I have been struggling to find anything really positive over the last week. The international press have been here and been reporting more than I can keep up with. With a lot of the trouble out east, there is little I can add from Dili … except no yogurt for over a week !!
A week ago, we had Rogerio Lobato leaving by Lear Jet. 99.99% of Timorese couldn’t afford to pay to taxi one of these to the runway. However, it seems that Mr. Lobato was handed US$30,000 from the government coffers and given the green light to skip town for Malaysia. Nice one.
Then Fretilin seemed to go troppo and threaten to boycott parliament. On top of that, they encouraged supporters to voice their opinion and complain about the election result. Even “Jack Hill the blind miner” could see that this was going to lead to trouble. It did. The UN called a few meetings and (finally) read the riot act and things calmed down here in Dili. And now Fretilin are not going to boycott parliament and are now encouraging supporters not to resort to violence.
Meanwhile out east, Fretilin supporters went feral and as far as I can tell from UN reports, scorched many homes (mostly small huts by western standards) and eventually culminating in an ambush of a UN vehicle and (quite separately) the rape of a young girl at an orphanage. I understand the President was due to go out to the same general area last week but cancelled his visit.
The streets in Dili after dark have been pretty quiet over the last week. Today was Assumption Day so a number of locals were on holidays. There were advisories recommending caution today as demonstrations were planned. I think nothing much happened as the demos were cancelled and re-scheduled for next week.
The new ferry, the Nakroma was parked offshore today which is the preferred position when trouble is on the cards.
I think this is why beer was invented.