The Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste also known as East Timor occupies the Eastern section of the island of Timor in Southeast Asia. It was recognised as an independent state by the United Nations on May 20th 2002. East Timor occupies an area of 14,609 km2 and has a population of 1.2 million.
The Portuguese began to colonise the island of Timor during the 1600’s. The island was split between the Portuguese and the Dutch in 1749. However it was not until 1914 that a definitive border was established between the two sections of the island by the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague.
Following the 1974 coup, Portugal began to withdraw from its colonies. East Timor declared itself independent in 1975. This led to the country being invaded by Indonesia nine days later. The invasion was resisted by the people of East Timor and over the following two decades over 100,000 people died.
A referendum on independence supervised by the UN was held in 1999. The people of East Timor voted overwhelmingly for independence. Timor-Leste became an internationally recognized independent state in 2002.
East Timor declared itself independent in the year 1975 On This Day.
reading in East Timor_2 by J.P. Esperança on 2008-01-01 00:00:00