The official name is the Democratic Republic of East Timor, DRVT (Republik Demokratik Timor Lorosae, Democratic Republic of East Timor). Located in Southeast Asia. It occupies the northeastern part and a small enclave of Okoussi of Timor Island (the largest of the Lesser Sunda Islands). The area is 14.8 thousand km2, the population is 794 thousand people. (2001). The official languages are Portuguese and local Tetum. The capital is the city of Dili (about 190 thousand people). National holiday – Independence Day on November 28 (on this day in 1975, the independence of East Timor was first proclaimed, soon annexed by Indonesia). The monetary unit is the US dollar.
Member of the UN (2002), Community of Portuguese-Speaking Countries, World Bank, ADB, invited observer of ASEAN, participates as an observer in the meetings of the Group of African, Caribbean and Pacific States.
Geography of East Timor
Located between 125° east longitude and 8° south latitude. It is washed by the Timor, Arafura Seas, as well as the Savu Sea. To the north lies the Ombay-Wetar Strait, to the south lies the deep-water Timor Depression. The coastline is mostly flat without deep bays and coves. The islands of Atauro (Kambing) and Yako are adjacent. It borders with Indonesia (western part of the island of Timor).
East Timor is a mountainous country. The highest mountains are located in the west. In the east, they gradually turn into a rocky plateau, which is replaced by a narrow plain in the south.
Natural resources are little explored. Found deposits of manganese and gold, not of industrial importance. Hydrocarbon reserves have been discovered in the area of the Timor Depression. According to some estimates, they are among the 15 largest oil and gas fields in the world.
Soils are predominantly calcareous. The climate is hot, equatorial. The highest average annual temperature is observed in the south (+38°C), in the mountains approx. +21°C. The maximum amount of precipitation is 1500 mm per year. The alternation of monsoon winds divides the year into two seasons. From November to May, the northwest monsoon dominates, saturated with moisture. From June to November – southeast, bringing dry air masses from the Australian continent.
During the dry season, small rivers dry up. There are no large lakes.
The flora is poor compared to other islands of the Indonesian archipelago. Large areas are occupied by savannas interspersed with rare acacia groves and single eucalyptus trees. Partially coniferous forests have been preserved on the mountain slopes. Tropical rain forests are found on the plains along the south coast, as well as in mountain gorges, protected from dry Australian winds.
The fauna is also poor. There are practically no game animals. However, there is couscous – a marsupial animal characteristic of the animal world of Australia.
Population of East Timor
According to Countryaah, the dynamics of the population was significantly affected as a result of many years of military and political instability on the island. As of Ser. 2002 in West Timor, 35-37 thousand people from the eastern part of the island were in the position of refugees. Population growth 3-4%. Mortality 8‰, infant mortality 149 people. per 1000 newborns. Average life expectancy is 52 years.
Ethnically, the population of East Timor is mainly representatives of the peoples of the Melanesian group. The largest ethnic group is the Tetums, who densely inhabit the western regions and the southern coastal region. Other peoples are the Mambai, the Tojode, and others. There is a rather numerous stratum of mestizos, descendants of mixed marriages between the Portuguese and the locals. Also ok. 10 thousand Chinese. Languages: Portuguese (actually spoken by 5% of the population), local Tetum; Indonesian (according to various estimates, it is used by 40 to 80% of East Timorese) and English (2%) have the status of working languages.
Religion – St. 90% Catholic. The rest of the population professes Islam and traditional local beliefs.
History of East Timor
It is assumed that approx. 4 thousand years ago, the territory of East Timor was inhabited by the peoples of the large Australoid race, who spoke languages close to the ancient Papuan. Later, Austronesian Mongoloid tribes settled here at different times. The last of these newcomers were the Tetums, who appeared on the island c. 16th century In medieval Indonesia, Timor was a remote province, only nominally subordinate to the Javanese states. However, since ancient times, Javanese, Malay and Chinese traders visited the island, bartering sandalwood from the locals, which was in great demand in the markets of Southeast and South Asia.
In the 16th century Europeans appeared on Timor – monks of the Dominican and Franciscan orders, followed by Portuguese merchants, attracted by the lucrative sandal trade. In the beginning. 17th century the Dutch appeared off the Timorese coast. As a result of the rivalry, which lasted more than 100 years, the Netherlands secured the southwestern part of the island, while the northeastern part remained under the control of Portugal. However, the border between the possessions of Portugal and the Netherlands was established only at the beginning. 20th century During World War II, the island was occupied by Japanese troops. In 1945, the Dutch part of Timor became part of the independent Republic of Indonesia, while the eastern part remained under Portuguese rule, being the most backward of all Portuguese overseas possessions.
In 1974, after the overthrow of the dictatorship in Portugal, Lisbon recognized the right of its colonial territories, including East Timor, to self-determination. However, in 1975, clashes broke out on the island between supporters of independence and followers of integration with Indonesia. In November 1975, the independence of East Timor was unilaterally proclaimed. However, in December of the same year, Indonesia annexed it, and in ser. 1976 announced the accession as one of the provinces. The action was not recognized by the UN. From 1976 to 1981, the UN annually adopted resolutions reaffirming the right of the East Timorese population to self-determination. A rebel movement against the Indonesian occupation unfolded on the island.
In March 1999, an agreement was reached between Portugal and Indonesia, through the mediation of the UN, to hold a referendum on the fate of East Timor. In September of the same year, the vast majority of residents (about 80%) voted for independence.
From October 1999 to May 2002, the territory was under the control of the UN Transitional Administration. May 20, 2002 East Timor became an independent state. Instead of the administration, the United Nations Support Mission in East Timor, UNMISET (UNMISET), was established. It is entrusted with the tasks of assisting local administrative structures, performing temporary functions in the field of maintaining law and order and security, assisting in the creation of a local police service and the Armed Forces.