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East Timor



Map Page 1124 Area 5,853 square mi (15,007 square km) Population 997,853 Capital Dili Highest Point 9,778 ft (2,963 m) Lowest Point 0 m GDP per capita $500 Primary Natural Resources gold, petroleum, natural gas, manganese, marble.
THE ISLAND OF Timor, in the Indonesian archipelagos, is no stranger to struggle.
Disputed between the Dutch and Portuguese since the late 1500s, the island was officially split when the eastern portion declared independence from PORTUGAL in 1975, only to be immediately claimed by INDONESIA, setting off 25 years of violence and destruction.
The Democratic Republic of East Timor (or Timor Leste) forms the eastern half of the island of Timor, the easternmost (and largest) of the Lesser Sunda islands (in fact, "timor" simply means "east" in Malayan languages).
The new nation also includes an enclave in the western half of the island (Oecussi-Ambeno), and an island off the northern coast, Atauro.
Timor is located about 620 mi (1,000 km) east of JAVA, and about 300 mi (450 km) northwest of AUSTRALIA.
The island is volcanic in origin and its terrain is mostly mountainous, with difficult access due to steep coasts and coral reefs.
Timor thus remained little explored until the later 20th century, and European influence was restricted to a few coastal settlements (mostly on the north coast) dependent on plantations of coffee, rice, sugar, and coconuts.
The interior mountains contain considerable minerals, including gold, manganese, and marble, but these are largely unexplored.
The discovery of large reserves of offshore petroleum and natural gas promises much for the future of the country, but is also a continuing source of tension between rival claims of the Indonesian and Australian governments.
Both Portuguese and Dutch trading posts were established on Timor in the 16th century, but it was not until 1913 that the Dutch formally recognized the Portuguese position in the eastern half of the island.
Long after the Dutch East Indies became independent as Indonesia in 1949, the Portuguese colony of Timor declared itself independent in 1975.
It was immediately occupied by Indonesia, however, and forced to assimilate with the rest of the island.
After 20 years of violence resulting in the loss of between 100,000 and 300,000 lives (killed or missing), a United Nations-supervised referendum in 1999 resulted in renewed independence in May 2002, and East Timor became a new nation in September 2002.
The country's capital, Dili, built by the Portuguese in the 1620s, is located on the northern coast of the island and is being rebuilt after near complete destruction in 1999.
At independence, East Timor was one of the world's poorest nations, with 70 percent illiteracy, 12 percent infant mortality, and an average life expectancy below 50 years.
The country relies mostly on exports of timber and coffee, while it waits for resolution of its struggles with Australia over exploitation rights of the Timor Gap, the region of seabed off the southeast coast with large fossil fuel reserves.
A settlement between Australia and Indonesia was reached over this prize in 1989, when East Timor was still under Indonesian occupation, and Australia is now unwilling to give up concessions to an area potentially yielding $29 billion in revenues.
This conflict remained unresolved in 2004.

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Last News

- American civil pilots are getting queasy
"During the week two men who were piloting a civil plane felt sickish.
The United Airlines flight routing from Huston to San Francisco with 187 people aboard, including the crew group suddenly the pilot became ill and incapacitated. Therefore, the pilot-captain had to make an emergency landing.
Before that there had been another accident. American Airlines plane from Boston to Phoenix had to make an emergency landing at the Syracuse Airport because one of the pilots died. The stewardess, who provided first hand medical attention failed to save him. There were 147 people onboard that day. "

- You can now apply for Australian Visa through the Internet
"Country entry permit application has become facilitated and the procedure itself takes less time.
Starting from October 1 this year this new system allows to apply for visa online 24/7, including holidays.
Electronic system makes possible not to visit the consulate to apply for the entry permit and you no longer need to mail papers. Moreover, the authorized individuals for applying from the applicant are free to use this system to apply for a visa instead of the applicant.
You are able to verify your application status through the Internet and when you get the entry permit to Australia all the documents will be sent either to your e-mail address or by a registered letter on the mailing address specified in the application form. You will need to take the received document with you and be able to show it if needed. However, it is noted that the airline company will be aware whether you have got the Australian visa or not (airport staff have an access to the electronic data system, which will also include information about received entry permits) and therefore you may not show your visa at passport control and during the boarding. "