OFFICIAL NAME: Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste

Geography Area: 15,007 sq. km. Cities: Capital--Dili, Baucau. Terrain: Mountainous. Climate: Tropical; hot, semi-arid; rainy and dry seasons. People Nationality: Noun--Timorese; adjective--Timorese. Population (2004): 924,642. Religion: Catholic 98%. Languages: Portuguese, Tetum (official languages); English, Bahasa Indonesia (working languages). Education: Literacy--41%. Health: Life expectancy--49.5 years. Mortality rate (under 5)--126 per 1,000 live births. Government Type: Parliamentary democracy. Independence (from Portugal): November 28, 1975. Restoration of independence: May 20, 2002. (See History section.) Constitution: March 2002. Branches: Executive--president (head of state), prime minister (head of government), cabinet. Legislative--unicameral parliament. Judicial--Supreme Court and supporting hierarchy. As the Supreme Court has not yet been formed, the Court of Appeal functions, on an interim basis, as the Supreme Court. Major political parties: Revolutionary Front of Independent East Timor (FRETILIN), Democratic Party (PD), Social Democratic Party (PSD), Timorese Social Democratic Association (ASDT). Economy GDP (2004 est.): $370 million. GDP per capita (nominal): $430. GDP composition by sector: Services 57%, agriculture 25%, industry 17%. Industry: Types--coffee, oil and natural gas. Trade: Exports--coffee, oil and natural gas. Major markets--Australia, Europe, Japan, United States. Imports--basic manufactures, commodities. Major sources--Australia, Europe, Indonesia, Japan, United States. GEOGRAPHY AND PEOPLE East Timor is located in southeastern Asia, on the southernmost edge of the Indonesian archipelago, northwest of Australia. The country includes the eastern half of Timor island 1

the most common of the local languages. Cambodia. Coming on the heels of the communist victories in Vietnam. Kemak. HISTORY Portuguese and Dutch traders made the first western contact with East Timor in the early 16th century. approximately 17% of Timorese speak Portuguese and 63% speak Bahasa Indonesia. Portugal began a rapid and disorganized decolonization process in most of its overseas territories. The mixed Malay and Pacific Islander culture of the Timorese people reflects the geography of the country on the border of those two cultural areas. the Indonesian claims were accepted by many in the West. 1975. when the Portuguese moved into Timor in strength. This linguistic diversity is enshrined in the country’s constitution. as well as missionaries. On December 22. Tetum. The putsch was followed by a brief but bloody civil war in which the Revolutionary Front for an Independent East Timor (FRETILIN) pushed UDT forces into Indonesian West Timor. and Laos. while the party's leadership described itself as social democratic. Mambae. the widespread popular support shown for the 2 . and on August 11. Imperial Japan occupied East Timor from 1942-45. Shortly after the FRETILIN victory in late September. 1976. and New Zealand were murdered in the East Timorese town of Balibo shortly after they had filmed regular Indonesian army troops invading East Timorese territory. Declaring a provisional government made up of Timorese allies on January 13. Some of those who consider themselves Catholic practice a mixed form of religion that includes local animist customs. the Indonesian Government said it was acting to forestall civil strife in East Timor and to prevent the consolidation of power by the FRETILIN party. Major powers also had little incentive to confront Indonesia over a territory seen as peripheral to their security interests. based at the western end of the island in Kupang. The Indonesians claimed that FRETILIN was communist in nature. and Indonesia responded by launching a full-scale military invasion on December 7. Britain. Portugal resumed colonial authority over East Timor in 1945 after the Japanese defeat in World War II. is spoken by approximately 91% of the population. battled for influence until the present-day borders were agreed to by the colonial powers in 1906. 1975 the UN Security Council called on Indonesia to withdraw its troops from East Timor. including East Timor. Indonesian forces began incursions into East Timor. The Portuguese and the Dutch. On October 16. Nonetheless. five journalists from Australia. which designates Portuguese and Tetum as official languages and English and Bahasa Indonesia as working languages. Following a military coup in Lisbon in April 1974. and the islands of Atauro and Jaco.as well as the Oecussi enclave in the northwest portion of Indonesian West Timor. Portuguese influence during the centuries of colonial rule resulted in a substantial majority of the population identifying itself as Roman Catholic. As a result of the colonial education system and the 23-year Indonesian occupation. maintained sporadic contact with the island until 1642. and Fataluku are also widely spoken. Sandalwood and spice traders. the Timorese Democratic Union Party (UDT) launched a coup d'état in Dili. On November 28. Political tensions--exacerbated by Indonesian involvement--heated up. FRETILIN declared East Timor an independent state.

On September 20.000. irrigation systems. 1999 the Australian-led peacekeeping troops of the International Force for East Timor (INTERFET) deployed to the country.300 Timorese and forcibly pushed 300.000 to 250." and Indonesian and UNTAET laws and regulations continue to be in 3 . Portugal. the referendum was held on August 30. While proindependence FALINTIL guerillas remained cantoned in UN-supervised camps. The Timorese were not permitted to determine their own political fate via a free vote. water supply systems. 2006. following approximately 2-1/2 years under the authority of the UN Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET). including homes. 1999. Mari Alkatiri. Estimates of the number of Timorese who lost their lives to violence and hunger during the Indonesian occupation range from 100. the occupation was increasingly characterized by programs to win the "hearts-and-minds" of the Timorese through the use of economic development assistance and job creation while maintaining a strict policy of political repression. 2005. FRETILIN's Secretary General. On January 27. was established to provide additional support to the Government. the UN Office in East Timor (UNOTIL).6% turnout--Timorese militias organized and supported by the Indonesian military commenced a large-scale. the UN Security Council unanimously passed a resolution establishing a small follow-on special political mission in East Timor. 2002. Under an agreement among the United Nations. When the results were announced on September 4--78% voted for independence with a 98. however. to succeed UNMISET when its mandate expires on May 20. is Prime Minister and Head of Government.J. and nearly 100% of the country’s electrical grid were destroyed. GOVERNMENT AND POLITICAL CONDITIONS East Timor became a fully independent republic on May 20. although serious human rights violations – such as the 1991 Santa Cruz massacre -. the UN Mission for the Support of East Timor (UNMISET). and the Indonesian occupation was never recognized by the United Nations. UNTAET's mandate ended with independence. UN-supervised elections in August 2001.continued. the militia killed approximately 1. The 29-member Cabinet is dominated by the FRETILIN Party. Indonesian President B. In April 2005. but a successor organization. The Indonesian occupation of Timor was initially characterized by a program of brutal military repression. and schools.000 people into West Timor as refugees. The majority of the country's infrastructure. Habibie announced his government's desire to hold a referendum in which the people of East Timor would chose between autonomy within Indonesia and independence. "laws and regulations in force continue to be applicable to all matters except to the extent that they are inconsistent with the Constitution. 1999. bringing the violence to an end. scorched-earth campaign of retribution. 2002--is President and Head of State.guerilla resistance launched by the Timorese made clear that the Indonesian occupation was not welcome. which won the majority of Assembly seats. The country has a parliamentary form of government with its first parliament formed from the 88-member Constituent Assembly chosen in free and fair. Under the constitution ratified in March 2002. and Indonesia. UNOTIL will remain there until May 20. Beginning in the late 1980s. and Xanana Gusmao--elected in free and fair elections on April 14.

The demonstration ended peacefully with the signing of an agreement between the Catholic Church and the prime minister that resolved several key issues of disagreement. joining the United Nations. effective use of those resources will require a major transformation of the country's current human and institutional infrastructure. Basic income. It produced a National Development Plan. and judicial institutions hinder progress. the World Bank. While anticipated revenues from offshore oil and gas reserves offer great hope for the country. the International Monetary Fund. Baucau. create employment opportunities. as those substantial revenues come on line. and reestablish essential public services. and is pursuing observer status in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and membership in the 4 . It is surviving the massive exodus of UN personnel. East Timor witnessed its largest and longest political demonstration in April and May 2005 when several thousand protestors took part in a demonstration led by the Catholic Church that lasted twenty days. Local elections in the remaining provinces are scheduled to take place in 2005. ECONOMY As the poorest nation in Asia. Many cities. lacking in infrastructure and resources. legislative. do not have routine electrical service. and has effected a relatively smooth transition to Timorese control of the government and its administration. Rural areas. Meanwhile. equipment and resources. DC 20007 (tel: 202-965-1515). In December 2004. and the relatively few urban areas cannot provide adequate jobs for the country’s growing labor force. the government held local elections in two of its 13 provinces. It has become a full-fledged member of the international community. FOREIGN RELATIONS East Timor joined the United Nations on September 27. foreign assistance levels--now standing at among the highest worldwide on a per capita basis--will likely taper off. rebuild the economy. East Timor must overcome formidable challenges.effect. and the Asian Development Bank (ADB). health. and literacy indicators are among the lowest in Asia. Severe shortages of trained and competent personnel to staff newly established executive. A nascent legal system has been put into place and efforts are underway to put in place the institutions required to protect human rights. Rural families' access to electricity and clean water is very limited. 2002. and its Constituent Assembly has transitioned into a National Parliament that has commenced reviewing and passing legislation. Principal Government Officials Head of State (President)--Kay Rala Xanana Gusmao Head of Government (Prime Minister)--Mari Alkatiri Minister of Foreign Affairs--Jose Ramos-Horta Ambassador to the United Nations and United States--Jose Luis Guterres East Timor maintains an embassy at 3415 Massachusetts Avenue NW. remain brutally poor. Washington. East Timor has made significant progress in a number of areas since independence. including the country’s second largest.

Portugal. the European Union. and donors such as Australia.ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF).S. Embassy in East Timor is located at Praia de Coquieros. Japan. U.S. The embassy's web site is under construction. Dili. The U.S.5 million in 2004. fax: 670-331-3206. 5 . tel: 670-3324684. $22. Peace Corps has an active program in East Timor. Officials Ambassador--Grover Joseph Rees III Deputy Chief of Mission--Sean B. regional friends such as Malaysia and Singapore. East Timor's foreign policy has placed a high priority on its relationships with Indonesia.S.-EAST TIMOR RELATIONS East Timor maintains an embassy in Washington DC. The United States has a large bilateral development assistance program. Stein Political/Economic/Commercial Affairs--Curtis Ried The U. as well as a Permanent Mission in New York at the United Nations. and the United States. and also contributes funds as a major member of a number of multilateral agencies such as the Asian Development Bank and World Bank. Principal U.

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