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East Timor Flag
East Timor

Capital City: Dili

Border countries: Indonesia

Internet Links

Official Sites of East Timor
Government of Timor-Leste

Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation

Timor-Leste's Embassies


Map of East Timor


East Timor

Background:  The Portuguese colony of Timor declared itself independent
from Portugal on 28 November 1975 and was invaded and occupied by
Indonesian forces nine days later. It was subsequently incorporated
into Indonesia in July 1976 as the province of Timor Timur. A so-called
campaign of pacification followed, during which time an estimated
100,000 to 250,000 individuals lost their lives. On 30 August 1999,
in a UN-supervised popular referendum, the people of Timor Timur
voted for independence from Indonesia. On 20 May 2002, East Timor was
internationally recognized as an independent state and the world's
newest democracy.

Geography East Timor

Location:  Southeastern Asia, northwest of Australia in the Lesser Sunda
Islands at the eastern end of the Indonesian archipelago; note - East
Timor includes the eastern half of the island of Timor, the Oecussi
(Ambeno) region on the northwest portion of the island of Timor, and
the islands of Pulau Atauro and Pulau Jaco

Geographic coordinates:  8 50 S, 125 55 E

Map references:  Southeast Asia

Area:  total: 15,007 sq km land: NA sq km water: NA sq km

Area - comparative:  slightly larger than Connecticut

Land boundaries:  total: 228 km border countries: Indonesia 228 km

Coastline:  706 km

Maritime claims:   NA NM territorial sea:  economic zone: NA NM

Climate:  tropical; hot, humid; distinct rainy and dry seasons

Terrain:  mountainous

Elevation extremes:   Timor Sea, Savu Sea, and Banda Sea 0 m highest
point: Natural resources:  gold, petroleum, natural gas, manganese, marble

Land use:  arable land: NA% other: NA% permanent crops: NA%

Irrigated land:  1,065 sq km (est.)

Natural hazards:  floods and landslides are common; earthquakes, tsunamis,
tropical cyclones

Environment - current issues:  widespread use of slash and burn
agriculture has led to deforestation and soil erosion

Environment - international agreements:  NA

Geography - note:  Timor is the Malay word for "Orient"; the island of
Timor is part of the Malay Archipelago and is the largest and easternmost
of the Lesser Sunda Islands

People East Timor

Population:  952,618 (July 2002 est.)  note: other estimates range as
low as 800,000 (2002 est.)

Age structure:  NA

Population growth rate:  7.26% (2002 est.)

Birth rate:  28.07 births/1,000 population (2002 est.)

Death rate:  6.52 deaths/1,000 population (2002 est.)

Net migration rate:  51.07 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2002 est.)

Sex ratio:  NA

Infant mortality rate:  51.99 deaths/1,000 live births (2002 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:  total population: 64.85 years male: 62.64
years female: 67.17 years (2002 est.)

Total fertility rate:  3.88 children born/woman (2002 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:  NA

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:  NA

HIV/AIDS - deaths:  NA

Nationality:  noun: Timorese adjective: Timorese

Ethnic groups:  Austronesian (Malayo-Polynesian), Papuan, small Chinese

Religions:  Roman Catholic 90%, Muslim 4%, Protestant 3%, Hindu 0.5%,
Buddhist, Animist (1992 est.)

Languages:  Tetum (official), Portuguese (official), Indonesian,
English note:  Galole, Mambae, and Kemak are spoken by significant
numbers of people

Literacy:  definition: age 15 and over can read and write total
population: 48% (2001) male: NA% female: NA%

Government East Timor

Country name:  conventional long form: Democratic Republic of East Timor
conventional short form: East Timor local short form: Timor Lorosa'e
 Portuguese Timor local long form:  Timor-Leste [Portuguese]

Government type:  republic

Capital:  Dili

Administrative divisions:  13 administrative districts; Aileu, Ainaro,
Baucau, Bobonaro (Maliana), Cova-Lima (Suai), Dili, Ermera, Lautem (Los
Palos), Liquica, Manatuto, Manufahi (Same), Oecussi (Ambeno), Viqueque

Independence:  28 November 1975 (date of proclamation of independence
from Portugal); note - 20 May 2002 is the official date of international
recognition of East Timor's independence from Indonesia

National holiday:  Independence Day, 28 November (1975)

Constitution:  22 March 2002 (based on the Portuguese model)

Legal system:  NA

Suffrage:  17 years of age; universal

Executive branch:  chief of state: President Jose Alexander GUSMAO
(since 20 May 2002); note - the president plays a largely symbolic
role but is able to veto some legislation head of government: Prime
Minister Mari Bin Amude ALKATIRI (since 20 May 2002) cabinet: Council
of State elections: president elected by popular vote for a five-year
term; election last held 14 April 2002 (next to be held NA April 2007);
following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party or
majority coalition is usually appointed prime minister by the president
election results: Jose Alexander GUSMAO elected president; percent of
vote - Jose Alexander GUSMAO 82.7%, Francisco Xavier do Amaral 17.3%

Legislative branch:  unicameral National Parliament (number of seats
can vary, minimum requirement of 52 and a maximum of 65 seats; members
elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms); note - for its first
term of office, the National Parliament is comprised of 88 members
on an exceptional basis elections: last held 30 August 2001 (next to
be held NA August 2006) election results: percent of vote by party -
FRETILIN 57.37%, PD 8.72%, PSD 8.18%, ASDT 7.84%, UDT 2.36%, PNT 2.21%,
KOTA 2.13%, PPT 2.01%, PDC 1.98%, PST 1.78%, independents/other 5.42%;
seats by party - FRETILIN 55, PD 7, PSD 6, ASDT 6, PDC 2, UDT 2, KOTA 2,
PNT 2, PPT 2, UDC/PDC 1, PST 1, PL 1, independent 1

Judicial branch:  Supreme Court of Justice, one judge appointed by the
National Parliament and the rest appointed by the Superior Council for
the Judiciary

Political parties and leaders:  Associacao Social-Democrata Timorense or
ASDT [Francisco Xavier do AMARAL]; Christian Democratic Party of Timor
or PDC [Antonio XIMENES]; Christian Democratic Union of Timor or UDC
[Vicente da Silva GUTERRES]; Democratic Pary or PD [Fernando de ARAUJO];
Maubere Democratic Party or PDM [leader NA]; People's Party of Timor or
PPT [Jacob XAVIER]; Revolutionary Front of Independent East Timor or
FRETILIN [Lu OLO]; Social Democrat Party of East Timor or PSD [Mario
CARRASCALAO]; Socialist Party of Timor or PST [leader NA]; Sons of
the Mountain Warriors (also known as Association of Timorese Heroes)
or KOTA [Clementino dos Reis AMARAL]; Timor Democratic Union or UDT
[Joao CARRASCALAO]; Timor Labor Party or TRABALHISTA [Paulo Freitas
DA SILVA]; Timorese Nationalist Party or PNT [Abilio ARAUJO]; Timorese
Popular Democratic Association or APODETI [Frederico Almeida Santos COSTA]

Political pressure groups and leaders:  NA

International organization participation:  IBRD, IMF note: UN membership
is expected in September

Diplomatic representation in the US:  chief of mission: Ambassador
(vacant); Charge d'Affaires Constancio PINTO chancery: NA consulate(s)
general: NA FAX: NA telephone: NA

Diplomatic representation from the US:  chief of mission: Ambassador
(vacant) embassy: Farol district, Dili mailing address: NA telephone:
(670) 390 324 684 FAX: (670) 390 313 206

Flag description:  red, with a black isosceles triangle (based on the
hoist side) superimposed on a slightly longer yellow arrowhead that
extends to the center of the flag; there is a white star in the center
of the black triangle

Economy East Timor

Economy - overview:  In late 1999, about 70% of the economic
infrastructure of East Timor was laid waste by Indonesian troops and
anti-independence militias, and 260,000 people fled westward. Over the
next three years, however, a massive international program, manned by
5,000 peacekeepers (8,000 at peak) and 1,300 police officers, led to
substantial reconstruction in both urban and rural areas. By mid-2002,
all but about 50,000 of the refugees had returned. The country faces
great challenges in continuing the rebuilding of infrastructure and the
strengthening of the infant civil administration. One promising long-term
project would be development of oil resources in nearby waters.

GDP:  purchasing power parity - $415 million (2001 est.)

GDP - real growth rate:  18% (2001 est.)

GDP - per capita:  purchasing power parity - $500 (2001 est.)

GDP - composition by sector:  agriculture: 25.4% industry: 17.2% services:
57.4% (2001)

Population below poverty line:  42% (2002 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share:  lowest 10%: NA%
highest 10%: NA%

Distribution of family income - Gini index:  38

Inflation rate (consumer prices):  NA%

Labor force:  NA

Labor force - by occupation:  NA

Unemployment rate:  50% (including underemployment)

Budget:  revenues: $NA expenditures: $NA

Industries:  printing, soap manufacturing, handicrafts, woven cloth

Industrial production growth rate:  8.5%

Electricity - production:  NA kWh

Electricity - production by source:  fossil fuel: 100% hydro: 0% other:
0% nuclear: 0%

Electricity - consumption:  NA kWh

Electricity - exports:  0 kWh

Electricity - imports:  0 kWh

Agriculture - products:  coffee, rice, maize, cassava, sweet potatoes,
soybeans, cabbage, mangoes, bananas, vanilla

Exports:  $8 million (2001 est.)

Exports - commodities:  coffee, sandalwood, marble; note - the potential
for oil and vanilla exports

Exports - partners:  NA

Imports:  $237 million (2001 est.)

Imports - commodities:  NA

Imports - partners:  NA

Debt - external:  $NA

Economic aid - recipient:  $2.2 billion (1999-2002 est.)

Currency:  US dollar (USD)

Currency code:  USD

Fiscal year:  1 July - 30 June

Communications East Timor

Telephones - main lines in use:  NA

Telephones - mobile cellular:  NA

Telephone system:  NA

Radio broadcast stations:  AM NA, FM NA, shortwave NA

Radios:  NA

Television broadcast stations:  NA

Televisions:  NA

Internet country code:  .tp

Internet Service Providers (ISPs):  NA

Internet users:  NA

Transportation East Timor

Railways:  0 km

Highways:  total: 3,800 km paved: 428 km unpaved: 3,372 km (1995)

Waterways:  NA

Pipelines:  NA

Ports and harbors:  NA

Merchant marine:  total: NA ships by type: NA

Airports:  8 (2001)

Airports - with paved runways:  total: 3 2,438 to 3,047 m: 1 1,524 to
2,427 m: 1 914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2001)

Airports - with unpaved runways:  total: 5 914 to 1,523 m: 3 under 914 m:
2 (2001)

Heliports:  1 (2001)

Military East Timor

Military branches:  the East Timor Defense Force or FALINTIL-FDTL
comprises a light-infantry Army and a small Naval component; note -
plans are to develop a force of 1,500 active personnel and 1,500 reserve
personnel over the next five years

Military manpower - military age:  18-21 years of age

Military manpower - availability:  NA

Military manpower - fit for military service:  NA

Military manpower - reaching military age annually:  NA

Military expenditures - dollar figure:  $4.4 million (FY03)

Military expenditures - percent of GDP:  NA%

Transnational Issues East Timor

Disputes - international:  East Timor-Indonesia Boundary Committee meets
to survey and delimit land boundary; Indonesia seeks resolution of East
Timor refugees in Indonesia; Australia-East Timor-Indonesia are working to
resolve maritime boundary and sharing of seabed resources in "Timor Gap"

Illicit drugs:  NA

This page was last updated on 1 January 2002

Internews Timor-Leste

PBS' Online NewsHour: East Timor Independence

Yahoo Full Coverage: East Timor

Arts & Culture
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