You could be forgiven for thinking that last week’s peace rallies and security forces reconciliation meant that things were on the improve. Well, there were 4 people killed in Ermera last week and 10 houses burnt to the ground (although I heard alternative reports of 100 houses).
Of course, that was not in Dili but about 30kms into the hills. The UN police do not operate outside Dili but may well do so soon.
Reports are coming in of more trouble over the weekend with at least one Timorese killed in the Comorro area. One of the NGO aid groups has also had problems with staff being detained (not by police) and staff going missing.
Now, I wasn’t the only person to say this, but it was only a matter of time before an expat got seriously injured. No-one knew how, where or under what circumstances this would happen but it has happened now. A Brazilian missionary (although the rumour mill had reported “doctor” and another “NGO worker”) was killed yesterday near the National Hospital.
I have no doubt this one event will ramp up security measures required of expats living and working here, most who have adapted to the security situation over the last month or two. (I’ve got a slow leak in a bicycle tyre anyway.)
I should point out that the National Hospital and Comorro areas are known hot spots and I keep well clear of these areas.
I should also note that the Portuguese press were onto this well before the English press were onto it. If you are fluent in Portuguese (or can nut your way through an online translation) a good site to get the latest Portuguese leaning on things is the blog at : http://timor-online.blogspot.com
You will also notice mention of the head of the military (Brigadier-General Taur Matan Ruak) as a possible candidate for the presidency. I guess that means he is Portugal’s choice, assuming President Xanana retires next year.