Long before the Portuguese Vasco de Gama, both the Chinese and the Arabs knew Timor as an “inexhaustible source of precious woods, porcelain, lead and other” natural resources that indigenous people could benefit from.
The traditional community of Timor consisted of 5 major social groups or classes: Liurari (the chiefs and kings), date (nobility, warriors – the less important ones), ema-reino (free plebeians), ata (slaves) and finally lutum (nomad cattle herders)).
According to Countryaah, the capital of Timor-Leste is Dili. The population resisted colonialization, and it came to armed uprisings in 1719, 1895 and 1959, all of which, however, were demolished. In 1859 the island was divided between Portugal and the Netherlands. Following a 1904 agreement, the eastern part of the island came to belong to the Portuguese. Yet, the Maubers’ resistance allowed the people to survive 5 centuries of colonialism. The forests with the noble woods were not as resistant. In particular, during the colonialization, the white sandal tree was subjected to heavy deforestation, which constituted an early ecological disaster. Already from this early stage the production of coffee became the basis for the economy.
1970-75 Independence struggle
- Abbreviationfinder: What does RTL stand for in geography? Here, this 3 letter acronym refers to the country of East Timor.
Much later than in the Portuguese colonies in Africa, supporters of independence joined in 1970. They formed a broad front consisting of nationalist political organizations as well as several social movements and decided to fight for national liberation.
In April 1974, the so-called carnation revolution took place in Portugal. The struggle against the colonial power at that time was already well developed and had considerable popular support. The collapse of the colonial rule in Portugal also fundamentally changed the political situation in East Timor. legalizing the patriotic movement. In September, the Liberation Movement was formed for an independent East Timor (FRETILIN).
The new Portuguese government promised independence to the country, but the local colony administration supported the creation of the Timor Democratic Union (UDT), which advocated the preservation of the colonial status quo and a “federation with Portugal”. At the same time, the Consulate of Indonesia in the capital Dili funded a group of East Timorese who formed the Timorese People’s Democratic Association (Apodeti), which advocated the incorporation of East Timor into Indonesia.
Thus, a period of conflict between the neo-colonialist Portuguese interests, the followers of Indonesian annexation and the supporters of independence began. In August 1975, the UDT conducted a coup attempt, after which FRETILIN called for a total armed revolt. The Portuguese colony administration left the country, and with FRETILIN in full control of the area, on November 28, 1975, the movement declared the country independent under the name of the Democratic Republic of East Timor. However, it was not officially recognized by Portugal, which had widespread political and diplomatic consequences that still characterize the situation today.
History. – The reconstruction of a shared social and political fabric, started after the independence from Indonesia conquered in 2002, remained the main challenge of TE, a very poor state and included in the UN list of least developed countries in 2003 (so-called Least developed countries). The popular protest fueled by the extremely difficult economic situation, the re-explosion of ethnic conflicts and the difficulty of placing the former guerrillas in the regular army created an acute state of tension that plunged the country to the brink of civil war. The presidential elections of 2007 awarded the victory to José Ramos-Horta, Nobel Peace Prize winner in 1996 and charismatic figure of the independence movement, while the legislative ones saw the affirmation of the Fretilin (Frente revolucionária de Timor-Leste independent) which did not succeed however to form a government, and the office of prime minister was assumed by Xanana Gusmão, leader of the Congresso nacional da reconstrução de Timor-Leste (CNRT), which he founded in 2007. Despite the sending of a new peace mission by the UN in 2006 (United nations integrated mission in East Timor, UNMIT), the situation remained critical and in February 2008 a group of rebel soldiers carried out a double attack: against Gusmão, who remained unscathed, and against Horta who was instead seriously injured. Once the emergency was over, the government resumed the path of dialogue and directed efforts to overcome the serious food crisis that had hit the country. The 2012 elections saw the defeat of the outgoing president and the victory of Taur Matan Ruak, a former guerrilla and former commander of the armed forces, who won 61.2% of the votes in the second round. Gusmão, whose party had managed to win a relative majority of seats, was re-elected head of the government. Completed his mandate, on 31 December 2012 the UN contingent left the country. In the following years the economic conditions improved thanks to the exploitation of hydrocarbon resources. In 2014 the government requested the revision of the treaty with Australia relating to the exploitation of marine oil fields accusing Canberra of having carried out espionage actions during the previous negotiations: following the return of the documents stolen from Australia, East Timor decided in June 2015 to to drop the case presented before the International Court of Justice, but in September he returned to ask for a new arbitration to settle the permanent dispute regarding some points of the treaty. After having expressed the desire to leave room for new generations of leaders to lead the country, Gusmão – then 68 years old – resigned his resignation as head of government in February 2015. In his place, fifty-year-old Rui Maria de Araújo assumed the post of prime minister.