Timor-Leste or East Timor, officially the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste, is a country in Southeast Asia. It lies northwest of Australia in the Lesser Sunda Islands at the eastern end of the Indonesian archipelago. Timor Leste includes the eastern half of the island of Timor, the Oecussi (Ambeno) region on the northwest portion of the island of Timor, and the small islands of Atauro and Jaco. The country’s size is about 15,410 km2, 640 km from Darwin city, Australia.
Timor Leste was colonised by Portugal in the 16th century, and was known as Portuguese Timor until Portugal’s decolonisation of the country. In late 1975, Timor Leste declared its independence but later that year was invaded and occupied by Indonesia and was declared Indonesia’s 27th province the following year. In 1999, following the United Nations-sponsored act of self-determination, Indonesia relinquished control of the territory, and Timor Leste became the first new sovereign state of the 21st century on May 20, 2002.
After independence, Timor Leste became a member of the United Nations and the Community of Portuguese Language Countries. In 2011, Timor Leste announced its intention to gain membership status in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations by submitting a letter of application to become its eleventh member. It is one of only two predominantly Christian nations in Southeast Asia, (the other being the Philippines)
Timor Leste is divided into thirteen administrative districts:
- Cova Lima