East Timor

East Timor

Overview
The Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste, commonly known as East Timor (Tetum: Timór Lorosa'e, Portuguese
Portuguese language
Portuguese is a Romance language that arose in the medieval Kingdom of Galicia, nowadays Galicia and Northern Portugal. The southern part of the Kingdom of Galicia became independent as the County of Portugal in 1095...

: Timor-Leste), is a state
Sovereign state
A sovereign state, or simply, state, is a state with a defined territory on which it exercises internal and external sovereignty, a permanent population, a government, and the capacity to enter into relations with other sovereign states. It is also normally understood to be a state which is neither...

 in Southeast Asia
Southeast Asia
Southeast Asia, South-East Asia, South East Asia or Southeastern Asia is a subregion of Asia, consisting of the countries that are geographically south of China, east of India, west of New Guinea and north of Australia. The region lies on the intersection of geological plates, with heavy seismic...

. It comprises the eastern half of the island of Timor
Timor
Timor is an island at the southern end of Maritime Southeast Asia, north of the Timor Sea. It is divided between the independent state of East Timor, and West Timor, belonging to the Indonesian province of East Nusa Tenggara. The island's surface is 30,777 square kilometres...

, the nearby islands of Atauro
Atauro Island
Atauro Island is a small island situated 25km north of Dili, East Timor, on the extinct Wetar segment of the volcanic Inner Banda Arc, between the Indonesian islands of Alor and Wetar. Politically it comprises one of the subdistricts of the Dili District of East Timor...

 and Jaco
Jaco (East Timor)
Jaco is a small island in the Lesser Sunda Islands. It lies across from the easternmost point of the island of Timor, Kap Cutcha. Its geographical coordinates are 8° 27' S and 127° 20' E. Politically it is part of the subdistrict of Tutuala within Lautém district of East Timor...

, and Oecusse, an exclave  on the northwestern side of the island, within Indonesia
Indonesia
Indonesia , officially the Republic of Indonesia , is a country in Southeast Asia and Oceania. Indonesia is an archipelago comprising approximately 13,000 islands. It has 33 provinces with over 238 million people, and is the world's fourth most populous country. Indonesia is a republic, with an...

n West Timor
West Timor
West Timor is the western and Indonesian portion of the island of Timor and part of the province of East Nusa Tenggara, .During the colonial period it was known as "Dutch Timor" and was a centre of Dutch loyalists during the Indonesian National Revolution...

. The small country of 15,410 km² (5,400 sq mi) is located about 640 km (400 mi) northwest of Darwin, Australia
Darwin, Northern Territory
Darwin is the capital city of the Northern Territory, Australia. Situated on the Timor Sea, Darwin has a population of 127,500, making it by far the largest and most populated city in the sparsely populated Northern Territory, but the least populous of all Australia's capital cities...

.

East Timor was colonized by Portugal
Portugal
Portugal , officially the Portuguese Republic is a country situated in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. Portugal is the westernmost country of Europe, and is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the West and South and by Spain to the North and East. The Atlantic archipelagos of the...

 in the 16th century, and was known as Portuguese Timor
Portuguese Timor
Portuguese Timor was the name of East Timor when it was under Portuguese control. During this period, Portugal shared the island of Timor with the Netherlands East Indies, and later with Indonesia....

 until Portugal's decolonization of the country.
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Encyclopedia
The Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste, commonly known as East Timor (Tetum: Timór Lorosa'e, Portuguese
Portuguese language
Portuguese is a Romance language that arose in the medieval Kingdom of Galicia, nowadays Galicia and Northern Portugal. The southern part of the Kingdom of Galicia became independent as the County of Portugal in 1095...

: Timor-Leste), is a state
Sovereign state
A sovereign state, or simply, state, is a state with a defined territory on which it exercises internal and external sovereignty, a permanent population, a government, and the capacity to enter into relations with other sovereign states. It is also normally understood to be a state which is neither...

 in Southeast Asia
Southeast Asia
Southeast Asia, South-East Asia, South East Asia or Southeastern Asia is a subregion of Asia, consisting of the countries that are geographically south of China, east of India, west of New Guinea and north of Australia. The region lies on the intersection of geological plates, with heavy seismic...

. It comprises the eastern half of the island of Timor
Timor
Timor is an island at the southern end of Maritime Southeast Asia, north of the Timor Sea. It is divided between the independent state of East Timor, and West Timor, belonging to the Indonesian province of East Nusa Tenggara. The island's surface is 30,777 square kilometres...

, the nearby islands of Atauro
Atauro Island
Atauro Island is a small island situated 25km north of Dili, East Timor, on the extinct Wetar segment of the volcanic Inner Banda Arc, between the Indonesian islands of Alor and Wetar. Politically it comprises one of the subdistricts of the Dili District of East Timor...

 and Jaco
Jaco (East Timor)
Jaco is a small island in the Lesser Sunda Islands. It lies across from the easternmost point of the island of Timor, Kap Cutcha. Its geographical coordinates are 8° 27' S and 127° 20' E. Politically it is part of the subdistrict of Tutuala within Lautém district of East Timor...

, and Oecusse, an exclave  on the northwestern side of the island, within Indonesia
Indonesia
Indonesia , officially the Republic of Indonesia , is a country in Southeast Asia and Oceania. Indonesia is an archipelago comprising approximately 13,000 islands. It has 33 provinces with over 238 million people, and is the world's fourth most populous country. Indonesia is a republic, with an...

n West Timor
West Timor
West Timor is the western and Indonesian portion of the island of Timor and part of the province of East Nusa Tenggara, .During the colonial period it was known as "Dutch Timor" and was a centre of Dutch loyalists during the Indonesian National Revolution...

. The small country of 15,410 km² (5,400 sq mi) is located about 640 km (400 mi) northwest of Darwin, Australia
Darwin, Northern Territory
Darwin is the capital city of the Northern Territory, Australia. Situated on the Timor Sea, Darwin has a population of 127,500, making it by far the largest and most populated city in the sparsely populated Northern Territory, but the least populous of all Australia's capital cities...

.

East Timor was colonized by Portugal
Portugal
Portugal , officially the Portuguese Republic is a country situated in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. Portugal is the westernmost country of Europe, and is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the West and South and by Spain to the North and East. The Atlantic archipelagos of the...

 in the 16th century, and was known as Portuguese Timor
Portuguese Timor
Portuguese Timor was the name of East Timor when it was under Portuguese control. During this period, Portugal shared the island of Timor with the Netherlands East Indies, and later with Indonesia....

 until Portugal's decolonization of the country. In late 1975, East Timor declared its independence, but later that year was invaded and occupied
Military occupation
Military occupation occurs when the control and authority over a territory passes to a hostile army. The territory then becomes occupied territory.-Military occupation and the laws of war:...

 by Indonesia and was declared Indonesia's 27th province the following year. In 1999, following the United Nations
United Nations
The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

-sponsored act of self-determination, Indonesia relinquished control of the territory and East Timor became the first new sovereign state of the 21st century on May 20, 2002. East Timor is one of only two predominantly Roman Catholic countries in Asia, the other being the Philippines
Philippines
The Philippines , officially known as the Republic of the Philippines , is a country in Southeast Asia in the western Pacific Ocean. To its north across the Luzon Strait lies Taiwan. West across the South China Sea sits Vietnam...

.

East Timor has a lower-middle-income economy. It continues to suffer the aftereffects of a decades-long independence struggle
Indonesian occupation of East Timor
Indonesia occupied East Timor from December 1975 to October 1999. After centuries of Portuguese colonial rule in East Timor, a 1974 coup in Portugal led to decolonization among its former colonies, creating instability in East Timor and leaving its future uncertain...

 against Indonesia
Indonesia
Indonesia , officially the Republic of Indonesia , is a country in Southeast Asia and Oceania. Indonesia is an archipelago comprising approximately 13,000 islands. It has 33 provinces with over 238 million people, and is the world's fourth most populous country. Indonesia is a republic, with an...

, which damaged infrastructure and displaced thousands of civilians. It is placed 120th by Human Development Index
Human Development Index
The Human Development Index is a composite statistic used to rank countries by level of "human development" and separate "very high human development", "high human development", "medium human development", and "low human development" countries...

 (HDI).

Name


"Timor" derives from timur, the word for "east" in Indonesian
Indonesian language
Indonesian is the official language of Indonesia. Indonesian is a normative form of the Riau Islands dialect of Malay, an Austronesian language which has been used as a lingua franca in the Indonesian archipelago for centuries....

 and Malay
Malay language
Malay is a major language of the Austronesian family. It is the official language of Malaysia , Indonesia , Brunei and Singapore...

, which became Timor in Portuguese
Portuguese language
Portuguese is a Romance language that arose in the medieval Kingdom of Galicia, nowadays Galicia and Northern Portugal. The southern part of the Kingdom of Galicia became independent as the County of Portugal in 1095...

 and entered English as Portuguese Timor. Lorosa'e (lit "rising sun") is the word for "east" in Tetum.

The official names under the Constitution are República Democrática de Timor-Leste in Portuguese (tiˈmoɾ ˈlɛʃtɨ) and Repúblika Demokrátika Timor-Leste in Tetum. The Indonesian
Indonesian language
Indonesian is the official language of Indonesia. Indonesian is a normative form of the Riau Islands dialect of Malay, an Austronesian language which has been used as a lingua franca in the Indonesian archipelago for centuries....

 name Timor Timur, abbreviated Timtim, is now less widely used, with the Indonesian government and media now using Timor Leste.

The International Organization for Standardization
International Organization for Standardization
The International Organization for Standardization , widely known as ISO, is an international standard-setting body composed of representatives from various national standards organizations. Founded on February 23, 1947, the organization promulgates worldwide proprietary, industrial and commercial...

 (ISO) official short form
ISO 3166-1
ISO 3166-1 is part of the ISO 3166 standard published by the International Organization for Standardization , and defines codes for the names of countries, dependent territories, and special areas of geographical interest. The official name of the standard is Codes for the representation of names...

 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 (AFNOR
AFNOR
Association française de Normalisation is the French national organization for standardization and its International Organization for Standardization member body....

), the United States of America (ANSI
Ansi
Ansi is a village in Kaarma Parish, Saare County, on the island of Saaremaa, Estonia....

), United Kingdom (BSI
BSI Group
BSI Group, also known in its home market as the British Standards Institution , is a multinational business services provider whose principal activity is the production of standards and the supply of standards-related services.- History :...

), Germany (DIN
Din
DIN or Din or din can have several meanings:* A din is a loud noise.* Dīn, an Arabic term meaning "religion" or "way of life".* Din is one of the ten aspects of the Ein Sof in Kabbalah ....

) and Sweden (SIS
Swedish Standards Institute
SIS, Swedish Standards Institute, is an independent organization, founded in 1922, with members from the private and public sector.-Activities:...

). A notable exception to this practice is Australia, which uses "East Timor".

The island's former two-letter country code, TP, is gradually being phased out.

History



It is believed that descendants from at least three waves of migration still live in East Timor. The first were related to the principal Australoid indigenous groups of New Guinea
New Guinea
New Guinea is the world's second largest island, after Greenland, covering a land area of 786,000 km2. Located in the southwest Pacific Ocean, it lies geographically to the east of the Malay Archipelago, with which it is sometimes included as part of a greater Indo-Australian Archipelago...

 and Australia, and arrived before 40,000 years ago. Around 3000 BC, Austronesians migrated to Timor, and are thought to be associated with the development of agriculture on the island. Thirdly, proto-Malays
Proto Malay
The term Proto-Malay which translates to Melayu asli or Melayu purba , are the Mongoloids and Austronesian speakers from mainland Asia who moved to the Malay peninsular and Malay archipelago in a long series of migration between 2500 and 1500 BC.The Proto-Malays are believed to be seafarers...

 arrived from south China and north Indochina
Indochina
The Indochinese peninsula, is a region in Southeast Asia. It lies roughly southwest of China, and east of India. The name has its origins in the French, Indochine, as a combination of the names of "China" and "India", and was adopted when French colonizers in Vietnam began expanding their territory...

. Before colonialism Timor was included in Chinese and Indian trading networks, being in the 14th century an exporter of aromatic sandalwood
Sandalwood
Sandalwood is the name of a class of fragrant woods from trees in the genus Santalum. The woods are heavy, yellow, and fine-grained, and unlike many other aromatic woods they retain their fragrance for decades. As well as using the harvested and cut wood in-situ, essential oils are also extracted...

, slaves
Slavery
Slavery is a system under which people are treated as property to be bought and sold, and are forced to work. Slaves can be held against their will from the time of their capture, purchase or birth, and deprived of the right to leave, to refuse to work, or to demand compensation...

, honey
Honey
Honey is a sweet food made by bees using nectar from flowers. The variety produced by honey bees is the one most commonly referred to and is the type of honey collected by beekeepers and consumed by humans...

 and wax
Wax
thumb|right|[[Cetyl palmitate]], a typical wax ester.Wax refers to a class of chemical compounds that are plastic near ambient temperatures. Characteristically, they melt above 45 °C to give a low viscosity liquid. Waxes are insoluble in water but soluble in organic, nonpolar solvents...

. Early European explorers report that the island had a number of small chiefdoms or princedoms in the early 16th century.


The Portuguese
Portuguese people
The Portuguese are a nation and ethnic group native to the country of Portugal, in the west of the Iberian peninsula of south-west Europe. Their language is Portuguese, and Roman Catholicism is the predominant religion....

 established outposts in Timor and Maluku
Maluku Islands
The Maluku Islands are an archipelago that is part of Indonesia, and part of the larger Maritime Southeast Asia region. Tectonically they are located on the Halmahera Plate within the Molucca Sea Collision Zone...

. Effective European occupation of a small part of the territory began in 1769, when the city of Dili
Dili
Dili, spelled Díli in Portuguese, is the capital, largest city, chief port and commercial centre of East Timor.-Geography and Administration:Dili lies on the northern coast of Timor island, the easternmost of the Lesser Sunda Islands....

 was founded and the colony of Portuguese Timor
Portuguese Timor
Portuguese Timor was the name of East Timor when it was under Portuguese control. During this period, Portugal shared the island of Timor with the Netherlands East Indies, and later with Indonesia....

 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 Hague Treaty of 1916, and it remains the international boundary between the successor states East Timor and Indonesia
Indonesia
Indonesia , officially the Republic of Indonesia , is a country in Southeast Asia and Oceania. Indonesia is an archipelago comprising approximately 13,000 islands. It has 33 provinces with over 238 million people, and is the world's fourth most populous country. Indonesia is a republic, with an...

. 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
Sandalwood
Sandalwood is the name of a class of fragrant woods from trees in the genus Santalum. The woods are heavy, yellow, and fine-grained, and unlike many other aromatic woods they retain their fragrance for decades. As well as using the harvested and cut wood in-situ, essential oils are also extracted...

 remained the main export crop with coffee exports becoming significant in the mid-nineteenth century. In places where Portuguese rule was asserted, it tended to be brutal and exploitative.

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 Timorese resistance. During World War II, the Japanese occupied Dili, and the mountainous interior became the scene of a guerrilla
Guerrilla warfare
Guerrilla warfare is a form of irregular warfare and refers to conflicts in which a small group of combatants including, but not limited to, armed civilians use military tactics, such as ambushes, sabotage, raids, the element of surprise, and extraordinary mobility to harass a larger and...

 campaign, known as the Battle of Timor. Waged by Allied forces and Timorese volunteers against the Japanese, the struggle resulted in the deaths of between 40,000 and 70,000 Timorese. Following the end of the war, Portuguese control was reinstated.

The decolonisation process instigated by the 1974 Portuguese revolution
Carnation Revolution
The Carnation Revolution , also referred to as the 25 de Abril , was a military coup started on 25 April 1974, in Lisbon, Portugal, coupled with an unanticipated and extensive campaign of civil resistance...

 saw Portugal effectively abandon the colony of East Timor. A civil war between supporters of East Timorese political parties, Fretilin and the UDT
Timorese Democratic Union
The Timorese Democratic Union is a conservative political party in East Timor. It was the first party to be established in the country in 1974, following the Carnation Revolution in Portugal....

, broke out in 1975 as UDT attempted a coup which Fretilin resisted with the help of local Portuguese military. Independence was unilaterally declared on November 28, 1975. The Indonesian government was fearful of an independent communist state within the Indonesian archipelago, and at the height of the Cold War, Western governments were supportive of Indonesia's position. The Indonesian military launched a full-scale invasion of East Timor in December 1975. Indonesia declared East Timor as its 27th province on July 17, 1976. The UN Security Council opposed the invasion and the territory's nominal status in the UN remained "non-self-governing territory under Portuguese administration."

Indonesia's occupation of East Timor
Indonesian occupation of East Timor
Indonesia occupied East Timor from December 1975 to October 1999. After centuries of Portuguese colonial rule in East Timor, a 1974 coup in Portugal led to decolonization among its former colonies, creating instability in East Timor and leaving its future uncertain...

 was marked by violence and brutality. A detailed statistical report prepared for the Commission for Reception, Truth and Reconciliation in East Timor
Commission for Reception, Truth and Reconciliation in East Timor
The Commission for Reception, Truth and Reconciliation in East Timor was an independent truth commission established in East Timor in 2001 under the UN Transitional Administration in East Timor and charged to “inquire into human rights violations committed...

 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, Falintil
Falintil
Falintil originally began as the military wing of the political party FRETILIN of East Timor. It was established on 20 August 1975 in response to FRETILIN’s political conflict with the Timorese Democratic Union ....

, fought a campaign against the Indonesian forces from 1975–1999. The 1991 Dili Massacre was a turning point for the independence cause internationally, and an East Timor solidarity movement grew in Portugal, Australia, and the United States.

Following the resignation of Indonesian President Suharto, a UN-sponsored agreement between Indonesia and Portugal allowed for UN-supervised popular referendum
East Timor Special Autonomy Referendum
The East Timorese independence referendum was a referendum which was held throughout East Timor on 30 August 1999. The referendum's origins lay with the request made by the President of Indonesia, Bacharuddin Jusuf Habibie, to the United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan on 27 January 1999, for...

 in August 1999. The resulting clear vote for independence was met with a punitive campaign of violence by Timorese pro-integration militia
Pro-Indonesia militia
Pro-Indonesia militias were East Timorese paramilitary militia groups that formed to show loyalty to the Indonesian government during the movement for East Timorese independence in the late 1990s...

 with the support of elements of the Indonesian military (main article 1999 referendum). An Australian led international peacekeeping force, INTERFET
INTERFET
The International Force for East Timor was a multinational peacekeeping taskforce, mandated by the United Nations to address the humanitarian and security crisis which took place in East Timor from 1999–2000 until the arrival of United Nations peacekeepers...

, was sent with Indonesian permission to ensure order was restored. The administration of East Timor was taken over by the UN through the United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor
United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor
The United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor provided an interim civil administration and a peacekeeping mission in the territory of East Timor, from its establishment on October 25, 1999 until its independence on May 20, 2002 following the outcome of the East Timor Special...

 (UNTAET) in October 1999. The INTERFET deployment ended in February 2000 with the transfer of military command to the UN. East Timorese independence was formalised on May 20, 2002 with Xanana Gusmão
Xanana Gusmão
Kay Rala Xanana Gusmão GCL is a former militant who was the first President of East Timor, serving from May 2002 to May 2007...

 sworn in as the country's first President. East Timor became a member of the UN on September 27, 2002.

In June 2006, Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri
Mari Alkatiri
Mari Bim Amude Alkatiri was the first Prime Minister of an internationally-recognized East Timor. He served from May 2002 until he resigned on 26 June 2006 following weeks of political unrest in the country...

 resigned as Prime Minister, and José Ramos-Horta was appointed as his successor. The following year, Gusmão declined another presidential term and in the build-up to the April 2007 presidential elections
East Timorese presidential election, 2007
The 2007 East Timorese presidential election involved two separate votes. The first, on 9 April 2007 eliminated six of the eight nominees. The remaining two candidates, current Prime Minister José Ramos-Horta and Revolutionary Front for an Independent East Timor President Francisco Guterres, faced...

 there were renewed outbreaks of violence. José Ramos-Horta was elected President
President of East Timor
The President of East Timor is the Head of state of the East Timorese republic, elected by popular vote for a five-year term. The role is largely symbolic, though he is able to veto some legislation. Following elections, the president appoints as the prime minister, the leader of the majority party...

 in the May 2007 election. 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, the United Nations
United Nations
The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

 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-off operational control of the police force to the East Timor authorities, but more than 1,200 UN police officer still patrol on the street. After the 2012 presidential election, the missions are scheduled to end.

Politics


The head of state
Head of State
A head of state is the individual that serves as the chief public representative of a monarchy, republic, federation, commonwealth or other kind of state. His or her role generally includes legitimizing the state and exercising the political powers, functions, and duties granted to the head of...

 of East Timor is the President of East Timor
President of East Timor
The President of East Timor is the Head of state of the East Timorese republic, elected by popular vote for a five-year term. The role is largely symbolic, though he is able to veto some legislation. Following elections, the president appoints as the prime minister, the leader of the majority party...

, who is elected by popular vote for a five-year term. Although the role is largely symbolic, the president does have veto power over certain types of legislation. Following elections, the president appoints the leader of the majority party or majority coalition
Coalition
A coalition is a pact or treaty among individuals or groups, during which they cooperate in joint action, each in their own self-interest, joining forces together for a common cause. This alliance may be temporary or a matter of convenience. A coalition thus differs from a more formal covenant...

 as the Prime Minister of East Timor
Prime Minister of East Timor
The Prime Minister of Timor-Leste is the head of government in East Timor. The President is the head of state. The Prime Minister is chosen by the political party or alliance of political parties with a majority in the national legislature and is formally appointed by the president...

. As head of government
Head of government
Head of government is the chief officer of the executive branch of a government, often presiding over a cabinet. In a parliamentary system, the head of government is often styled prime minister, chief minister, premier, etc...

, the prime minister presides over the Council of State or cabinet.

The unicameral Timorese parliament is the National Parliament
National Parliament of East Timor
The National Parliament of East Timor is the unicameral national legislature in East Timor. It was created in 2001 as the Constituent Assembly while the country was still under the supervision of the United Nations, but renamed itself to the National Parliament with the attaining of national...

 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, though it exceptionally has eighty-eight members at present, due to this being its first term of office. 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 Policia Nacional de Timor-Leste (police), East Timor Ministry for State and Internal Administration, Civil Aviation Division of Timor Leste and Immigration Department of Timor Leste.

Subdivisions



East Timor is divided into thirteen administrative districts. The districts are subdivided into 65 subdistricts, 442 sucos (villages) and 2,225 aldeias (hamlets).

Geography





Located in southeast Asia, the island of Timor
Timor
Timor is an island at the southern end of Maritime Southeast Asia, north of the Timor Sea. It is divided between the independent state of East Timor, and West Timor, belonging to the Indonesian province of East Nusa Tenggara. The island's surface is 30,777 square kilometres...

 is part of the Maritime Southeast Asia
Maritime Southeast Asia
Maritime Southeast Asia refers to the maritime region of Southeast Asia as opposed to mainland Southeast Asia and includes the modern countries of Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Brunei, East Timor and Singapore....

, and is the largest and easternmost of the Lesser Sunda Islands
Lesser Sunda Islands
The Lesser Sunda Islands or Nusa Tenggara are a group of islands in the southern Maritime Southeast Asia, north of Australia. Together with the Greater Sunda Islands to the west they make up the Sunda Islands...

. To the north of the mountainous island are the Ombai Strait
Ombai Strait
The Ombai Strait is the strait which separates the Alor Archipelago from the islands of Wetar, Atauro, and Timor in the Lesser Sunda Islands. Wetar is part of the Maluku Province of Indonesia, the Alor Archipelago and the western part of Timor are part of the province of East Nusa Tenggara,...

, Wetar Strait
Wetar Strait
The Wetar Strait separates the eastern part of the island of Timor from the island of Wetar. It thus lies between the nations of Indonesia to the north and East Timor to the south. To the west is Atauro, and beyond it the Ombai Strait; while to the east is the southern part of the Banda Sea and...

 and the greater Banda Sea
Banda Sea
The Banda Sea is a sea in the Maluku Islands of Indonesia, technically part of the Pacific Ocean but separated from it by hundreds of islands, as well as the Halmahera and Ceram Seas...

, to the south the Timor Sea
Timor Sea
The Timor Sea is a relatively shallow sea bounded to the north by the island of Timor, to the east by the Arafura Sea, to the south by Australia and to the west by the Indian Ocean....

 separates the island from Australia, while to the west lies the Indonesian Province
Provinces of Indonesia
The province is the highest tier of local government subnational entity in Indonesia. Each province has its own local government, headed by a governor, and has its own legislative body...

 of East Nusa Tenggara
East Nusa Tenggara
East Nusa Tenggara is a province of Indonesia, located in the eastern portion of the Lesser Sunda Islands, including West Timor. The provincial capital is Kupang, located on West Timor...

. The highest mountain of East Timor is Tatamailau (also known as Mount Ramelau) at 2,963 meters (9,721 ft).

East Timor lies between latitudes
8th parallel south
The 8th parallel south is a circle of latitude that is 8 degrees south of the Earth's equatorial plane. It crosses the Atlantic Ocean, Africa, the Indian Ocean, Southeast Asia, Australasia, the Pacific Ocean and South America....

 and 10°S
10th parallel south
The 10th parallel south is a circle of latitude that is 10 degrees south of the Earth's equatorial plane. It crosses the Atlantic Ocean, Africa, the Indian Ocean, Australasia, the Pacific Ocean and South America....

, and longitudes 124°
124th meridian east
The meridian 124° east of Greenwich is a line of longitude that extends from the North Pole across the Arctic Ocean, Asia, the Pacific Ocean, the Indian Ocean, Australia, the Southern Ocean, and Antarctica to the South Pole....

 and 128°E
128th meridian east
The meridian 128° east of Greenwich is a line of longitude that extends from the North Pole across the Arctic Ocean, Asia, Australia, the Indian Ocean, the Southern Ocean, and Antarctica to the South Pole....

.

The local climate is tropical and generally hot and humid, 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
Baucau
Baucau is the second-largest city in East Timor, after Dili, the capital, which lies 122 km east of Dili.Baucau has about 16,000 inhabitants, and is the capital of Baucau, located in the eastern part of the country...

.

The easternmost area of Timor-Leste consists of the Paitchau Range and Iralalaro area. This area is the first conservation area in Timor-Leste, the Nino Konis Santana National Park
Nino Konis Santana National Park
Nino Konis Santana National Park is East Timor's first national park. It was declared on August 3, 2007 and includes over 1,236 square kilometres of land. It links three important bird areas; Lore, Monte Paitchau and Lake Iralalara, and Jaco Island...

. 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
Coral reef
Coral reefs are underwater structures made from calcium carbonate secreted by corals. Coral reefs are colonies of tiny living animals found in marine waters that contain few nutrients. Most coral reefs are built from stony corals, which in turn consist of polyps that cluster in groups. The polyps...

 systems that have been determined to be at risk.

Economy


Prior to and during colonization, Timor was best known for its sandalwood
Sandalwood
Sandalwood is the name of a class of fragrant woods from trees in the genus Santalum. The woods are heavy, yellow, and fine-grained, and unlike many other aromatic woods they retain their fragrance for decades. As well as using the harvested and cut wood in-situ, essential oils are also extracted...

.

In late 1999, about 70% of the economic infrastructure of East Timor was destroyed by Indonesian troops
Military of Indonesia
The Indonesian National Armed Forces in 2009 comprises approximately 432,129 personnel including the Army , Navy including the Indonesian Marine Corps and the Air Force ....

and anti-independence militias, and 260,000 people fled westward. From 2002 to 2005, an international program led by the UN, manned by civilian advisers, 5,000 peacekeepers (8,000 at peak) and 1,300 police officers, substantially reconstructed the infrastructure. By mid-2002, all but about 50,000 of the refugees had returned.

One promising long-term project is the joint development with Australia of petroleum and natural gas resources in the waters southeast of Timor. The Portuguese colonial administration granted concessions to Oceanic Exploration Corporation to develop the deposits. However, this was curtailed by the Indonesian invasion in 1976. The resources were divided between Indonesia and Australia with the Timor Gap Treaty
Timor Gap Treaty
Officially known as the Treaty between Australia and the Republic of Indonesia on the zone of cooperation in an area between the Indonesian province of East Timor and Northern Australia, the Timor Gap Treaty is a treaty between the governments of Australia and Indonesia...

 in 1989. The treaty established guidelines for joint exploitation of seabed resources in the area of the "gap" left by then-Portuguese Timor in the maritime boundary
Maritime boundary
Maritime boundary is a conceptual means of division of the water surface of the planet into maritime areas that are defined through surrounding physical geography or by human geography. As such it usually includes areas of exclusive national rights over the mineral and biological resources,...

 agreed between the two countries in 1972. Revenues from the "joint" area were to be divided 50%–50%. Woodside Petroleum
Woodside Petroleum
Woodside Petroleum Limited is an Australian petroleum exploration and production company. It is a public company listed on the Australian Securities Exchange and has its headquarters in Perth, Western Australia.-History:...

 and ConocoPhillips
ConocoPhillips
ConocoPhillips Company is an American multinational energy corporation with its headquarters located in the Energy Corridor district of Houston, Texas in the United States...

 began development of some resources in the Timor Gap on behalf of the two governments in 1992.

East Timor inherited no permanent maritime boundaries when it attained independence, repudiating the Timor Gap Treaty as illegal. A provisional agreement (the Timor Sea Treaty
Timor Sea Treaty
Formally known as the Timor Sea Treaty between the Government of East Timor and the Government of Australia was signed between Australia and East Timor in Dili, East Timor on May 20, 2002, the day East Timor attained its independence from United Nations rule, for joint petroleum exploration of the...

, signed when East 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. The first significant new development in the JPDA since Timorese independence is the largest petroleum resource in the Timor Sea, the Greater Sunrise gas field. Its exploitation was the subject of separate agreements in 2003 and 2005. Only 20% of the field lies within the JPDA and the rest in waters not subject to the treaty (though claimed by both countries). The initial, temporary agreement gave 82% of revenues to Australia and only 18% to East Timor.

The government of East Timor has sought to negotiate a definite boundary with Australia at the halfway line between the countries, in accordance with the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea
United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea
The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea , also called the Law of the Sea Convention or the Law of the Sea treaty, is the international agreement that resulted from the third United Nations Conference on the Law of the Sea , which took place from 1973 through 1982...

. The government of Australia preferred to establish the boundary at the end of the wide Australian continental shelf
Continental shelf
The continental shelf is the extended perimeter of each continent and associated coastal plain. Much of the shelf was exposed during glacial periods, but is now submerged under relatively shallow seas and gulfs, and was similarly submerged during other interglacial periods. The continental margin,...

, as agreed with Indonesia in 1972 and 1991. Normally a dispute such as this would be referred to the International Court of Justice
International Court of Justice
The International Court of Justice is the primary judicial organ of the United Nations. It is based in the Peace Palace in The Hague, Netherlands...

 or the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea
International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea
The International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea is an intergovernmental organization created by the mandate of the Third United Nations Conference on the Law of the Sea. It was established by the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, signed at Montego Bay, Jamaica, on December 10, 1982...

 for an impartial decision, but the Australian government had withdrawn itself from these international jurisdictions (solely on matters relating to maritime boundaries) shortly before Timorese independence. Nevertheless, under public and diplomatic pressure, the Australian government offered instead a last-minute concession on Greater Sunrise gas field royalties alone. On July 7, 2005, an agreement was signed under which both countries would set aside the dispute over the maritime boundary, and East Timor would receive 50% of the revenues (estimated at A$
Australian dollar
The Australian dollar is the currency of the Commonwealth of Australia, including Christmas Island, Cocos Islands, and Norfolk Island, as well as the independent Pacific Island states of Kiribati, Nauru and Tuvalu...

26 billion or about US$20 billion over the lifetime of the project) from the Greater Sunrise development. Other developments within waters claimed by East Timor but outside the JPDA (Laminaria-Corallina and Buffalo) continue to be exploited unilaterally by Australia, however.


In 2007, a bad harvest led to deaths in several parts of Timor-Leste. In November 2007, eleven subdistricts still needed food supplied by international aid.

East Timor also has a large and potentially lucrative coffee industry, which sells organic coffee to numerous Fair Trade
Fair trade
Fair trade is an organized social movement and market-based approach that aims to help producers in developing countries make better trading conditions and promote sustainability. The movement advocates the payment of a higher price to producers as well as higher social and environmental standards...

 retailers and on the open market.

Currently three foreign banks have a branch in Dili: Australia's ANZ, Portugal's Banco Nacional Ultramarino
Banco Nacional Ultramarino
Banco Nacional Ultramarino was a Portuguese bank with operations throughout the world, especially in Portugal's former overseas provinces. It ceased existence as an independent legal entity in Portugal following its merger with Caixa Geral de Depósitos, the government-owned savings bank, in...

, and Indonesia's Bank Mandiri
Bank Mandiri
Bank Mandiri , headquartered in Jakarta, is the largest bank in Indonesia in term of assets, loans and deposits. Total assets as of Q2 2010 were IDR 402.1 trillion . It also has Capital Adequacy Ratio of 23% , Return on Asset of 0.71 %, and Return on Equity of 7.38 %...

.

There are no patent laws in East Timor.

Demographics




The population of East Timor is about one million. It has grown considerably recently, because of a high birth rate, but also because of the return of refugees. The population is especially concentrated in the area around Dili.

The Timorese are called Maubere collectively by some of their political organizations, an originally derogatory name turned into a name of pride by Fretilin. They consist of a number of distinct ethnic groups, most of whom are of mixed Malayo-Polynesian
Austronesian people
The Austronesian-speaking peoples are various populations in Oceania and Southeast Asia that speak languages of the Austronesian family. They include Taiwanese aborigines; the majority ethnic groups of East Timor, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Brunei, Madagascar, Micronesia, and Polynesia,...

 and Melanesian/Papuan descent. The largest Malayo-Polynesian ethnic groups are the Tetum (or Tetun) (100,000), primarily in the north coast and around Dili; the Mambae (80,000), in the central mountains; the Tukudede (63,170), in the area around Maubara
Maubara
Maubara is a village in East Timor and is a subdistrict of the district of Liquiçá, just west of the city of Liquiçá.During the beginning of the Portuguese occupation, it was taken by the Netherlands. There is a historic Dutch fort, located at the entrance to the village on the seaside overlooking...

 and Liquiçá
Liquiçá
Liquiçá is a coastal city in East Timor, 32 km to the west of Dili, the national capital. Liquiçá is the capital of Liquiçá district...

; the Galoli
Galoli
Galoli is an ethnic group in East Timor with a population of about 50,000, primarily along the northern coast of the district of Manatuto. To the west lies the Mambai ethnic group...

 (50,000), between the tribes of Mambae and Makasae
Makasae
Makasae is a Papuan language spoken by about 70,000 people on the eastern part of East Timor, in the districts of Baucau and Viqueque, just to the west of Fataluku...

; the Kemak (50,000) in north-central Timor island; and the Baikeno (20,000), in the area around Pante Macassar
Pante Macassar
Pante Macassar is a city and subdistrict on the north coast of East Timor, 281 km to the west of Dili, the nation's capital. It has a population of 4,730 . It is the capital of the Oecusse exclave .The name literally means "beach of Makasar," alluding to the erstwhile trade with Makasar in Sulawesi...

. The main tribes of predominantly Papuan origin include the Bunak
Bunak
The Bunak are an ethnic group that live in the mountainous region of central Timor, split between the political boundary between West Timor, Indonesia, particularly in Lamaknen District and East Timor...

 (50,000), in the central interior of Timor island; the Fataluku (30,000), at the eastern tip of the island near Lospalos
Lospalos
Lospalos is a city in East Timor, 248 km to the east of Dili, the national capital. Lospalos has a population of 17,186 and is the capital of the district of Lautém and the subdistrict of Lospalos...

; and the Makasae
Makasae
Makasae is a Papuan language spoken by about 70,000 people on the eastern part of East Timor, in the districts of Baucau and Viqueque, just to the west of Fataluku...

, toward the eastern end of the island. In addition, like other former Portuguese colonies where interracial marriage
Interracial marriage
Interracial marriage occurs when two people of differing racial groups marry. This is a form of exogamy and can be seen in the broader context of miscegenation .-Legality of interracial marriage:In the Western world certain jurisdictions have had regulations...

 was common, there is a smaller population of people of mixed Timorese and Portuguese origin, known in Portuguese as mestiços. The East Timorese mestiço best-known internationally is José Ramos-Horta, the spokesman for the resistance movement in exile, and now President of East Timor
President of East Timor
The President of East Timor is the Head of state of the East Timorese republic, elected by popular vote for a five-year term. The role is largely symbolic, though he is able to veto some legislation. Following elections, the president appoints as the prime minister, the leader of the majority party...

. Mário Viegas Carrascalão, Indonesia's appointed governor between 1987 and 1992, is also a mestiço. East Timor also has a small Chinese
Overseas Chinese
Overseas Chinese are people of Chinese birth or descent who live outside the Greater China Area . People of partial Chinese ancestry living outside the Greater China Area may also consider themselves Overseas Chinese....

 minority, most of whom are Hakka. Most left after the Indonesian invasion, with most moving to Australia although many Sino-Timorese have returned, including Pedro Lay, the Minister for Infrastructure.

Religion


Upon independence, East Timor became one of only two predominantly Roman Catholic countries in Asia (along with the Philippines
Philippines
The Philippines , officially known as the Republic of the Philippines , is a country in Southeast Asia in the western Pacific Ocean. To its north across the Luzon Strait lies Taiwan. West across the South China Sea sits Vietnam...

), although nearby parts of Indonesia also have Catholic majorities, including West Timor
West Timor
West Timor is the western and Indonesian portion of the island of Timor and part of the province of East Nusa Tenggara, .During the colonial period it was known as "Dutch Timor" and was a centre of Dutch loyalists during the Indonesian National Revolution...

 and Flores
Flores
Flores is one of the Lesser Sunda Islands, an island arc with an estimated area of 14,300 km² extending east from the Java island of Indonesia. The population was 1.831.000 in the 2010 census and the largest town is Maumere. Flores is Portuguese for "flowers".Flores is located east of Sumbawa...

. The population predominantly identifies as Roman Catholic (97%), though local animist
Animism
Animism refers to the belief that non-human entities are spiritual beings, or at least embody some kind of life-principle....

 traditions have a persistent and strong influence on the culture. The number of churches has grown from 100 in 1974 to over 800 in 1994.
Religious minorities include Muslims (1%) (including former Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri
Mari Alkatiri
Mari Bim Amude Alkatiri was the first Prime Minister of an internationally-recognized East Timor. He served from May 2002 until he resigned on 26 June 2006 following weeks of political unrest in the country...

) and Protestants (1%) (including Taur Matan Ruak
Taur Matan Ruak
Major-General José Maria Vasconcelos, famously known as Taur Matan Ruak was Commander of the FALINTIL-Forças de Defesa de Timor-Leste , the Military of East Timor, until October 6, 2011...

, Commander of the Falintil-FDTL
Military of East Timor
The Timor Leste Defence Force is the military organisation responsible for the defence of East Timor. The F-FDTL was established in February 2001 and currently comprises two small infantry battalions, a small Naval Component and several supporting units....

). Smaller Hindu
Hinduism
Hinduism is the predominant and indigenous religious tradition of the Indian Subcontinent. Hinduism is known to its followers as , amongst many other expressions...

 (0.5%), Buddhist
Buddhism
Buddhism is a religion and philosophy encompassing a variety of traditions, beliefs and practices, largely based on teachings attributed to Siddhartha Gautama, commonly known as the Buddha . The Buddha lived and taught in the northeastern Indian subcontinent some time between the 6th and 4th...

 (0.1%) and traditional animist minorities make up the remainder. Church membership grew considerably under Indonesian rule, as Indonesia's state ideology Pancasila
Pancasila Indonesia
Pancasila is the official philosophical foundation of the Indonesian state. Pancasila consists of two Sanskrit words, "pañca" meaning five, and "sīla" meaning principles...

does not recognize traditional beliefs and requires all citizens to believe in God. Although the struggle was not about religion, as a deep-rooted local institution the Church not only symbolized East Timor's distinction from predominantly Muslim Indonesia, but also played a significant role in the resistance movement, as personified by Bishop Carlos Filipe Ximenes Belo
Carlos Filipe Ximenes Belo
Carlos Filipe Ximenes Belo SDB, GCL is an East Timorese Roman Catholic bishop. Along with José Ramos-Horta, he received the 1996 Nobel Peace Prize for work "towards a just and peaceful solution to the conflict in East Timor."...

, the 1996 Nobel Peace Prize
Nobel Peace Prize
The Nobel Peace Prize is one of the five Nobel Prizes bequeathed by the Swedish industrialist and inventor Alfred Nobel.-Background:According to Nobel's will, the Peace Prize shall be awarded to the person who...

 laureate. The constitution acknowledges the Church's role among the East Timorese people although it also stipulates a secular state that guarantees freedom of religion to everyone.

Languages



East Timor's two official languages are Portuguese
Portuguese language
Portuguese is a Romance language that arose in the medieval Kingdom of Galicia, nowadays Galicia and Northern Portugal. The southern part of the Kingdom of Galicia became independent as the County of Portugal in 1095...

 and Tetum, which belongs to the Austronesian
Austronesian languages
The Austronesian languages are a language family widely dispersed throughout the islands of Southeast Asia and the Pacific, with a few members spoken on continental Asia that are spoken by about 386 million people. It is on par with Indo-European, Niger-Congo, Afroasiatic and Uralic as one of the...

 family of languages spoken throughout Southeast Asia. The predominant form of Tetum, known as Tetun-Dili, grew out of the dialect favored by the colonizers at Dili
Dili
Dili, spelled Díli in Portuguese, is the capital, largest city, chief port and commercial centre of East Timor.-Geography and Administration:Dili lies on the northern coast of Timor island, the easternmost of the Lesser Sunda Islands....

, and thus has considerable Portuguese influence, but other dialects of Tetum are also widely used in the country, including Tetun-Terik which is spoken along the southwestern coast. Indonesian
Indonesian language
Indonesian is the official language of Indonesia. Indonesian is a normative form of the Riau Islands dialect of Malay, an Austronesian language which has been used as a lingua franca in the Indonesian archipelago for centuries....

 and English are defined as working languages under the Constitution in the Final and Transitional Provisions, without setting a final date. Another fifteen indigenous languages are spoken: Bekais, Bunak, Dawan
Atoni
The Atoni are an ethnic group on Timor, in Indonesian West Timor and the East Timorese enclave of Oecussi-Ambeno. They number around 600,000. Their language is Uab Meto....

, Fataluku, Galoli, Habun, Idalaka, Kawaimina
Kawaimina
Kawaimina is a syllabic abbreviation used to refer to four languages and dialects of East Timor, specifically Kairui-Midiki, Waimaha, and Naueti, spoken by one or two thousand speakers each. It is a name used by linguists discussing the languages, not the speakers themselves...

, Kemak, Lovaia, Makalero, Makasai, Mambai
Mambai
The Mambai are the second largest ethnic group in East Timor. Their language is also called Mambai and has ISO 639-3 code mgm.-People:...

, Tokodede, and Wetarese
Wetarese
Wetarese is the language of Wetar, an island in the south Maluku, Indonesia, as well as the nearby islands Liran and Atauro, the latter belonging to East Timor....

.

Under Indonesian rule, the use of Portuguese was banned, but it was used by the clandestine resistance, especially in communicating with the outside world. The language, along with Tetum, gained importance as a symbol of resistance and freedom and was adopted as one of the two official languages for this reason, and as a link to nations in other parts of the world. It is now being taught and promoted widely with the help of Brazil
Brazil
Brazil , officially the Federative Republic of Brazil , is the largest country in South America. It is the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population with over 192 million people...

, Portugal, and the Latin Union
Latin Union
The Latin Union is an international organization of nations that use Romance languages, with the aim of protecting, projecting, and promoting the common cultural heritage and unifying identities of the Latin, and Latin-influenced, world. It was created in 1954 in Madrid, Spain, and has existed as a...

, although its prominence in official and public spheres has been met with some hostility from younger Indonesian-educated Timorese.

According to the 2006 UN Development Report (using data from official census), under 5% of the Timorese population is proficient in Portuguese. However, the validity of this report has been questioned by members of the Timorese National Institute of Linguistics, which maintains that Portuguese is spoken by up to 25% of Timorese, with the number of speakers more than doubling in the last five years. Along with other local languages, Tetum remains the most common means of communication between ordinary Timorese, while Indonesian is still widely used in the media and school from high school to university. A large proportion of words in Tetum are derived from Portuguese, but it also shares many Malay-derived words with Indonesian. Many Indonesian words are still in common use in Tetum and other Timorese languages, particularly numbers.

East Timor is a member of the Community of Portuguese Language Countries (CPLP), also known as the Lusophone
Lusophone
A Lusophone is someone who speaks the Portuguese language, either as a native, as an additional language, or as a learner. As an adjective, it means "Portuguese-speaking"...

 Commonwealth, and a member of the Latin Union. It is the only independent state in Asia with Portuguese
Portuguese language
Portuguese is a Romance language that arose in the medieval Kingdom of Galicia, nowadays Galicia and Northern Portugal. The southern part of the Kingdom of Galicia became independent as the County of Portugal in 1095...

 as an official language, although this is also one of the official languages of China's
People's Republic of China
China , officially the People's Republic of China , is the most populous country in the world, with over 1.3 billion citizens. Located in East Asia, the country covers approximately 9.6 million square kilometres...

 Special Administrative Region of Macau
Macau
Macau , also spelled Macao , is, along with Hong Kong, one of the two special administrative regions of the People's Republic of China...

.

Education


About half the adult population are illiterate. Illiteracy is higher among women.
Illiteracy was at 90% at the end of Portuguese rule . In 2006, 10–30% of primary-school age children did not attend school.

The country has the National University of East Timor
Universidade Nacional de Timor-Leste
The National University of East Timor , based in Dili, is the major institution of higher education in East Timor.-The University - UNTIM:The current university has its roots in the Universitas Timor Timur . UNTIM was a private university and was the only university in East Timor. It was housed in...

. Indonesian plays a considerable role within education .
Since the departure of the Portuguese, schools have increased from 50 to more than 800. There are also 4 colleges.

Health


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. Many people in East Timor lack safe drinking water.
There were two hospitals and 14 village healthcare facilities in 1974. By 1994 there were 11 hospitals and 330 healthcare centres.

In June 2011, the United Nations Population Fund
United Nations Population Fund
The United Nations Population Fund is a UN organization. The work of the UNFPA involves promotion of the right of every woman, man and child to enjoy a life of health and equal opportunity. This is done through major national and demographic surveys and with population censuses...

 released a report on The State of the World's Midwifery. It contained new data on the midwifery workforce and policies relating to newborn and maternal mortality for 58 countries. The 2010 maternal mortality rate per 100,000 births for Timor-Leste is 370. This is compared 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 as a percentage of under 5's mortality is 48. The aim of this report is to highlight ways in which the Millennium Development Goals
Millennium Development Goals
The Millennium Development Goals are eight international development goals that all 193 United Nations member states and at least 23 international organizations have agreed to achieve by the year 2015...

 can be achieved, particularly Goal 4 – Reduce child mortality and Goal 5 – improve maternal death. In Timor-Leste the number of midwives per 1,000 live births is 8 and 1 in 44 shows us the lifetime risk of death for pregnant women.

Culture



The culture of East Timor reflects numerous influences, including Portuguese, Roman Catholic, and Malaysia, on the indigenous Austronesian
Austronesian people
The Austronesian-speaking peoples are various populations in Oceania and Southeast Asia that speak languages of the Austronesian family. They include Taiwanese aborigines; the majority ethnic groups of East Timor, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Brunei, Madagascar, Micronesia, and Polynesia,...

 and Melanesia
Melanesia
Melanesia is a subregion of Oceania extending from the western end of the Pacific Ocean to the Arafura Sea, and eastward to Fiji. The region comprises most of the islands immediately north and northeast of Australia...

n cultures of Timor. Legend has it that a giant crocodile was transformed into the island of Timor, or Crocodile Island, as it is often called. East Timorese culture is heavily influenced by Austronesian legends, although the Catholic influence is also strong.
There is a strong tradition of poetry. Prime Minister Xanana Gusmão, for example, is a distinguished poet. As for architecture, some 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 (houses with legs) in Fataluku. Craftsmanship is also widespread, as is the weaving of traditional scarves or tais.

Sports



East Timor has joined many international sport associations, including the International Olympic Committee
International Olympic Committee
The International Olympic Committee is an international corporation based in Lausanne, Switzerland, created by Pierre de Coubertin on 23 June 1894 with Demetrios Vikelas as its first president...

 (IOC). The IOC board has granted full recognition to the East Timorese Olympic Committee (COTL). The IOC had allowed a mainly symbolic four-member team to take part in the 2000 Sydney Games under the Olympic flag as "Independent Olympic Athletes." The Federação de Timor-Leste de Atletismo has joined the International Association of Athletics Federations
International Association of Athletics Federations
The International Association of Athletics Federations is the international governing body for the sport of athletics. It was founded in 1912 at its first congress in Stockholm, Sweden by representatives from 17 national athletics federations as the International Amateur Athletics Federation...

 (IAAF). The Federação de Badminton de Timor-Leste joined the International Badminton Federation (IBF) in April 2003. The East Timor Cycling Federation
East Timor Cycling Federation
The East Timor Cycling Federation is the national governing body of cycle racing in East Timor.The Federation is a member of the UCI and the OCC....

 has joined the Union Cycliste Internationale
Union Cycliste Internationale
Union Cycliste Internationale is the world governing body for sports cycling and oversees international competitive cycling events. The UCI is based in Aigle, Switzerland....

. The Confederação do Desporto de Timor Leste has joined the International Weightlifting Federation. East Timor is also a full member of the International Table-Tennis Federation (ITTF). In September 2005, East Timor's national football team
East Timor national football team
The Timor-Leste national football team is the national team of East Timor and is controlled by the Federação de Futebol de Timor-Leste. They are currently one of the weakest teams in the world and the weakest team in ASEAN region...

 joined FIFA
FIFA
The Fédération Internationale de Football Association , commonly known by the acronym FIFA , is the international governing body of :association football, futsal and beach football. Its headquarters are located in Zurich, Switzerland, and its president is Sepp Blatter, who is in his fourth...

.

East Timor has taken part in several sporting events. Although the athletes came back with no medals, East Timorese athletes had the opportunity to compete with other Southeast Asian athletes in the 2003 Southeast Asian Games
2003 Southeast Asian Games
The 22nd Southeast Asian Games were held in Hanoi, Vietnam from 5 December - 13 December 2003. The games were opened by Vietnamese prime minister Phan Van Khai in the newly constructed My Dinh National Stadium in Hanoi. The games torch was lit by Nguyen Thuy Hien of Wushu...

 held in Vietnam
Vietnam
Vietnam – sometimes spelled Viet Nam , officially the Socialist Republic of Vietnam – is the easternmost country on the Indochina Peninsula in Southeast Asia. It is bordered by China to the north, Laos to the northwest, Cambodia to the southwest, and the South China Sea –...

 in 2003. In the 2003 ASEAN Paralympics Games, also held in Vietnam, East Timor won a bronze medal. In the Athens 2004 Olympic Games
2004 Summer Olympics
The 2004 Summer Olympic Games, officially known as the Games of the XXVIII Olympiad, was a premier international multi-sport event held in Athens, Greece from August 13 to August 29, 2004 with the motto Welcome Home. 10,625 athletes competed, some 600 more than expected, accompanied by 5,501 team...

, six athletes participated in three sports: athletics, weightlifting and boxing). East Timor won three medals in Arnis at the 2005 Southeast Asian Games
Arnis at the 2005 Southeast Asian Games
The arnis tournament at the 2005 Southeast Asian Games was held on December 1, 2005 to December 4, 2005 at the Emilio Aguinaldo College Gymnasium in Ermita, Manila. This is also the same venue as the wushu events....

. East Timor was also one of the competing nations in the first
2006 Lusophony Games
The 1st Lusophony Games were held in the Macau Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China between 7 and 15 October 2006...

 Lusophony Games
Lusophony Games
The Lusophony Games is a multinational multi-sport event organized by the ACOLOP, which involves athletes coming from Lusophone countries, namely those belonging to the CPLP , but also others where there are significant Portuguese communities or that have a common past with Portugal.Participating...

, winning a bronze medal in the women's volleyball competition (finishing third out of three teams), despite the fact the team had lost all its three games. On October 30, 2008, East Timor earned their first international points in a FIFA
FIFA
The Fédération Internationale de Football Association , commonly known by the acronym FIFA , is the international governing body of :association football, futsal and beach football. Its headquarters are located in Zurich, Switzerland, and its president is Sepp Blatter, who is in his fourth...

 match with a 2–2 draw against Cambodia.

Public holidays


East Timor now has public holidays that commemorate historic events in the liberation struggle, as well as those associated with Catholicism and Islam. They are defined in .
Date Name Notes
January 1 New Year's Day
date varies Eid al-Adha 
March–April Good Friday
Good Friday
Good Friday , is a religious holiday observed primarily by Christians commemorating the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and his death at Calvary. The holiday is observed during Holy Week as part of the Paschal Triduum on the Friday preceding Easter Sunday, and may coincide with the Jewish observance of...

 
May 1 Labour Day
May 20 Independence Restoration Day Anniversary of transfer of sovereignty from the UN transitional government, 2002
May–June Corpus Christi
Corpus Christi (feast)
Corpus Christi is a Latin Rite solemnity, now designated the solemnity of The Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ . It is also celebrated in some Anglican, Lutheran and Old Catholic Churches. Like Trinity Sunday and the Solemnity of Christ the King, it does not commemorate a particular event in...

 
August 30 Popular Consultation Day Anniversary of the Popular Consultation, 1999
November 1 All Saints' Day
All Saints
All Saints' Day , often shortened to All Saints, is a solemnity celebrated on 1 November by parts of Western Christianity, and on the first Sunday after Pentecost in Eastern Christianity, in honour of all the saints, known and unknown...

 
November 2 All Souls' Day 
November 12 National Youth Day Anniversary of the Santa Cruz massacre, 1991
November 28 Proclamation of Independence Day 1975
date varies Idul Fitri 
December 7 National Heroes' Day Anniversary of Indonesian invasion of East Timor, 1975
December 8 Immaculate Conception
Immaculate Conception
The Immaculate Conception of Mary is a dogma of the Roman Catholic Church, according to which the Virgin Mary was conceived without any stain of original sin. It is one of the four dogmata in Roman Catholic Mariology...

 
December 25 Christmas Day


In addition, the law
Law of East Timor
The law of East Timor is based on the laws of Indonesia, as was determined by the United Nations. While laws were originally published only in English, the government began enacting law solely in Portuguese in 2002. For this reason, East Timorese laws are now written in English, Portuguese, and...

 defines "official commemorative dates" which are not considered holidays but could be subject to time off from work:
Date Name
February–March Ash Wednesday
Ash Wednesday
Ash Wednesday, in the calendar of Western Christianity, is the first day of Lent and occurs 46 days before Easter. It is a moveable fast, falling on a different date each year because it is dependent on the date of Easter...

March–April Holy Thursday
Maundy Thursday
Maundy Thursday, also known as Holy Thursday, Covenant Thursday, Great & Holy Thursday, and Thursday of Mysteries, is the Christian feast or holy day falling on the Thursday before Easter that commemorates the Last Supper of Jesus Christ with the Apostles as described in the Canonical gospels...

May–June Ascension Day
June 1 International Children's Day
August 20 Day of the Armed Forces for the National Liberation of Timor-Leste (FALINTIL)
November 3 National Women's Day
December 10 International Human Rights Day
Human Rights Day
Human Rights Day is celebrated annually across the world on 10 December.The date was chosen to honor the United NationsGeneral Assembly's adoption and proclamation, on 10 December 1948, of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights , the first global enunciation of human rights...


See also


External links


Government
General information