Thursday, March 01, 2007

Rebel leader caught in the crosshairs

ChannelNewsAsia is reporting that Australian soliders are closing in the mountain hideout of Major Alfredo Reinado, about 50 kilometres south of the capital Dili. Reinado has been partly blamed for deadly civil unrest last year, and more recently accused of stealing firearms.

Whether he is arrested or not, Reinado remains one of Timor Leste's most intriguing figures as the tiny new nation heads towards a Presidential Election on April the 9th. Parliamentary elections are due to follow.. and one thing is for certain.. these are precarious times for East Timor.

Amidst this volatility, a Gold Coast filmmaking team is planning to head to Timor Leste. Producer Linda Arnold has written to me explaining that she and filmmaker husband, Philippe Deseck believe that "one of the ways we can help is by increasing public awareness of what the East Timorese have been through andthe problems they face now to build up their new nation." She adds that reading Running Amok was "the source of our inspiration".

Follow Linda and Philippe on a remarkable filmmaking journey by visiting their website . This will be a worthwhile but expensive project, and they are seeking donations and sponsorship. Linda confides on the website: "I decided then that I wanted to create documentaries and TV programs that would make a difference in the world. So I’ve quit working on Big Brother and put all my savings towards “East Timor”.

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