East Timor



East Timor /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 colonised by Portugal in the 16th century, and was known as Portuguese Timor until Portugal's decolonisation 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. After independence, East Timor became a member of the United Nations and the Community of Portuguese Language Countries. It is one of only two predominantly Roman Catholic countries in Asia, the other being the Philippines.East Timor has a lower-middle-income economy. About 37.4% of the country's population lives below the international poverty line – which means living on less than U.S. $1.25 per day – and about 50% of the population is illiterate. It continues to suffer the aftereffects of a decades-long struggle for independence against Indonesian occupation, which severely damaged the country's infrastructure and killed at least a hundred thousand people. The country is placed 134th on the Human Development Index (HDI). Nonetheless, East Timor is expected to have the sixth-largest percentage growth in GDP in the world for 2013.