The fan is blowing brown again

Things have been heating up across the board.  I will list what I think is fueling the current trouble :

  • the death of 2 Timorese at the airport IDP camp on Friday
  • Major Alfredo’s actions at the border posts and subsequent stand-off with the ISF
  • the apparent support by the local Same population for Alfredo
  • media reports here that cover the entire spectrum of statistical possibilities for describing the background to an event
  • the rice shortage
  • the Presidential election politicking

The Australian government has raised their travel advice to LEVEL 5 which must be getting close to “please leave”.  I received a message from a mate who received a message from a work colleague suggesting a major bust-up in the Delta 4 area tonight and some more trouble in Bairo Pite.  I have heard the tell-tale sounds of choppers to the west as Delta 4 is just to the east of the Comorro River a few kms inland.

I thought I heard a gunshot earlier but I dismissed it as nothing at the time.  At night-time, there is almost no noise at all in Dili (except in a power cut) and with the roads deserted, a gunshot sound could travel a long distance.  I know the chopper sound does.

A dead give-away of trouble was the fact the day guards at the compound did not go home and are staying the night.  This has not happened in a long time.

Notes :

ISF – International Stabilisation Force (I was calling it Security not Stabilisation)
Same pronounced “sarm-ay” not “s’may” or  “saym”

7 thoughts on “The fan is blowing brown again

  1. You can’t sleep either eh?
    Agree with you about the gunshot. Heard a couple myself earlier, then about an hour ago we had at least 8 police vehicles going up and down outside, all full up with guys dressed ready for battle. Then groups of people (Timorese) running past the house into Pantai Kalapa behind us and then the worrying sound of the local alarms going off. That metal banging on the lampposts thing. And the dogs are very very nervous and want to come in the house.

  2. Sad to hear all these bad news. Complicated to assist at distance when some friends are there and are being target of violence. It got rougher than I expected. Stay well.

  3. I have been following your very informative reports for the past week – when I stumbled on Dili-gence searching the internet for better news from Timor. My daughter was in the PC in Remexio, was evacuated during last May’s snafu then decided to return to paradise for another year to work for SOL, an appropriate acronym for Seeds of Life. (in case you Aussies don’t cuss much, SOL= shit outta luck in the USA). Anyway, she isn’t giving us very much info except to say it’s pretty bad there. Keep up the updates so I know when to tell her to get her malae arse home! Worried Mama

  4. Mama,

    In case you Aussies don’t cuss much !!!!!! Fair suck of the pineapple !

    We have taken cussing to a new level. We like “hurling abuse”, “tearing strips off people”, “calling a spade a spade”. In fact, the more the abuse and the higher the level of offensiveness, the more likely it is that the recipient is your best mate.

    When an Aussie is being overly nice, watch your back. A wise old Aussie sage once said “never trust a man that doesn’t drink”. But that’s only because they are unlikely to shout you one.

    As for dear daughter, it will depend where she lives, where she works and the degree of difficulty in conducting such mundane tasks as shopping etc. One learns to reduce trips to a minimum, stock up with food and just accept a lower standard in a few areas. For some, things are critical if you can’t get to the bar each night. For me, continuing electrical problems remain as one of my main annoyances.

    I hope the UN person who decided to put the IDP camp next to the airport is “retired somewhere in a very cold country”. (This is the American translation of the OZ abuse meaning the same thing).

  5. Being blissfully unaware of security alert 5 and the like (as another pom, I am not on any of the sms phone a friend circles) I have just driven from near the airport, Comoro where I live, through town and had a wonderful walk up the hills behind CazBar and back along the beach and back over Jesus. All was quiet and peaceful. I then drove back through town to Comoro. Still quiet though by now I knew the score about security so was more alert to see any troubles. From my insignificant little Suzuki I saw – nada. OK, I am not suggesting nothing is going on for a minute, but TMI bandying around the airwaves does up the ante a bit and tends to fuel the rumour mill rather than any productive result.
    I was just glad to be feeling well enough again to go for a walk! Guess the flu kept me off the streets at the right time.

    Squatter – great reports mate. Fat Old Sod, time I brought you some new news from Blightie, shame the big metal bird hasn’t dropped any off for a week or two.

  6. Actually, I apologise. Normally no-one rings me but reading about the Major Alfredo thing in the international press, becoming aware of level 5, getting an apparently serious message and hearing a gunshot, I assumed there was a bigger problem.

    In the cold hard light of day, whatever it was all over. I did some shopping on foot at lunchtime and covered a fair amount of territory and no problem.

    I had better do a post to get the Mama off my back.

  7. HJ, email me at [email protected] and I will stick you on our very reliable security alert SMS tree. It’s not a UN tree, its an NGO so is not a couple of hours late.

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