The Pencil Guy: Hourann's illogical blog

Soccer in the headlines, while problems in Dili simmer

Friday 23 June 2006 at 11:14 pm

Aside from a ridiculous story in the Australian and some chatter about Defence procurements, today’s news was dominated by the soccer (see below …!). But there has been some mention of the political situation in Timor-Leste, which doesn’t show many signs of getting better and (I fear) might not be far from becoming much worse.

The momentary crisis caused by President Gusmao’s threat to resign has passed, with protestors begging him to stay, but the problems in the country’s leadership still seem to be simmering. In a stable democracy, ideological conflicts between a president and a prime minister are all good and well (I recall writing something along those lines in my exam last week …), but in a young country in the midst of civil unrest, that kind of conflict can’t be allowed to create a base for bigger conflict, the kind involving angry mobs. So far in Dili it hasn’t, and the foreign troops are a stabilising factor, but I’m fearful that this might not remain the case.

I wonder if the lack of attention from the Western world is making any difference? Aside from a crazy rant by John Pilger and various comments in response to it, the blogosphere is (again) quiet on this issue. The Technorati graph is telling …

Technorati graph of posts matching 'east timor' in May and June

Alas, I can’t resist a concluding paragraph on the soccer, and my shock that the Socceroos did actually draw with Croatia. After that first goal on the free kick I was afraid all was lost, but the Aussies seemed to finally find some form — not a huge amount, but some — by the end of the first half. I went to sleep at half-time confident that my original prediction of Australia not getting past the first round was wrong. The post-match hype shows just how much everyone’s embraced soccer, even to the point of mad-cap ideas. Meanwhile, the poor old Japanese team were walloped by Ronaldo himself in a game that their media are calling “miserable”.