Fighting Breaks out in Dili again

From Lidia – Farol Dili

After 2 days of relative calm fighting broke out again late this

A co-worker had to run from her home with 18 children from the
neighbourhood and a sick mother when her house and others were set on

A friend trapped in Bacarra reported fighting outside her house and
tells me the market near the hospital was burnt to the ground. There is
fightng in Bidau where another friend and her family live. A house was
burnt on the beech road near Marconi.

I have just been told that yesterday a youth was killed outside his
home, the family were forced to abandon it the previous day after gangs
threatened to burn the house. He had returned home to try to get
essentials for his family.

The food shortage is now not only causing problems in Dili, but also in
the districts. If this is not addressed quickly there will be further

Rogeria Lobato, Minister for Internal Affairs has been sacked and
replaced by Alcino Barris. Roque Rodrigues, Minister for Defence has
also been sacked and replace by Jose Ramos-Horta, Ramos Horto now holds
two key positions, he is still Foreign Minister.

I do not wish to speculate on what caused the fighting today, but raise
awareness of the new ordeal facing the ordinary people of East Timor,
already traumatised by the brutal occupation and referendum. I believe
the West, who bore a great responsibility for underpinning the invasion
could again be implicated in playing political games with peoples

Downer and Howard, wants Mari Alkatiri out so Australia can have a
bigger share of the oil and gas. Alkatiri was a tough advocate and
gained a higher percentage of the expected revenue. East Timor’s
strategic position is also seen as a prize by western power. East Timor
was used as a buffer zone by Australia when Japan threatened to invade
during the second world war.

I question the way the troops sent by Australia to help quell the
fighting are handling the situation, they seem to be doing very little
to protect the ordinary people or stabilise the situation.

Timorese friends here ask that I once again alert Solidarity to raise
awareness of the situation the people are facing, and raise concerns on
unhelpful media reporting. They ask that people contact MP’s, the UN
and other official bodies to question the handling of the situation by
the international force.

In Solidarity Lidia
Tyneside East Timor Solidarity – Dili

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