Twenty Ten - started with an echo of a bang
Dili Travel Blog› entry 62 of 86 › view all entries
January 8th, 2010 – by: goezi
It's been odd in mission over the Christmas New Year period. All those managers that would usually give me work are away and since HU is in China, LIM has redeployed and Paulo is on holiday the days are long and quiet but I'm managing to get some good work done and Farooq is making good progress learning how National Traffic operates.
Of course the hols are over now, Paulo's back and tomorrow Hu returns. There have been some interesting things happening through the mission, in particular on the 28th December a party turned ugly and a well known young Timorese musician was killed.
The young man came from a reasonably well to do family so that probably saved us from mass burnings rather than the quiet protest march the family had following the coffin. Banners and placards read "Police murder our Children". There is a simmering tension throughout Dili and people are not happy with the thuggery of the PNTL Task Force. I have to say I've seen it myself at the finish line of the Tour de Timor last August and stepped in to prevent someone being hurt by this baton swinging bully-boy.
Right now the Timor Leste government has stepped in and directed the PNTL to stay in the police stations.
After more violence was badly handled by staff working in the middle of the night the RDTL media is full of stories about whether there are any police in charge of security in this country and if PNTL are up to the task or if UNPOL have any power here at all. The papers have been fluttering with these stories for a week now and I have to say they are starting to ask the same questions we have been asking around the dining tables at the Esplanada Hotel for months. It could turn out to be a very interesting month!
Ufortunately the inquiry into the "alleged" police shooting has got nowhere in the 10 days since it occurred. The papers talk of a lack of accountability so the government answers to say the officer responsible will be dealt with by the full weight of the court.
This morning the file was given to one of the Kiwis in homocide squad. He is to review the file and do some good old fashion kiwi policing to determine what has happened and who is responsible. The chatter around the dining table is now all about how our countryman will calm the troubled waters and prevent Dili from burning through his magnificent investigative prowess. We jest but in the back of our minds we hope he is in time to prevent the fires from being lit.
In the meantime I have continued with the things that fill my days. Traffic still crawls around the city, tooting, swerving and red light jumping as it has since I arrived.
I didn't take much time off in my first 6 months in-mission. Just 10 days off in 6 months. What that means is that I have almost a year of CTO to take in my remaining 6 months in-mission. I'll have about two weeks off every month. That works out to about 12 weeks of working in the office left before I'm done.
Today Farooq flew to Oecussi to oversee the exam process. In the afternoon Paulo and I went to collect HU from the airport but one of his countrymen had that job covered. Instead we went up the hills overlooking Dili and I added another spot visited to my collection.
It hasn't rained for about 4 days. Well, it has, but not monsoon rain like it has since my retun from Sydney last month. Comoro river was in flood, along with half of Dili during the rains. Today the river was as dry as a month old salami and the stone shovelers could have returned to their holes to sift more gravel.
It's a very odd world we live in. I hope I get to see it all!
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