Timor LesteWell things appear to be getting worse in East Timor! There have been more shootings and Australian troops have been sent to help keep order. It is a sad thing that violence has taken place after independence.
Since Darwin received so many temporary refugees back in 1999 I have wanted to to visit East Timor and the Timorese people I have since met. Darwin has had a fairly close connection with Timor, as we are geographicaly right next door. However many of us who live here have no idea what life might be like for our neighbours who live so close. I had planned to visit in July this year but will have to postpone my travel plans until the situation cools down over there.
The Timorese people have so little and have already suffered more than I can imagine. I hope they are able to establish a safe country free of corruption and intimidation; this must be an incredibly difficult task considering their history, lack of infrastructure and limited resources.
Since I have been working in a library I have met Venceslao (Head Librarian) and Jose (IT & Cataloguing) from the National University of East Timor Library. They have both encouraged me to come and visit East Timor and given me some idea of what it must be like to rebuild a library from the ground up. They have a huge task ahead of them and welcome any support that can be given.
If I am able to go there next year I would like to incorporate the visit into my library studies and somehow spend some time with them at the National University of East Timor. This would seem like a far better option for me than just visiting as a tourist with no real purpose for being there. Until then I wish them well and hope that the current conflict can be resolved and the Timorese people can go on to live in peace and build a strong, healthy and free country.