East Timor (i/ˌiːst ˈtiːmɔr/) or Timor-Leste (/tiˈmɔr ˈlɛʃteɪ/), officially the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste, is a country in Southeast Asia. It comprises the eastern half of the island of Timor, the nearby islands of Atauro and Jaco, and Oecusse, an exclave on the northwestern side of the island, within Indonesian West Timor. The country's size is about 15,410 km² (5,400 sq mi).
East Timor was colonized by Portugal in the 16th century, and was known as Portuguese Timor until Portugal's decolonization of the country. In late 1975, East Timor declared its independence, but later that year was invaded and occupied by Indonesia and was declared Indonesia's 27th province the following year. In 1999, following the United Nations-sponsored act of self-determination, Indonesia relinquished control of the territory and East Timor became the first new sovereign state of the 21st century on May 20, 2002. East Timor is one of only two predominantly Roman Catholic countries in East Asia, the other being the Philippines.
East Timor has a lower-middle-income economy. It continues to suffer the aftereffects of a decades-long independence struggle against Indonesia, which damaged infrastructure and displaced thousands of civilians. It is placed 147th by Human Development Index (HDI).
It is a member of the United Nations and the Community of Portuguese Language Countries.
Famous quotes containing the word east:
“Once did She hold the gorgeous East in fee;
And was the safeguard of the West:”
—William Wordsworth (17701850)