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Jakarta Post

SpecialReport: Timor Leste still struggling with poverty

  • The Jakarta Post

  /   Mon, August 31 2009   /  11:55 am

With the 10th anniversary of UN-sponsored "Popular Consultation" that gave East Timor independence falling on Sunday, Aug. 30, The Jakarta Post's Pandaya and Kupang-based correspondent Yemris Fointuna highlight the current issues facing the nascent democracy in Dili. "Ah, a traffic light!" exclaims Indonesian Somba Pawira, as the old blue taxi taking him from Comoro International Airport, just outside Dili, stops at the corner of a main street in the capital city. The sight of the traffic light flabbergasted Somba, whose previous visit was in 2002, when the country declared its independence. Back then, Dili was a one-horse beachfront town whose paucity of motor vehicles meant no traffic lights were needed. Ten years on since becoming an independent state, following 450 years of Portuguese rule and another 25 under Indonesian control, Dili is showing signs of modernization....