The Pencil Guy: Hourann's illogical blog

Is Dili safer now, or not?

I’ve noticed an unusual trend in the last few days while following stories about Timor-Leste (aka East Timor). All of the bloggers I can find who are on the ground are suggesting that things aren’t all that bad and they don’t feel particularly unsafe. Admittedly, Dili-gence mentions a lack of troops on the streets, and other posts suggest that for some people the threat is quite real … but Tumbleweed suggests things have improved to the point that a public peace march is possible.

Overall, this is a stark contrast to the fairly scary stories that are filling the local media. Maybe the Australian journos who have invaded Dili are trying so hard to find front-page-worthy stories that what they’re uncovering is every single case of violence, rather than indicative samples of a large number of attacks …?

Even the bloke in charge of Australia’s troops (who’s done a remarkably diplomatic job talking to the media) thinks things are getting better, to the point of embarassing the Today show thismorning.

I shall conclude with a smattering of other posts: the Australian troops are being given some odd new rules in the wake of recent scandal, the potential long-term consequences for Australian foreign policy might not be very palatable, and Needlenose makes an interesting (albeit hugely oversimplified) point.

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