Watched the first episode of the ABC 's mini-series Answered by Fire about East Timor 's vote on independence from Indonesia on television tonight. It's been a long time since I watched Australian drama on tv and this was a very appropriate program considering the current events in East Timor.
Australian troops are being deployed with disturbing regularity to quell internal violence. While I support the current and previous deployments to Timor I do wonder if the current troubles could have been prevented. It costs a lot of money to send troops. If that money had been spent on creating jobs for Timorese and attacking corruption and cronyism then perhaps the violence would not have occurred. As seen in Wadeye in northern Australia a lack of jobs and facilities can lead to violence. I don't think that we can just rely on "market forces" to solve such problems, but I do know that the answers are not simple.
Useful timeline of East Timor's recent history.