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State

Capital

East Timor

Dili

Timor Leste

Currency unit

US $

Connections

Genocide

Indonesia

Portugal

SEA

War

 Politics

 Economics

 Green

 Rights

 Climate

History

Timor is an island within the Indonesian archipelago. Two parts of it were held by the Portuguese; the remainder was colonized by the Dutch. On Indonesian independence the Dutch part became part of Indonesia.

The Portuguese colony remained from 1516 until 1976 when following the Portuguese revolution it was occupied and annexed by Indonesia. Many of the people speak Portuguese as their mother tongue and are Roman Catholics, because they are the descendants of Portuguese who married local women. Thus they do not feel an affinity for Indonesia. There was an independence movement which was suppressed with great brutality but continued to fight a guerrilla war. The UN never recognized the Indonesian occupation as legal. However, Indonesia's neighbor, Australia, tacitly recognized the occupation by failure to protest.

See War for details.

The resignation of General Suharto as Indonesian president was followed by an announcement by his successor Habibie that East Timor could vote on whether to remain in Indonesia or to have independence. The vote was supervised by a UN team. There was a large majority for independence. However gangs of militia men then appeared on the streets, burning houses and driving the people out. Many independence supporters were killed. It is widely believed the militia were armed, trained and directed by the Indonesian army. How far was the Indonesian president implicated in these actions? This is not known at present.

In September 1999 an International force led by Australians was authorised by the UN to restore order and allowed to land by the Indonesians. However, by the time they arrived almost every building had been burned down and many people driven out as refugees to the Indonesian territory in West Timor. A UN administration was set up to govern the territory pending elections. These resulted in a president and government. The UN administration withdrew and the state became independent.

Languages

Portuguese

Malay dialects

 History

 Economics

 Green

 Rights

 Climate

Politics

An independence movement - Frente Timorao do Liberacion Nacional (FRETILIN) demanded an independent state during the period of occupation by Indonesia.

Elections in 2002 resulted in the leader of the independence movement being elected president. The state then became independent.

Interesting reading

 History

 Politics

 Green

 Rights

 Climate

Economics

Large deposits of oil, were divided between Indonesia and Australia (Timor Gap Treaty). Portugal accused these powers of dealing in stolen property, as Portugal was still formally the owner, as legitimate ruler of the territory. (Potentially, an Independent Timor would be a rich country but the treaty gives it very little).

 History

 Politics

 Economics

 Rights

 Climate

Green/Ecology

The Indonesian regime allowed much of the forest to be felled, with resulting erosion. The new government is attempting to replant the forest.

 History

 Politics

 Economics

 Green

 Climate

Human Rights

Bad during the Indonesian occupation. Executions without trial. The Indonesian government did not recognize the separate rights of the people.

Climate effects

Last revised 27/10/08


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