Dili status

I will try to be as un-dramatic as possible.

Well I did wake up this morning and everything seemed fine.  I drove down Comorro Road and could see the tell-tale signs of a number of burnt tyres, from the Tiger fuel corner to the OZ embassy.  I am told that last night’s events were pretty uncontrolled in this section of road and while I heard shots between 6:30pm and 7:30pm, the gangs had this section of road barricaded until 1am.  All the shots were from the foreign security forces – mostly GNR with warning shots, rubber bullets, tear gas etc.

I dropped into Hotel Timor to have a chat with a friend and found a number of people I knew who related experiences from early today.  One had come from the ransacked Ministry of Education offices which had been trashed and looted overnight.  The GNR had advised them to abandon the building before there was more trouble.  Someone else had received similar advice with respect to their workplace in Taibesse.  In other words, a lot of expats are probably having trouble achieving anything in their workplace.

But things seemed to deteriorate by late afternoon and the street barricades were going up in a number of places around town.  I am not sure of the exact purpose of these, whether it is to slow down the UN police, prevent people from going into trouble areas or for ambush purposes to extort money.

So far the night is much quieter than last night, but the boys are well equipped to run amok into the early hours.  One normally expects trouble in Bairo Pite and the Delta area.  An SMS warning listed a number of areas in town as being no-go zones from late afternoon.  Only the extremely brave or extremely hungry will be venturing out tonight.

At around 5pm, the OZ travel warning recommended that all Australians leave but an hour later modified this to “consider leaving”.  I believe the OZ volunteers (AVI) will be leaving over the next few days.

2 thoughts on “Dili status

  1. Found your blog invaluable in getting a (Western) perspective of what is going on in Dili so please keep your head down and stay safe. Best wishes!

  2. Have been evacuated (against my will – very hard to leave friends and colleagues) and am back in Australia (Oz volunteer). Please keep us updated, especially re reaction to the imminent Lobato verdict. Take care.

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