Subject: ABC: 37 E Timorese refugees depart for Dili
Also ABC: E Timor refugees express fears before returning to Dili
ABC News Online
Monday, September 11, 2006. 7:00pm (AEST)
37 E Timorese refugees depart for Dili
Thirty-seven East Timorese people who fled fighting in Dili earlier this year are on their way home from Australia.
The former evacuees are worried about what awaits them back in East Timor.
The 37 Timorese men, women and children had been staying in Melbourne and Darwin since arriving in Australia in May.
Darwin resident and spokesman for the group Jose Gusmao says many of the group are not sure where they will go when they land.
"Their homes were looted, destroyed and burned," he said.
Two men who were admitted to the Royal Darwin Hospital yesterday did not travel home today.
Speaking through a translator, Suzi Lobato, the wife of one of those men, says she will stay behind in Darwin until her husband is well enough to return.
"He needed us to stay here, to be able to recover as soon as possible," she said.
The Immigration Department says it is not sure when the two men will return to East Timor.
September 11, 2006. 5:00pm (AEST)
E Timor refugees express fears before returning to Dili
A group of East Timorese refugees being sent home from Australia this afternoon say they fear for their safety when they get to Dili.
More than 40 East Timorese men, women and children are due to fly out of Darwin soon.
The group has been staying in Melbourne and Darwin since trouble flared in the East Timorese capital earlier this year, but their temporary visas expire tonight.
Darwin resident Jose Gusmao, a cousin of the East Timorese president Xanana Gusmao, says members of the group face an uncertain future.
"We don't want to stay here forever, we want to go back once the situation in East Timor is improved, and the security in East Timor is improved, we will go back," he said.
He says the refugees should be staying in Australia in the meantime.
"These people end up in refugee camps," he said.
"I mean, the kids end up living in refugee camps, not going to school."
The group is being given an emotional farewell as they prepare to leave Australia on a charter flight.
It is not clear if two East Timorese men admitted to the Royal Darwin Hospital yesterday will join them today.