East Timor

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Repúblika Demokrátika Timór Loro Sa'e (Tetum)
Repúblika Demokrátika Timór-Leste (Tetum, alternative name)
República Democrática de Timor-Leste (Portuguese)
Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste
Flag of East Timor
Coat of arms of East Timor
flag coat of arms
Motto : Unidade, Acção, Progresso
( Portuguese for "unity, movement, progress")
Official language Tetum and Portuguese
besides 15 "national languages"
Capital Dili
Form of government parliamentary republic
Government system parliamentary democracy
Head of state President Francisco Lú-Olo Guterres
(since May 20, 2017)
Head of government Prime Minister Taur Matan Ruak
(since June 22, 2018)
surface 14,918.72 km²
population 1,260,000 (2018 estimate)
Population density 79 inhabitants per km²
Population development   + 2.36% (2014-2015)
gross domestic product
  • Total (nominal)
  • Total ( PPP )
  • GDP / inh. (nominal)
  • GDP / inh. (KKP)
2016
  • $ 2,498 million ( 162. )
  • $ 4,945 million ( 163. )
  • 2,102 USD ( 139. )
  • 4,187 USD ( 142. )
Human Development Index   0.605 ( 133rd ) (2016)
currency US dollars (USD) (+ own coins )
independence November 28, 1975 (from Portugal )
May 20, 2002 (international recognition)
National anthem Pátria
National holiday November 28th

( Proclamation of independence in 1975 )
May 20th
(restoration of independence in 2002 after Indonesian occupation and UN administration )

Time zone UTC + 9
License Plate TL
ISO 3166 TL , TLS, 626
Internet TLD .tl
Telephone code +670
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The Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste , also known as East Timor in German , is an island nation in Southeast Asia . It was the first state to become independent in the 21st century. The only land border separates East Timor from the Indonesian western part of the island of Timor , which belongs to the province of East Nusa Tenggara (Nusa Tenggara Timur) . To the north are the islands of Alor , Wetar and Liran , which belong to Indonesia , and to the northeast are other islands in the Indonesian province of Maluku . Australia is south, across the Timor Sea . In addition to the eastern part of Timor, the state of East Timor also includes the exclave Oe-Cusse Ambeno in West Timor and the islands of Atauro and Jaco .

Country name

'Timor of the Rising Sun'
Sunrise on the Tatamailau

The internationally official Portuguese country name Timor-Leste literally means 'Timor-East'. In the official language Tetum , the country is called Timór Loro Sa'e , which also translates as 'East Timor' (literally 'Timor of the rising sun', where the rising sun in this language stands for the direction of the compass east ). Lately one can also find official documents in which the country name is Tetum Timór-Leste . If one takes into account that the Indonesian word timur also means 'east' and the name of the island Timor is derived from it, the literal meaning 'east from the east' or 'east of the east island' would result. The provincial name Timor Timur , used during the Indonesian occupation, also means 'East Timor'.

East Timorese places value that the country name is not translated into foreign languages, mainly in an effort to avoid the use of the term Timor Timur (short: TimTim ) in Indonesian, which is associated with negative, historical connotations . Since independence, the official country name in international usage (as used by organizations such as the UN , ILO and EU ) has therefore been adopted untranslated in the Portuguese form Timor-Leste in practically all common working languages . It is now also used in official language in German-speaking countries (at least in international correspondence).

The designation of the inhabitants and the adjective derived from the country name are not used uniformly. Residents are called Timorese / Timoresin or less frequently than Timorese / Timorerin referred to the female form even in large corpora hardly arise. The adjective Timorese is much more common than the competing Timorese . The forms Timorese / Timoresin and Timorese , derived from Portuguese, can also be found in specialist literature , as well as on the websites of interest groups that deal with the country in the German-speaking area. While the German official bodies earlier (List of States names 2002) East Timorese (in) or osttimorisch recommended that publish the German Foreign Office and the Permanent Committee on Geographical Names since the conversion of the official use of language of East Timor on Timor-Leste no guidelines more for the Name of the inhabitants or for the adjective. The Austrian Federal Ministry for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs recommends timoric as an adjective .

Since the 1970s, the population has been referred to ethnically as Mauche . This name was previously a designation for the Mambai ethnic group , then a derogatory word for the rural population in colonial times, until it became the collective name of the East Timorese in the national movement. Even today it is used again and again in the country, less often in official language (so only once in the constitution ) or in international language communication. The negative undertone has now disappeared. Some parties also use the term in their name, such as the Movimentu Libertasaun ba Povu Mauchte (MLPM).

When independence was first proclaimed in 1975, there were voices that preferred to name the country “Timor-Dili” after its capital. But this proposal did not prevail.

geography

overview

The island of Timor belongs to the eastern part of the Malay archipelago and is one of the Lesser Sunda Islands . In the northwest of the mountainous island lies the Sawu Sea , to the north the Banda Sea, and south the Timor Sea extends 500 km to Australia. The Timorese call the rough Timor Sea Tasi Mane , the sea of ​​men, while the calm waters north of the island are called Tasi Feto , the sea of ​​women. Just five kilometers from the north coast, the seabed drops to a depth of 1000  m . During the Cold War , American nuclear submarines were therefore able to pass undetected on the streets of Ombai and Wetar . In the Timor Sea, the narrow Timor Trench extends south of the island with a depth of up to 3300 m.

East Timor is the only country in Asia whose territory is completely south of the equator . It includes not only the eastern half of Timor, but also the exclave Oe-Cusse Ambeno, which is located on the north coast of the Indonesian part of the island, as well as the two small islands Atauro, north of the capital Dili, and Jaco on the eastern tip. With a total area of ​​14,918.72 km², East Timor is slightly smaller than Schleswig-Holstein or Styria . The main land mass is 260 km long and up to 80 km wide. With the exclave and the associated islands, the maximum east-west extension is 364 km, the maximum north-south extension 149 km. East Timor's coastline is 783 km long. It is surrounded by coral reefs .

In the mountains of Osso Huna

The land border with Indonesia is 228 km long, the course of which has been clarified with Indonesia since 2019. Negotiations on the maritime borders between the two countries have been ongoing since 2015.

Timor lies on the outer edge of the so-called Banda Arch , which is part of an extension of the Pacific Ring of Fire and forms a chain of islands around the Banda Sea. In an oceanic subduction zone , the northwest corner of the Australian plate is pushed under the Eurasian plate . Among other things, this leads to a growth in the mountain range on Timor, which, as a central mountainous region, runs through almost the entire island from southwest to northeast as far as the Turiscai region . Its peaks are East Timor's highest mountains, the Tatamailau ( 2963  m ) and the Ablai ( 2320  m ). Further to the east are isolated mountains such as the Curi ( 1763  m ), the Monte Mundo Perdido ( 1332  m ) and the Matebian ( 2316  m ). The Paitchau mountain range ( 995  m ) runs along the south coast of the eastern tip of Timor . Some areas in East Timor lift between 1 and 1.6 mm per year. 32.1% of the country's area is between 500 and 1500  m above sea level , 2.6% above 1500  m . Geologically speaking, East Timor is still very young, as it was only lifted from the sea in the last four million years or so. Due to the geological activities, there is a constant risk of earthquakes and tsunamis . Again and again one feels in Dili tremors from earthquakes around Timor, which however have not caused any damage so far. The northeast of the Oe-Cusse Ambeno exclave forms the youngest and wildest surface structure on the entire island. It is of volcanic origin and with the Sapu (Fatu Nipane) reaches a height of 1259  m . The island of Atauro was also created by volcanism . There are no longer any active volcanoes in the territory of East Timor. However, there are mud volcanoes and hot springs in various locations . Volcanic gases escape from the seabed on the so-called Bubble Beach (Suco Lauhata ).

In the north, the mountains drop steeply into the sea. Characteristic coastal terraces and some striking plateaus with a height of 400 to 700  m , such as those of Baucau , shape the picture. Terraces and plateaus were created from corals. The mountainous interior is cut up by valleys. Alluvial land is found between Lautém and Baucau . Larger areas are the plains of Batugade , Metinaro , Dili, Manatuto , Com and on the Lóis River . On the south coast there are wide coastal plains three to ten kilometers wide, characterized by seasonal swamps, swampy forests and areas with high grass cover. They extend from the national border to Viqueque and then narrower to Lore . The largest are the plain of Alas with the southern Lacló river , the Kicras plain with the Sáhen river (Sahe) , the plain of Luca with the river Dilor and the plain of Bibiluto. On the border with West Timor is the flat plateau of Maliana , which used to be a bay. The most conspicuous plateau of East Timor is the Fuiloro Plateau in the municipality of Lautém. Towards the south it drops, imperceptibly due to its large area, from a height of 700  m to 500  m . Originally the plateau was the lagoon of a primeval atoll . Three other plateaus surround the Fuiloro plateau: the Nári plateaus in the north, Lospalos in the west and Rere in the south.

Cities in East Timor with more than 10,000 inhabitants are (as of 2015) Dili (244,584 inhabitants), Baucau (17,357), Maliana (12,787), Lospalos (12,471) and Same (12,421).

Inland waters

A small waterfall in Remexio

The waters of East Timor are still little explored. Sometimes there is controversy about their naming, as the waters in the different regions through which they flow have been given different names. Almost all rivers of East Timor have their source in the central mountainous region and, due to the steep gradient, flow towards the north or south. The running waters form a dense hydrographic network in the central island area. As with many small islands with high elevations, these consist almost exclusively of streams, which are rather short, winding and rapidly flowing. However, these streams are dry for most of the year.

Intense precipitation during the rainy season leads to the formation of torrents and thus to severe erosion of the soil. With the end of the rain, however, the level of the streams falls again, so that they can be easily waded through. With the return of the dry winds coming from Australia, only thin rivulets remain in wide river beds full of rubbish and debris that widen each year. The annual floods, which can last a few months, also impede the movement of goods between the fertile plains in the south and the rest of the country. There are efforts to limit the erosion of the banks with the help of plantings and thus to reduce the destruction potential of the brooks. None of the rivers of East Timor are navigable. All year round there are water-bearing rivers, strictly speaking, only in the south of East Timor. The reason for this lies in the longer rainy season compared to the north. Rivers that carry water all year round in the north are fed from the south. This is the case with northern Lacló , which forms the largest hydrographic basin in East Timor, the Seiçal in the municipality of Baucau and the Lóis , the 80 km longest river in East Timor, which flows out at Maubara . Southward flowing lead Irabere River (Irabere) , Bebui , Dilor , Tafara , Belulik (Bé-Lulic) , Caraulun River ( Carau-ulun , crucian Ulun ), Southern laclo and Clerec year round water. The main river of the Oe-Cusse Ambeno exclave, the Tono (Nuno-eno) , flows into the sea west of Pante Macassar . In some permanent rivers along the southern coast, sand collects at the estuaries due to the strong tides, blocking the runoff more and more and leading to the formation of marshland .

The largest lake in East Timor is the Ira Lalaro (also Suro-bec ) in the municipality of Lautém . It has a length of 6.5 km and a width of 3 km. Other inland waters include the Maubara lake and the Tasitol museums . The many waterfalls make the mountainous landscape particularly attractive, the best known is the waterfall of Bandeira near Atsabe .

climate

Clouds in the mountains of Maubisse

The local climate is tropical , generally hot and humid and characterized by a pronounced rainy and dry season . During the eastern monsoon between May and November, there is often persistent drought, the north coast then receives practically no rain and the brown landscape is parched. Agriculture comes to a standstill during these periods of drought. The cooler mountain regions in the center of the island and the south coast get occasional rain in the dry season, so the landscape here remains green. The rainy season lasts from late November to April. During this time the fields are cultivated again. With the rain often comes floods, the dry river beds can fill up in a very short time and swell into large rivers, dragging the earth and debris with them and breaking roads. The harvest time follows the end of the rainy season. The capital Dili has an average annual rainfall of 840 mm; most of the rain falls from December to March. In contrast, the city of Manatuto , east of Dili, receives an average of only 565 mm of annual precipitation. The south coast of East Timor is more rainy with 1500 to 2000 mm of annual precipitation; most of the rain falls on the central south coast and the southern mountains. However, the mountains often create a special local microclimate, as a result of which, for example, the place Lolotoe in the municipality of Bobonaro has the highest annual rainfall in East Timor with 2837 mm. There are also very strong differences in the amount of precipitation over the years (see table for Dili).

The temperature in the dry season is around 30 to 35 ° C in the lowlands (20 ° C at night). Parts of the north coast reach temperatures of over 35 ° C at the end of the dry season, but with low humidity and almost no precipitation. In the mountains it is also warm to hot during the day, but at night the temperature can drop to below 15 ° C and significantly lower at higher altitudes. At an altitude of 500  m , the annual average temperature is 24 ° C, at 1000  m at 21 ° C, 1500  m at 18 ° C and at 2000  m at 14 ° C. The wind in Dili is weakest in May with 7 km / h and strongest in August with 12 km / h.

fauna and Flora

Saltwater crocodile in Aileu
Clownfish in an anemone in the sea off Tasitolu
Forest in Maubisse

The island of Timor is part of Wallacea , an area of ​​the biogeographical transition zone between the Asian and Australian flora and fauna . However, there are only a few Australian species, such as the gray cuscus . The few mammal species on Timor , such as the maned deer , musangs , species of taxa fruit bats , shrews and monkeys , as well as birds and insects, resemble common Malay phenotypes . However, 23 bird species are only found in the Timor and Wetar Endemic Bird Area , which makes East Timor particularly interesting for ornithologists . The approximately 240 species of birds include numerous species of parrots as well as amadines , cockatoos and pigeons .

East Timor can only come up with a few species of frogs from the class of amphibians , which are mostly not endemic , i.e. only restricted to Timor. Also reptiles enrich the wildlife Timor, such as named after the island of Timor Monitor ( Varanus timorensis ), the Timor-liasis ( Liasis mackloti ) and living in the sea of Timor-Riffschlange ( Aipysurus fuscus ). Endemic is the Timor tortoise, which lives on the eastern tip of the island and was only discovered in 2007, which is regarded partly as a subspecies of McCord's snake- necked tortoise ( Chelodina mccordi ) and partly as a separate species Chelodina timorensis .

The estuarine crocodile , known as the “grandfather crocodile”, lives in the sea and rivers . According to legend, the island of Timor was created from a crocodile. CrocBITE, the database for crocodile attacks at Charles Darwin University , has registered 15 fatal and five other attacks on people in East Timor since 2007 (as of September 2016). Pets are also being torn more and more often, which is why a crocodile task force of ten men was set up in 2010 .

Endemic freshwater fish in the rivers of Timor are the only four centimeters long Oryzias timorensis from the family of rice fish (Adrianichthyidae) and Craterocephalus laisapi from the genus hard-headed . Quite a few species of East Timor tend to live in the brackish water of the estuaries and mangroves , among others from the families of the cross catfish (Ariidae), the gobies (Gobiidae), the archer fish (Toxotidae) and Kuhlia mugil from the family of the flag tails (Kuhlia). The carp , the African catfish and Cyprinodontiformes Guppy , Koboldkärpflinge and Panchax were introduced by man. The waters around Timor belong to the so-called Coral Triangle , a region with the greatest biodiversity of corals and reef fish in the world. The reefs around the island of Atauro provide the highest value for fish. Up to 314 species were discovered in individual places in 2016, a value that is nowhere surpassed in the world. A total of 643 fish species have been identified around Atauro, several of which have not even been scientifically described.

It is estimated that there are around 2500 species of plants in East Timor. The vegetation of East Timor consists mainly of secondary forest , savannas and grasslands . There are mostly species from the casuarina family , the genus eucalyptus , the genus sappan wood , sandalwood and palmyra palms (Lontar palms). The area of ​​the original primary forest of East Timor has shrunk to 220,000 hectares, or one percent of the territory . Dense forest can only be found in the south of the country and in the mountain regions. Mangrove forests cover only about 7500 hectares of East Timor, as in contrast to other islands in the archipelago there are only a few bulges in the coastline. These occur mainly on the north coast, where the sea is calmer. For example, you can find mangrove forests at Metinaro , Tibar and Maubara . On the south coast, the mangroves do not extend much further than beyond the estuaries and swampy terrain.

population

Languages ​​and ethnic groups

Largest language group in the respective Sucos of East Timor according to the results of the census of October 2010. In addition, the two language islands of Lolein (L) and Makuva (M).

Timor was settled by at least three waves of immigrants ( Veddo-Austronesians , Melanesians and Malays ), whose descendants are the various indigenous peoples of the island.

In the case of Timor, the scientific literature shows in a simplified manner that the individual language groups each have their own culture and thus each form their own ethnic group. People define themselves through their language. There are around 16 ethnic groups in East Timor, twelve of which are larger tribal associations. They mostly speak Austronesian ( Malayo-Polynesian ) languages ​​and Papuan languages . The official languages ​​are Portuguese and Tetum , the most widely used indigenous language as the lingua franca . The 15 other languages ​​of the indigenous ethnic groups are recognized as national languages that should be "valued and promoted" according to the constitution: These are Atauru , Baikeno , Bekais , Bunak , Fataluku , Galoli , Habun , Idalaka , Kawaimina , Kemak , Makuva , Makalero , Makasae , Mambai and Tokodede . English and Bahasa Indonesia are listed as working languages .

Man in traditional clothing and the Kaibauk crown in Ermera
Tetum dancer in Suai Loro
Children in Dili
The cultural regions of East Timor: Loro Munu (white) and Loro Sae (red).

The Malayo-Polynesian Tetum form the largest ethnic group in East Timor with around 433,000 members . Other Malayo-Polynesian ethnic groups are the Mambai (196,000), the Kemak (69,000), the Tokodede (47,000) and the Galoli (16,000). The Baikeno in Oe-Cusse Ambeno (69,000) speak a Malayo-Polynesian language, but descend from the Veddo-Austronesian wave of immigration. The speakers of the Papuan languages ​​are of Melanesian origin: the Makasae (130,000), the Bunak (65,000), the Fataluku (42,000) and the Makalero (9,000).

Tetum was the lingua franca of Eastern Timor even before the Portuguese colonial era . After the annexation of East Timor by Indonesia, the Portuguese language was banned. However, the Catholic Church did not hold its masses in Bahasa Indonesia, but from April 7, 1981 on Tetum and thus contributed to the development of the language and the establishment of identity. 62.5% of the population can speak, read and write Tetum, another 1.3% speak and read, 2.2% only read and 25.7% only speak.

While Tetum is widespread, only 30.8% of the population speak, read, and write Portuguese. Another 2.4% can speak and read, 24.5% can only read and 3.1% can only speak. Many teachers also speak no or very poor Portuguese. Because of these problems, Tetum lessons are held for the first three years and only then Portuguese is gradually introduced.

In addition, there are immigrants from recent history, such as Chinese (mainly Hakka traders), Arabs and Portuguese . With the establishment of the steamship line between Macau and Dili at the turn of the century , the immigration of Chinese to Portuguese Timor increased. Among the immigrants there were also many who fled China as opponents of the Chinese Manchu emperors . By 1912 the Chinese community was already well organized. There was a club building, its own school and a Buddhist temple. The Chinese people originally spoke Hakka, Standard Chinese, and Cantonese . Before the Indonesian invasion of 1975, East Timor had a large and lively Hakka community. During the invasion, however, many Hakka died or fled to Australia. Today most of the Timorese Hakka live in Darwin and other Australian cities, such as Brisbane , Sydney and Melbourne . In East Timor, around 800 people still name Chinese as their mother tongue. For example, the former Prime Minister Marí Alkatiri is of Arab origin . His ancestors came to Timor from what is now Yemen at the end of the 19th century .

A small part of the population is of mixed Portuguese-Timorese origin. In Portuguese this population is called Mestiços (German: Mestizos). For example, the former President José Ramos-Horta is one of them . There is also a small group of pure Portuguese. About 1400 East Timorese call Portuguese their mother tongue. Some immigrants from Indonesia also stayed in the country after East Timor became independent. Bahasa Indonesia, however, has lost its importance as a lingua franca, while English has gained in importance due to the foreign UN soldiers. 36.6% of the population can speak, read and write in Bahasa Indonesia, another 1.7% speak and read, 17.6% only read and 6.2% only speak. 15.6% of the population can speak, read and write English, another 1.7% speak and read, 19.8% only read and 1.9% only speak. About 2,700 residents speak Bahasa Indonesia as their mother tongue and about 7300 name English as their mother tongue. However, many courses in Bahasa Indonesia are still held at the national university in Dili.

The occupation gave rise to a strong sense of East Timorese nationalism, but the unrest of 2006 brought back an ethnic division in the public mind that existed before the colonial era. This division of the country into an east and a west part has a significant influence on everyday life in East Timor. The western population from Loro Munu is called Kaladi , the eastern one from Loro Sae is called Firaku . The east consists of the municipalities of Lautém, Baucau, Viqueque and Manatuto. Loro Munu consists of the municipalities of Dili, Aileu, Ainaro, Manufahi, Ermera, Bobonaro, Cova Lima, Liquiçá and Oe-Cusse Ambeno.

The Firaku see themselves as those who defeated the Indonesian occupation forces through their long resistance. The Firaku include important East Timorese military figures. The Firaku accuse the West of sympathizing with the Indonesians. Many of the policemen who recruited the Indonesians were Kaladi. The United Nations and independent East Timor have taken on most of these police officers. The simmering conflict between the police and the military resulted from this. As a melting pot of the country's various ethnicities and groups, Dili is the scene of regular street fighting between gangs from the east and the west. A separation can also be recognized politically. While the eastern parishes are the strongholds of the old FRETILIN independence party, parties in the western part have a majority that were only founded after the independence referendum .

Nevertheless, there are also numerous family relationships between the communities. The close links between the individual tribes and ethnic groups through marriage have a long tradition that linked the island and its rough division into a western, central and eastern region even before colonization. The tribes on the western edge of the area of ​​influence of Wehale had alliances with western Timor and Oe-Cusse Ambeno, the tribes in the east with eastern Timor and its centers Atsabe and Lospalos. In this way, from the point of view of many Timorese, the island formed a unity, despite the different spheres of influence, which was only destroyed by the colonial division between the Dutch and the Portuguese. But feuds and wars are also reported. The old relationships and family structures still have a significant influence on the politics of the country today.

Population development

Population pyramid East Timor 2017

At the beginning of 2006, East Timor had just under 950,000 inhabitants, the 2015 census brought a result of 1,183,643 inhabitants, in 2018 it is assumed to be 1,260,000 inhabitants. In 2011, 10,983 of the residents of East Timor were foreign nationals. These include 5,501 Indonesians, 1,139 citizens of the People's Republic of China, 726 Filipinos, 517 Australians and 318 Portuguese.

The population development in the 20th century shows particularly noticeable fluctuations due to the war. Before the Second World War, around 450,000 people lived in what was then the Portuguese colony. Between 40,000 and 70,000 Timorese lost their lives in the war. The last Portuguese census in 1970 counted 609,477 inhabitants. The Indonesian invasion of 1975, the guerrilla war and reprisals by the occupying forces killed 183,000 people between 1974 and 1999. Many also fled the country, especially immediately after the invasion and in the 1990s, which culminated in the 1999 expulsions, which ultimately led to the intervention of the international community. At that time three quarters of the population were on the run. Around 280,000 East Timorese were forcibly deported from Indonesia to West Timor or had sought refuge there.

The annual population growth is 1.81% (2015, 2004: 3.2%) and is thus, apart from Singapore , the highest of all countries in the region. The fertility rate decreased in the last few years from 6.9 (2004) to 5.7 (2011). It was an average of 4.9 in the city and 5.9 in the countryside. The proportion of the population under 15 years of age is 41.4%, that of people over 60 is 8.2% (2010), the average age in 2011 was 18.4 years. For every 100 people of working age between 15 and 64, there are 81 children under 15 and 9.6 people over 64. Life expectancy in 2006 was 60.2 years, in 2016 it was 68.1 years. The proportion of the urban population is 29.6% (2010, 2007: 27%). In 2015 there were 102 men for every 100 women. In 2006 the ratio was 100 to 103.2. However, the ratio in the municipality of Dili is particularly unbalanced at 100 to 106. The reason is the influx of many young men into the state capital.

religion

Statue of Our Lady of Fátima in Dili
Religion / denomination Number of believers proportion of
Catholics 1,150,990 97.6%
Protestants 23,100 2.0%
Muslims 2,824 0.2%
Animists 918 0.08%
Buddhists 560 0.05%
Hindus 272 0.02%
Others 990 0.08%
total 1,179,990 100.00%

Almost all residents of East Timor are of the Christian faith . Over 97% said they were Catholic in the 2015 census ; Protestants form a Christian minority (2.0%). Of these, around 17,000 belong to the Protestant Church in East Timor (IPTL). 0.2% of East Timorese are Muslims , mostly Sunnis . They are descendants of Arabs who immigrated in the 19th century and Javanese who settled during the occupation . The Annur Mosque in Dili is the largest mosque in the country. There are more in Baucau, Lospalos and Liquiçá. There are also minorities of Buddhists and Hindus . The Pura Girinatha in Dili is the only Hindu temple in the country; the Chinese minority has had a Buddhist temple with the Guandi temple for a hundred years . The traditional religion of Timor is only weakly represented (0.08%). However, animistic beliefs are still practiced in everyday life.

During the Portuguese colonial rule, the Catholic faith was limited to the capital Dili and a few larger towns. The majority of the population were animists. Around 1975 the proportion of Catholics in the population was only about 30%. During the freedom struggle against Indonesia, however, the Catholic Church became the unifying bracket around the twelve larger tribal associations against the predominantly Muslim Indonesians. In no other country in the world has the Catholic Church achieved such great growth in the last few decades.

Tutuala Church with the traditional roof of an Uma Lulik

It owes this, among other things, to the then Apostolic Administrator of the diocese of Dili , established in 1940 , Martinho da Costa Lopes , who preached against human rights violations by the Indonesians. In 1983 he had to abdicate under pressure from Jakarta and was replaced by Carlos Filipe Ximenes Belo . But he too turned against the occupiers. In an open letter to the Secretary General of the United Nations , he called for a referendum on the independence of East Timor . The Catholic Church received further impetus in 1989 when Pope John Paul II visited East Timor. In 1996, Bishop Belo, together with José Ramos-Horta, received the Nobel Peace Prize for his non-violent advocacy for the freedom of East Timor . The FRETILIN liberation movement had communist features, but its leaders were strongly influenced by Catholic priests by the liberation theology of Latin America .

The Baucau diocese was established in 1996, followed by the third diocese of Maliana in 2010 . Until 2019, all dioceses were directly subordinate to the Holy See under canon law . On September 11, 2019, Pope Francis established the church province of Dili by elevating the diocese of Dili to the rank of archbishopric, to which the dioceses of Baucau and Maliana were subordinated as suffragans . In 2002 a statue of the Virgin Mary was shipped from Fátima (Portugal) to Dili for the independence celebrations and the land was consecrated to the Mother of God of Fátima . In May 2005, after weeks of protest marches, religious education in public schools was reinstated as a compulsory subject in the curriculum. Prime Minister Alkatiri introduced a bill in February that the subject should only be attended voluntarily.

Statue of Jesus in the church of Viqueque with Timorese insignia Kaibauk and Belak

East Timor is a secular state and there is freedom of religion according to the constitution. However, in his inaugural address as Prime Minister in 2006, Ramos-Horta emphasized the importance of the Catholic Church as an element that unites the country and reconciles the various conflicting parties. In a next step 2007, sent government with Justino Maria Aparício Guterres the first ever to the Holy See accredited to the relations with the Vatican to further develop ambassador. An apostolic nuncio was also sent to East Timor. On August 14, 2015, a concordat was signed between East Timor and the Vatican on the occasion of the 500th anniversary of the evangelization of Timor . It defines the areas in which the Catholic Church can act independently of the state, for example in providing spiritual support in prisons, hospitals and orphanages and in running its own schools at every level of education.

A number of movements , such as Colimau 2000 or the Sagrada Família , have quasi-religious features. These groups use Christian and animistic elements for this and combine them with various martial arts. They each have a few hundred to a few thousand members. In the last few years the reading has become established that the Timorese were already believers before the missionaries arrived. Prime Minister Rui Maria de Araújo stated in a 2015 speech:

“Christianity did not enter our culture and our history by being imposed by arms (…) Christianity elevated, honored and enriched what was already pulsating in the nature of the Timorese people. In other words, Christianity found a people with a sense of God ( Maromak ) and a sense of the holy ( Lulik ) . "

The apostolic nuncio Joseph Salvador Marino took up this image in a speech in the same year, who stated that the Timorese had already known "the light of God" before the missionaries.

Women in East Timor

Market women in Dili

49.2% of the inhabitants of East Timor are women (2015). 24% of women are married before their 20th birthday. In men it is only 5%. They usually get married between the ages of 25 and 29. The husbands are therefore usually seven to ten years older than their wives. In general, domestic violence is a big problem. The reasons for this are to be found in the traumatic experiences of the inhabitants during the Indonesian occupation. More than 400 cases were registered in 2008 alone, but the number of unreported cases is likely to far exceed this number. Studies by the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) in two of the then districts of the country showed that violence for Timorese women was "normal" and considered a private matter. In 2009, domestic violence was included in the civil code as a criminal offense, for the first time in the country's history, as this was not the case under Indonesian rule either. On May 3, 2010, the National Parliament passed a law to provide legal assistance to victims of domestic violence.

The abortion law still follows old Indonesian law. Abortions are forbidden by law, even if the mother's life is in danger, which is why illegal abortions are performed without medical help. A new law based on Portuguese and Australian law is currently being planned. According to this, abortions should be allowed if the pregnancy endangers the life of the woman. Initially, Catholic forces in politics, such as Fernanda Borges, spoke out against the law and criticized it as "Western influence". But because abortions should continue to be considered criminal apart from the exception regulation, the Catholic Church later advocated the new regulation. Abortions by victims of sexual violence and incest are no longer decriminalized, contrary to initial plans.

health

Municipal health service in Maubisse
Girl washing clothes in a typical bathroom in East Timor. The large basin is only used as a water reservoir; one washes oneself outside. The girl on the right crouches over the toilet set in the floor.
Junior doctor in Liquiçá

Medical care is poor but is slowly improving. The variety of languages ​​in the country often leads to problems in communication between doctor and patient. There are 302 medical facilities (2003: 218): six public hospitals (the two largest in Dili and Baucau), 66 community health centers, 189 medical wards and 41 private clinics (as of 2008). The population receives free treatment in public institutions. For every 1000 inhabitants there are an average of 0.3 doctors, 0.8 nurses and 0.3 midwives (2008). Until recently there was a lack of local doctors. Of 40 doctors in the main hospitals in Dili and Baucau, only 10 were East Timorese in 2003. Thanks to a cooperation between Dili and Havana , 300 Cuban doctors were working in East Timor in 2007 , 90% of all doctors in the country. 700 Timorese studied medicine in Cuba. At the end of 2012 there were 152 doctors in East Timor, including 13 specialists, 1271 nurses, 427 midwives and 416 medical-technical assistants. In December 2012, an additional 400 East Timorese graduated as doctors, after four years of study in Cuba and two years in East Timor. Another 80 had already successfully completed their medical studies in 2010/11 . Two aircraft from the Mission Aviation Fellowship Timor-Leste (MAF TL) transport the sick and injured from rural areas to the capital Dili.

In 2008, the share of the state budget for health expenditure was 4.73%. 34.1% (2010, 2006: 38%) of the residents have no clean drinking water and 60.8% (2010, 2006: 59%) have no access to sanitary facilities (as of 2006). For every 100,000 live births in 2004, 800 mothers died. In 2008, UNICEF praised East Timor for reducing child mortality by 40% between 1990 and 2006. The infant mortality rate was in 1990 at 177, 2004 80, 2005 61 and 2010 44. The infant mortality rate in 1974 at 50%, in 1990 at 133 of 1000 births, 2004 64, 2005 52 and 2006 47. One reason for the Falling rates in child mortality is due to increasing medical care. In 2010, 53% of children between the ages of 12 and 23 months received all important vaccinations, in 2003 it was only 18%. However, in 2010 23% of children were still without any vaccinations.

The Cruz Vermelha de Timor-Leste CVTL (Red Cross East Timor) was founded in 2000.

Persistent malnutrition is problematic , especially in children. 46 percent of children under five years of age are malnourished due to malnutrition, 24 percent of children are severely underweight. Only 6 percent are overweight (as of 2018). Depending on the region in the country, up to 65% of the population show symptoms of deficiency due to malnutrition. On the Global Hunger Index, East Timor ranks 110th out of 117 in 2019 with a value of 34.5 (2008: 46.8). The reason for the critical situation is the frequent bad harvests in East Timor (see also: Chapter Agriculture and Crafts ). The average male East Timorese is very short at 160 cm. It is the smallest average height in the world.

The birth rate in 2011 was 36.85 births per 1000 inhabitants (2004: 43.6), the 2011 death rate was 8.77 deaths per 1000 inhabitants (2004: 10.8). Due to the reports of alleged forced sterilizations during the Indonesian occupation, women in particular have an increased distrust of government medical facilities, which makes it particularly difficult to care for pregnant women. In some areas the proportion of young mothers is extremely high. The national average for every 1,000 live births in 2004 was 59.2 births to mothers between the ages of 15 and 19, but in Tilomar , for example, it was 114.4, which means that this sub-district at that time had similar numbers to some Latin American countries.

East Timor is one of the countries with the highest percentage of smokers in the population. 33% of the population smoke every day, with men the proportion is even 61%. There is no comprehensive health education and there is no regulation of cigarette consumption, tobacco sales or advertising. Mostly imported goods from Indonesia are smoked. But there are also local tobacco farmers whose production is used to roll cigarettes yourself, which further lowers the already low prices for cigarettes.

In the rainy season, protection from mosquitoes is necessary to protect yourself from infections they transmit. In 2006 there were 223,000 registered cases of malaria and 68 deaths. With the help of the WHO , a nationwide National Malaria Control Program (NMCP) was started. In 2018, no new malaria infections were registered in East Timor. Other diseases, such as tuberculosis and Japanese encephalitis , are still widespread. The number of cases of dengue fever has fallen sharply in recent years, from 2789 in 2006 to 187 in 2008. However, there were major outbreaks of the disease in 2014 and early 2019 in Dili and 2020 in Ermera with 117 infected people and four deaths.

When leprosy progress has been made in the fight. In 2004 4.7 new infections per 10,000 inhabitants were registered, in 2009 it was only 1.3. Even so, that meant about 1,300 new cases of the disease between 2004 and 2009. East Timor has been considered measles- free since 2018 . So far there have been 28 confirmed cases of Corona in East Timor. All infected people have since been released as healthy. (As of May 15, 2020)

Distribution of the geographical haplogroups in the East Timorese population

HIV still plays a minor role, even if most East Timorese are ignorant of the risk of AIDS or how to prevent it. In 2002 there was only one death from HIV in East Timor; in 2003 there were six known infected people. In March 2011, a total of 239 cases were counted, of which 42 had already died. Most of those infected come from Dili, but there are also cases in Maliana (18) and Baucau (9). In August 2012, 263 people infected with HIV were registered, including 28 new cases. 73 of them are receiving antiretroviral drugs . Seventeen of those infected are children under the age of five; another five children have already died as a result of AIDS.

Eye problems are relatively common among the East Timorese population. 3.6% of residents over 40 years of age are blind. The most common cause of this is cataracts . The age-related macular degeneration, which is otherwise common worldwide , hardly occurs. The reason could be the genes of the majority of the population. The Haplogroups for the Y-chromosome derived to 73% of Asian ancestors, 13% each of Eurasien and Africa and 1% from Oceania. The haplogroups for mitochondrial DNA ( mtDNA ), on the other hand, have 69% origin from Asia, 15% from Africa, but only 1% from Eurasia and 17% from Oceania. The different origins suggest that there were either very many different waves of immigration to Timor or that the East Timorese are descended from a few men with very different origins. Studies have shown that there are clear differences from the West Timorese population, which has a different ethnic composition. In fact, historians speak of at least four waves of immigration to Timor.

homosexuality

Pride March (Marsa Diversidade) 2019 in Dili

Discrimination based on sexual orientation is prohibited by law. Sexual orientation or gender are not big issues in society , but discrimination and stigmatization are commonplace. Some LGBT organizations exist.

history

Small empires and foreign rule

Market in Atsabe (1968/70)
A graffito in Tutuala with the word for "murderer" indicts the 1999 crimes

The oldest traces of human settlement on the island were found in 2017 in the Laili cave near Laleia , in the north of East Timor. They are at least 43,000 to 44,000 years old. In addition to stone tools, the oldest known fish hook in the world and mussel shells that were used as jewelry, the remains of turtles, tuna and giant rats, which had served as food for the cave dwellers , were found in the limestone cave Jerimalai near Tutuala . In addition, the finds showed for the first time that people were fishing in the deep sea as early as 42,000 years ago. These findings support the theory that Australia was settled via the Lesser Sunda Islands.

From 40,000 BC BC Timor was settled in at least three other waves by Austronesians , Melanesians and Proto-Malayans . According to reports from the Portuguese , the island was divided into three loose domains, which in turn were split up into numerous small empires whose rulers were called Liurais . Marriage and alliance policy formed a network that linked practically the entire island with one another, but this did not prevent constant conflicts and fights between the empires into the 20th century. The Portuguese landed on Timor for the first time in 1515 and founded the Portuguese Timor colony , whose final borders with the Dutch part of the island were not established until 1916. Until the beginning of the 20th century, both colonial powers were still dependent on traditional rulership structures to administer their territories. There were constant revolts against the Europeans . The greatest rebellion against the Portuguese led in 1912 to Boaventura von Manufahi .

Japanese troops occupied the entire island from 1942 to 1945, although Portugal was a neutral country during World War II . The result was a guerrilla war waged by Allied forces against the Japanese on the island, known as the Battle of Timor . Timorese also fought on both sides. In Portuguese Timor alone, between 40,000 and 70,000 people died. After the end of the World War, Indonesia gained independence from the Dutch colonial power. West Timor became part of the new state, while East Timor only received the new status of a Portuguese overseas province in 1951 .

It was not until 1974 that the Carnation Revolution changed the political situation in Portugal. In 1975 the colony was to be prepared for independence, but a civil war broke out between the two largest parties, FRETILIN and UDT , from which FRETILIN emerged victorious. It proclaimed independence on November 28, 1975 , but only nine days later Indonesia began to openly occupy the country with Operation Seroja, and in 1976, despite international condemnation, formally made it its 27th province of Timor Timur . As a result of the 24-year Indonesian occupation, up to 183,000 of the 800,000 inhabitants died. After a referendum in 1999 that resulted in independence and further violence by pro-Indonesian militias ( Wanra ) and the Indonesian army , the United Nations dispatched the peacekeeping force INTERFET under Australian leadership . East Timor came under the administration of UNTAET until it was finally given independence on May 20, 2002 . On September 27, 2002, East Timor became the 191st member of the United Nations.

The first years of independence

Nobel Peace Prize Laureate José Ramos-Horta (2008)

From the end of April to the end of May 2006, East Timor experienced serious unrest . 37 people died, 155,000 were on the run. The starting point for this was the dismissal of around 40% of members of the army who deserted at the beginning of the year in protest at the abuses of the East Timorese defense forces . Over 3,000 soldiers ( International Stabilization Force ISF ) were sent to East Timor from various countries to stabilize the situation again. Prime Minister Marí Alkatiri resigned on June 26th. Until March 2011, the UNMIT (UN Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste), together with the foreign troops of the ISF, took on the task of maintaining order in the country. UNMIT's mandate was extended to December 31, 2012. Until then, she supported the East Timorese National Police (PNTL) and also contributed to the security of the 2012 elections.

The first new elections after the restoration of independence in 2007 resulted in a loss of power for FRETILIN. The non-party José Ramos-Horta prevailed against the FRETILIN candidate in the runoff election for president. A four-party coalition managed to win a majority in parliament and install Xanana Gusmão as prime minister. The FRETILIN was the strongest party in parliament, but could not find any coalition partners. FRETILIN saw the fact that it was the strongest force and did not lead the government as a breach of the constitution, but abandoned initial threats to boycott parliament or to take it to the Supreme Court .

In the same year, Alfredo Reinado , the leader of the soldiers who mutinied in 2006, escaped from a prison with 56 followers in the same year, in which they were held in the course of the May riots for illegal possession of weapons and suspected murder. In 2007 the situation escalated around the fugitives who were hiding in the mountains of Manufahi and Ermera . In an attack on two border police posts, they stole 23 weapons, some of them heavy. President Gusmão authorized the ISF to arrest Reinado and asked Indonesia for assistance. An attempt at access by Australian special forces in March 2007 failed. Reinado repeatedly threatened the government with civil war and attacks on Dili.

On February 11, 2008, there was an exchange of fire between Reinado, some of his men and the security forces in the home of President Ramos-Horta. Ramos-Horta and one of his bodyguards were seriously injured, Reinado and another rebel were killed. Shortly afterwards the car was shot at by Prime Minister Gusmão. He escaped the attack unharmed. Gusmão declared the attempted coup a failure. President Ramos-Horta resumed office in April after receiving medical treatment in Darwin . The rebel movement finally collapsed shortly after the attacks. In the following years the political situation stabilized significantly. In December 2012, the last soldiers and police officers from ISF and UNMIT were bid farewell. In 2008, 75% of East Timor's residents said they were satisfied with the work of the UN, while 3% found it to be bad.

politics

General

Flag dealer in Dili

The East Timorese Constitution of 2002 was based on the Portuguese model .

From many quarters East Timor is described as a “ rumor-based society ”, which is a consequence of the traumatization caused by the violent past. After the end of the conquest, Indonesia kept the occupied country in a state of permanent tension through a kind of strategy of tension in order to suppress domestic political resistance to the occupation. There were arbitrary arrests, public display of corpses, mysterious murders and the spread of rumors. The secret resistance groups probably used similar methods to stir up fear among the occupiers. The population is therefore vulnerable to rumors and conspiracy theories , which is exploited by all political parties and actors. This starts with assumptions about the constitutional legitimacy of the first coalition government under Xanana Gusmão and goes through unsubstantiated allegations of corruption and allegations of misconduct by the foreign security forces (for example the " INTERFET frog ") and inability of the rulers to rumors about armed, paramilitary groups and Speculation about the violent death of the rebel Alfredo Reinado and his connections abroad. In May 2009 the deputy police commander Alfredo de Jesus appealed to the population via radio and television not to believe the rumor that a witch named Magareta would fly over Dili at night. The rumors spread quickly through word of mouth, text messages, and internet blogs. In addition, there are announcements and warnings (for example by SMS) of violent riots or mass demonstrations, which then never take place, or demonstrations of power by militant groups, for example with staged flag ceremonies. Result is an "empire of fear" (Kingdom of Fear) , which is reinforced by the constantly occurring real violence.

Regional differences in political freedom of expression in East Timor (2008)

Only 62% of the residents of East Timor said in 2009 that they could freely express their political opinion in their hometown; 24% said no. In 2017, 90% were of the opinion that they could freely express their views, only 2% did not believe it.

98% of 1200 respondents said in November 2016 that they wanted to go to the upcoming elections in 2017. 72% expected the country to be better next year, and 49% already saw it on the right track. 29% of respondents said the government was doing a very good job, 45% said the job was good. 44% said they were close to FRETILIN , 75% had a positive attitude towards the party. 29% saw the condition of the country's roads as the most important problem. 32% thought it had gotten worse in the last year, 29% saw an improvement. A majority of respondents saw improvements in health care (79%), education (78%) and electricity (71%). 66% are afraid of violent rioting in the vicinity of the elections.

In the Global Peace Index 2020, East Timor came in 54th and received the classification "High State of Peace" with a value of 1.863. You are ahead of Albania (55th place) and Greece (57th place). In the 2019 Democracy Index of the British magazine The Economist, East Timor ranks 41st out of 167 countries and is therefore considered an "incomplete democracy". In the country report Freedom in the World 2020 by the US non-governmental organization Freedom House , the country's political system is rated as “free”. In the ranking it is behind India and ahead of Hungary .

Transparency International listed East Timor in the Corruption Perception Index 2016 at number 101 with a value of 35, which is an improvement over previous years and the same ranking as that of the Philippines , Niger , Thailand , Gabon , Peru and Trinidad and Tobago . The Anti-Corruption Commission (CAC) started its work in 2010 to fight corruption . In a survey, 79% of residents welcomed the Commission's establishment. Over the past few years there have been repeated court hearings against former members of the government on charges of corruption and mismanagement. In 2012, Lúcia Lobato , a former minister, was sentenced for the first time to five years in prison for mismanagement, but only served 18 months of it due to a pardon. In 2015, former Education Minister João Câncio Freitas was sentenced to seven years in prison for corruption. In addition, two state secretaries and four senior officials have been sentenced to prison terms for corruption.

The way the government handled the crimes during the Indonesian occupation was criticized by human rights organizations, the Catholic Church and large parts of the population. Politicians have been in favor of reconciliation and forgiveness since regaining independence, both with neighboring Indonesia and with the collaborators within East Timor. The processing of the events was limited to a registration of the incidents and local peace mediation under state leadership. In early 2015, the government proclaimed the policy of “mourning the nation” ( tetum dec-lutu nasional ) or “ shedding the black”. The memory of the past should now be carried out more in memory than in mourning as before. Critics note that many families have not yet finished mourning because the remains of their relatives have not yet been found. There is no trace of many of the victims of the occupation, including the folk hero Nicolau Lobato , whose death anniversary on December 31, 2015 was supposed to mark the end of the Dec-lutu Nasional .

executive

The President of East Timor is elected every five years and has more symbolic powers; but he has the right to veto legislation. The Council of State is at his side in an advisory capacity. In the presidential elections in East Timor in 2017 , Francisco Lú-Olo Guterres from FRETILIN won the first round with 57.08% of the vote. It was the third time Guterres ran for the office. He was also supported by the Congresso Nacional da Reconstrução Timorense (CNRT), the country's second major party. Guterres took over the presidency from his predecessor Taur Matan Ruak at midnight on May 20, 2017, on the 15th anniversary of independence. Taur Matan Ruak no longer ran.

After the parliamentary elections, the president appoints a prime minister who has a majority of a party or coalition in parliament behind him. As the head of the government , the Prime Minister chairs the cabinet .

legislative branch

Vote in the National Parliament of East Timor
Distribution of seats in the Parliament of East Timor

The parliament (Parlamento Nacional) consists of only one chamber. Its members are chosen every five years in free elections. Laws and ordinances are announced in the Jornal da República . The number of parliamentary seats can vary from 52 to 65. Exceptionally, the 88 seats of the Constituent Assembly were retained during the first electoral term .

Many East Timorese parties are more centered on their leaders than on a program that sets them apart. Since the parliamentary elections in East Timor in 2007 , two dominant parties have emerged, the left-wing FRETILIN, from which President Francisco Guterres comes and which is led by Marí Alkatiri , and the CNRT, founded by Xanana Gusmão . Representatives of the younger generation are medium-sized parties in parliament: the PLP of Taur Matan Ruak, the KHUNTO , which has its origins in the ritual arts group Kmanek Oan Rai Klaran and the PD has its roots in the student movement RENETIL . The UDT , the FM and the PUDD are also represented in parliament with one MP each. You entered parliament as the FDD party alliance in the parliamentary elections in East Timor in 2018 .

In the elections, the CNRT, PLP and KHUNTO ran together as Aliança para Mudança e Progresso (AMP) and thus won an absolute majority. In parliament, however, each party formed its own parliamentary group. The FDD broke up in the first few days of the meeting. UDT and FM then formed a joint parliamentary group, the PUDD MP sits alone in parliament.

On June 13, 2018, the new parliament met for the first time and elected Arão Noé da Costa Amaral from the CNRT as the new President of Parliament. On January 17, 2020, the government failed with its proposal for the state budget because the MPs of the CNRT abstained from voting. That ended the AMP. A new six-party alliance was formed, excluding PLP and FRETILIN, but it only lasted a few weeks. The government now relies on a majority of 36 seats from PLP, FRETILIN and KHUNTO in parliament ( see: chapter on domestic policy ).

Judiciary

Public Prosecutor General of East Timor

The Tribunal de Recurso de Timor-Leste ( German  Court of Appeal East Timor ) is the highest court in East Timor. You cannot appeal against its judgments. The President of the Court, who is appointed by the President of the Republic for four years, presides. Deolindo dos Santos has held the office since April 28, 2017 .

The national parliament elects a member of the Supreme Court, the other members are determined by the Conselho Superior da Magistratura Judicial ( German  Supreme Legal Council ). José da Costa Ximenes has been Attorney General since April 15, 2013 . There are district courts in Dili (2017 with 16 judges), Baucau (seven judges), Oe-Cusse Ambeno (one judge) and Suai (seven judges). Also the seats of the Defensoria Pública .

Until the end of 2014, many foreigners, especially Portuguese, worked in the East Timorese judiciary, both as advisers to the Attorney General and the Anti-Corruption Authority and as judges. After East Timor had lost several legal proceedings for tax claims against raw material companies, all foreigners in the judiciary were dismissed by parliamentary resolution on October 24th. The advisors were accused of incompetence and possibly corruption. Foreign observers speculated, however, that the state wanted to reverse unpleasant judgments. The tax procedures have been reopened.

The death penalty and life imprisonment have been abolished in East Timor. The maximum permissible sentence is 25 years in prison. Prisoners are responsible for their own food and medical care.

Domestic politics

Prime Minister Taur Matan Ruak

From the early parliamentary elections on May 12, 2018 , the alliance of the AMP emerged with an absolute majority of the parliamentary seats. The AMP included the conservative CNRT, Taur Matan Ruak's PLP and the KHUNTO. Taur Matan Ruak was sworn in as the new Prime Minister on June 22, 2018. When the AMP government took office on June 22, 2018, the power struggle with FRETILIN continued. President Guterres turned down eleven candidates for the cabinet, so that initially only part of the government offices could be filled. Two candidates were pending ongoing corruption proceedings (they were later withdrawn by the AMP), seven candidates had been charged with corruption and two candidates were, in Guterres' opinion, not worthy of office for ethnic reasons. The presidential refusal only affected CNRT and KHUNTO politicians.

The deputy Francisco Xavier David Carlos (PUDD) when voting on April 27, 2020. Extension of Aunahmezustands because COVID-19

Taur Matan Ruak came to terms with the deputy ministers and other ministers running the vacant portfolios while the CNRT was practically excluded from government business. On January 17, 2020, the CNRT MPs refused to approve the draft state budget in parliament. The AMP broke up. After numerous crisis talks, on February 22nd, CNRT, KHUNTO, PD, UDT, FM and PUDD publicly signed a coalition agreement to form a new government. Taur Matan Ruak submitted his government's resignation on February 24, 2020.

Due to the impending COVID-19 pandemic in East Timor , Taur Matan Ruak withdrew his resignation on April 8, after consultation with President Guterres. In the meantime, FRETILIN concluded an alliance with the PLP. FRETILIN General Secretary Alkatiri said that they wanted to support the existing government until the regular end of the legislative period. Support for the eighth government was also signaled by the KHUNTO, although it was now part of the opposing alliance in parliament. The proposal of this six-party alliance to appoint Xanana Gusmão as Prime Minister was not answered by President Guterres.

On April 27, members of the KHUNTO and PD voted, contrary to the coalition agreement, to extend the state of emergency, and on April 29, the KHUNTO announced its withdrawal from the alliance in favor of the old government. Government restructuring began on May 29th. While most of the CNRT members followed their party's instructions and resigned from the government, members of FRETILIN and the PD were now admitted to the cabinet.

Foreign policy

East Timor has extensive, friendly relations with numerous states and regions. It has reconciled itself with the former occupying power Indonesia, as well as with the colonial power Portugal. Through the Community of Portuguese Speaking Countries (CPLP), East Timor also maintains close contacts with its African members, Brazil and Macau . Portugal also serves, along with Ireland, as the gateway to the European Union . The Catholic faith serves as a connecting element with the Philippines . You and Indonesia are among the strongest supporters of East Timor's aspiration to join ASEAN . The Melanesian culture of some ethnic groups of East Timor forms the basis of good relations with Papua New Guinea and the South Sea states. East Timor is an associate member of the Pacific Islands Forum and since 2010 it has had observer status with the Melanesian Spearhead Group . In 2016, East Timor joined the Pacific Islands Development Forum .

There is a lot of sympathy in Australia, as East Timorese fought on the side of the Allies in the Battle of Timor , preventing a Japanese invasion of Australia. Nevertheless, there was a dispute for years about the demarcation of the borders in the Timor Sea and the exploitation of the natural resources there, which led to tension and resentment.

East Timor receives major support from Cuba and the People's Republic of China , while the United States also has close ties with the Southeast Asian country. Other partners are New Zealand , the United Kingdom , South Korea and Japan .

Due to its long history of foreign rule, East Timor has developed special relations with Western Sahara and supports both Kosovo and the Palestinian Autonomous Areas . As a formerly fragile state, East Timor is involved in a leadership position in the g7 + states .

States with embassies in East Timor
States with diplomatic missions from East Timor

Germany , Austria and Switzerland have no embassies in East Timor. The embassies of the countries in Jakarta / Indonesia are responsible. In urgent cases, EU citizens can contact the Embassy of Portugal or the Representation of the European Union in Casa Europa in Dili. In addition, the following countries have embassies in Dili: Australia, Brazil , Brunei, People's Republic of China, Indonesia , Japan, Cuba , Malaysia , New Zealand , Philippines , South Korea , Thailand , Great Britain and the USA . Since 2010 there has also been an embassy of the Sahara Democratic Arab Republic in Dili. One sees parallels in history as occupied states and therefore established diplomatic relations .

Ireland had a representative office until October 2012, administered by the Singapore embassy. Mexico has an honorary consulate in Dili .

The East Timorese embassy responsible for Central Europe is located in Brussels . It is also the official representation of East Timor in the European Union. The permanent representation of East Timor to the United Nations in Geneva is also subordinate to the Brussels embassy . In addition, East Timor has embassies in Bangkok , Canberra , Hanoi , Havana , Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur , Lisbon , Manila , Maputo , Beijing, Phnom Penh , Pretoria , Seoul , Singapore , Tokyo , at the Vatican, in Washington, DC and Wellington as well as a mission at the United Nations in New York . Another embassy is planned because of the planned accession to ASEAN in Myanmar's capital Naypyidaw and a representation has also been established in Angola, while the African state intends to open an embassy in Dili. There are consulates general in Denpasar , Kupang and Sydney . Another is planned since 2009 in Surabaya , Indonesia , as 2000 East Timorese are studying in universities in the province. In addition, several citizens are treated in hospitals here. A training and health policy cooperation is to be established with the provincial government. Honorary Consul Peter Badge represents East Timor in Berlin . There are other honorary consulates in Ankara , Beirut , Cebu , Dublin , Évora , Geneva, Istanbul , Manila, Melbourne , Port Moresby and Tasmania .

Security guards

military

Lere Anan Timor (2017)
Troop Parade (2015)

The East Timorese Defense Forces ( Portuguese Forças de Defesa de Timor Leste , tetum Forcas Defensa Timor Lorosae ) or FALINTIL-FDTL (F-FDTL) consist of land forces and a small navy. In 2012 the first East Timorese officers received their helicopter pilot license. The Commander-in-Chief has been Major General Lere Anan Timor , Chief of Staff since 2011 , and Falur Rate Laek is his deputy . Filomeno Paixão has been Minister of Defense since 2018 .

The planned strength of the armed forces envisages 1500 active members and another 1500 members. Their basic staff was recruited on February 1, 2001 from fighters of the former guerrilla army FALINTIL . However, only a few stayed because of the low pension. After the unrest of 2006 and the desertions that went with it , the army has been back to its old strength since August 2008. The army consists of two infantry battalions. The navy initially took over the patrol boats NRTL Oecusse and NRTL Atauro . These were replaced in 2010 by the newly built NRTL Jaco and NRTL Betano in the People's Republic of China . Three more patrol boats were taken over by South Korea in September 2011 . They were given the names NRTL Kamenassa , NRTL Díli and NRTL Hera . Two of the boats were handed over to the National Police in 2012.

In June 2007, an armament plan called "Forças 2020" was announced. According to this plan, the navy and army were to be massively upgraded by 2010 in order to secure the East Timorese interests in the oil field in the Timor Sea and to prevent smuggling and illegal fishing. Illegal fishermen alone damage East Timor by 45 million US dollars each year. Smuggling costs the state an additional $ 8 million in tax revenue annually. The future income from the oil business should secure the financing. In addition to the financing, the ability of East Timor to use the necessary technologies is also questioned from abroad. In 2008, the share of defense in the state budget was 4.39%.

In 2007 conscription was officially introduced, but is not applied. The small army could not accommodate the large number of recruits. In addition, it does not seem a good idea to train members of street gangs to use automatic weapons and hand grenades. Taur Matan Ruak, then president and former head of the armed forces, propagated the application as a means against youth unemployment and to deepen national feeling.

In May 2008, East Timor signed a military alliance agreement with the seven other states of the CPLP . Among other things, East Timorese soldiers are to be trained in Brazil and Portugal. There are also plans for military cooperation in training East Timorese soldiers with China, Poland , Canada , India and Japan .

On September 26, 2018, East Timor signed the United Nations Nuclear Weapons Prohibition Treaty .

Police and crime

Police station in Remexio

Faustino da Costa has been the head of the East Timorese National Police (PNTL) since 2019 . Since October 31, 2012, the PNTL has assumed sole responsibility for internal security in East Timor from the United Nations. There are no military units in the Oe-Cusse Ambeno exclave. Here the border police ( Portuguese Unidade de Patrulhamento de Fronteira UPF) take over the tasks of the F-FDTL. At the end of 2018, the police consisted of 4,165 officers.

According to the UN, there were 169 cases of bodily harm per 100,000 inhabitants in East Timor in 2008. The world average was 250, in the USA it was 795. In addition, there were three murders per 100,000 people in East Timor in 2008 (USA: six per 100,000). In 2017 a total of 4504 crimes (381 crimes per 100,000 inhabitants) were registered. The municipality of Dili recorded the highest number with 714. 1865 cases were violent acts (158 per 100,000 inhabitants). Only two murders were registered (25 in the previous year). At the end of 2017, 549 people were held in the country's prisons, 157 of them in custody. 511 were male, including the 38 minors.

Intelligence services

East Timor has three intelligence services: the Serviço Nacional de Inteligência (SNI), the Serviço de Informações de Polícia (SIP) and the Sistema de Informações Militares (SIM). According to their mandate, the intelligence services support the state in its activities in the area of ​​state security by collecting, processing and passing on information that is necessary for maintaining independence and national sovereignty.

Administrative division

Distribution of land area and inhabitants to the individual municipalities

In 2004 the administrative boundaries were revised. In 2014/2015 the previous districts ( Portuguese Distrito ) were renamed municipalities ( Portuguese Município ) and the subdistricts ( Portuguese Subdistrito ) into administrative offices ( Portuguese Posto Administrativo ).

East Timor is divided into twelve municipalities and the Special Administrative Region ( Portuguese Região Administrativa Especial ) Oe-Cusse Ambeno, which has a special role. In Article 71 of the East Timorese Constitution, Oe-Cusse Ambeno guarantees this in administration and economic policy. On June 18, 2014, Law 03/2014 created the Autoridade da Região Administrativa Especial de Oecusse (ARAEO). Oe-Cusse Ambeno is now headed by a president appointed by the central government instead of an administrator.

The municipalities are divided into a total of 65 administrative offices, 452 sucos and 2,233 aldeias . The island of Atauro forms its own administrative office in the municipality of Dili, the island of Jaco is part of the Sucos Tutuala in the municipality of Lautém.

Municipality (number on the card) ISO 3166-2: TL Inhabitants (2004) Population (2015) Area in km² Capital Human Development Index (2017)
Aileu (6) TL-AL 037,926 048,837 0.735.94 Aileu 0.613
Ainaro (10) TL-AN 052,476 063.136 0.802.59 Ainaro 0.560
Baucau (2) TL-BA 100,326 123.203 1,504.17 Baucau 0.602
Bobonaro (11) TL-BO 097,762 098,932 1,378.10 Maliana 0.606
Cova Lima (12) TL-CO 052,818 065,301 1,198.59 Suai 0.618
Dili (5) TL-DI 173,541 277.279 0.364.12 Dili 0.733
Ermera (9) TL-ER 103.199 125,702 0.756.47 Gleno 0.562
Lautém (1) TL-LA 055,921 065,240 1,816.68 Lospalos 0.607
Liquiçá (8) TL-LI 054,834 071,927 0.559.92 Liquiçá 0.636
Manatuto (4) TL-MT 036,719 046,619 1,783.34 Manatuto 0.614
Manufahi (7) TL-MF 044,950 053,691 1,332.50 Seed 0.618
Oe-Cusse Ambeno (13) TL-OE 057,469 068,913 0.813.62 Pante Macassar 0.553
Viqueque (3) TL-VI 065,245 076.033 1,880.39 Viqueque 0.602

Transport and traffic

Distances [km]
place DI PM VI SU SA MT ML LO LI HE BA ON AL
Aileu 47 145 230 113 54 134 196 295 79 29 169 51
Ainaro 78 127 134 69 60 123 49 247 82 55 183 51
Baucau 122 243 61 223 159 60 208 126 154 155 183 169
Ermera 58 123 164 104 65 95 55 306 67 155 55 29
Liquiçá 32 126 215 131 90 119 117 280 67 154 82 79
Lospalos 248 300 187 282 217 186 397 280 306 126 247 295
Maliana 149 95 332 61 87 236 397 117 55 208 49 196
Manatuto 87 194 96 189 115 236 186 119 95 60 123 134
Seed 81 140 105 84 115 87 217 90 65 159 60 54
Suai 138 97 169 84 189 61 282 131 104 223 69 113
Viqueque 183 220 169 105 96 332 187 215 164 61 134 230
Pante Macassar 154 220 97 140 194 95 300 126 123 243 127 145
Dili 154 183 138 81 87 149 248 32 58 122 78 47
East Timor's road network
A microlet
Horses on market day in Maubisse

In 2008, 4053 motorcycles (2004: 3512), 1159 cars (2079), 241 small trucks (614) and 216 heavy trucks (385) were registered. If you, like most Timorese, do not have a four-wheel drive vehicle, when traveling overland you have to rely on public transport, which comes in three forms. The Biskota is a bigger bus. Such buses connect the more important localities, such as Lospalos or Baucau, with Dili and drive on the mostly paved main routes. However, they do not operate according to a fixed timetable, but only leave when enough passengers have arrived. To get to smaller places, you have to change to minibuses , so-called microléts . The third variant is trucks that are equipped with benches on the loading area. All three are consistently overcrowded with people and merchandise. In the mountainous regions in particular, the native Timor ponies are still an everyday means of transport. There are no railways in East Timor.

There is left-hand traffic in East Timor . The road conditions do not make traveling easier. 70% of the 5320 kilometers of road are in need of repair. In the rainy season, many of the paths are only muddy slopes and no longer passable. There are 1,426 km of national roads, 869 km of municipal roads and 3,025 km of local roads. The main traffic routes are the two coastal roads on the north and south coast of the country, which are connected by five overland roads in a north-south direction. There are also two cross-connections inland. In 2018, the National Police registered a total of 1,700 traffic accidents with a total of 75 fatalities and 1,030 injuries. The first section of the Suai – Beaco motorway , from Suai to Fatukaho (Fatukahu) , opened in 2018 and is East Timor’s first ever motorway.

Dili 's Presidente Nicolau Lobato Airport is located west of the city center in Suco Madohi and is the only international airport to be served by passenger planes . There are connections to Australia and Indonesia. Regular, civil flight connections to other airports in East Timor are currently not recorded in the airlines' international booking system. For airport Oecusse District , there is a flight connection with a two-propeller engine of the local authority. Even the Suai airport has since been expanded. The Baucau airport is the only airport of East Timor, can land at the larger machines than the Boeing 737th It is primarily used for military and supply flights.

Foreign airlines offer connections from Dili to Darwin and Denpasar ( Bali ). In 2012 the attempt to establish Timor Air failed . From 2008 to 2019, Air Timor (formerly Austasia Airlines) flew with aircraft chartered by other companies, but had to cease its flights after the termination of the contract by Silk Air . In May 2019, Air Timor agreed a cooperation with the Chinese Air Travel . Now the route Dili - Hong Kong is to be served. Since June 2019, TransNusa Air Services has been flying the Dili - Kupang route in cooperation with Air Timor and since October 31, 2019 Air Timor has been operating the Singapore-Dili route with an Airbus A319 from Drukair .

From 2018 on, Aero Dili will be flying on domestic routes. She owns the first machines that were registered in East Timor. After an airplane crash-landed, in which the occupants escaped unharmed, the company's traffic was temporarily suspended. The aircraft registration for East Timor is "4W".

The country's most important cargo port is Dili . A new port has been under construction in the Bay of Tibar since 2019. In Beaco , on the south coast, a natural gas terminal for ships for 943 million US dollars is to be built by a Chinese company within four years, once the financing is cleared.

With financial support from Germany, a ferry company established a connection to Pante Macassar in the exclave Oe-Cusse Ambeno, initially with the MV Uma Kalada , which was replaced by the Berlin Nakroma in February 2007 . This ship is also a gift from Germany to East Timor. It drives on Tuesdays and Thursdays from Dili in 12 to 13 hours to Pante Macassar and back the same day. On Saturdays, the Berlin Nakroma calls at the island of Atauro in two and a half hours. In addition, small boats connect Atauro with Dili. In 2017 the new ferry Haksolok ( German  luck ) was launched by the Portuguese Atlanticeagle Shipbuilding in Figueira da Foz . It has a length of 71.3 meters. The new ferry for 377 passengers and 25 cars will connect Nakroma , Oe-Cusse Ambeno, Atauro and Dili, but also other places on the north coast of Timor. The delivery is currently delayed, also because a subcontractor has seized the ship at the shipyard.

economy

situation

Market in Maubisse

By the end of 1999, about 70% of the economic infrastructure had been devastated by pro-Indonesian militias and the military. In addition to these consequences of the occupation, other problems are a blatant shortage of skilled workers and the high wage level due to the earlier international presence and the introduction of the US dollar as a currency. These factors reduce the competitiveness of East Timor vis-à-vis its neighboring countries.

GDP growth from 2005 to 2014 (excluding the oil sector)

The gross domestic product (GDP) fell by 30% due to the crisis in 1999. Over the next three years, the area was rebuilt with a massive international aid program led by the UN. The program included civil observers, a 5000-man peacekeeping force and 1300 police officers. The gross domestic product rose sharply (15.4 and 18.3%, respectively), driven by the demand for services and the construction sector, and the pre-crisis level was reached again. After gaining independence, the gross domestic product stagnated for the first few years. In 2005 growth of 2.9% was recorded. The withdrawal of most of the UN personnel hurt the economy. The 2006 riots brought a slump. Despite the global financial crisis , East Timor was able to achieve economic growth in the non-oil sector of 12.8% in 2008. In a survey in November / December 2008, 29% of those questioned stated that their financial situation had improved since the change of government in 2007. In Oe-Cusse Ambeno (58%), Manufahi (49%) and Lautém (42%) in particular, residents saw a positive development, while in Ainaro (16%) and Baucau (16%) significantly fewer people saw a personal improvement. In a total of 47% it is unchanged, in 20% it has worsened. In 2012 the economy grew by 10.9%, making East Timor the fourth strongest economic growth in Asia. The trend continued in 2013 as well.

Trucks in Dili

The International Monetary Fund estimated GDP per capita in terms of purchasing power parity for 2013 at US $ 21,396. However, the number does not reflect the income situation of the individual East Timorese, as the profits from the oil revenues do not go directly to the population, but rather go to a state fund, from which the state budget is partly financed. In 2011, the median monthly per capita income was US $ 62.12. In the country, it's only $ 50.08. According to the United Nations, East Timor is now the second poorest country in Asia , ahead of Afghanistan . Unemployment is around 11%, including many young people with degrees. The reason for the rising rate in recent years is the lack of job offers in their own country (as of 2016). Above all, there is a lack of industry in the country. The only exception so far is one plant from Heineken and Timor Cement Industries. The government is therefore trying to enter into guest worker agreements with other countries, such as Australia, South Korea, China, Japan and Malaysia. 16,000 East Timorese live in Great Britain. 37.5% of the population live below the poverty line, which the United Nations set at $ 1.25 a day. In the Human Development Index (HDI), East Timor was ranked 158 in 2008 (2007: 150). In 2009, East Timor fell back to 162nd place, but was able to increase its value slightly from 0.483 to 0.489 and reached 120th place in 2010 with 0.502. After changes to the criteria, East Timor came 147th place in 2011 with a value of 0.495. In 2012, East Timor rose to 134th place with a value of 0.576. In 2013 there was another rise to 128th place with a value of 0.620. From 2000 to 2011, East Timor increased its level of development by 20%, more than any other country in the world. In 2015, East Timor was ranked 133rd out of 188 with a value of 0.595.

Around 5200 fishermen mainly fish in the coastal area. There is no commercial fleet.

According to the 2004 census, 78% work in agriculture, forestry and fishing. 6% work in public administration, education, health and social services, municipalities and defense, 4% each for the UN or the diplomatic service, or for trade, hotels and restaurants. 3% work from home. 2% work in finance, transportation, storage and communications, only 1% in mining, oil production, electricity and construction. There are agreements with Macau and Australia on the posting of guest workers to these countries. The first East Timorese guest workers arrived in South Korea on October 27, 2009 . In 2012, East Timor's national monthly minimum wage was set at $ 115 by the government. This applies to both the private and the public sector. The average income grew from 367 US dollars in 2005 to 3005 US dollars in 2011. Although the gap between rich and poor and urban and rural areas is widening, it can be seen that more and more people have money at their disposal.

Gas production platform in the Bayu Undan field in the Timor Sea

For the south coast, the East Timorese government is planning a comprehensive infrastructure project called the Tasi Mane project . The further processing of the natural gas from the Greater Sunrise field in the Timor Sea is to take place there, if they want. Petrochemical plants, an LNG plant, an airport and a deep-sea port are also planned. The company Woodside Petroleum , previously commissioned with the extraction of natural gas, preferred further processing in Australia or offshore , which is why the government stopped the extraction license. There were also irregularities in the settlement of profits and tax payments by the oil companies from the smaller Bayu Undan gas field , including those by ConocoPhillips . The dispute with Australia over the sharing of profits, the exploitation of the Greater Sunrise field and the demarcation of the border in the Timor Sea ended with the signing of a new border treaty in 2018 (see border disputes between Australia and East Timor ). In 2018, the East Timorese government bought ConocoPhillips' 30 percent stake in the Greater Sunrise natural gas field for $ 350 million. At the end of November, East Timor also took over the 26.56 percent stake in Royal Dutch Shell for 300 million US dollars, bringing the state stake now to 56.56 percent.

By 2028, the Bayu Undan gas field , which generates the majority of East Timor's profits, is expected to be fully exploited.

telecommunications

Cell phone user in East Timor

The GSM network was set up by Timor Telecom , which is 50.1% owned by Portugal Telecom . Other shareholders are the East Timorese state and Vodatel . In 2009, Timor Telecom signed a contract with the Chinese ZTE to further expand the mobile radio system and to establish wideband CDMA . The Timor Telecom monopoly was lifted by the government in 2010 to allow free competition. On June 28, 2012, it was announced that PT Telekomunikasi Indonesia International (Telin) and its East Timorese subsidiary Telkomcel and Digicel Pacific Limited ( Digicel ) would be licensed. In 2017 Telemor , a subsidiary of the Vietnamese Viettel, launched the first 4G network in East Timor.

In 2016, 1.2% of the population had access to an internet connection. The Internet is in East Timor therefore used mobile primarily. The number of cell phones increased significantly after 2006. In 2006, only ten percent of the population had a mobile phone; in 2012, with 600,000 mobile phones, the proportion rose to more than half of the population, and in 2014 the proportion of mobile phone owners was 63% of the population. In 2008 there were only 2641 landline connections (2004: 2115).

Energy-and water supply

Not yet available to everyone: clean drinking water from a well
Electricity plant in Betano
place of residence Power supply watch TV radio phone fridge automobile motorcycle
urban 87.7% 62.5% 44.5% 86.3% 31.4% 14.8% 34.1%
rural 18.9% 10.9% 28.5% 43.2% 3.2% 2.1% 7.4%
total 36.7% 24.2% 32.6% 54.3% 10.5% 5.4% 14.3%

According to statistics, 66% of households have access to clean drinking water sources, with only 21% having the water on or in the house. The residents of the other households have to get the drinking water from public pipes, wells, springs or bodies of water. However, the inadequate sealing of sanitary facilities leads to contamination of the groundwater, which is why Salvador Eugénio Soares dos Reis Pires , Minister for Public Works, assumed in 2018 that around 73% of East Timorese get their water from contaminated sources.

90% of households use wood for cooking, which leads to a decline in forests. Almost half use kerosene to generate light, 37% electricity. Most of the time, diesel generators are used to produce electricity, which is why in smaller places, if at all, electricity is usually only available for a few hours in the evening. The electricity supplier in East Timor is Electricidade de Timor-Leste (EDTL). He owns the country's larger power plants .

The first hydropower plant built by Norway has been in operation at Gariuai (Baucau municipality) since 2008 . There are also projects with biogas power plants operated by village cooperatives, for example in Loi-Huno (Viqueque) and Ponilala (Ermera).

In 2011 seven generators for an oil power plant arrived in Hera from Finland . They produce 11 * MW for the nearby one. The Finnish Wärtsilä has been operating the power plant since 2012. In Betano , the Central Eléctrica de Betano, a power plant with 136 MW to supply the south coast, was built and officially inaugurated on August 20, 2013. Nine substations were built. Of the planned 600 km of high-voltage lines and 120 km of distribution cables, 90% had been installed in August 2013. There was thus a central power supply in 47 administrative offices in the twelve municipalities. In the special administrative region, the exclave Oe-Cusse Ambeno, the Inur-Sacato power plant has been in operation since 2015 . This was also built by Wärtsilä. The island of Atauro is to be supplied with electricity by means of an underwater cable.

Share of households with ...
Drinking water supply through ...
Pipe or pump in the house Line or pump outside Public pipeline, well, borehole protected source unprotected source Surface water Others
5% 16% 29% 14% 19% 13% 0%
Energy source for cooking Light source
electricity petroleum Wood Others electricity petroleum Wood Light nut /
candle berry
Others
3% 6% 90% 2% 37% 49% 3% 5% 5%

Foreign trade

Annual comparison export / import

The total value of imports to East Timor was US $ 519,437,000 in 2018 (2016: US $ 507,664,000). 31% of the imports in East Timor in 2018 come from Indonesia, 15% each from Hong Kong and Singapore, 13% from the People's Republic of China, 5% from Vietnam, 3% from Thailand and 2% each from Brazil, Malaysia, Australia, Pakistan and Japan and 1% from the United States. The remaining 7% come from 23 other countries. This also includes Austria with a goods value of 1,809,000 US dollars, Germany with 437,000 US dollars and Switzerland with 417,000 US dollars.

In 2018, oil and fuel made up 27.3% of imports. 10.8% were vehicles and vehicle parts. Electrical appliances, machines and grain (rice) account for a larger share of imports. In addition, other food and medication.

In 2016, East Timor exported goods worth $ 22,926,000 (2016: $ 25,275,000). The trade balance of 2008 showed only coffee as an export good to East Timor. Oil and gas fell under a different statistic. In 2016, coffee accounted for only 94.8% of the export value at US $ 23,962,947. In 2018, coffee was only $ 19,243,641 (84%) of non-petroleum exports. For example, US $ 241,000 came from exporting light nuts and US $ 43,000 from aluminum. Teak was also exported until 2013 and sandalwood until 2012 .

The United States and Germany have alternated as the main buyers of East Timorese coffee in the years since East Timor's independence. In 2018, Germany fell back to 3rd place with 10%, followed closely by Indonesia. The USA was again the main buyer of East Timorese coffee with a share of 28% of the value of goods. Canada followed with 17%. In total, East Timor exported 7,656,620 kg of coffee. 36% of the amount went to Indonesia, 19% to the USA, 12% each to Germany and Canada. Other major buyers (over $ 500,000) include Japan, Portugal, and Australia.

Economic policy

The Ministry of Finance in Dili, one of the tallest buildings in the country

East Timor is a member of the International Monetary Fund , the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank (ADB).

The position of the state budget is heavily dependent on revenues in the oil and gas sector and the changing level of the oil price . A national debt does not exist, because the international aid so far as grants (grants) were granted. The state budget for 2008 was originally $ 348.1 million. Due to the rapidly increasing prices for the staple food rice on the world market and the weakness of the US dollar, the government decided at the end of July 2008 to increase the budget to 612 million US dollars. For this, the national reserves from the oil business were touched for the first time. In November 2008, however, the government's plans were declared unconstitutional by the country's Supreme Court. For 2009 the parliament passed a national budget of 1.05 billion US dollars. For 2016, the budget was set at $ 1.56 billion.

The aim of economic policy is stable public finances and the promotion of the private sector. A banking and payments authority has already been established, as has the National Statistical Office. The policy is shaped by a moderate spending policy, the limitation of the number of employees in the public sector and efforts to broaden the tax base. Since 2009 it has been thinking about its own national bank. Bank branches can be found in Dili, Baucau, Viqueque, Gleno, Maliana and Suai.

An industrial park is currently being built to attract foreign investors. But barriers to investment still have to be dismantled in order to get the private sector going. Additional incentives are to be created with programs to facilitate access to credit for small and medium-sized industries. The government has passed an investment law that guarantees investors legal certainty. This is intended to increase the attractiveness of East Timor for investors.

Four banks have branches in East Timor: the Portuguese Banco Nacional Ultramarino (BNU), the Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ), the Indonesian Bank Mandiri and the East Timorese Banco Nacional de Comércio de Timor-Leste (BNCTL).

currency

50 centavos coins from East Timor

The US dollar has been the national currency since January 2000 . In addition, Centavo coins have been in use since 2003 . One centavo corresponds to one US cent. The coins come in values ​​of 1, 5, 10, 25 and 50 centavos. For this purpose, the country's first special coin worth 100 centavos was issued in 2012. There are no national banknotes.

The introduction of the US dollar was a political decision. The alternatives were the introduction of a separate currency or later that of the euro . A separate currency seemed pointless due to the size of the country. The euro was only introduced as cash a few months before East Timor became independent in 2002. The exchange rate against the US dollar was very low at that time, and the future still seemed uncertain. The US dollar was previously used as a safe currency by private individuals. It is also of great importance for the economies of neighboring countries, as well as for the oil trade, for which East Timor had great hopes. Therefore, despite the close ties with Portugal, the US dollar was introduced as the official currency.

As a result of dollarization , East Timor initially renounced its own monetary policy . The seigniorage income is limited to the issue of the centavo coins. In 2011 the Bank Payment Authority (BPA) was transformed into the National Central Bank of East Timor (BCTL). The former BPA boss Abráo Vasconcelhos became president of the central bank (as of 2011).

Natural resources

Oil is East Timor's most important economic asset. In 2010, the oil sector accounted for 79% of gross domestic product, 67% of gross national income and 58% of gross national income available. Onshore oil reserves were known early on. As early as 1884, the Dilis lamps were supplied with oil from Laclubar . In 2012, 3.965 million tons of crude oil were produced in East Timor, making East Timor the 47th place among the oil-producing countries. In 2016, 2.843 million tons of crude oil were exported. The national oil company is called Timor Gap EP

Other mineral resources are currently not important. There is marble in significant quantities, plus some gold , manganese and copper . Along the north coast, salt is extracted in several places by the evaporation of sea water in shallow ponds. Hot springs in some regions indicate geothermal energy .

Agriculture and craft

Share of households with ...
agriculture
Field crops Share 2010 Production 2008
Corn 55% 100,170 t
rice 25% 80,236 t
manioc 51% 35,541 t
coconuts 42% not specified
vegetables 43% 14,247 t (with fruit)
coffee 28% not specified
Livestock
Livestock Share 2010 Number of animals 2010
Chicken 67.5% 702.474
Pigs 67.1% 330,435
Bovine 23.3% 161,654
Water buffalo 10.4% 96,484
Horses 15.0% 57,819
Goats 24.8% 152.360
Sheep 3.8% 41,854
Rice threshing with water buffalo
Rice growing areas in East Timor

The majority of the Timorese population lives from agriculture, forestry and fishing. 63.1% of households practice arable farming, 80.0% keep livestock. The different cultures of Timor are economically dependent on foods such as maize (production in 2008: 100,170 t), rice (80,236 t), cassava (35,541 t) and various fruits and vegetables (14,247 t). Rice cultivation dominates from the east of Manufahi and Manatuto to the west of Lautém, in the center of Bobonaro and in the east of Cova Lima. Maize is more likely to be grown in the central highlands.

There is also a regional division in domesticated animals: buffalo and pigs are bred all over Timor, but the buffalo, for example, is more important than the pig for the Makasae. In other regions, for example in the East Tetum, the pig is of greater economic importance than the buffalo. Everywhere in East Timor, chickens play an important role in caring for the population. Other pets are goats, sheep, and horses.

Food starvation sub-districts in November 2007

In 2007, due to drought, vermin and plant diseases, maize yields fell by 30% to 70,000 tonnes, cereals, cassava and tubers by 25 to 30% and rice by 20%. In addition, the situation was exacerbated by the 100,000 internally displaced persons. A fifth of the population suffered from malnutrition and had to be supplied with aid supplies. It is estimated that East Timor had to import 86,000 tons of food to make up for the losses, 15,000 tons of which had to be raised through international food aid. According to the Ministry of Agriculture, eleven sub-districts were still suffering from food shortages at the end of the year. In early 2008, the situation was aggravated again by floods and storm damage in eleven of the thirteen districts and renewed plagues of locusts . In 2009, China sent a team from the Henan Hybrid Rice Institute to East Timor. The Timorese government states that with its help and the introduction of the Chinese hybrid rice, the harvest volumes have increased five-fold. In 2013, 87,000 tonnes of rice were harvested, compared to 140,000 tonnes in 2012 and 98,000 tonnes in 2011. The maize yields also increased: 96,000 tonnes in 2012 and 101,000 tonnes in 2013 were harvested.

Coffee in Ermera

Coffee has been grown and exported in East Timor since 1815. A particularly aromatic and mild coffee grows in the highlands. Its potential has so far only been partially exploited due to the lack of transport and processing options. The Cooperativa Café Timor (CCT) is East Timor's largest cooperative with around 22,000 planters as members. During the harvest season it is East Timor's largest employer with 3,000 workers. The CCT thus forms the livelihood for 44,000 families. A quarter of the population of East Timor is dependent on coffee production. The main centers are the municipalities of Ermera, Ainaro and Liquiçá. CCT is the world's largest producer and seller of certified organic coffee. With its reputation for constant quality, which has been built up since 1994, the organic, fair-trade Arabica coffee achieves top prices on the international market. In 2005, Starbucks bought a third of the coffee harvest. In 2004 the CCT exported 7,689 t of coffee, in 2005 it was 7,210 t. In 2006, however, there were crop failures of up to 20% due to the unrest. The uncertain situation after the attack in Dili on February 11, 2008 , hampered the coffee harvest, which led to losses. Nevertheless, the CCT achieved a record result this year with 19,000 tons of coffee and coffee exports worth 12 million US dollars. The second largest exporter, Timor Corp. sold 6,000 t. But there are still structural problems. The coffee plants are among the oldest still producing coffee bushes in the world. Most of the bushes are 15 to 20 years old, in East Timor 90% of the plants are over 30, some even over 70 years old. Much knowledge about coffee planting was also lost during the Indonesian occupation. In nearby Papua New Guinea , twice the harvest is obtained on comparable areas. In 2009 coffee exports fell to 47% of the previous year. In 2010 the CCT could only record a harvest of 11,000 t. For 2011 only 8,000 tonnes were expected due to heavy rainfall. In 2014 a total of 10,258 tons of coffee were harvested. This placed East Timor in 37th place among the coffee producing countries. Coffee plantations covered an area of ​​49,000 hectares in 2014. In 2017, 10,827 tons of coffee were harvested.

Through the cultivation of vanilla , cocoa and peanuts in addition to the already established as an export of coffee are expected here in future earnings. In 2013, 4,350 tons of peanuts were harvested after 4,200 tons in 2012 and 4,071 tons in 2011. The cocoa harvest in 2016 produced a total of 172 tons (2011 and 2012 161 tons, 2013 160 tons and 2014 163 tons), so that was East Timor 2016 49th place out of a total of 61 cocoa-producing countries. When it comes to cinnamon , East Timor is now the sixth largest producer worldwide with 111 tons (2016, 2014: 109 tons, 2012: 108 tons), even if this corresponds to only 0.1% of world production. In 2017, 112 tons of cinnamon were harvested. Bananas (2017: 535 tons) are also grown for personal use. Avocados also thrive, 4,930 tons were harvested in 2017 (2016: 4,737 tons)

Before and during the colonial era, Timor was known for its sandalwood , the resources of which were almost exhausted by the 19th century. East Timor is also famous in the region for its colorful woven fabrics called tais . These differ depending on the region of the country. Traditional silver jewelry is also made. There are also small blacksmiths, wood processing, pottery and furniture makers.

tourism

Beach of the city of Baucau
Coral reef on the north coast of East Timor

The country offers mountains suitable for hiking, beaches, diving areas, hot springs (for example the Termas do Marobo ) and a great cultural diversity. The coral reefs in particular are among the most biodiverse in the world. The forests and wetlands provide good bird watching opportunities. The close proximity to the popular tourist destinations of Australia and Bali is also advantageous . A lack of infrastructure and sometimes high prices are still causing difficulties, which is why backpackers have so far found their way here. In 2006, East Timor advertised visitors for the first time at the International Tourism Exchange in Berlin and did so again in 2012.

In the first few years there were repeated outbreaks of violence that scared away potential tourists. Criminal youth gangs fought against each other, mainly in Dili , until several groups signed a peace treaty among themselves in 2008. Since then the situation has calmed down somewhat. In October 2008, plans for a five-star hotel in Tasitolu , near Dili, were announced. It would be the first luxury hotel of its kind in the country. Investors from Australia, China and Macau in particular are planning further large hotels and beach resorts. In 2011, 50,590 foreigners entered East Timor via Dilis International Airport. The 18 registered hotels in the country with 869 rooms and a total of 871 beds registered 17,422 guests in 2011 (2008: 12,026, 2006: 7,858) and 101,948 overnight stays (59,512, 35,533). Average room rate is $ 68. 434 people work in the 18 hotels and earn an average of $ 183 a month. In 2017, East Timor was visited by 74,000 tourists (2016: 66,000 and 2015: 62,000), making it still one of the least visited countries in the world.

From time to time cruise ships anchor in front of Dili and their passengers visit the city for a day trip.

Culture

education

The plaque identifies Atauro as being free of illiteracy since
December 22, 2009

In the state budget from 2015 to 2017, education accounts for 7.9% of the budget, which is above the regional average of 3.9% in a national comparison.

In 1974, 95 to 99% of the population was illiterate . In 2004 it was still around 54.2%; 58.2% of women between the ages of 15 and 60 could not read or write. According to the 2015 census, the number of illiterate people has now fallen to 15.7% (women: 16.0%; men: 15.4%), with 62.5% in Tetum, 36.6% in Indonesian, 30.8% can read and write in Portuguese and 15.6% in English.

In 2015, 40.6% of residents aged three or over attended school. 39,557 pupils attend pre- primary schools (Pre-Primário) , 209,225 primary schools (Primário) , 79,982 pre- secondary schools (Pre-secundário) and 63,285 secondary schools (Secundário, Colégio) in the country. 1,804 study at a technical college, 38,005 at a university. Girls are represented almost as well as boys at all levels. 29.0% had left school in 2015. 28.7% have never attended school. 4.6% of the population only attended pre-school, just under a third attended primary school. Secondary schools have completed 27% of the population. 7.0% have a diploma or a degree.

In the first 15 years since independence in 2002, the number of pre, elementary and secondary schools rose from 93 to 1,715 institutions and the number of teachers from 6,541 to 13,948. This means that there is an average of 28 students for one teacher. Private schools have a large share in education. In primary schools, 13% are not in the public domain, in pre-secondary schools 27% and in secondary schools even 40%. There are a total of 14 universities in the country recognized by the Agência Nacional para a Avaliação e Acreditação Académica (ANAAA). In 21 secondary schools, 3,500 students receive professional training.

Education Graduation
at school Finished school never in a school Preschool primary school Pre-
secondary
Secondary Diploma / University of Applied
Sciences
university No graduation
Women 39.4% 27.2% 31.9% 4.4% 27.2% 12.4% 14.9% 0.6% 5.5% 0.8%
Men 41.7% 30.8% 26.1% 4.8% 30.8% 11.9% 15.6% 0.8% 7.1% 0.7%
total 40.6% 29.0% 28.9% 4.6% 29.0% 12.1% 15.2% 0.7% 6.3% 0.7%
Rainha da Paz secondary school in Bebonuk (Dili)

The first three years are taught in Tetum, after which the proportion of Portuguese lessons gradually increases. At the beginning of 2012, a heated discussion began about plans to hold lessons in the respective national languages ​​in primary schools. According to this, the children should first be taught in their mother tongue and verbally in Tetum in preschool. With the beginning of elementary school, Portuguese follows orally. As soon as the students have mastered their mother tongue in writing (2nd grade), reading and writing should follow in Tetum, later in Portuguese (from 4th grade). This leads to bilingual training in the two official languages, the mother tongue is used for support. Reading skills in the mother tongue should then be further promoted. After all, lessons are only given in the official languages. In the 7th grade, English is added as a foreign language and Bahasa Indonesia as an elective, along with other languages ​​in the 10th grade. While proponents seek to preserve the cultural identity of the country's various ethnolinguistic groups, many see the program as a threat to national unity.

media

Training of radio journalists

Because of the many different languages ​​used in East Timor, the newspapers are also in different languages. The Diario Tempo , Diario Nacional and Seminario appear in Portuguese. The Lia Foun appears in Tetum. Timor Post (in Tetum and Bahasa Indonesia), East Timor Sun and Suara Timor Lorosae (in English, Portuguese, Bahasa Indonesia and Tetum) appear in several languages. One newspaper appears weekly, three daily, and others sporadically.

Television plays a minor role nationally. More affluent Timorese have satellite TV and often watch Indonesian and Australian, and sometimes Chinese, channels. The national broadcaster is Televisão de Timor Leste (TVTL) . He also broadcasts his own productions on Tetum, such as a popular comic series about the history and legends of Timor. In 2015 the state education broadcaster Televisão Educação Timor went on air. Private East Timorese TV channels are TV-Suara Timor Lorosae (TV-STL) and Grupo de Média Nacional-TV (GMN TV). Radio e Televisão Mareinigung (RTM) is the FRETILIN party broadcaster.

The majority of the population uses the radio to get information. Radio, 27% television, 13% friends and neighbors, 9% local leaders and 3% newspapers are the main sources of political information for 31%. 33% of households have a radio. Many languages ​​are also used here. There are currently more than 15 municipal, one national state and three other radio stations in East Timor. Radio Falintil / Voz da Esperanca, Radio Nacional de Timor Leste (RTL) , the party broadcaster of FRETILIN Radio Mabere and the Catholic broadcaster Radio Timor Kmanek (RTK) are of national importance. The radio station Rádio Communidade de Lospalos is an example for the municipality of Lautém of the various communal radio stations that provide the population with news.

A state news agency, the Agência Noticiosa de Timor-Leste (ANTIL) , has existed since 2016 .

Social networks like Facebook are becoming more and more important than traditional media, but this leads to problems. In view of the pictures posted of arrests and injuries and deaths in accidents, there is a lack of privacy. Insults, defamations and threats against politicians and traditional leaders are spread as well as false reports. Police arrested several people accused of insulting politicians. However, the East Timorese criminal law does not provide for any consequences in the event of defamation, which is why those arrested were released. Virgílio da Silva Guterres , President of the Press Council , criticized the action against people who attacked politicians, but not ordinary citizens. Freedom of expression could also be jeopardized due to the unclear legal situation. Legal issues are also still unanswered when it comes to the right to privacy, the presumption of innocence, violation of legal secrecy and journalistic deontology . Pictures of those arrested and interrogated were also published in the traditional media.

tradition

Traditional style building in Lospalos

In 2014, the East Timorese government declared the birthday of the poet Francisco Borja da Costa , October 14th, “National Day of Timorese Culture”. In addition to European and Asian characteristics, the culture of East Timor also has numerous Pacific influences. The way of life of the inhabitants of East Timor has little in common with that of the inhabitants of the Indonesian west of the island. The influence of the Catholic Church on the traditions of the inhabitants is limited and society is very liberal. Although almost all residents of East Timor profess the Catholic faith, animistic rites are still widespread and are partly integrated into the Christian religion.

The cultural traditions of Timor are characterized by different social institutions. The social organizations of the individual societies can be structured matrilinear / uxorilocal or patrilinear / patrilocal ; individual groups fluctuate between these possibilities of family organization. While the social organization of the Baikeno is probably characterized by a symmetrical alliance, the asymmetrical alliance can be found, for example, with the Makasae , Naueti and Fataluku . In the case of the Tetum , bilateral or cognate ancestry rules prevail. Lulik , as the belief principle of the old religion, still has influences in everyday life. Especially in rural areas, the local, traditional rules of the Tara Bandu are followed .

Marriages and economic-ritual alliances that are formed along these organizational structures are controlled via the social institution of the so-called “bride price”, in which women and goods that circulate between social groups always go in a certain direction. Patrilineal and patrilocal organizations distinguish themselves from matrilineal and uxorilocal organizations by impressive goods transactions. In most Timorian cultures, the completeness of the “bride price” presented determines the couple's residence. If no or only an inadequate “bride price” is paid, the husband lives in the woman-giver lineage; the children remain entirely in this lineage.

In addition to the crocodile ( see chapter Fauna and Flora ), water buffalo are also of great importance in Timor’s culture. They are considered the most valuable sacrificial animal and are therefore only sacrificed for the most important ceremonies. So the soil is symbolically nourished with the blood of a buffalo and in this way a claim is made on the land. The buffalo horns then serve as a tangible symbol of this claim. Buffalo blood also serves as a ritual bride price and symbolizes the fertility of women and their menstruation. Buffaloes are also sacrificed at death ceremonies and funerals. Buffalo horns can still be found on graves today, along with the Christian cross. Buffalo heart and head are offered as sacrifices at the dedication of holy houses.

Even cats are in East Timor as sacred. If you kill a cat, you and your offspring are said to be cursed up to the seventh generation. Cats are kept away from the corpse at funerals because, according to popular superstition, the dead, ruled by evil spirits, come back to life when a cat jumps over them.

architecture

Port building in Dili with traditional style roof

In the traditional huts, a distinction is made between sleeping houses ( tetum Uma tidor ) and holy houses ( tetum Uma Lulik ). A common national symbol of East Timor are huts with steep roofs, square floor plans and stilts. These "houses on legs" ( fataluku Lee-teinu ) are the sacred houses of the Fataluku on the eastern tip of the island. Almost all of them disappeared during the Indonesian occupation and especially the wave of violence in 1999. They have been rebuilt since independence, as have the traditional holy houses of the other ethnic groups. The steep roofs of the Fataluku houses also serve as a model for modern buildings, such as the Presidential Palace , the airport and port of Dili or the Catholic Church of Lospalos .

Stilt houses are common among several ethnic groups. The traditional round huts of the Mambai, which are still widely used as residential houses, are striking in comparison to the neighboring ethnic groups.

Traditional costume

Girls in Tais wrap skirts and with mutissala chains

Especially on festive occasions you can still see the traditional wrap skirts, which are worn by both men and women. The woven cloths are called tais . Their patterns show their origins from different regions, ethnic groups and groups. Men wear them around the waist, the upper body is uncovered or one wears a simple shirt or a white, sleeveless undershirt. Women sometimes wrap the tais around their breasts under their armpits so that only their shoulders are free. Sometimes these are covered with another tais. Others wrap the tais around their hips and wear a blouse called a kebaya on their upper body . Kebayas are originally from Java Island , but are popular throughout the Malay Archipelago. In the 1930s, women of many Timorese ethnic groups did not wear outer clothing. During festivities, men and women adorn their heads with feathers called manufulun . They were originally a symbol of the victorious warriors returning home. Another headdress is the Kaibauk , the Timorese crown. It is a symbol of masculinity, while the belak , a metal breast disk that is hung around the neck, symbolizes femininity. There are also necklaces, hairpins for women, bracelets and other silver jewelry. You can sometimes see jewelry on the ankles, dancers wear small bells. The necklaces with orange stones called mortar are often used as the bride price. These so-called mutissalas sometimes have the equivalent of several cattle.

Traditionally turban-like headscarves are used as headgear for women and men in the western part of the country . Men in the Maubisse region also have wide-brimmed hats that are reminiscent of cowboy hats. Western clothing in the form of shirts, t-shirts, pants and jackets has become widespread in everyday life. Instead of walking barefoot, many people are now using flip-flops . Western clothing is sometimes combined with traditional clothing.

Tattoos

Tattoos on a woman in Suai

Tattooing also has a long tradition in Timor . It was part of the traditional wake that chosen relatives were given tattoos in memory of the deceased. In Suai Loro , the future bride is tattooed in the crook of her arm during the ritual engagement, making the promise of marriage valid.

Soot mixed with water is used as color in some parts of East Timor, while pigments from cooked leaves or fruits are used in other regions. The paint was originally brought under the skin with thorns, and since the arrival of the Portuguese in the 16th century also with metal needles. In some areas in the southeast, the colors of woven tais fabrics are burned into the arm with thick, heated metal skewers - a slow, imprecise, and painful process.

In addition to ornaments, there are also characters in traditional tattoos. The Timorese copied the Latin script introduced by the Portuguese in order to write the names of dead family members or friends on their skin. But since very few Timorese could read and write earlier, characters were often only imitated or simply invented. With the continuation of the remembrance of the deceased in this way, legible tattoos can now also be found on the upper arms. During the War of Independence, the symbols of FRETILIN and FALINTIL were found on the skin of the fighters. Indonesian security forces cut or burned such tattoos on prisoners. With the emergence of gangs in East Timor , tattoos with mystical symbols and the application of decorative scars , which should serve both as identification marks and as protection from enemies, spread. Nowadays there are more and more Christian symbols.

music

Timorese dancers in traditional clothes with Babadok drums

The music of East Timor reflects the influence of foreign rule that the country was under for almost 500 years. Portuguese and Indonesians both brought their music such as fado and gamelan with them. The most widespread folk music style is the Likurai dance , which is performed by the women for the men returning from the war. The dance was accompanied by a snare drum. In earlier times, the heads of slain enemies were carried in procession through the village. Nowadays this dance is used by women for advertising.

The guitar has long been an important part of East Timorese music. It was introduced by the Portuguese, but there are also native stringed instruments that resemble it. The rich tradition of church choirs is also influenced by the Portuguese.

The Karau dikur is a horn made from a water buffalo horn . It is blown in the Holy House ( Uma Lulik ) or the Liurai's residence to call the villagers together for big occasions. It is also used in traditional dances. The Kakalo'uta is a percussion instrument made of three Fataluku woods. It is made from the ai solda tree.

Modern Timorese music has close ties to the former independence movement. For example, the band Dili All Stars released a song that became an anthem during the preparations for the 1999 independence referendum. The United Nations commissioned the song Hakotu Ba by Lahane , which was intended to encourage the population to register for the referendum.

One of the East Timorese pop musicians is Teo Batiste Ximenes , who grew up in Australia and uses the folk rhythms of East Timor in his music. Many East Timorese emigrants also brought their folk music into the world, for example to Portugal and Australia. In Portugal this was mixed with music styles from other Portuguese colonies such as Angola and Mozambique . Other influences come from rock 'n' roll , hip-hop and reggae . Current musicians and bands from East Timor are Ego Lemos , Cinco do Oriente, Rai Na'in, Detective and Diosis Putri.

In the second season of the Indonesian singing talent show D′Academy Asia (late 2016), in which candidates from several Southeast Asian countries participate, Maria Vitória (MarVi) from East Timorese came fourth behind three Indonesians. Dangdut songs were sung at the competition . In 2018, MarVi won the 6th season of The Voice Portugal .

The East Timor-born singer Sandra Pires is successful in her current home country of Austria. Her parents fled the civil war of 1975. In 2007, Pires performed for the first time in her native country.

to eat and drink

Root vegetables are peeled before cooking

East Timorese cuisine reflects the various influences to which the country has been subjected. You can find Chinese, Portuguese and Indonesian elements in it.

Coffee that is highly aromatic and mild grows in the mountains. It is a popular drink for breakfast. There is also bread and butter. Tea is served hot and sweet in glasses. Three meals a day are common, with lunch usually taken between noon and two in the afternoon.

Corn, rice, peanuts, sago , cassava , taro , potatoes, breadfruit and sweet potatoes are grown, as are fruits such as jackfruits , melons , mangoes and bananas . Local pumpkins were an important part of the diet for independence fighters in the mountains, especially in the times of need of the war of liberation. Local fruits such as Salak , Jambul (Jamblang), Uha , Saramalé and Aidák complete the menu. Black peas , spinach and cabbage serve as side dishes to main dishes .

In addition, most families raise livestock for their own use, such as chickens and pigs, and less often cattle, buffalo and goats. In addition to the muscle meat, the offal is also eaten. As in many other parts of East Asia, dog meat consumption is common here . However, this custom is said to have become established here only in the 1980s, coming from Sulawesi , when the first dog meat restaurant opened in Colmera , a district of Dili . Due to the transport difficulties, fish is only important for feeding the population on the coast. Shrimp are considered a delicacy.

Traditional alcoholic beverages are various palm wines (Tuaka and Tua Mutin) and palm brandy (Tua Sabu). Heineken has set up a filling station in Dili for beer and soft drinks . Here is with Liurai a local beer brand. Otherwise, beer is imported from Australia, Indonesia and Singapore and the Portuguese brought the wine to East Timor in colonial times.

literature

Xanana Reading Room in Dili

The most famous modern author is probably the former freedom fighter and politician Xanana Gusmão. During his struggle for independence he wrote two books. He is also active as a poet and painter. His works describe the culture, values ​​and skills of the East Timorese people. Other important writers are Luís Cardoso , Fernando Sylvan , Domingos Francisco de Sousa , Ponte Pedrinha, Jorge Barros Duarte, Crisodio Araújo, Jorge Lauten, Francisco Borja da Costa , Afonso Busa Metan and Fitun Fuik.

The Timorese peoples originally had no script. There is a rich tradition of oral traditions, such as that of the Bunak people in the center of the island. The stories were recited in repetitive rhymes and alliterations . In every village, the elderly teach the youngsters the legends of the clan, but there are also the Lian Nain (roughly lord of words ) who, as keepers of the traditions, could recite verses for hours. Most often, two-line verses were used, with each line made up of two sentences. In other words, the first sentence of the second line repeated the content of the last sentence of the first line. The language was rich in metaphors and symbols from the animistic culture of Timor. The rich world of Timorese sagas and legends was traditionally only passed on orally and only written down in modern times.

Fine arts, film and theater

Modern painting from East Timor

The Portuguese artist Fausto Sampaio came to what was then the colony of Portuguese Timor in 1937, where he painted several pictures of Dili, Baucau, Manatuto, Laclo and Vemasse , as well as portraits such as Aleixo Corte-Real .

The Timorese legends, such as the creation myth about the crocodile , are often depicted figuratively and motifs are also used decoratively.

The first free art school Arte Moris has existed in Dili since February 2003 . Its main aim is art as a building block in the psychological and social reconstruction of a country devastated by violence, with a special emphasis on helping its young citizens. Arte Moris offers painting and sculpture and is also active with the drama company Bibi Bulak with plays in the local language Tetum.

The place Maquili is known for its wood carving. Originally they carved dance masks, male and female figures. There were also carvings of mermaids and eels , which are supposed to refer to the creation myth of the island of Atauro. Christianity influenced these animistic representations. So one began to cover the genitals of the figures with cloths and also to carve Christian motifs. Even today you can find masks on Atauro that hang on trees and are supposed to protect the gardens from thieves. Warriors and dancers also used the masks. Today they find new buyers as souvenirs.

With A Guerra da Beatriz ( German  The War of Beatriz ), the first East Timorese feature film was released in 2013. It was directed by Bety Reis from East Timor and Luigi Acquisito from Australia. In East Timor, the film was often presented in open air screenings, as there is only a cinema in Dili. Reis and Acquisito were also involved in the documentary Abdul & José (2017) and the television series Laloran Justisa .

At the request of the East Timorese government, UNESCO has included Max Stahl's film documents on the independence movement in East Timor under the title Birth of a Nation - Turning Points in the World Document Heritage List . It is the only contribution from East Timor so far.

Sports

Horse racing on Palaban beach

Sports in East Timor suffer primarily from a constant shortage of money. Athletes sometimes lack the simplest sports equipment to practice their discipline. For the first time, East Timorese athletes were successful in international competitions in Kempō karate . At the Southeast Asian Games in 2011 they won a gold and a silver medal in this sport.

The most popular sport in East Timor is soccer . The U23 team was the first East Timorese team to win an international match against Brunei on November 5, 2011 with a 2-1 win. The senior national team scored their first international win on October 5, 2012 in qualifying for the ASEAN football championship when Cambodia were defeated 5-1. The national league is the league Futebol Amadora with a first and a second division .

Furthermore, East Timorese athletes are regularly active internationally in marathons . The Dili Marathon has been held annually since 2010 . In 2009 the annual international mountain bike race " Tour de Timor " took place for the first time and is considered to be one of the toughest in the world.

Martial arts, of which there is also a local, traditional form, are popular among the youth. It is estimated that 70% of young men practice martial arts. Various youth gangs officially refer to themselves as martial arts clubs , which is why learning and practicing martial arts are heavily regulated by law in East Timor. The tradition of cockfighting , which also involves betting for money, is widespread . Since the horse is still very important as a means of transport, horse races are also popular.

The basketball in East Timor by the Federação Nacional de basquetebol de Timor-Leste (FNBTL) in the FIBA represented.

Born in France , Yohan Goutt Goncalves was the first East Timorese to take part in the Winter Olympics in Sochi . He started in the alpine skiing competition.

Public Holidays

Good Friday procession in the coastal town of Aidabaleten
date Name of the holiday
January 1st New Year
March April Good Friday
1st of May Labor Day
May 20th Restoration of independence ( independence day )
May June Corpus Christi
15th of August Assumption Day
August 30th Consulta - referendum day
September 20th Freedom day
November 1st All Saints Day
November 2 All Souls
November 12th National Youth Day (Santa Cruz Day)
November 28th Proclamation day
December 7th Day of Remembrance "in honor and memory of all those in the resistance and fight against the Indonesian occupation and for the liberation of the Timorese."
December 8th Immaculate conception
25 December Christmas
December 31 Remembrance day for Nicolau dos Reis Lobato
variable Sugar Festival , end of Ramadan
variable Muslim Festival of Sacrifice
date Name of the memorial day
February March Ash Wednesday
March April Maundy Thursday
May June Ascension of Christ
June 1st International Children's Day
20th of August Day of FALINTIL
November 3rd National Women's Day
10th of December International day of human rights
Carnival in Dili (2013)

Since East Timor is predominantly Christian and the Catholic Church played an important role in the struggle for independence, the important Catholic festivals are also public holidays. In addition, two Muslim festivals have been public holidays since 2005. In 2016, the anniversary of Nicolau dos Reis Lobatos' death was declared a public holiday and December 7th was rededicated.

There are also several holidays to commemorate the country's struggle for freedom:

  • On May 20, 2002, East Timor was finally given independence by the UN administration ( Independence Day ).
  • On August 30, 1999, the referendum took place, in which the population voted for independence from Indonesia.
  • On September 20, 1999, the first soldiers of INTERFET , the international reaction force that took control of East Timor from Indonesia after the previous atrocities , landed .
  • On November 12, 1991, the Santa Cruz massacre occurred , in which the Indonesian military killed at least 271 people, and another 270 " disappeared " without a trace. The incident finally tipped public opinion in the western world in favor of the Timorese.
  • On November 28, 1975, East Timor declared its independence from Portugal. The day of the proclamation of independence on November 28th is East Timor's national holiday. All citizens, especially students, civil servants and civil employees of the state, are required by law to attend the celebrations.
  • On December 7, 1975, Indonesia officially invaded East Timor.
  • Nicolau Lobato died on December 31, 1978.

In addition to national holidays, local holidays are also possible. The memorial days are not vacation days, but employees can be given freely.

The carnival celebrations are still a very young tradition in Dili. It was organized for the first time by the Ministry of Tourism in 2010 , but was very well received by the population and reflects the diversity of local music and dance groups that play in Dilis city center until dawn.

environment

Important Bird Areas in East Timor

Commercial logging has been banned since 2000, but forest land is still being lost to a lesser extent, mostly through firewood production (more than 94% of households cook on firewood, 80% of which come from the forest) , slash and burn , grazing and heavy rainfall, which also cause severe erosion in many parts of Timor. This also affects the water quality of the coast, which in turn endangers corals and fish stocks. Household waste and its disposal are a problem in Dili. Often garbage is simply placed in the moats or next to overcrowded garbage cans, from where the garbage is washed into the sea in the rainy season. The law already provides fines for rubbish offenders of between 5 and 500 US dollars. State Secretary for the Environment Demétrio do Amaral de Carvalho plans to impose a punitive tariff of 30% on imports of single-use plastics, such as plastic bags. The Kmanek supermarket group distributes bags made from cassava starch that are biodegradable. Garbage brigades and volunteers regularly collect garbage on the streets and on the beaches of Dili. 20% of this waste is plastic.

The Tatamailau , one of the wildlife sanctuaries of East Timor

On May 17, 2019, the construction of a new chemical plant in East Timor was agreed, in which plastic is to be converted into new raw materials using a catalytic hydrothermal reactor (Cat-HTR). In this way, East Timor wants to be the first country to become “plastic neutral”.

The climate change into East Timor to stronger storms that continue to drive the erosion, and rising temperatures. The El Niño effect appears more often than before, which is why extreme weather conditions are increasing, which leads to more frequent droughts and floods. The CO 2 emissions per capita in 2006 were around 0.2 t. In 2009, East Timor signed the Montreal Protocol to protect the ozone layer .

The national campaign “One Citizen, One Tree” aims to promote the reforestation of the country.

In 2000 UNTAET founded 15 protected natural areas (PNA) . You are also protected by independent East Timor law. Both at sea and on land, they are designed to protect landscapes, rare species and cultural values. These include corals, wetlands and mangroves as well as historical, cultural and artistic locations. The protected areas include the Tasitolu Peace Park with three salt lakes and the Tatamailau , Matebian , Saboria and Monte Mundo Perdido mountains . In addition, BirdLife International has designated a total of 17 areas as Important Bird Areas . They have a total area of ​​2,013 km², which corresponds to about 13.4% of the total area of ​​East Timor.

sea-view

On July 27, 2007, East Timor's first national park, the Nino Konis Santana National Park , was founded and officially opened on August 4, 2008. It includes the Important Bird Areas Paitchau , Ira Lalaro and Lore as well as Tutuala , the island of Jaco and the Coral Triangle in the sea . The national park has a total area of ​​123,600 hectares (68,000 hectares of land and 55,600 hectares of sea). On October 21, 2015, the Kay Rala Xanana Gusmão National Park on Cablac Mountain between Ainaro and Manufahi was added. It covers 126.23 km².

There are plans to turn Tasitolu Peace Park into a national park as well. A marine reserve is also being prepared together with Australian scientists . The north coast in particular is the habitat of protected species such as the humpback whale and the pilot whale . There are also many coral reefs along the coast. The abundance of fish in the marine areas is threatened by illegal fishing by foreign fleets. For example, in a joint police operation with Sea Shepherd in 2017, 15 Chinese fishing boats that illegally caught 40 tons of sharks were arrested off Com .

The state wanted to use the concept of the Lulik (roughly holy ) for environmental protection. With the support of the government, forests and other landscapes were placed under protection through animistic rituals so as not to disturb the ghosts there. But the local population took the ban pragmatically. They continued to use the natural resources of the sanctuaries, relying on the spirits to react if something did not please them. You could also negotiate with them in the event of a problem.

See also

Portal: East Timor  - Overview of Wikipedia content on East Timor

 Wikipedia: WikiProjekt East Timor - Wikipedia-internal specialist editorial team on the subject of East Timor

literature

Web links

Wikimedia Atlas: East Timor  - geographical and historical maps
 Wikinews: Timor-Leste  - on the news
Commons : East Timor  - collection of images, videos and audio files
Wikivoyage: East Timor  Travel Guide

Individual evidence

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Coordinates: 9 °  S , 126 °  E

This article was added to the list of excellent articles on February 22, 2007 in this version .