One person's view of life in East Timor.
Did Mr Sod see this, by The Age's Lindsay Murdoch....any comment?AUSTRALIAN troops in East Timor stole flags of the deposed Fretilin party, tore them up and wiped their backsides with them, Fretilin claimed last night.The incident had inflamed an already volatile situation in the country and demonstrated the partisan nature of the Howard Government's intervention there, Fretilin vice-president Arsenio Bano said.A Defence spokeswoman in Canberra confirmed that a group of Australian soldiers took three Fretilin flags without permission on August 18.But she would not comment on the claim that the flags were torn up and soldiers wiped their backsides with one as they drove off.Mr Bano said soldiers grabbed the flags in two eastern villages where people were protesting against the formation of a government led by former president Xanana Gusmao.More than 1000 Australian troops serving in East Timor's International Stabilisation Force and 1600 international police have been struggling to control violent protests by supporters of Fretilin, which had ruled the country since independence in 2002.Yesterday, East Timor's former prime minister Mari Alkatiri called for Australian troops to return home, accusing them of a lack of neutrality.Fretilin claims that Mr Gusmao's Government is illegal."At Walili (village), two Australian military vehicles full of soldiers tore up a Fretilin flag that had been raised at the roadside, wiped their backsides with it and drove off with the flag," Mr Bano said."In Alala village, Australian troops tried to sever a Fretilin flag from its rope and then drove over it," he said.Mr Bano said the incidents insulted all East Timorese because tens of thousands of Timorese martyrs died fighting under the flag during their 30-year struggle for independence. He said the "cultural insensitivity and arrogance typifies Australian military operations in the Pacific region".Mr Bano said the incidents could not be excused as the actions of misguided soldiers."The soldiers take their cue from their officers, who understand the true objectives of the Howard Government intervention in Timor Leste (East Timor), which has had one overriding aim — the removal of the democratically elected Fretilin government and its replacement with the illegitimate government of Jose Alexandre (Xanana) Gusmao," Mr Bano said.The Defence spokeswoman said the actions of a small number of International Stabilisation Force soldiers involved in the taking of the flags were "highly inappropriate"."The removal of any flag without permission is wrong and culturally insensitive," she said.The spokeswoman said one of the flags was given back to villagers the day it was taken, with an apology. Two other flags were being returned yesterday "with a sincere apology". She said the ISF regretted the incident and was conducting an official investigation.With AFP
"The soldiers take their cue from their officers, who understand the true objectives of the Howard Government intervention in Timor Leste"If this was the case with troops, then maybe it was that Mr Bano's government actually wanted ALL of the PNTL masacred!????T
I would be better still to have a cake from 2001 side by side with this one for comparative purposes. The 2007 cake would be a lot tastier then.Oh yeah!
Sodomites -What a beautiful cake. Tasty too. I hope that this will be the first in a series of politico-culinary collaborations. I am sure FOS can come up with a few ideas for bar graphs...Cheers,Kate
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