East Timor

sovereign state situated on several islands in Southeast Asia

East Timor or the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste is a country in Southeast Asia. It is on the eastern side of the island of Timor. It also includes the smaller islands of Atauro and Jaco Island, and a small area, named Oecusse, inside the west side of Timor. Oecusse is an exclave, which means it is separated from the main part of the country by part of another country. That other country is Indonesia.

Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste
  • República Democrática de Timor-Leste  (Portuguese)
  • Repúblika Demokrátika Timór-Leste  (Tetum)
Coat of arms of East Timor
Coat of arms
Motto: "Unidade, Acção, Progresso" (Portuguese)
"Unity, Action, Progress"
Anthem: [Pátria] Error: {{Native name}}: text has italic markup (help) (Portuguese)
Location of East Timor
and largest city
8°33′S 125°34′E / 8.55°S 125.56°E / -8.55; 125.56
Official languages
Working languages
Demonym(s)East Timorese
GovernmentUnitary parliamentary semi-presidential republic
• President
José Ramos-Horta
Xanana Gusmão
LegislatureNational Parliament
from Portugal Indonesia and United Nations Administration
• Declared
November 28, 1975
• Restoredb
May 20, 2002
• Total
14,874 km2 (5,743 sq mi) (159th)
• Water (%)
• 2010 estimate
1,066,582[3] (155th)
• Density
76.2/km2 (197.4/sq mi) (132nd)
GDP (PPP)2012 estimate
• Total
$10.952 billion[4]
• Per capita
GDP (nominal)2012 estimate
• Total
$4.073 billion[4]
• Per capita
HDI (2013)Increase 0.576[5]
medium · 134th
CurrencyUnited States dollar (USD)
Time zoneUTC+9
Driving sideleft
Calling code+670
ISO 3166 codeTL
Internet TLD.tl d
  1. Fifteen further "national languages" are recognised by the Constitution.
  2. Defined as a restoration by the Constitution.
  3. Centavo coins also used.
  4. .tp is being phased out.

The capital and largest city, Dili, is home to one hundred and fifty thousand people. The next largest city is Baucau. (see List of settlements in East Timor).

East Timor gets its name from the Malay word for "east", timur.

It is a member of the United Nations, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, and the Community of Portuguese Language Countries.



For a long time, Portugal controlled the East Timor and called it the Colony of Portuguese Timor. In 1975, the Portuguese army left, and East Timor was invaded (taken over) by the Indonesian army in 1975. The invasion was very violent. The army stayed there until 1999, when they gave up control of the territory with the help of the United Nations.

At the time, the United States government said it did not know Indonesia was going to invade East Timor. But secret documents, released from 2002 to 2005, show that Henry Kissinger, the Secretary of State of the United States, did know, and supported the invasion.

When it got its independence on 20 May 2002, it became the first country to become independent in the twenty-first century (since the year 2001). In 2006, when Montenegro became independent, East Timor was no longer the newest one.

Since then, East Timor has not been given much attention in the news. Recently, the Colombian music artist Shakira made a song named "Timor", which talks about the country. The attention is because there has been fighting in East Timor between gangs (groups of criminals with guns), security forces (the country's army). Australia, a large nearby country, sent troops in to make peace.

East Timor is a small country located between Australia and Indonesia, 3,000 years ago, East Timor was a mountainous island composed of migrant indigenous people from New Guinea, Australia and Melanesia.

There were some migrants from Austronesia searching for a new life on this island. Some of the people arrived from South China and North Indochina looking for trade because East Timor had resources which could be exported, like sandalwood, honey, slaves and wax.

During the Second World War, the Japanese occupied the region, encountered strong resistance to their attempts to force the population to grow foods for their troops and export. At the time 30% of the population died.

On 25 April 1974, the Portuguese Armed Forces headed by General António de Spínola organized a Military Coup against Salazar’s regime called the Revolution of Carnations. After this revolution, Portugal decided to give freedom to the colonized countries.



East Timor is the largest of the Lesser Sunda Islands. To the north of the island are the Ombai Strait, Wetar Strait, and the greater Banda Sea. To the south the Timor Sea separates the island from Australia.

The country has many mountains. Its highest point is Tatamailau (also known as Mount Ramelau) at 2,963 metres (9,721 ft).[6] The climate is tropical and generally hot and humid.

The Nino Konis Santana National Park is on the eastern tip of the island. The park includes coral reefs, coastal area, and mountains.[7]



East Timor is divided into 13 municipalites. These were formerly named districts. The municipalities are divided into administrative posts (former subdistricts), and further subdivided into sucos.[8] The 13 municipalities are:



  1. Name used in the constitution (Konstituisaun Repúblika Demokrátika Timór-Leste)
  2. "Country profile: East Timor". BBC News. March 16, 2010. Retrieved March 28, 2010.
  3. "President Horta announces preliminary census of population's results". Timor Newsline. October 22, 2010. Retrieved October 23, 2010. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 "East Timor". International Monetary Fund. Retrieved April 22, 2012.
  5. "Human Development Report 2011 – Human development statistical annex" (PDF). HDRO (Human Development Report Office) United Nations Development Programme. pp. 127–130. Retrieved November 2, 2011.
  6. "Mount Ramelau". Gunung Bagging. 10 April 2015. Retrieved 18 December 2016.
  7. "Timor-Leste's Nino Konis Santana National Park". Conservation.org. Retrieved 18 December 2016.
  8. Data from 2004 census and official 2008 estimates from the Direcção Nacional de Estatística, Timor-Leste: District Priority Tables Archived 2007-09-29 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved on 28 January 2008

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