Timor (/ˌiːst ˈtiːmɔːr/ ( listen)) or Timor-Leste
(/tiˈmɔːr ˈlɛʃteɪ/; Tetum: Timór Lorosa'e), officially the
Republic of Timor-Leste (Portuguese: República
Democrática de Timor-Leste, Tetum: Repúblika Demokrátika
Timór-Leste), is a sovereign state in Maritime Southeast
Asia. It comprises the eastern half of the island of Timor, the
nearby islands of Atauro and Jaco, and Oecusse, an exclave on the
northwestern side of the island surrounded by Indonesian West Timor.
Australia is the country's southern neighbor, separated by the Timor
Sea. The country's size is about 15,410 km2 (5,400
Timor was colonised by
Portugal in the 16th century, and was
Portuguese Timor until 28 November 1975, when the
Revolutionary Front for an Independent East
Timor (Fretilin) declared
the territory's independence. Nine days later, it was invaded and
Indonesia and was declared Indonesia's 27th province the
following year. The Indonesian occupation of East
characterised by a highly violent decades-long conflict between
separatist groups (especially Fretilin) and the Indonesian military.
In 1999, following the United Nations-sponsored act of
Indonesia relinquished control of the territory.
Timor became the first new sovereign state of the 21st century on
20 May 2002 and joined the
United Nations and the Community of
Portuguese Language Countries. In 2011, East
Timor announced its
intention to gain membership status in the Association of Southeast
Asian Nations (ASEAN) by applying to become its eleventh member.
Timor is part of a free trade zone, the
Australia Growth Triangle (TIA-GT). It
is one of only two predominantly Christian nations in Southeast Asia,
the other being the Philippines.
2.2 Classical Era
2.3 Colonial Era
2.3.1 First Portuguese Period
2.3.2 Japanese Period
2.3.3 Second Portuguese Period
2.3.4 Indonesian Period
2.4 Contemporary Era
3 Politics and government
4 Administrative divisions
5 Foreign relations and military
10 See also
13 External links
"Timor" derives from timur, the word for "east" in Malay, which became
Timor in Portuguese, thus resulting in the tautological
toponym meaning "East East": In Portuguese Timor-Leste (Leste being
the word for "east"); in
Tetum Timór Lorosa'e (Lorosa'e being the
word for "east" (literally "rising sun")). In Indonesian, the country
Timor Timur, thus using the Portuguese name for the island
followed by the word for "east", as adjectives in Indonesian are put
after the noun.
The official names under the Constitution are Democratic
Timor-Leste in English, República Democrática de Timor-Leste
in Portuguese and Repúblika Demokrátika Timór-Leste in Tetum.
International Organization for Standardization
International Organization for Standardization (ISO) official
short form in English and all other languages is Timor-Leste (codes:
TLS & TL), which has been adopted by the United Nations, the
European Union, and the national standards organisations of France
United States (ANSI),
United Kingdom (BSI), Germany
Sweden (SIS), all diplomatic missions to the country by
protocol and the CIA World Factbook.
Main article: History of East Timor
Humans first settled in East
Timor 42,000 years ago. Descendants
of at least three waves of migration are believed still to live in
East Timor. The first is described by anthropologists as people of the
Australoid type. Around 3000 BC, a second migration brought
Melanesians. The earlier Veddo-
Australoid peoples withdrew at this
time to the mountainous interior. Finally, proto-Malays arrived from
China and north Indochina. Hakka traders are among those
descended from this final group. Timorese origin myths tell of
ancestors that sailed around the eastern end of
Timor arriving on land
in the south. Some stories recount Timorese ancestors journeying from
Malay Peninsula or the Minangkabau highlands of Sumatra.
Austronesians migrated to Timor, and are thought to be associated with
the development of agriculture on the island.
Thirdly, Proto-Malays arrived from south
China and north
Before European colonialism,
Timor was included in Chinese and Indian
trading networks, and in the 14th century was an exporter of aromatic
sandalwood, slaves, honey, and wax. It was the relative abundance of
Timor that attracted European explorers to the island in
the early 16th century. During that time, European explorers
reported that the island had a number of small chiefdoms or
Portuguese Timor (1935–1975)
First Portuguese Period
The Portuguese established outposts in
Timor and Maluku. Effective
European occupation of a small part of the territory began in 1769,
when the city of
Dili was founded and the colony of Portuguese Timor
declared. A definitive border between the Dutch-colonised western
half of the island and the Portuguese-colonised eastern half of the
island was established by the
Permanent Court of Arbitration
Permanent Court of Arbitration of
1914, and it remains the international boundary between the
successor states East
Timor and Indonesia. For the Portuguese, East
Timor remained little more than a neglected trading post until the
late nineteenth century, with minimal investment in infrastructure,
health, and education.
Sandalwood remained the main export crop with
coffee exports becoming significant in the mid-nineteenth century. As
was often the case, Portuguese rule was generally neglectful but
exploitative where it existed.
At the beginning of the twentieth century, a faltering home economy
prompted the Portuguese to extract greater wealth from its colonies,
which was met with East Timorese resistance.
During World War II, the Japanese occupied Dili, and the mountainous
interior became the scene of a guerrilla campaign, known as the Battle
of Timor. Waged by Allied forces and East Timorese volunteers against
the Japanese, the struggle resulted in the deaths of between 40,000
and 70,000 East Timorese. The Japanese eventually drove the last
of the Australian and Allied forces out. However, following the end of
World War II and Japanese surrender, Portuguese control was
Second Portuguese Period
Following the 1974 Portuguese revolution,
abandoned its colony on
Timor and civil war between East Timorese
political parties broke out in 1975.
The Revolutionary Front for an Independent East
Timorese Democratic Union
Timorese Democratic Union (UDT) coup attempt in August
1975, and unilaterally declared independence on 28 November 1975.
Fearing a communist state within the Indonesian archipelago, the
Indonesian military, with Australian, British, and US support,
launched an invasion of East
Timor in December 1975. Indonesia
Timor its 27th province on 17 July 1976. The UN
Security Council opposed the invasion and the territory's nominal
status in the UN remained as "non-self-governing territory under
A demonstration for independence from
Indonesia held in Australia
during September 1999
Indonesia's occupation of East
Timor was marked by violence and
brutality. A detailed statistical report prepared for the Commission
for Reception, Truth and Reconciliation in East
Timor cited a minimum
bound of 102,800 conflict-related deaths in the period 1974–1999,
namely, approximately 18,600 killings and 84,200 "excess" deaths from
hunger and illness. The East Timorese guerrilla force (Forças
Armadas da Libertação Nacional de Timor-Leste, Falintil) fought a
campaign against the Indonesian forces from 1975 to 1999.[citation
José Ramos-Horta, 1996 Nobel Peace Prize winner, second President of
Dili Massacre was a turning point for the independence cause
and an East
Timor solidarity movement grew in Portugal, Australia, and
other Western countries.
Following the resignation of Indonesian President Suharto, a
UN-sponsored agreement between
Portugal allowed for a
UN-supervised popular referendum in August 1999. A clear vote for
independence was met with a punitive campaign of violence by East
Timorese pro-integration militia with the support of elements of the
Indonesian military. With Indonesian permission, an Australian-led
multi-national peacekeeping force was deployed until order was
restored. In 25 October 1999, the administration of East
taken over by the UN through the
United Nations Transitional
Administration in East
Timor (UNTAET). The INTERFET deployment
ended in February 2000 with the transfer of military command to the
Xanana Gusmão, the first East Timorese President.
On 30 August 2001, the East Timorese voted in their first election
organised by the UN to elect members of the Constituent
Assembly. On 22 March 2002, the Constituent Assembly approved
the Constitution. By May 2002, over 205,000 refugees had
returned. On 20 May 2002, the Constitution of the Democratic
Republic of East
Timor came into force and East
Timor was recognised
as independent by the UN. The Constituent Assembly was renamed
the National Parliament and
Xanana Gusmão was sworn in as the
country's first President. On 27 September 2002, East
renamed to Timor-Leste, using the Portuguese language, and was
admitted as a member state by the UN.
The following year, Gusmão declined another presidential term, and in
the build-up to the April 2007 presidential elections there were
renewed outbreaks of violence.
José Ramos-Horta was elected President
in the May 2007 election, while Gusmão ran in the parliamentary
elections and became Prime Minister. Ramos-Horta was critically
injured in an attempted assassination in February 2008. Prime Minister
Gusmão also faced gunfire separately but escaped unharmed. Australian
reinforcements were immediately sent to help keep order. In 2006,
United Nations sent in security forces to restore order when
unrest and factional fighting forced 15 percent of the population
(155,000 people) to flee their homes. In March 2011, the UN handed
over operational control of the police force to the East Timor
United Nations ended its peacekeeping mission on 31
Politics and government
Main article: Politics of East Timor
Nicolau Lobato Presidential Palace
Nicolau Lobato Presidential Palace in Dili.
The head of state of East
Timor is the President of the Republic, who
is elected by popular vote for a five-year term. Although their
executive powers are somewhat limited, the President does have the
power to appoint the Prime Minister and veto government legislation.
Following elections, the President usually appoints the leader of the
majority party or coalition as
Prime Minister of East Timor
Prime Minister of East Timor and the
cabinet on the proposal of the latter. As head of government, the
Prime Minister presides over the cabinet.
The National Parliament of East Timor
The unicameral East Timorese parliament is the National Parliament or
Parlamento Nacional, whose members are elected by popular vote to a
five-year term. The number of seats can vary from a minimum of
fifty-two to a maximum of sixty-five. The East Timorese constitution
was modelled on that of Portugal. The country is still in the process
of building its administration and governmental institutions.
Government departments include the Polícia Nacional de Timor-Leste
Timor Ministry for State and Internal Administration,
Civil Aviation Division of Timor-Leste, and Immigration Department of
Main articles: Municipalities of East Timor, Administrative posts of
East Timor, and Sucos of East Timor
The thirteen municipalities of East Timor
Timor is divided into thirteen municipalities, which in turn are
subdivided into 65 administrative posts, 442 sucos (villages), and
2,225 aldeias (hamlets).
Foreign relations and military
Main articles: Foreign relations of East
Timor Leste Defence
F-FDTL soldiers standing in formation
Timor sought membership in the Association of Southeast Asian
Nations (ASEAN) in 2007, and a formal application was submitted in
Indonesia and the
Philippines support East Timor's bid
to join ASEAN.
The Europe House in Dili, the European Union's representation in East
Timor border in Mota'ain
Timor Leste Defence Force (Forças de Defesa de Timor-Leste,
F-FDTL) is the military body responsible for the defence of East
Timor. The F-FDTL was established in February 2001 and comprised two
small infantry battalions, a small naval component, and several
The F-FDTL's primary role is to protect East
Timor from external
threats. It also has an internal security role, which overlaps with
that of the National Police of East
Timor (Polícia Nacional de
Timor-Leste, PNTL). This overlap has led to tensions between the
services, which have been exacerbated by poor morale and lack of
discipline within the F-FDTL.
The F-FDTL's problems came to a head in 2006 when almost half the
force was dismissed following protests over discrimination and poor
conditions. The dismissal contributed to a general collapse of both
the F-FDTL and PNTL in May and forced the government to request
foreign peacekeepers to restore security. The F-FDTL is being rebuilt
with foreign assistance and has drawn up a long-term force development
Australia on December 2013
Since the discovery of petroleum in the
Timor Sea in the 1970s, there
have been disputes surrounding the rights to ownership and
exploitation of the resources situated in a part of the
known as the
Timor Gap, which is the area of the
Timor Sea which lies
outside the territorial boundaries of the nations to the north and
south of the
Timor Sea. These disagreements initially involved
Australia and Indonesia, although a resolution was eventually reached
in the form of the
Timor Gap Treaty. After declaration of East Timor's
nationhood in 1999, the terms of the
Timor Gap Treaty were abandoned
and negotiations commenced between
Australia and East Timor,
culminating in the
Timor Sea Treaty.
Australia's territorial claim extends to the bathymetric axis (the
line of greatest sea-bed depth) at the
Timor Trough. It overlaps East
Timor's own territorial claim, which follows the former colonial power
Portugal and the
United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea in
claiming that the dividing line should be midway between the two
It was revealed in 2013 that the Australian Secret Intelligence
Service (ASIS) planted listening devices to listen to East Timor
during negotiations over the Greater Sunrise oil and gasfields. This
is known as the Australia–East
Timor spying scandal.
Main article: Geography of East Timor
Com Beach, East Timor
Located in Southeast Asia, the island of
Timor is part of Maritime
Southeast Asia, and is the largest and easternmost of the Lesser Sunda
Islands. To the north of the island are the Ombai Strait, Wetar
Strait, and the greater Banda Sea. The
Timor Sea separates the island
Australia to the south, and the Indonesian Province of East Nusa
Tenggara lies to East Timor's west.
Much of the country is mountainous, and its highest point is
Tatamailau (also known as Mount Ramelau) at 2,963 metres
(9,721 ft). The climate is tropical and generally hot and
humid. It is characterised by distinct rainy and dry seasons. The
capital, largest city, and main port is Dili, and the second-largest
city is the eastern town of Baucau. East
Timor lies between latitudes
8° and 10°S, and longitudes 124° and 128°E.
The easternmost area of East
Timor consists of the
Paitchau Range and
Ira Lalaro area, which contains the country's first
conservation area, the Nino Konis Santana National Park. It
contains the last remaining tropical dry forested area within the
country. It hosts a number of unique plant and animal species and is
sparsely populated. The northern coast is characterised by a
number of coral reef systems that have been determined to be at
Main article: Economy of East Timor
Timor export treemap, 2010
Fractional coins "centavos"
Coffee plantations in Aileu
Timor has a market economy that used to depend upon exports of a
few commodities such as coffee, marble, petroleum, and sandalwood.
East Timor's economy grew by about 10% in 2011 and at a similar rate
Timor now has revenue from offshore oil and gas reserves, but
little of it has gone to develop villages, which still rely on
subsistence farming. Nearly half the population lives in extreme
Petroleum Fund was established in 2005, and by 2011 it
had reached a worth of US$8.7 billion. East
Timor is labelled by
the International Monetary Fund as the "most oil-dependent economy in
the world". The
Petroleum Fund pays for nearly all of the
government's annual budget, which has increased from $70 million in
2004 to $1.3 billion in 2011, with a $1.8 billion proposal for
2012. East-Timor's income from oil and gas stands to significantly
increase after its announcement to cancel a controversial agreement
with Australia, which has given
Australia half of the income from oil
and gas since 2006.
The economy is dependent on government spending and, to a lesser
extent, assistance from foreign donors. Private sector development
has lagged due to human capital shortages, infrastructure weakness, an
incomplete legal system, and an inefficient regulatory
environment. After petroleum, the second largest export is coffee,
which generates about $10 million a year.
Starbucks is a major
purchaser of East Timorese coffee.
9,000 tonnes of coffee, 108 tonnes of cinnamon and 161 tonnes of cocoa
were harvested in 2012 making the country the 40th ranked producer of
coffee, the 6th ranked producer of cinnamon and the 50th ranked
producer of cocoa worldwide.
According to data gathered in the 2010 census, 87.7% of urban (321,043
people) and 18.9% of rural (821,459 people) households have
electricity, for an overall average of 38.2%.
The agriculture sector employs 80% of the active population. In
2009, about 67,000 households grew coffee in East Timor, with a large
proportion being poor. Currently, the gross margins are about $120
per hectare, with returns per labour-day of about $3.70. There
were 11,000 households growing mungbeans as of 2009, most of them
The country was ranked 169th overall and last in the East
Pacific region by the Doing Business 2013 report by the World Bank.
The country fared particularly poorly in the "registering property",
"enforcing contracts" and "resolving insolvency" categories, ranking
last worldwide in all three.
As regards telecommunications infrastructure, East
Timor is the second
to last ranked Asian country in the World Economic Forum's Network
Readiness Index (NRI), with only
Myanmar falling behind it in
southeast Asia. NRI is an indicator for determining the development
level of a country's information and communication technologies. East
Timor ranked number 141 overall in the 2014 NRI ranking, down from 134
The Portuguese colonial administration granted concessions to the
Australia-bound Oceanic Exploration Corporation to develop petroleum
and natural gas deposits in the waters southeast of Timor. However,
this was curtailed by the Indonesian invasion in 1976.[citation
needed] The resources were divided between
Indonesia and Australia
Timor Gap Treaty in 1989. East
Timor inherited no
permanent maritime boundaries when it attained independence.[citation
needed] A provisional agreement (the
Timor Sea Treaty, signed when
Timor became independent on 20 May 2002) defined a Joint
Petroleum Development Area (JPDA) and awarded 90% of revenues from
existing projects in that area to East
Timor and 10% to Australia.
An agreement in 2005 between the governments of East
Australia mandated that both countries put aside their dispute over
maritime boundaries and that East
Timor would receive 50% of the
revenues from the resource exploitation in the area (estimated at A$26
billion, or about US$20 billion over the lifetime of the project)
from the Greater Sunrise development. In 2013, East
a case at the
Permanent Court of Arbitration
Permanent Court of Arbitration in
The Hague to pull out
of a gas treaty that it had signed with Australia, accusing the
Australian Secret Intelligence Service
Australian Secret Intelligence Service (ASIS) of bugging the East
Timorese cabinet room in
Dili in 2004.
There are no patent laws in East Timor.
A railway system has been proposed but the current government has yet
to approve the proposal due to lack of funds and expertise. If
established, the country's economy is foreseen to have the same
economic boom as
Japan almost did a century ago. The
noted that if they finally finish their own railway system by 2022,
they may send experts and aid to Timor-Leste for its railway
Main article: Demographics of East Timor
An East Timorese in traditional dress
Source: 2015 census
Timor demographic change between 1861 and 2010.
Timor recorded a population of 1,167,242 in its 2015 census.
The CIA's World Factbook lists the English-language demonym for
Timor-Leste as Timorese, as does the Government of Timor-Leste's
website. Other reference sources list it as East Timorese.
The word Maubere, formerly used by the Portuguese to refer to
native East Timorese and often employed as synonymous with the
illiterate and uneducated, was adopted by
Fretilin as a term of
pride. Native East Timorese consist of a number of distinct ethnic
groups, most of whom are of mixed
Austronesian and Melanesian/Papuan
descent. The largest Malayo-Polynesian ethnic groups
are the Tetum (100,000), primarily in the north coast and around
Dili; the Mambai (80,000), in the central mountains; the Tukudede
(63,170), in the area around
Maubara and Liquiçá; the Galoli
(50,000), between the tribes of Mambae and Makasae; the Kemak (50,000)
Timor island; and the
Baikeno (20,000), in the area
around Pante Macassar.
The main tribes of predominantly Papuan origin include the Bunak
(84,000), in the central interior of
Timor island; the Fataluku
(40,000), at the eastern tip of the island near Lospalos; and the
Makasae (70,000), toward the eastern end of the island.[citation
needed] As a result of interracial marriage which was common during
the Portuguese era, there is a population of people of mixed East
Timorese and Portuguese origin, known in Portuguese as mestiços.
There is a small Chinese minority, most of whom are Hakka. Many
Chinese left in the mid-1970s.
Main article: Languages of East Timor
Major language groups in East
Timor by suco
East Timor's two official languages are Portuguese and Tetum. English
and Indonesian are sometimes used, and are designated as working
Tetum belongs to the
Austronesian family of languages
spoken throughout Southeast Asia.
The 2010 census found that the most commonly spoken mother tongues
Tetum Prasa (mother tongue for 36.6% of the population), Mambai
Tetum Terik (6.0%),
Baikenu (5.9%), Kemak
Tokodede (3.7%), and Fataluku (3.6%). Other
indigenous languages largely accounted for the remaining 10.9%, while
Portuguese was spoken natively by just under 600 people.
Under Indonesian rule, the use of Portuguese was banned and only
Indonesian was allowed to be used in government offices, schools and
public business. During the Indonesian occupation,
Portuguese were important unifying elements for the East Timorese
people in opposing Javanese culture. Portuguese was adopted as one
of the two official languages upon independence in 2002 for this
reason and as a link to
Lusophone nations in other parts of the world.
It is now being taught and promoted with the help of Brazil, Portugal,
and the Community of Portuguese Language Countries. The government
believes that Portuguese will be the dominant and most widely used
language in East
Timor in the next few years, as proficiency in the
Portuguese language is accelerating rapidly.
Indonesian and English are defined as working languages under the
Constitution in the Final and Transitional Provisions, without setting
a final date. Aside from Tetum,
Ethnologue lists the following
indigenous languages: Adabe, Baikeno, Bunak, Fataluku, Galoli, Habun,
Idaté, Kairui-Midiki, Kemak, Lakalei, Makasae, Makuv'a, Mambae,
Nauete, Tukudede, and Waima'a. It is estimated that English is
understood by 31.4% of the population. As of 2012, 35% speak, read,
and write Portuguese, which is up significantly from less than 5% in
the 2006 UN Development Report. Portuguese has now been made the
official language of Timor, and is being taught in most schools.
Timor is a member of the Community of Portuguese Language
Countries (also known as the
Lusophone Commonwealth) and of the Latin
According to the Atlas of the World's Languages in Danger, there are
six endangered languages in East Timor: Adabe, Habu, Kairui-Midiki,
Maku'a, Naueti, and Waima'a.
Escola Portuguesa Ruy Cinatti, the Portuguese School of Díli.
East Timor's adult literacy rate in 2010 was 58.3%, up from just 37.6%
in 2001. Illiteracy was at 95 per cent at the end of Portuguese
The National University of East
Timor is the country's main
university. There are also four colleges.
Since independence, both Indonesian and
Tetum have lost ground as
mediums of instruction, while Portuguese has increased: in 2001 only
8.4% of primary school and 6.8% of secondary school students attended
a Portuguese-medium school; by 2005 this had increased to 81.6% for
primary and 46.3% for secondary schools. Indonesian formerly
played a considerable role in education, being used by 73.7% of all
secondary school students as a medium of instruction, but by 2005 it
was used by most schools only in Baucau, Manatuto, as well as the
capital district. The
Philippines has sent Filipino teachers to
Timor-Leste to teach English, so that a program between the two
countries can begin, where deserving English-knowledgeable East
Timorese nationals will be granted university scholarships in the
Life expectancy at birth was at 60.7 in 2007. The fertility rate
is at six births per woman. Healthy life expectancy at birth was
at 55 years in 2007. Government expenditure on health was at
US$150 (PPP) per person in 2006. There were only two hospitals and
14 village healthcare facilities in 1974. By 1994, there were 11
hospitals and 330 healthcare centres.
The 2010 maternal mortality rate per 100,000 births for East
370. This compares with 928.6 in 2008 and 1016.3 in 1990. The under-5
mortality rate per 1,000 births is 60 and the neonatal mortality rate
per 1,000 live births is 27. The number of midwives per 1,000
live births is 8 and the lifetime risk of death for pregnant women is
1 in 44.
The country has one of the highest smoking rates in the world, with
33% of the population, including 61% of men, smoking daily.
By 2015, due to a Cuban–East Timorese training programme initiated
in 2003, East
Timor will have more doctors per capita than any other
country in southeast Asia.
Main article: Religion in East Timor
See also: Catholic Church in East Timor
The Church of Santo António de Motael, Dili
According to the 2010 census, 96.9% of the population is Roman
Catholic; 2.2% Protestant; 0.3% Muslim; and 0.5% practice some other
or no religion.
The number of churches has grown from 100 in 1974 to over 800 in
1994, with Church membership having grown considerably under
Indonesian rule as Pancasila, Indonesia's state ideology, requires all
citizens to believe in one God and does not recognise traditional
beliefs. East Timorese animist belief systems did not fit with
Indonesia's constitutional monotheism, resulting in mass conversions
to Christianity. Portuguese clergy were replaced with Indonesian
priests and Latin and Portuguese mass was replaced by Indonesian
mass. While just 20% of East Timorese called themselves Catholics
at the time of the 1975 invasion, the figure surged to reach 95% by
the end of the first decade after the invasion. In rural
areas, Roman Catholicism is syncretized with local animist
beliefs. With over 95% Catholic population, East
currently one of the most densely Catholic countries in the
Saint Mary outside Balide church, East Timor
The number of Protestants and Muslims declined significantly after
September 1999 because these groups were disproportionately
represented among supporters of integration with
Indonesia and among
the Indonesian civil servants assigned to work in the province from
other parts of Indonesia, many of whom left the country in 1999.
There are also small
Muslim communities. The
Indonesian military forces formerly stationed in the country included
a significant number of Protestants, who played a major role in
Protestant churches in the territory. Fewer than
half of those congregations existed after September 1999, and many
Protestants were among those who remained in West Timor. The
Assemblies of God
Assemblies of God is the largest and most active of the Protestant
While the Constitution of East
Timor enshrines the principles of
freedom of religion and separation of church and state in Section 45
Comma 1, it also acknowledges "the participation of the Catholic
Church in the process of national liberation" in its preamble
(although this has no legal value). Upon independence, the
country joined the
Philippines to become the only two predominantly
Roman Catholic states in Asia, although nearby parts of eastern
Indonesia such as West
Flores also have Roman Catholic
Roman Catholic Church divides East
Timor into three dioceses: the
Diocese of Díli, the Diocese of Baucau, and the Diocese of Maliana,
all of which have friendly ties with the hundreds of dioceses in the
Main article: Culture of East Timor
Sacred house (lee teinu) in Lospalos
The culture of East
Timor reflects numerous influences, including
Roman Catholic and Indonesian, on Timor's indigenous
Austronesian and Melanesian cultures. East Timorese culture is heavily
Austronesian legends. For example, East Timorese
creation myth has it that an aging crocodile transformed into the
Timor as part of a debt repayment to a young boy who had
helped the crocodile when it was sick. As a result, the island is
shaped like a crocodile and the boy's descendants are the native East
Timorese who inhabit it. The phrase "leaving the crocodile" refers to
the pained exile of East Timorese from their island. Timor-Leste is
currently finalizing its dossiers needed for nominations in the UNESCO
World Heritage List,
UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage Lists, UNESCO
Creative Cities Network,
UNESCO Global Geoparks Network, and UNESCO
Biosphere Reserve Network. The country currently has one document in
UNESCO Memory of the World Register, namely, On the Birth of a
Nation: Turning points.
Traditional Timorese dancers
There is also a strong tradition of poetry in the country. Prime
Minister Xanana Gusmão, for example, is a distinguished poet, earning
the moniker "poet warrior".
Architecturally, Portuguese-style buildings can be found, along with
the traditional totem houses of the eastern region. These are known as
uma lulik ("sacred houses") in
Tetum and lee teinu ("legged houses")
in Fataluku. Craftsmanship and the weaving of
traditional scarves (tais) is also widespread.
An extensive collection of Timorese audiovisual material is held at
National Film and Sound Archive
National Film and Sound Archive of Australia. These holdings have
been identified in a document titled The NFSA Timor-Leste Collection
Profile, which features catalogue entries and essays for a total of
795 NFSA-held moving image, recorded sound and documentation works
that have captured the history and culture of East
Timor since the
early 20th century. The NFSA is working with the East Timor
government to ensure that all of this material can be used and
accessed by the people of that country.
In 2013 the first East Timorese feature film, Beatriz's War, was
released. In 2009 and 2010, East
Timor was the nation of subject
matter for the Australian and South Korean films Balibo and A Barefoot
The cuisine of East
Timor consists of regional popular foods such as
pork, fish, basil, tamarind, legumes, corn, rice, root vegetables, and
tropical fruit. East Timorese cuisine has influences from Southeast
Asian cuisine and from Portuguese dishes from its colonisation by
Portugal. Flavours and ingredients from other former Portuguese
colonies can be found due to the centuries-old Portuguese presence on
the island. Due to the East and West combination of Timor-Leste's
cuisine, it developed features related with Filipino cuisine, which
also experienced an East-West culinary combination.
Main article: Sport in East Timor
Sports organisations joined by East
Timor include the International
Olympic Committee (IOC), the International Association of Athletics
Federations (IAAF), the International Badminton Federation (IBF), the
Union Cycliste Internationale, the International Weightlifting
Federation, the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF), the
International Basketball Federation (FIBA), and East Timor's national
football team joined FIFA. East Timorese athletes competed in the 2003
Southeast Asian Games held 2003. In the 2003 ASEAN
Timor won a bronze medal. In the Athens 2004 Olympic Games, East
Timorese athletes participated in athletics, weightlifting and boxing.
Timor won three medals in Arnis at the 2005 Southeast Asian
Timor competed in the first
Lusophony Games and, in
October 2008, the country earned its first international points in a
FIFA football match with a 2–2 draw against Cambodia. East
Timor competed at the 2014 Winter Olympics.
Thomas Americo was the first East Timorese fighter to fight for a
world boxing title. He was murdered in 1999, shortly before Indonesian
occupation of East
Southeast Asia portal
Accession into ASEAN
Outline of East Timor
Index of East Timor-related articles
List of cities, towns and villages in East Timor
List of East Timor-related topics
Telecommunications in East Timor
Transport in East Timor
Visa policy of East Timor
Australian Involvement in the East
^ a b "Volume 2: Population Distribution by Administrative Areas"
(PDF). Population and Housing Census of Timor-Leste, 2010. Timor-Leste
Ministry of Finance. p. 21.
^ Hicks, David (15 September 2014). "Rhetoric and the Decolonization
and Recolonization of East Timor".
Routledge – via Google
^ Adelman, Howard (28 June 2011). "No Return, No Refuge: Rites and
Rights in Minority Repatriation". Columbia University Press – via
^ a b Shoesmith, Dennis (March–April 2003). "Timor-Leste: Divided
Leadership in a Semi-Presidential System" (PDF). Asian Survey.
Berkeley: University of California Press. 43 (2): 231–252.
doi:10.1525/as.2003.43.2.231. ISSN 0004-4687.
OCLC 905451085. Retrieved 25 August 2017. The semi-presidential
system in the new state of Timor-Leste has institutionalized a
political struggle between the president, Xanana Gusmão, and the
prime minister, Mari Alkatiri. This has polarized political alliances
and threatens the viability of the new state. This paper explains the
ideological divisions and the history of rivalry between these two key
political actors. The adoption of Marxism by
Fretilin in 1977 led to
Gusmão's repudiation of the party in the 1980s and his decision to
remove Falintil, the guerrilla movement, from
Fretilin control. The
power struggle between the two leaders is then examined in the
transition to independence. This includes an account of the
politicization of the defense and police forces and attempts by
Minister of Internal Administration Rogério Lobato to use disaffected
Falintil veterans as a counterforce to the Gusmão loyalists in the
army. The December 4, 2002,
Dili riots are explained in the context of
this political struggle.
^ a b Neto, Octávio Amorim; Lobo, Marina Costa (2010). "Between
Constitutional Diffusion and Local Politics: Semi-Presidentialism in
Portuguese-Speaking Countries" (PDF). APSA 2010 Annual Meeting Paper.
Social Science Research Network. SSRN 1644026 . Retrieved 25
^ Beuman, Lydia M. (2016). Political Institutions in East Timor:
Semi-Presidentialism and Democratisation. Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge.
ISBN 1317362128. LCCN 2015036590. OCLC 983148216.
Retrieved 18 August 2017 – via Google Books.
^ a b [dead link]
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^ "2016 Human Development Report" (PDF).
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United Nations Group of
Experts on Geographical Names. 2–6 May 2011. Retrieved 14 August
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Government of Timor-Leste. Retrieved 2 September 2016.
^ a b "Konstituisaun Repúblika Demokrátika Timór-Leste" (PDF).
Government of Timor-Leste. Retrieved 2 September 2016.
^ CIA (29 November 2012). "East and Southeast Asia:Timor-Leste". The
World Factbook. Washington, DC: Central Intelligence Agency. Retrieved
16 December 2012.
Timor Bid to Join ASEAN Wins 'Strong Support', Bangkok Post,
date: 31 January 2011.
^ "Boosting Growth through the Growth Triangle « Government of
^ a b c "Constitution of the Democratic
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(PDF). Government of Timor-Leste. Retrieved 2 September 2016.
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original on 24 October 2007. Retrieved 28 March 2010.
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Leste". Europa (web portal). Retrieved 28 March 2010.
^ "US Department of State: Timor-Leste". State.gov. 20 January 2009.
Retrieved 28 March 2010.
^ "CIA World Factbook". US Govt. 1 July 2014.
^ Marwick, Ben; Clarkson, Chris; O'Connor, Sue; Collins, Sophie
(December 2016). "Early modern human lithic technology from Jerimalai,
East Timor". Journal of Human Evolution. 101: 45–64.
doi:10.1016/j.jhevol.2016.09.004. PMID 27886810.
^ University of Coimbra: Population Settlements in East
.tl About Timor-Leste Archived 29 October 2008 at the
^ Taylor, Jean Gelman (2003). Indonesia: Peoples and Histories. New
Haven and London: Yale University Press. p. 378.
^ "Brief History of Timor-Leste". Official Web Gateway to the
Government of Timor-Leste. Government of the Democratic
Timor-Leste. 2006. Archived from the original on 29 October
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Settlements in East
Timor and Indonesia". University of Coimbra
website. University of Coimbra. Archived from the original on 11
^ Leibo, Steven (2012), East and
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^ "Flags of the World". Fotw.net. Retrieved 17 July 2011.
^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 23 November 2006.
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^ "Official Web Gateway to the Government of Timor-Leste –
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^ "UNITED NATIONS TRANSITIONAL ADMINISTRATION IN EAST TIMOR –
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^ Etan/Us (15 February 2000). "UN takes over East
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20 May 2002".
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October 2001. Retrieved 2 September 2016.
^ "East Timor: More than 1,000 refugees return since beginning of
month". ReliefWeb. 10 May 2002. Retrieved 13 February 2013.
^ "Constitution of the Democratic
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^ "Unanimous Assembly decision makes Timor-Leste 191st United Nations
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^ "Asia-Pacific Shot East
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February 2008. Retrieved 17 July 2011.
^ "UN wraps up East
Timor mission". ABC News.
^ Jornal da Républica mit dem Diploma Ministerial n.° 199/09
Archived 1 March 2012 at the Wayback Machine. (PDF-Datei;
^ "Population and Housing Census 2015, Preliminary Results" (PDF).
Geral de Estatística. Retrieved 15 January 2018.
Timor aims to join ASEAN". Investvine. 30 December 2012.
Retrieved 30 December 2012.
^ Richard Baker (21 April 2007). "New
Timor treaty 'a failure'".
Theage.com.au. The Age Company Ltd. Retrieved 3 January 2010.
^ "United Nations". United Nations. Archived from the original on 2
April 2010. Retrieved 28 March 2010.
^ "Mount Ramelau". Gunung Bagging. Retrieved 18 December 2016.
Nino Konis Santana National Park
Nino Konis Santana National Park declared as Timor-Leste's
(formerly East Timor) first national park". Wildlife Extra.
^ Norwegian energy and Water Resources Directorate (NVE) (2004),
Iralalaro Hydropower Project Environmental Assessment
^ "ReefGIS – Reefs At Risk – Global 1998". Reefgis.reefbase.org.
Retrieved 28 March 2010.
^ de Brouwer, Gordon (2001), Hill, Hal; Saldanha, João M., eds., East
Timor: Development Challenges For The World's Newest Nation, Canberra,
Asia Pacific Press, pp. 39–51,
^ "Timor-Leste's Economy Remains Strong, Prospects for Private Sector
Development Strengthened". Asian Development Bank. Archived from the
original on 9 March 2013.
^ a b Schonhardt, Sara (19 April 2012). "Former Army Chief Elected
President in East Timor". The New York Times.
^ a b "Observers divided over oil fund investment". IRIN Asia.
^ "Article IV Consultation with the Democratic
Australia border treaty over oil reserves". BBC
^ a b c "U.S. Relations With Timor-Leste". U.S. Department of State. 3
^ "The Story of East Timorese Coffee". East
^ "FAOSTAT". faostat3.fao.org.
^ "Highlights of the 2010 Census Main Results in Timor-Leste" (PDF).
Direcção Nacional de Estatística. Archived from the original (PDF)
on 28 September 2013.
^ a b c d "Expanding
Timor – Leste's Near – Term Non – Oil
Exports" (PDF). World Bank. August 2010. pp. iii.
^ "Doing Business in Timor-Leste". World Bank. Retrieved 13 February
^ "NRI Overall Ranking 2014" (PDF). World Economic Forum. Retrieved 28
^ "TIMOR GAP TREATY between
Australia and the
Republic of Indonesia
..." Agreements, Treaties and Negotiated Settlements Project. Archived
from the original on 16 June 2005. Retrieved 11 February 2013.
Timor Sea Treaty: Are the Issues Resolved?". Aph.gov.au.
Archived from the original on 4 June 2011. Retrieved 17 July
^ Geoff A. McKee, oil and gas expert engineer, Lecturer, University of
NSW, Sydney, Australia. "McKee: How much is Sunrise really worth?:
True Value of a
Timor Sea Gas Resource (26 Mar 05)". Canb.auug.org.au.
Retrieved 17 July 2011. CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list
^ "Prime Minister and Cabinet, Timor-Leste Government – Media
Releases". Pm.gov.tp. Archived from the original on 15 June 2011.
Retrieved 17 July 2011.
^ Australian Broadcasting Corporation (5 December 2013). "East Timor
spying case: PM Xanana Gusmao calls for
Australia to explain itself
over ASIO raids". Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
^ "Gazetteer – Patents". Billanderson.com.au. Retrieved 28 March
^ "East Timor: Administrative Division". City population.
^ "The World Factbook". Cia.gov. Retrieved 14 January 2018.
^ "Government of Timor-Leste". Timor-leste.gov.tl. Retrieved 14
^ Dickson, Paul (2006). Labels for Locals: What to Call People from
Abilene to Zimbabwe. Collins. ISBN 978-0-06-088164-1.
^ "The International Thesaurus of Refugee Terminology". UNHCR &
FMO. Retrieved 14 January 2018.
^ "Maubere" article at the German.
^ Fox, James J.; Soares, Dionisio Babo (2000). Out of the Ashes:
Destruction and Reconstruction of East Timor. C. Hurst. p. 60.
^ Taylor, Jean Gelman (2003). Indonesia: Peoples and Histories. Yale
University Press. p. 378. ISBN 978-0-300-10518-6.
^ Berlie, J. (2015), "Chinese of East Timor", HumaNetten,
^ Constâncio Pinto; Matthew Jardine (1997). East Timor's Unfinished
Struggle: Inside the East Timorese Resistance. South End Press.
p. 263. ISBN 978-0-89608-541-1.
^ a b "
Timor Leste, Tetum, Portuguese, Bahasa
Indonesia or English?".
20 April 2012.
^ Taylor, Jean Gelman (2003). Indonesia: Peoples and Histories. New
Haven and London: Yale University Press. p. 378.
^ "Table 13: Population distribution by mother tongue, Urban Rural and
District". Volume 2: Population Distribution by Administrative Areas
(PDF). Population and Housing Census of Timor-Leste, 2010. Timor-Leste
Ministry of Finance. p. 205.
^ Gross, Max L. (14 February 2008). A
Muslim Archipelago: Islam and
Politics in Southeast Asia: Islam and Politics in Southeast Asia
(PDF). Government Printing Office. p. 119.
ISBN 978-0-16-086920-4. Archived from the original on 21 Nov
^ Jarnagin, Laura (1 April 2012). Portuguese and Luso-Asian Legacies
in Southeast Asia, 1511–2011. Institute of Southeast Asian Studies.
p. 106. ISBN 978-981-4345-50-7.
Timor Pumps Up Portuguese – Language Magazine".
Languagemagazine.com. Retrieved 14 January 2018.
^ "Languages of East Timor". Ethnologue.
^ "JSMP Report" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 11 February
2012. Retrieved 1 June 2016.
^ "Estados Membros". União Latina.
^ "Interactive Atlas of the World's Languages in Danger".
^ "National adult literacy rates (15+), youth literacy rates (15–24)
and elderly literacy rates (65+)".
UNESCO Institute for
^ Roslyn Appleby (30 August 2010). ELT, Gender and International
Development: Myths of Progress in a Neocolonial World. Multilingual
Matters. p. 92. ISBN 978-1-84769-303-7.
^ a b c Robinson, G. If you leave us here, we will die, Princeton
University Press 2010, p. 72.
^ a b "Table 5.7 – Profile Of Students That Attended The 2004/05
Academic Year By Rural And Urban Areas And By District". Direcção
Nacional de Estatística. [permanent dead link]
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^ "Timor-Leste" (PDF).
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^ "The State Of The World's Midwifery".
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Fund. Retrieved 1 June 2016.
^ The country where nearly two-thirds of men smoke, BBC News, Peter
Taylor, 4 June 2014
^ Hodal, Kate (25 June 2012). "Cuban infusion remains the lifeblood of
Timor-Leste's health service". London: guardian.co.uk.
^ a b Taylor, Jean Gelman (2003). Indonesia: Peoples and Histories.
Yale University Press. p. 381. ISBN 978-0-300-10518-6.
^ Head, Jonathan (5 April 2005). "East
Timor mourns 'catalyst' Pope".
^ Hajek, John; Tilman, Alexandre Vital (1 October 2001). East Timor
Phrasebook. Lonely Planet. p. 56.
Timor slowly rises from the ashes ETAN 21 September 2001 Online
at etan.org. Retrieved 22 February 2008
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Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor
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September 2007). This article incorporates text from this source,
which is in the public domain.
^ "Constitution Of The Democratic
Republic of Timor-Leste" (PDF).
Governo de Timor-Leste.
^ "Pope Benedict XVI erects new diocese in East Timor". Catholic News
^ Wise, Amanda (2006), Exile and Return Among the East Timorese,
Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press,
pp. 211–218, ISBN 0-8122-3909-1
^ "LITERATURA DE TIMOR". Lusofonia.x10.mx. Retrieved 14 January
^ "East Timor's president accepts Xanana Gusmao's resignation". ABC
News. 9 February 2015. Retrieved 22 January 2017.
^ NFSA provides insight into Timor-Leste history on nfsa.gov.au
^ A connection with Timor-Leste on nfsa.gov.au
^ "Fresh start for East Timor's film scene". Sydney Morning Hearld.
Retrieved 3 October 2013.
^ Madra, Ek (30 October 2008). "World's worst football team happy to
win first point". Reuters. Retrieved 11 February 2013.
Thomas Americo – BoxRec". boxrec.com.
Cashmore, Ellis (1988). Dictionary of Race and Ethnic Relations. New
York: Routledge. ASIN B000NPHGX6
Israel W. Encyclopedia of Genocide Volume I. Denver: Abc Clio.
Dunn, James (1996). East Timor: A People Betrayed. Sydney: Australian
Hägerdal, Hans (2012), Lords of the Land, Lords of the Sea; Conflict
and Adaptation in Early Colonial Timor, 1600–1800. Oapen.org
Leach, Michael, and Damien Kingsbury, eds. The Politics of
Timor-Leste: Democratic Consolidation After Intervention (Cornell
Southeast Asia Program, distributed by Cornell University Press; 2013)
Levinson, David. Ethnic Relations. Denver: Abc Clio.
Rudolph, Joseph R. Encyclopedia of Modern Ethnic Conflicts. Westport:
Greenwood P, 2003. 101–106.
Shelton, Dinah. Encyclopedia of Genocide and Crimes Against Humanity.
Taylor, John G. (1999). East Timor: The Price of Freedom. Australia:
Pluto Press. ISBN 978-1-85649-840-1.
East Timor: a bibliography, a bibliographic reference, Jean A. Berlie,
launched by PM Xanana Gusmão, Indes Savantes editor, Paris, France,
published in 2001. ISBN 978-2-84654-012-4,
East Timor, politics and elections (in Chinese)/
东帝汶政治与选举 (2001–2006): 国家建设及前景展望,
Jean A. Berlie, Institute of Southeast Asian Studies of Jinan
University editor, Jinan, China, published in 2007.
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1 1975 is the year of East Timor's Declaration of Independence and
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