I wake this morning to a spray of articles from the OZ press. Apart from obviously concentrating on the anti-OZ sentiments expressed this week, the most noticeable thing for me was that the reporters were all obviously in Dili.
A week ago, the ABC, Australian and Age/SMH were reporting remotely. Now they are all here. I think this is good. (Let me just say that with the slow decline of serious journalism, it would be a bit of a worry if bloggers took over this area of reporting. Its one thing to be reporting a small microcosm that is my world but another to be spending all day digging up the dirt.)
For a while, I have thought that someone needed to explain to me (and everyone else) just how the “gangs” work. This now appears to be a higher priority issue in the reporting. I heard several months back that someone was working on a history of the gangs in Dili (presumably since independence).
I hope it is made public as I believe it will explain a lot of things (to me as well). I noticed one of the press articles mention that up to 70% of all males in Dili are members of a “gang”. My understanding is that the “gangs” are more like “social clubs”, but a couple of “social clubs” have taken to more rough-house behaviour thus morphing into a “gang”.
And “gangs” are into stand-over tactics and some do drugs and probably protection rackets. I am dying to get my hands on this report.