The following are direct quotes from the Australian ABC radio programme ‘PM’ aired on Tuesday 6th March 2007
Lyndal Barrett says she's had no information about the unrest from the Australian Embassy, apart from a warning on a Department of Foreign Affairs website.
LYNDAL BARRETT: It's really bad. Once the two Timorese got shot at the airport, Australians were starting to be targeted. And then the four that were killed up with the Reinado thing, with the Australian Army, up at Same, were, has made it worse.And, I mean, it's not just Australians either. Everyone's getting their cars rocked. Police cars are getting windows smashed, and even the UN cars and all that are getting theirs smashed. But it hit home last night. My local cafe where I go for pizzas was stoned last night, with all these Timorese standing out the front throwing rocks through the door saying, "Aussies go home, we hate you."
Now a direct quote from the owner of said local café:
“Bullshit, she wasn’t even in the f**king bar”, “there were 4 Timorese throwing rocks and 1 hit an unoccupied table, that was it”.
The North Air airline is booked out until next Sunday. That's why I'm leaving on a boat tonight, because I can't get a flight until next Sunday.
I was at Dili Airport on Wednesday 7th March. Seats were available on the AM and PM flights to Darwin, Also on the AM flight on Thursday 8th March.
And I've had to close down the school, which is really unfortunate. I employ a lot of Timorese people, and I think they'll be out of a job now because I've closed the school, and yeah, it's just awful.
The first a lot of the parents knew of the school closing was when they heard this report on the radio or when they took their children to school next day and no Malae staff were present. The ‘Timorese people’ stayed by their posts and are attempting to keep the school running.
DAVID MARK: So you're contact with the Embassy has come about because you've contacted them, but has the Embassy put out any information for Australian citizens in East Timor?LUNDAL BARRETT: Only through the DFAT website. When you ring them, that's what they tell you over the phone. Look at the Smart Travel website and make up your own mind. I mean, I've had emails from the US Embassy every couple of days, and they give you specific details about the danger areas in Dili - where to go, where not to go.
A spokeswoman for the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has told PM the Australian Embassy in Dili is maintaining regular contact with all Australians registered in East Timor. Australians in East Timor are advised by text message and email when travel advice changes.It appears that Lyndal Barrett was registered with the Embassy, but didn't provide a mobile phone number.
I am not posting this to make any specific point, but I found the whole thing very interesting.