Timor-Leste – a tropical paradise with more than 1.1mill inhabitants. As Asia’s newest nation, Timor-Leste is a country determined to rebuild itself.
From 1520 to 1914 the island of Timor was ruled by the Portuguese. Then, with regard to the division of the island, the International Court of Justice ruled. Thus, the island was divided into an eastern part, today Timor-Leste, where the Portuguese remained and a western part becoming part of the Dutch East Indies, which is today known as Indonesia.
In 1975 when Portugal became independent, Indonesian troops invaded East-Timor and occupied the country. For 24 years the Timorese suffered under this occupation until Timor-Leste did the first steps towards independence in 1999. This in turn displeased the Indonesian occupying power, which then destroyed large parts of the country. Because of these acts of violence, the United Nations acted and took over the temporary administration until 20 May 2002, when the state East-Timor was founded.
Even after the state was founded, violence would not stop forcing the UN to continue its presence in the country for several more years.
Meanwhile, this UN has completed its mission and the young state is trying to find its place in Asia.