"Understanding Timor-Leste's History" Top 5 Page for this destination East Timor Favorite Tip by bkoon

East Timor General: 12 reviews and 10 photos

  East Timorese Kids
by bkoon

Favorite thing: It is always good to understand the history of East Timor. So, here goes.

16th Century - Under the Portuguese rule while the rest of the land was under the Dutch. Known as Portuguese Timor then.

WWII - When the Japanese troops invaded, Portuguese Timor was "taken over" by the Australians and the Dutch. After the war when the Japanese were defeated, it was "given back" to the Portuguese.

1974 - The fall of the Portuguese Fascist Regime and Portugal became a Democratic country. A new governor was appointed. Due to the emphasis on democracy, Portuguese Timor was given a "chance" to fight for independence. Political parties were formed.

11 Aug 1975 - A coup was mounted by 1 of the political parties, Timorese Democratic Union (União Democrática Timorense - UDT) attempting to take over East Timor from the Portuguese and also to prevent Fretilin (Frente Revolucionaria de Timor Leste Independente - Revolutionary Front of Independent East Timor) from gaining power. Situation between the 2 parties turned bad resulting in 2000 deaths.

28 Nov 1975 - Fretilin declared East Timor as independent but recognised by few countries only.

10 Days Later on 7 Dec 1975 - Indonesian troops invaded and took over East Timor. By mid-Feb in 1976, 60,000 were killed as they fought against Indonesian control.

Indonesian Time - The Indonesian government invested much to boost the economy of Timor-Leste (unlike the Portuguese). The economy improved. However, the East Timorese were still very keen to gain independence and hence, they fought on.

12 Nov 1991 - One of the bloodiest massacre happened. More than 200 people were killed at the Santa Cruz Cemetery. The killing was a result of a demonstration against the Indonesian Government who killed one of the young students who protested against them. The Santa Cruz Massacre was thus a turning point for the East Timorese whereby they gained sympathy from other countries.

Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Dec 5, 2004
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