The Interpreter : “Letter from Dili: languid days, broken barracks, and a surprise”

There has always been something of a ghost-like quality to languorous Dili, capital of Timor-Leste with its Portuguese-era buildings and statues from Indonesian times still standing. 

Nowadays, it feels that there are new ghosts in the city: imprints of a once prominent international presence slipping from perceptible view. Between 1999-2012, the country was home to military peacekeepers, police from more than 50 nations, a legion of non-governmental organisations, an alphabet soup of programs, and enough characters to fill a shelf of Graham Greene novels. 

The marks of this mammoth international inflow are still visible if you know where to look. 

The Interpreter Letter from Dili: languid days, broken barracks, and a surprise https://www.lowyinstitute.org/the-interpreter/letter-dili-languid-days-broken-barracks-surprise