Tuesday, 24 April 2007


Not really much to report from Dili at the moment.
Better writers than I have covered the elections thoroughly and you can find their reports here, here and here although I think most of us (and the World) could have, and did, predict the ‘finalists’ before April 9th. Although maybe not the percentages.
We’ve had about 6 SMS messages in the past five days or so telling us to avoid the usual areas: Bario Pite, Banana road IVO Myfield restaurant (now known as The Hongkong Hotel), Comoro road at Timor Lodge, Motael IVO Beach road, Fatuhada/Landmark etc. At the moment this looks like rival gangs having it out again but this has often escalated into wide scale violence mainly caused by fear and ignorance (isn’t it all?).
We even had one SMS after heavy rain warning us of flooding!
I was out and about running some errands today and all seems very subdued. But then again, I didn’t go to any of the above named areas. No need.
The districts seem a different proposition though. UNPol are reporting some fairly serious disturbances in Ermera (tear gas had to be used) and Bobonaro.
My personal thoughts are that we haven’t seen the end of it yet. I cannot put any specific reasons to this feeling, just a general ‘vibe’ I get from our local bad guys. They have been congregating earlier and earlier recently and in bigger numbers each day. They have also had a certain attitude with passing vehicles and the high-pitched girly laughter is much more strained and so obviously false. Maybe I should take a psychology degree with deep, insightful reasoning like this.
I’ll try and post a bit more frequently than I have, but I do have the excuse of having been sick. It looked like malaria, it felt like malaria and it certainly smelt like malaria but after a blood test it turned out it wasn’t. Seems to have been a viral thing that pretends its malaria. Sneaky little bug…..


JG said...

know what you mean about the laughter. that really struck a chord. gave me the chills actually. let's hope it's all a bluff

fat old sod said...

I sometimes wonder about the laughter. Is it a traditional thing for intimidation? And what the hell are "traditional weapons"? I've seen bayonets from M16's seized by the UNPols and then heard them described as "traditional weapons". Is it just a weapon you can stab cut or bludgeon with?