At the very beginning of the XXI century. East Timor, located on the edge of the Malay Archipelago, after 450 years of Portuguese colonial rule and 24 years of Indonesian occupation, became the first State to achieve independence at the beginning of the third millennium. On May 20, 2002, the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste (DRTL) was proclaimed, with Dili as its capital.
V. F. URLYAPOV
Candidate of Historical Sciences
Immediately, we should note the key role of the international community, represented by the United Nations, in East Timor's acquisition of State sovereignty. In August 1999, a referendum was held under the auspices of the United Nations, in which the vast majority of Timorese, with a total population of about 1 million, 1 rejected the autonomous status within Indonesia and supported independence. Three years later, the UN Interim Administration in East Timor held elections for a Constitutional Assembly that adopted the country's basic law. A local Provisional Administration (government)was formed led by Mari Alkatiri, Secretary General of the Revolutionary Front for an Independent East Timor (FRETILIN). In April 2002, the national leader of the independence movement, Xanana Gusmau, won the presidential election by a huge margin.
With the declaration of the DRTL, the Constitutional Assembly was transformed into a National Parliament, and the UN Interim Administration transferred powers to the authorities of the newly independent state.
FIRST STEPS - FIRST PROBLEMS
The FRETILIN Government has inherited a heavy legacy. Already one of the poorest countries in Asia, with an income of less than $400 per capita, East Timor has fallen into an economic coma as a result of the wave of violence triggered by pro-Indonesian forces during the 1999 referendum.Public utilities, transport infrastructure, health and education facilities have been almost completely destroyed. Tens of thousands of Timorese have been displaced.
In an effort to radically change the situa ... Read more