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    Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste (East Timor) ¬†

Location
Timor Island is the easternmost of the Lesser Sunda Islands. The island is divided in half, the eastern half is today Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste (East Timor) and during World War II was known as Portugese Timor. The western half is West Timor part of Indonesia.

  Capital of East Timor. Bombed extensivly
  Anchorage off Dili
  Located to the east of Dili
  Located near the East / West Border
 ¬†Located at the center of East Timor.
 ¬†Located on the southern cape of Timor
  Located on the northeast coast of Timor
  Located on the northeast coast of Timor near Lautem

Prewar
Timor was a Portuguese colony established in 1702.

Wartime History
During World War II, Portugal was neutral. During December 1941, Dutch and Australian troops landed in East Timor, disrespecting Portuguese sovereignty but the East Timorese supported the Allied troops, while West Timorese were more hostile to them. During February 1942, the Japanese invaded East Timor.

Creados assisting the Australians
East Timorese chose to help the Australians and many East Timorese volunteered with the Australians against the Japanese. The volunteers, called "creados," helped the Australian soldiers by carrying their ammunitions and spare back packs, and cooked for them. They were the personal assistant of these soldiers, their serfs. Others were used as trackers and informers. The East Timorese helped the Australians and stuck by them to the bitter end, even well after the Australians retreated from the island. All possible contacts with East Timorese were lost. The only contact the East Timorese had with the Australians were the "I owe you" leaflets dropped from high flying Australian war planes. The Japanese retaliated. People found collaborating with the Australians were tortured, then shot, beheaded or burned. Sometimes, a whole population was massacred, leaving only the life stock for the Japanese soldiers to loot and women were taken as sex slaves.

During the war, more than 45,000 East Timorese died, most for assisting the 400 Australian soldiers. On September 11, 1945 Japanese forces on Timor surrendered. Postwar, Portuguese colonial rule was reinstated.

Today
During 1974, abandoned as a colony, causing a civil war between factions. Independence was unilaterally declared on November 28, 1975. Neighboring Indonesia launched an invasion of East Timor during December 1975 and declared East Timor as its 27th province on July 17, 1976. After the September 1999 election when 78% of East Timorese voted for independence from Indonesia, the pro-Indonesian militia launched a campaign of arson, murder and destruction in Dili.

On September, 20, 1999 the first Australian troops were deployed to Dili as part of the International Force for East Timor (INTERFET), to bring peace to East Timor under by a United Nations mandate. Peacekeeping forces occupied the airport and used the Dili and Dili Airport as a base. The Australian Defense Force (ADF) peace keeping force was their the largest military deployment since the Second World War. On May 20, 2002 the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste (East Timor) was founded.

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Last Updated
January 11, 2018

 

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