Despite a high level of general uneasiness yesterday, I slept well.
The dead quiet continues. The exodus out of Dili continues. There are police around town but obviously public confidence has evaporated despite no hint of any organised violence in recent days.
President Xanana Gusmao made an appearance on TV today and appealed for calm and asked people to return to their homes. After an unexplainably long absence from public view, Prime Minister Alkatiri also appeared next to him. It will need someone more proficient than me to analyse just what was said and what it all meant.
The Dili town water supply stopped this morning and one suspects that due to staff leaving town, there is a shortage of people left to maintain equipment. Government offices were closed during the morning.
The mobile phone network is pretty much unusable due to overload but SMS messages seem to eventually get through.
It appears that the number of “refugees” at the catholic retreats has increased again, but there are clear indications these places have become transit stations for travel to other parts of the country. The foreign diplomatic and aid communities have pretty much taken up the task of looking after Timorese in these refuges.
I have seen the terror that seems to overcome some people. With images still clearly etched in memories from 6 years ago, I have heard locals talk about “we stay together, we die together”. Yet, from where I stand/sit, I can’t see who or what is going to cause this sort of a problem. Sure, public confidence has hit rock-bottom, but I don’t see anyone with the muscle or need to indulge in more violence. Well, I hope so.
This morning, there were warnings of likely trouble today but from where, no-one seems to know. And nothing happened.