From: Lidia Tindle of Tyneside East Timor Solidarity in Dili 5pm Tue 30 May
Lidia is from Gateshead and works for an NGO in Dili
Australian troops are doing nothing to stop the burning of houses and
cars. A workmate stranded in her house had to flee as other homes in her
street were torched. She phoned the troops for help for her community
but no one came until after everyone had fled and the homes were all
This has been happening all over Dili, houses have been set alight
around the International School in Marconi near where I live (if I could
get there). I have been camping at work for the past few days which is
in Farol near the embassies so relatively safe.
The Australians protect the embassies and other western concerns but not
it appears the Timorese people. I have just tried to phone the UK
emmbassy but couldn’t get through. They phoned me this morning asking
the same tired question “are you OK, any plans to go home” told them NO
Can people highlight food shortages again? There is very little food in
Dili. Some refugee’s are are being given rice but people still living in
there streets are not. This has already caused fighting.
We have 40 refugees at our office and HAK (another NGO) at the moment. I
explained this to the embassy person – she said she would get on to the
UN – but couldn’t promise we would get food – still waiting for a return
call never mind any food!
Inaccurate news reports are being put out, this morning on the phone to
family in England, I was told the BBC were saying “the Timorese had
no-one to blame but themselves”. This is untrue, fighting and looting
are going on but there is a political motivation inflaming the
situation. Cultural and ethnic differences are being used as a tool to
divide and conquer as usual. Apparently Australia wants an acquiescent
East Timor for strategic reasons – oil. Alkateri the prime minister was
said to be a hard a negotiator on the issue of who owned the oil in the
Timor Sea so Howard (Australian PM) wants him out.
Gunfire has started again.
00670 3325013 (phone doesn’t work very often 8hour before us)