Friday, 30 November 2007

Some Things Are Just Meant To Be

Please supply your own captions, but I do believe I can see a small pink tongue obsequiously licking
the English hand. (What do you think Knackers?)


Safe In Our Beds

Taken from Australia’s ‘Herald Sun’ November 29 2007
"AN EAST Timorese court has convicted four military officers of the murder of eight unarmed police in May last year.
A group of soldiers fired on the police as United Nations officers tried to broker a peace deal between the two sides near the mission's office in the capital Dili.
The court sentenced the four soldiers to between 10 and 12 years' imprisonment and acquitted seven other soldiers and one policemen."

Taken from UNMIT Media monitoring, Thursday 29 November 2007
"Heavy weapons for the F-FDTL to arrive next month.
The State Secretary of Defence, Julio Thomas Pinto, said that special weapons, to be used by the F-FDTL for night operations, will arrive in December.“The purchase was part of the program of 20:20, along side the establishment of a munitions store and a military court that the government runs, to develop the nation’s defence forces,” said Mr. Pinto on Wednesday (28/11) in the Government Palace, Dili.The State Secretary also said that the program of 20:20 was planned by the previous government, but the current government has a commitment to make it happen. (TP)"

Comments invited.............

Friday, 16 November 2007

Flights Of Fancy?

The Following is taken from ABC Radio Australia

Baggage handlers and check-in staff at East Timor's international airport are considering interrupting commercial flights between Australia and Dili as part of an employment dispute.The staff employed by Total Aviation Services are demanding extra pay for servicing charter flights operated by the Patricks Corporation.A spokesman for the baggage handlers, Alex Pereira, says if something isn't done about their employer within a week they are considering interrupting flights, including flights operated by Air North from Darwin

You have to feel sorry for the poor sods. I mean, two flights a day from Darwin, with at least 30 passengers on each will wear anybody out.


Wednesday, 7 November 2007

Power To The People

Well, here it is folks, the piece of machinery we all love to hate. Below is the reason for those tired red eyes, unshaven faces and quick tempers. Apparently we are getting a bunch of new ones from Indonesia, along with about 25 technicians to keep the things going. Personally I’d say send in blokes with names like ‘Rocket’, ‘Cookie’ and ‘Mr. Generator’ and get the job done for just three slabs of VB.

Too easy, no worries, she’ll be right!!

Tuesday, 6 November 2007

Shell Shock

So, come on, who’s buying this stuff? I can’t believe any Timorese is going to pay $20.00 for a turtle shell. The only people that are going to buy this are Malae. There is a maximum $50,000 and/or up to 5 years in jail (with time off for medical treatment in Malaysia) for buying or selling corals or turtle shell or turtle shell products. Before we had our bit of trouble last year the PNTL and MAFF were very good at explaining to Timorese the consequences of buying and selling this stuff. Obviously priorities have changed a bit since then, so it’s up to the Malae NOT to buy it. We all watch Discovery channel, Animal Planet and all the rest. We know we shouldn’t buy it. So, if anyone reading this is buying it; BLOODY WELL STOP IT NOW and if you know of anyone buying it, tell them to STOP! By the way, the stall pictured above is the one just before the Hera turnoff on the beach road.

You know it makes sense.


Friday, 2 November 2007

The Wages Of Sun

Overheard on my verandah one evening this week:

"Do you know, I've got to stop working for people and not charging them the hours"

"Mate, it's a good job you don't do overtime then, otherwise you'd go broke!"


A Viking Funeral

Well, wasn’t Wednesday a treat. Sitting here bored, not much work, just a bit of routine maintainence and loafing around when who should call, but that well known local character, Rocket. “Mate, get yer arse down to the harbour, there’s a boat alite and she’s goin’ like a good ‘un”.
Well, who could resist. Myself and Ben got a couple of Tigers and drove down to the harbour to watch the spectacle. And it was truly something. We parked up at the lighthouse (Farol) and watched the boat (see pic below, with thanks to ‘Timor Online’, and I’m not gonna pay any royalties, so sue me) drifting backwards and forwards, side to side etc in the prevailing wind. Now, we watched this for about 4 hours in total. Hundreds of people gathered on the shore, a lovely afternoon out. The new government should lay on this type of entertainment more often.
Now, all of this got me to thinking. I do sometimes. While we were watching it was obvious that the PNTL, UNPol’s and the ISF had neither a clue nor any orders on what to do. There was obviously no plan in place for this sort of maritime eventuality. Most of the ‘officials’ there were just basically doing the same as the rest of us. Taking happy snaps.
So, my proposal. Couldn’t some enterprising UN person, I know there are some, coordinate some sort of maritime emergency scheme. Nearly all of the boats in the harbour on Wednesday were privately owned and operated. It was the owner/operators and local ET guys who actually got the commercial boats out of the way of the burning ship. Also, being a port city, we frequently have small(ish) maritime emergencies. Nearly every February and March someone with a boat (a dive company or fishing charter) will get a call saying there is a boat foundering between Atuaro and the mainland and can you go and rescue the people in the dugout?
Is there a person who coordinates disaster/mishap relief.?You know, earthquakes, tsunamis, flooding, that type of thing. Maybe this person should get the ‘phone numbers of the boat owner/operators, keep them handy and when we do have a bit of a calamity on they can organize the boats collectively rather than the ‘every man for himself’ situation that we have at the moment.

Anyway, its just a thought.


By the way, I happened to spot a few Norwegians down there, tears in their eyes, saying things to each other like "when I go, will you make sure I go like that please Thor?"