AN Australian sister has been evacuated from East Timor and workers on another project have taken their families and temporarily relocated to the hills amid escalating tensions in the country.
Tension has been building in the past week in the lead up to presidential elections in East Timor on April 9.
Mary MacKillop East Timor assistant director, Josephite Sister Susan Connelly, who is based in Sydney, returned from the country at the beginning of this month and said it was often hard to gain a true picture of what was happening.
“I didn’t feel it (the tension) while I was there but we have a Sister of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart who we brought out on Sunday (March 4) and she is now in Darwin.
“She works out in the districts and couldn’t get out, but it is really Dili that is the problem,” Sr Connelly told The Catholic Leader.
“Dili is called the rumour capital of the world and it is hard to distinguish what is fact and what is fiction and it all helps to aggravate the fear of the people.”
She said it was in the best interests of the East Timorese for non-essential Australians to leave.
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