australia Post outlets and internationally over the internet. Proceeds will go to East Timor.

Mail posted in East Timor at the moment carries stamps issued by the United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET).

UNTAET took over the running of East Timor after its people voted in a referendum to end rule from Jakarta.

Indonesian troops invaded East Timor in 1975, ending 400 years of Portuguese dominion. dpa sa js

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