Dili Unrest #14

The exodus from Dili continued right through Friday. I made an attempt to go to the bank after lunch but was foiled as a sign on the door said the bank was closed due to current circumstances in Dili. It expected to re-open on Monday.

I retired to the Cafe Brasil for caffeinated sustenance and found myself being asked if I had a safe place for the cafe staff (& presumably owner) to stay. Most Timorese would consider white-skinned expats as having the ways and means to remain safe throughout.

I continued on through central Dili and noted the number of shops closed which I estimated at 80%, up from my 30% of 2 days before. A few vendors were loading trucks clearly preparing to leave. A few more shipping containers had appeared outside shops in preparation for more storage of goods. Some shops were doing the reverse and loading up from trucks. My understanding is that Chinese traders who don’t have the family links outside of Dili pretty much bunker down.

The odd truck with 10 to 20 people in the back went past. The CoolStore was still open and I bought up a few more supplies. There was not a single street vendor to be found. Even the phone card boys were not out there.

I have not seen any patrolling military person since last Saturday and only the odd policeman. There is no sign of aggression, feverish panic and certainly no sign of looting or the like (in central Dili).

It’s probably at this point that I considered food supplies should be elevated up the priority list. I expect the expat oriented supermarkets to remain open but it is possible that fresh fruit and vegetable supplies will be more difficult to find.

As luck would have it, one of our mango trees is fruiting prolifically right now and providing a huge supply of the fresh article.

2 thoughts on “Dili Unrest #14

  1. Thanks for this blog; it’s been really informative to me. I left Dili in mid-April for my new two-month posting in Jakarta. Something is seriously wrong for the Timorese to disbelieve so strongly the government of Mari Alkatiri, that everything is okay in Dili and it’s safe for them to return to their homes.

    It all boils down to the government’s refusal to address the past trauma of the Timorese people: the fears of the past 25 years have returned to haunt them, and I’m really, really sad that Timor-Leste’s leaders still refuse to address this issue. The CAVR report was swept under the carpet…and its authors and researchers castigated by the government. If the Timorese people have not been given the chance to cry and acknowledge their past; how can they move forward???
    sonny inbaraj

  2. sorry, just an error there…I left Dili in mid-April for Jakarta.

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