01 February 2010

Australian Prime Minister Acknowledges Federal Police Commander Grant Edwards' Contribution As Head Of Timor-leste Police Development Program

"The shooting incident in Dili in December raises issues whether the PNTL is yet receiving the right type of training for community-oriented policing." from United Nations Security Council Report: February 2010 Timor-Leste

Canberra, ACT, Jan. 29 -- The Hon Breden O'Connor MP, Minister for Home Affairs issued the following press release:

Minister for Home Affairs, Brendan O'Connor today welcomed the comments from the Prime Minister of Timor-Leste His Excellency Kay Rala Xanana Gusmao, who has acknowledged the significant contribution of AFP Commander Grant Edwards as he completes his role as Head of the Timor-Leste Police Development Program (TLPDP).

"Praise from the Prime Minister of Timor-Leste His Excellency Kay Rala Xanana Gusmao today, is testament to Commander Edwards' professionalism and the dedication that he has brought to the role. His efforts have gone a long way to strengthening relationships between Australia and Timor-Leste," Mr O'Connor said.

Commander Edwards commenced in the important position in January 2008 following a request from the Secretary of State for Security (SoSS) that the AFP provide him with a Security Adviser.

"During the past two years, Commander Edwards and his team have achieved outstanding results which have provided a solid framework for future programs and infrastructure projects such as the new Policia Nacional de Timor-Leste (PNTL) training academy," Mr O'Connor said.

As a direct result of Commander Edwards' leadership, the mission has achieved some significant outcomes for the people to Timor-Leste. This includes the delivery of some innovative capacity development programs, providing IT solutions, publishing teaching aids and developing training programs with specific relevance to the PNTL.

The departure of Commander Edwards sees the program in good shape for in-coming Commander Charmaine Quade of the AFP. Commander Quade commences in the role on 30 January 2010 and will continue working with the PNTL on a range of projects such as the building of the police academy. Commander Quade has more than twenty years experience with the AFP and has previously performed senior roles both in Australia and overseas.For more information please contact: Sarabjit Jagirdar.

How effective Commander Edward's contribution to the development of a professional police force in East Timor has been is brought into question by the following reports:

Timor President silent after witnessing police bashing during international fishing competition
UN peacekeepers stood by East Timorese police bash a young man
UN Police Commissioner concerned about attitude of police officers
PNTL violates human rights
Human Rights Abuses by Out-of-Control Timor Cops
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