BACKGROUND TO THE
REPTILE & AMPHIBIAN SURVEY OF TIMOR-LESTE
A Brief History of Asia's newest country.
The island of Timor is the 44th largest island in the world and the 8th largest between Asia and Australia. Its eastern half was a Portuguese colony for over 350 years before receiving its independence in 1975. But within a week it was
invaded and annexed by Indonesia.
There followed a long and bloody war of independence which lasted almost 25 years and cost the lives of nearly 1/5th of the country's popuation (estimates are around 160-180,000).
In a 1999 UN-sponsored referendum, the majority of East Timorese voted for independence from Indonesia, and the UN took charge of the fledgling democracy. It gained full independence in 2002, making it the first new sovereign state of the 21st century.
|Timor-Leste is located at the extreme southeastern corner of South East Asia.
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