Timor-Leste Overview

Country Profile

South of Indonesia is East Timor, also known as the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste. Covering an area of 14,900 square kilometers, the country has a population of about 780,000 of more than 10 nationalities, of which 78% are the indigenous people of East Timor, Indonesian, 2%, and 2% are Chinese. Residents are Roman Catholic. The language is Tetum. The common currency is U.S. dollars (East Timor does not issue a national currency). The capital is Dili (Dili).

National Flag

The flag has a purple background. On the left side, a black isosceles triangle and a yellow equilateral triangle overlap. The black isosceles triangle has a white five-pointed star, whichr symbolizes the pacemaker.

Timor-Leste Country Flag

History Summary

In the early 16th and 17th centuries, the Portuguese and Dutch colonialists invaded the island of Timor five times. The Portuguese and Dutch signed a treaty in 1859, so East Timor and the provisions of the European She Seogui Portugal became part of the Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia). Japan occupied East Timor in 1942. Afte “World War II” and the restoration of Portugal’s colonial rule in East Timor, the Portuguese listed it as “overseas provinces” in 1951. In 1960, The Fifteenth Session of the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted resolution No. 1542, declared the island of East Timor and its subsidiary to be “non-Self-Governing Territories.” This was the scope of decolonization. In 1974, the new Portuguese government allowed autonomy for East Timor. In 1975, Indonesia took over East Timor. In October 1999, a referendum was held in East Timor. Indonesia recognized the results, allowing East Timor to separate from Indonesia. On May 20, 2002, the Democratic Republic of East Timor declared its independence.

Economy and Culture Overview

East Timor is still a relatively backward natural economy, dominated by agriculture, but the food production is insufficient. The main agricultural products are corn, rice, and potatoes. The main cash crops are coffee, rubber, and coconut. East Timor is rich in minerals; deposits of gold, manganese, chromium, tin, and copper have been discovered. East Timor has rich reserves of oil and natural gas. Oil reserves are estimated at 10 million tons.

Map of East Timor

Timor-Leste Map

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