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East Timor History Essay

688 words - 3 pages

East Timor or Timor-Leste is a country in South East Asia that shares borders with Indonesia (see map on right). A small country about 300 miles from Australia, it was occupied by Portugal for 400 years. On the 28th of November, 1975 East Timor declared independence. Invaded by Indonesia one week later, what followed was a vicious occupation that would span 24 years and would leave as many as 200,000 civilians - around a third of the pre-invasion population - dead.
A short history:
In 1975, the new Portuguese government allowed local political parties for the first time. A coalition was formed between the Timorese Democratic Union (UDT) and the Association of Timorese Social Democrats ...view middle of the document...

Five journalists that were in East Timor in 1975 were viciously murdered by the Indonesian military and this deterred many journalists from documenting the atrocities that occurred.
1996 - the Nobel Peace Prize went to Roman Catholic Bishop, Carlos Filipe Ximenes and Jose Ramos-Hora for their work in East Timor. The population of East Timor was around 900,000 at this point in time. In 1998 Indonesia and the UN signed an agreement allowing access for human rights observers to East Timor. The Indonesian dictator, Suharto was voted out and independence movements began regaining momentum. 1999, Indonesia and Portugal sign edan agreement allowing the East Timorese to vote on their future.
Voting on autonomy or independence, almost 99% of the population posted their opinion on August 30th. The results were released on the 3rd of September. 78% of the population voted to become independent of Indonesia. In response to the votes pro-militia went on a violent rampage and destroyed around 80% of East Timor’s infrastructure. They only stopped when United Nations...

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