Never before have I written a whole blog post and not published it, but that it was I just did for the post about Dili. I’m finding it really hard to describe it in my usual style. I’ve a feeling that it may be because this is a serious place. I’ve had more challenging discussions in the last week about life, death, what we should and shouldn’t do for people, cognitive dissonance, racism, giving, politics, right, wrong, responsibility, accountability, controls, organisational behaviour, narcissism, corruption, bribery, visas, language, education, free will, guilt, and interventionism than I think I can handle. I’m pretty sure my head is going to explode unless it feels the freshness of a motor propelled breeze soon. Not just any motor propelled breeze mind you, but one from a very specific Dark Blue Kawasaki KLE 500.
The work is great, the free accommodation is perfect, the expats here are mostly intelligent and thoughtful and the locals are wonderful. Especially considering its estimated that 25% of the Timorese population were murdered during the US and Australian sanctioned Indonesian invasion and occupation of Timor Leste just 4 days after it became a sovereign nation for the first time, more than 35 years ago.
I think there are two things that I’m really struggling to cope with at the moment:
My new found understanding of some of the things that are claimed to have occurred during the brutal and horrific Indonesian occupation of Timore Leste, of which mass graves continue to be discovered. In particular, Australia’s involvement in condoning and sanctioning the invasion is particularly hard for me to understand. Lets not even start on the debate about natural gas and oil reserves that Australia claimed as their own following the conflict.
The accomodation, although nice, is located in the suburbs. I have been transformed from Jakarta urbanite, living on 3 hrs sleep between night and day and a nanna nap to being isolated and cut-off from the (albeit limited action) with no transport. As a result I’m really really really really looking forward to hopefully having my bike this weekend.
And although on reading this post it sounds like i’m hating it here, I’m not. I have a real affinity for the place and to be honest, the ignorance was bliss but now that I know the part that my country had to play in this country’s suffering, I’m not sure I could walk away without something to show, something to balance my soul when I think ‘please forgive us’.
4 thoughts on “Dili Billy”
At least it was 50/50, it could of been 80/20.
Didn't Australia invade because the Indonesians were massacring the Timor people?
Anyway I would be more worried about china, they hold the balance of power now.
My understanding B is that the fields are part of Timor's shelf, but Australia entered into an agreement with Indonesia when it took control that 'because' the countries were so close they would split the distance between the two countries 50/50.
This agreement occurred at the same time Australia and the US conveniently ignored the international community which through the UN declared the invasion illegal and ordered the withdrawal of Indonesian forces.
If the fields are part of the Ozzie continental shelf then they are ours, if they are part of Timor's shelf then they are there's. If the two shelves meet then the line is drawn by the country with the biggest army. Welcome to the animal kingdom. Look at the middle east
Love your work, Damo. Bodero