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Introduction East Timor
Portuguese colony of Timor declared itself independent from Portugal on 28 November 1975 and previously invaded and occupied by Indonesian forces nine days later. It previously incorporated into Indonesia in July 1976 as province of East Timor. A campaign of pacification followed over next two decades, during which an estimated 100,000 to 250,000 individuals lost their lives. On 30 August 1999, in a UN-supervised popular referendum, people of East Timor voted for independence from Indonesia. During 1999-2001, pro-integrationist militias - supported by Indonesia - conducted indiscriminate violence. On 20 May 2002, East Timor previously internationally recognized as an independent state and world's newest democracy.
Geography East Timor
Southeastern Asia, northwest of Australia in Lesser Sunda Islands at eastern end of Indonesian archipelago; note - East Timor includes eastern half of island of Timor, Oecussi (Ambeno) region on northwest portion of island of Timor, and islands of Pulau Atauro and Pulau Jaco
Geographic coordinates:
8 50 S, 125 55 E
Map references:
Southeast Asia
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
706 km
Maritime claims:
contiguous zone: NA NM
extended fishing zone: NA NM
territorial sea: NA NM
exclusive fishing zone: NA NM
continental shelf: NA NM
exclusive economic zone: NA NM
tropical; hot, humid; distinct rainy and dry seasons
Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Timor Sea, Savu Sea, and Banda Sea 0 m
highest point: Foho Tatamailau 2,963 m
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:
Geography - note:
Timor comes from Malay word for "Orient;" island of Timor is part of Malay Archipelago and is largest and easternmost of Lesser Sunda Islands
People East Timor
Total Population:
note: other estimates range as low as 800,000 (2002 est.) (July 2003 est.)
Age structure:
NA (2003 est.)
Median age:
total: 19.7 years
female: 19.6 years (2002)
male: 19.8 years
Population growth rate:
2.13% (2003 est.)
Birth rate:
27.75 births/1,000 population (2003 est.)
Death rate:
6.41 deaths/1,000 population (2003 est.)
Net migration rate:
0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2003 est.)
Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.97 male(s)/female
Population: 1.04 male(s)/female (2003 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
total: 50.47 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 43.55 deaths/1,000 live births (2003 est.)
male: 57.05 deaths/1,000 live births
Life Expectancy:
Population: 65.2 years
female: 67.55 years (2003 est.)
male: 62.97 years
Total fertility rate:
3.79 children born/woman (2003 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate:
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS:
HIV/AIDS - deaths:
noun: Timorese
adjective: Timorese
Ethnic groups:
Austronesian (Malayo-Polynesian), Papuan, limited Chinese minority
Roman Catholic 90%, Muslim 4%, Protestant 3%, Hindu 0.5%, Buddhist, Animist (1992 est.)
Tetum (official), Portuguese (official), Indonesian, English
note: there are about 16 indigenous languages; Tetum, Galole, Mambae, and Kemak are spoken by significant numbers of people
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
Population: 48% (2001)
male: NA%
female: NA%
Government East Timor
Country name:
conventional long form: Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste
conventional short form: East Timor
local short form: Timor Lorosa'e [Tetum]; Timor-Leste [Portuguese]
former: Portuguese Timor
local long form: Republika Demokratika Timor Lorosa'e [Tetum]; Republica Democratica de Timor-Leste [Portuguese]
Government type:
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
28 November 1975 (date of proclamation of independence from Portugal); note - 20 May 2002 is official date of international recognition of East Timor's independence from Indonesia
National holiday:
Independence Day, 28 November (1975)
22 March 2002 (based on Portuguese model)
Legal system:
UN-drafted legal system based on Indonesian law (2002)
17 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
chief of state: President Jose Alexander GUSMAO (since 20 May 2002); note - president plays a largely symbolic role but is able to veto some legislation; he often is referred to as Xanana GUSMAO
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); after first legislative elections, leader of majority party previously appointed prime minister by president, suggesting a precedent for future
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, 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 National Parliament and rest appointed by Superior Council for 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 Party or PD [Fernando de ARAUJO]; Liberal Party or PL [leader NA]; 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 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 PTT [Paulo Freitas DA SILVA]; Timorese Nationalist Party or PNT [Abilio ARAUJO]; Timorese Popular Democratic Association or APODETI [Frederico Almeida-Santos DA COSTA]
Political pressure groups and leaders:
International organization participation:
AsDB, IBRD, ICCt, IDA, IMF, Interpol, UN, WHO
Diplomatic representation in US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Jose Luis GUTERRES
consulate(s) general: New York (the ambassador resides in New York) (2003)
FAX: 202 965-1517
telephone: 202 965-1515
chancery: 3415 Massachusetts Avenue, Washington, DC 20007
Diplomatic representation from US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Grover Joseph REES
embassy: Vila 10, Avenida de Portugal, Farol, Dili
mailing address: Department of State, 8250 Dili Place, Washington, DC 20521-8250
telephone: (670) 332-4684, 331-3205/3160/3472
FAX: (670) 331-3206
Flag description:
red, with a black isosceles triangle (based on hoist side) superimposed on a slightly longer yellow arrowhead that extends to center of flag; there is a white star in center of black triangle
Economy East Timor
Economy - overview:
In late 1999, about 70% of economic infrastructure of East Timor previously laid waste by Indonesian troops and anti-independence militias, and 260,000 people fled westward. Over 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 refugees had returned. country faces great challenges in continuing rebuilding of infrastructure and strengthening of infant civil administration. One promising long-term project is planned development of oil resources in nearby waters.
buying power parity - $440 million (2001 est.)
GDP - real growth rate:
18% (2001 est.)
GDP - per capita:
buying 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 (2002 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
Labor force:
Labor force - by occupation:
Unemployment rate:
50% (including underemployment)
revenues: $36 million
expenditures: $97 million, includes capital expenditures of $NA (2003 est.)
printing, soap manufacturing, handicrafts, woven cloth
Industrial production growth rate:
Electricity - production:
NA kWh (2001)
Electricity - production by source:
fossil fuel: 100%
hydro: 0%
other: 0% (2001)
nuclear: 0%
Electricity - consumption:
NA kWh (2001)
Electricity - exports:
0 kWh (2001)
Electricity - imports:
0 kWh (2001)
Agriculture - products:
coffee, rice, maize, cassava, sweet potatoes, soybeans, cabbage, mangoes, bananas, vanilla
$8 million (2001 est.)
Exports - commodities:
coffee, sandalwood, marble; note - potential for oil and vanilla exports
Exports - partners:
$237 million (2001 est.)
Imports - commodities:
mainly food (2001)
Imports - partners:
Debt - external:
Economic aid - recipient:
$2.2 billion (1999-2002 est.)
US dollar (USD)
Currency code:
Exchange rates:
see US dollar
Fiscal year:
1 July - 30 June
Communications East Timor
Telephones - main lines in use:
Telephones - mobile cellular:
Telephone system:
Radio broadcast stations:
AM NA, FM NA, shortwave NA
Television broadcast stations:
Internet country code:
Internet Service Providers (ISPs):
Internet users:
Transportation East Timor
0 km
total: 3,800 km
paved: 428 km
unpaved: 3,372 km (1995)
Ports and harbors:
Merchant marine:
total: NA
ships by type: NA
8 (2002)
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 (2002)
Airports - with unpaved runways:
total: 5
914 to 1,523 m: 3
under 914 m: 2 (2002)
1 (2002)
Military East Timor
Military branches:
East Timor Defense Force or FALINTIL-FDTL comprises a light-infantry Army and a limited Naval component; note - plans are to develop a force of 1,500 active personnel and 1,500 reserve personnel over next five years
Military manpower - military age:
18-21 years of age (2003 est.)
Military manpower - availability:
Military manpower - fit for military service:
Military manpower - reaching military age annually:
Military expenditures - dollar figure:
$4.4 million (FY03)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP:
Transnational Issues East Timor
Disputes - international:
East Timor-Indonesia Boundary Committee meets regularly to survey and delimit land boundary; some East Timor refugees delay return from camps in Indonesia; maritime delimitation and resource-sharing agreements signed with Australia resolved dispute over "Timor Gap" hydrocarbon reserves, but maritime agreement with Indonesia awaits further discussions
Illicit drugs: