The East Timor Collections Exhibition
*ill very rare East timor Top Gun with map postally used cover from Dili East timor to Jakarta Indonesia
Frame One : Introduction
I had collected the East Timor and Timor portugeus collections during my duty in West suamtra at solok City, my friend Mayor Pol Dr Sundarun when he on duty at Est Timur have send me one document timor portugeus with revenue and hand sign ofcthe last governur of timor portugeus(look at Timor portugues collections exhibition in this cybermuseum) ,also some stamps too.
East Timur never issued local special stamps, during that time Republic Indonesia Stam were used. I have found some east timor postal history made by the Indonesia army on duty there,regional Police official cover, also a very historic document leaflet about the east timor fight to integrated to Indonesia(Perjuangan Rakyat TIMITIm untuk Berintegrasi Ke Indonesia) will show in this exhibtion
Also many East Timor political human right protest postcard an letter send to indonesia didnot show in this exhibition, this collection only for premium member.
I have found the best timor portugeus collections during 1994 when I have on duty at Idonesia Police Headquater(MABES POLRI), this collections have show at the Timor Portugeus Collections exhibition in Dr Iwan Cybermuseum.
In 1999, I have on duty during East timor Refendum look at my profile potraits with Let.col.Pol, Dr Mosadeq (now Brigardir Jendral Pol.) in the front of Religious Office which broken to pieces by the native Protest.
, two weeks and back one day after refendum by the last flight from Dili To Bali, some interesting east Timor postal history , refendum document ,local news paper and Indonesia news paper related the east timor last days situation will show too. Please look at the picture of Indonesia otonom ‘s East Timor Referendum propaganda poster which found at the east timor police sector (Dr iwan peivate collections)
the last day before back from dili Eat timor ,one day after Refendum, mayor Police Silvester had given me some collectionas of timor portugeus (look the timor portugeus exhibtion) and East timor picture during Indonedsia invasion East timors, please look at the pictyure of Indoneisa Army invation the Timor portugeus fort (later be the military east timor Dili Hospital, and now I donnot now the recent info, I hove the Timor Leset citizen from dilli will tell us the info).
I hope the collectors and historical writters will happy to look this rarerest collections of East timor collections, if the want to know more info and collections related to the political collections like human right protest card or letters please subscribed as the prmeium member and I will show the very rare collections of east timor,becasue in this exhibition only a part of my collections and non political collections.
Jakarta November 2010
Dr Iwan Suwandy,the founder of Cybermuseum.
Frame Two : The East Timor Historic collections
*The leaflet of East timor fight to integrated with Indonesia leaflet from Betao police sector,Manufakti city East Timor which given to dr iwan by the the secor command when he cambact to Brimob Padang Panjang where Dr Iwan on duty in this area in 1981.(Dr Iwan private collections)
History of East Timor
This article is part of a serieslook at the East timor Refendum campaign Poster in tetun script (dr iwan private collections found during Refednum Campaign day at Dilli.)
Early history (pre-1515)
Portuguese Timor (1515–1975)
Indonesian invasion (1975)
Indonesian occupation (1975–1999)
Vote for independence (1999)
Transition to independence (1999–2002)
Contemporary East Timor (2002–present)
East Timor Portal
v • d • e
*ill East timor Map on the Indonesian Military ‘Health Assistance ‘s Report 1995(Dr Iwan Private colection)
East Timor is a small country in Southeast Asia, officially the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste. It comprises the eastern half of the island of Timor, the nearby islands of Atauro and Jaco. The first inhabitants are thought to be descendant of Australoid and Melanesian peoples. The Portuguese began to trade with the island of Timor in the early 16th century and colonized it in mid-century. Skirmishing with the Dutch in the region eventually resulted in an 1859 treaty in which Portugal ceded the western portion of the island. Imperial Japan occupied East Timor from 1942 to 1945, but Portugal resumed colonial authority after the Japanese defeat in World War II.
The country declared itself independent from Portugal on 28 November 1975,look at the earlist east Timor pictures collections which giver by native east timor Mayor Pol below :
1.the Goverernment building’s pictures during indonesian invasion (Dr iwan Private Collections,given by native East Timor Police in 1999 before he back to Jakarta, after that day there aere chaos at East Timor)
2. The Dili Beach
3. The Dili City
and was invaded and occupied by Indonesian forces nine days later. It was incorporated into Indonesia in July 1976 as the province of East Timor.
During the subsequent 24-year occupation a campaign of pacification ensued. Between 1974 and 1999, there were an estimated 102,800 conflict-related deaths (approximately 18,600 killings and 84,200 ‘excess’ deaths from hunger and illness), the majority of which occurred during the Indonesian occupation. Look at the east timor collections below :
1.The Postal History Collections
1) The Military Postal history
2) The House of delivery postal history(Rumah Pos)
3) The Police Postal History
2.The Staue collections
3. The East timor Song casset collections
FRAME THREE :
THE EAST TIMOR REFENDUM HISTORIC COLLECTTIONS
On 30 August 1999, in a UN-sponsored referendum, an overwhelming majority of East Timor voted for independence from Indonesia. Please look at the illsutartions of Dr Iwan private referendum document colletions below :
1.The dr Iwan Picture before East Timor Refendum
a) at manututo brimob camp
b) at Police Hospital Dilli near marcado
c) The road to old Dili Market(marcado)
c) The dilli Beach
d)The east timor Police Resort office atuaro
2.the picture of East Timor Refendum campaign Posters of CNRT in 1999 at Dili (photografer dr Iwan Suwandy)
2.Refendum promotional and guide poster ,found at east timor police resort office.
3.The refendum Bailed Out form ‘s sample found at the Police Sector office
Immediately following the referendum, anti-independence Timorese militias — organised and supported by the Indonesian military — commenced a punitive scorched-earth campaign. The militias killed approximately 1,400 Timorese and forcibly pushed 300,000 people into West Timor as refugees. The majority of the country’s infrastructure was destroyed. On 20 September 1999 the International Force for East Timor (INTERFET) was deployed to the country and brought the violence to an end. Following a United Nations-administered transition period, East Timor was internationally recognised as an independent state in 2002.
1 Pre-colonial history
2 Portuguese rule
3 Decolonisation, coup, and independence
3.1 Parties Compete, Foreign Powers Take Interest
3.2 The Coup
3.3 Break from Portugal
3.4 East Timor solidarity movement
4 Indonesian invasion and annexation
5 Towards independence
5.1 Effects of the Dili Massacre
5.2 International lobbying
5.3 Referendum for independence, violence
6 The independent republic
6.1 2006 crisis
6.2 United Nations missions
7 Notes and references
8 External links
 Pre-colonial history
Main article: Pre-colonial Timor (pre-1515)
The island of Timor was populated as part of the human migrations that have shaped Australasia more generally. It is believed that survivors from three waves of migration still live in the country. The first is described by anthropologists as people of the Vedo-Australoid type, who arrived from the north and west approximately 40,000 to 20,000 years BC. Others of this type include the Wanniyala-Aetto (Veddas) of Sri Lanka. Around 3000 BC, a second migration brought Melanesians. The earlier Vedo-Australoid peoples withdrew at this time to the mountainous interior. Finally, proto-Malays arrived from south China and north Indochina. Hakka traders are among those descended from this final group. Timorese origin myths tell of ancestors that sailed around the eastern end of Timor arriving on land in the south. Some stories recount Timorese ancestors journeying from Malay Peninsula or the Minangkabau Highlands of Sumatra.
The Timorese were not seafarers, rather they were land focussed peoples who did not make contact with other islands and peoples by sea. Timor was part of a region of small islands with small populations of similarly land-focussed peoples that now make up eastern Indonesia. Contact with the outside world was via networks of foreign seafaring traders from as far as China and India that served the archipelago. The earliest historical record about Timor island is 14th century Nagarakretagama, Canto 14, that identify Timur as an island within Majapahit’s realm. Outside products brought to the region included metal goods, rice, fine textiles, and coins exchanged for local spices, sandalwood, deer horn, bees’ wax, and slaves.
Early European explorers report that the island had a number of small chiefdoms or princedoms in the early 16th century. One of the most significant is the Wehali kingdom in central Timor, to which the Tetum, Bunaq and Kemak ethnic groups were aligned.
This section requires expansion.
 Portuguese rule
Main article: Portuguese Timor
The first Europeans to arrive in the area were the Portuguese, who landed near modern Pante Macassar. In 1556 a group of Dominican friars established their missionary work in the area. By the seventeenth century the village of Lifau became the centre of Portuguese activities. In 1702 the territory officially became a Portuguese colony, known as Portuguese Timor, when Lisbon sent its first governor, with Lifau as its capital. Portuguese control over the territory was tenuous particularly in the mountainous interior. Dominican friars, the occasional Dutch raid, and the Timorese themselves provided opposition to the Portuguese. The control of colonial administrators, largely restricted to Dili, had to rely on traditional tribal chieftains for control and influence.
For the Portuguese, East Timor remained little more than a neglected trading post until the late nineteenth century. Investment in infrastructure, health, and education was minimal. Sandalwood remained the main export crop with coffee exports becoming significant in the mid-nineteenth century. In places where Portuguese rule was asserted, it tended to be brutal and exploitative. At the beginning of the twentieth century, a faltering home economy prompted the Portuguese to extract greater wealth from its colonies.
The capital was moved from Lifau to Dili in 1769, due to attacks from the Topasses, an independent-minded Eurasian group. Meanwhile, the Dutch were colonizing the rest of the island and the surrounding archipelago that is now Indonesia. The border between Portuguese Timor and the Dutch East Indies was formally decided in 1859 with the Treaty of Lisbon. The definitive border was drawn by the Hague in 1916, and it remains the international boundary between the modern states of East Timor and Indonesia.
Although Portugal was neutral during World War II, in December 1941, Portuguese Timor was occupied by Australian and Dutch forces, which were expecting a Japanese invasion. When the Japanese did occupy Timor, in February 1942, a 400-strong Dutch-Australian force and large numbers of Timorese volunteers engaged them in a one-year guerilla campaign. After the allied evacuation in February 1943 the East Timorese continued fighting the Japanese, with comparatively little collaboration with the enemy taking place. This assistance cost the civilian population dearly: Japanese forces burned many villages and seized food supplies. The Japanese occupation resulted in the deaths of 40,000–70,000 Timorese.
Portuguese Timor was handed back to Portugal after the war, but Portugal continued to neglect the colony. Very little investment was made in infrastructure, education and healthcare. The colony was declared an ‘Overseas Province’ of the Portuguese Republic in 1955. Locally, authority rested with the Portuguese Governor and the Legislative Council, as well as local chiefs or liurai. Only a small minority of Timorese were educated, and even fewer went on to university in Portugal (there were no universities in the territory until 2000).
During this time, Indonesia did not express any interest in Portuguese Timor, despite the anti-colonial rhetoric of President Sukarno. This was partly as Indonesia was preoccupied with gaining control of West Irian, now called Papua, which had been retained by the Netherlands after Indonesian independence. In fact, at the United Nations, Indonesian diplomats stressed that their country did not seek control over any territory outside the former Netherlands East Indies, explicitly mentioning Portuguese Timor.
 Decolonisation, coup, and independence
After the fall of the Portuguese regime in 1974, independence was encouraged by the new, democratic Portuguese government.
One of the first acts of the new government in Lisbon was to appoint a new Governor for the colony on 18 November 1974, in the form of Mário Lemos Pires, who would ultimately be, as events were to prove, the last Governor of Portuguese Timor.
One of his first decrees made upon his arrival in Dili was to legalise political parties in preparation for elections to a Constituent Assembly in 1976. Three main political parties were formed:
The União Democrática Timorense (Timorese Democratic Union or UDT), was supported by the traditional elites, initially argued for a continued association with Lisbon, or as they put it in Tetum, mate bandera hum — ‘in the shadow of the [Portuguese] flag’, but later adopted a ‘gradualist’ approach to independence. One of its leaders, Mário Viegas Carrascalão, one of the few Timorese to have been educated at university in Portugal, later became Indonesian Governor of East Timor during the 1980s and early 1990s, although with the demise of Indonesian rule, he would change to supporting independence.
The Associação Social Democrática Timorense (Timorese Social Democratic Association ASDT) supported a rapid movement to independence. It later changed its name to Frente Revolucionária de Timor-Leste Independente (Revolutionary Front of Independent East Timor or Fretilin). Fretilin was criticised by many in Australia and Indonesia as being Marxist, its name sounding reminiscent of FRELIMO in Mozambique but it was more influenced by African nationalists like Amílcar Cabral in Portuguese Guinea (now Guinea-Bissau) and Cape Verde.
The Associação Popular Democrática Timorense (Timorese Popular Democratic Association or “Apodeti”) supported integration with Indonesia, as an autonomous province, but had very little grassroots support. One of its leaders, Abílio Osório Soares, later served as the last Indonesian-appointed Governor of East Timor. Apodeti drew support from a few liurai in the border region, some of whom had collaborated with the Japanese during the Second World War. It also had some support in the small Muslim minority, although Marí Alkatiri, a Muslim, was a prominent Fretilin leader, and became Prime Minister in 2002.
Other smaller parties included Klibur Oan Timur Asuwain or KOTA whose name translated from the Tetum language as ‘Sons of the Mountain Warriors’, which sought to create a form of monarchy involving the local liurai, and the Partido Trabalhista or Labour Party, but neither had any significant support. They would, however, collaborate with Indonesia. The Associação Democrática para a Integração de Timor-Leste na Austrália (ADITLA), advocated integration with Australia, but folded after the Australian government emphatically ruled out the idea.
 Parties Compete, Foreign Powers Take Interest
Developments in Portuguese Timor during 1974 and 1975 were watched closely by Indonesia and Australia. Suharto’s “New Order”, which had effectively eliminated Indonesia’s Communist Party PKI in 1965, was alarmed by what it saw as the increasingly left-leaning Fretilin, and by the prospect of a small state in the midst of the sprawling archipelago serving as an inspiration to independence-minded provinces of the Republic such as Aceh, West Irian and the Moluccas.
Australia’s Labor Prime Minister, Gough Whitlam, had developed a close working relationship with the Indonesian leader, and also followed events with concern. At a meeting in the Javanese town of Wonosobo in 1974, he told Suharto that an independent Portuguese Timor would be ‘an unviable state, and a potential threat to the stability of the region’. While recognising the need for an act of self-determination, he considered integration with Indonesia to be in Portuguese Timor’s best interests.
In local elections on 13 March 1975, Fretilin and UDT emerged as the largest parties, having previously formed an alliance to campaign for independence.
Indonesian military intelligence, known as BAKIN, began attempting to cause divisions between the pro-independence parties, and promote the support of Apodeti. This was known as Operasi Komodo or ‘Operation Komodo’ after the giant Komodo lizard found in the eastern Indonesian island of the same name. Many Indonesian military figures held meetings with UDT leaders, who made it plain that Jakarta would not tolerate a Fretilin-led administration in an independent East Timor. The coalition between Fretilin and UDT later broke up.
During the course of 1975, Portugal became increasingly detached from political developments in its colony, becoming embroiled in civil unrest and political crises, and more concerned with decolonisation in its African colonies of Angola and Mozambique than with Portuguese Timor. Many local leaders saw independence as unrealistic, and were open to discussions with Jakarta over Portuguese Timor’s incorporation into the Indonesian state.
The United States had also expressed concerns over Portuguese Timor in the wake of the war in Vietnam. Having gained Indonesia as an ally, Washington did not want to see the vast archipelago destabilised by a left-wing regime in its midst.
 The Coup
On 11 August 1975, the UDT mounted a coup, in a bid to halt the increasing popularity of Fretilin. Governor Pires fled to the offshore island of Atauro, north of the capital, Dili, from where he later attempted to broker an agreement between the two sides. He was urged by Fretilin to return and resume the decolonisation process, but he insisted that he was awaiting instructions from the government in Lisbon, now increasingly uninterested.
Indonesia sought to portray the conflict as a civil war, which had plunged Portuguese Timor into chaos, but after only a month, aid and relief agencies from Australia and elsewhere visited the territory, and reported that the situation was stable. Nevertheless, many UDT supporters had fled across the border into Indonesian Timor, where they were coerced into supporting integration with Indonesia. In October 1975, in the border town of Balibo, two Australian television crews (the “Balibo Five”) reporting on the conflict were killed by Indonesian forces, after they witnessed Indonesian incursions into Portuguese Timor.
 Break from Portugal
While Fretilin had sought the return of the Portuguese Governor, pointedly flying the Portuguese flag from government offices, the deteriorating situation meant that it had to make an appeal to the world for international support, independently of Portugal.
On 28 November 1975, Fretilin made a unilateral declaration of independence of the Democratic Republic of East Timor (Republica Democrática de Timor-Leste in Portuguese). This was not recognised by either Portugal, Indonesia, or Australia; however, the new state received formal diplomatic recognition from six countries, namely Albania, Cape Verde, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique, and São Tomé and Príncipe. Fretilin’s Francisco Xavier do Amaral became the first President, while Fretilin leader Nicolau dos Reis Lobato was Prime Minister.
Indonesia’s response was to have UDT, Apodeti, KOTA and Trabalhista leaders sign a declaration calling for integration with Indonesia called the Balibo Declaration, although it was drafted by Indonesian intelligence and signed in Bali, Indonesia not Balibo, Portuguese Timor. Xanana Gusmão, now the country’s Prime Minister, described this as the ‘Balibohong Declaration’, a pun on the Indonesian word for ‘lie’.
 East Timor solidarity movement
An international East Timor solidarity movement arose in response to the 1975 invasion of East Timor by Indonesia and the occupation that followed. The movement was supported by churches, human rights groups, and peace campaigners, but developed its own organizations and infrastructure in many countries. Many demonstrations and vigils backed legislative actions to cut off military supplies to Indonesia. The movement was most extensive in neighboring Australia, in Portugal, and the former Portuguese colonies in Africa, but had significant force in the United States, Canada and Europe.
José Ramos-Horta, current President of East Timor, stated in a 2007 interview that the solidarity movement “was instrumental. They were like our peaceful foot soldiers, and fought many battles for us.”
 Indonesian invasion and annexation
Main article: Indonesian invasion of East Timor
The Indonesian invasion of East Timor began on 7 December 1975. Indonesian forces launched a massive air and sea invasion, known as Operasi Seroja, or ‘Operation Komodo’, almost entirely using US-supplied equipment. Reported death tolls from the 24-year occupation range from 60,000 to 200,000. A detailed statistical report prepared for the Commission for Reception, Truth and Reconciliation in East Timor cited a lower range of 102,800 conflict-related deaths in the period 1974-1999, namely, approximately 18,600 killings and 84,200 ‘excess’ deaths from hunger and illness.
A puppet ”Provisional Government of East Timor” was installed in mid-December, consisting of Apodeti and UDT leaders. Attempts by the United Nations Secretary General’s Special Representative, Vittorio Winspeare-Guicciardi to visit Fretilin-held areas from Darwin, Australia were obstructed by the Indonesian military, which blockaded East Timor. On 31 May 1976, a ‘People’s Assembly’ in Dili, selected by Indonesian intelligence, unanimously endorsed an ‘Act of Integration’, and on 17 July, East Timor officially became the 27th province of the Republic of Indonesia. Although the United Nations had not responded to the Indonesian annexation of West Irian some years previously, the occupation of East Timor remained a public issue in many nations, Portugal in particular, and the UN never recognised either the regime installed by the Indonesians or the subsequent annexation.
 Towards independence
Demonstration against Indonesian occupation of East Timor, September 10, 1999.
Timorese groups fought a campaign of resistance against Indonesian forces for the independence of East Timor, during which many atrocities and human rights violations by the Indonesian army were reported. The Indonesian army is reported to have trained and supplied militias imported from Indonesia to terrorise the population. Foreign powers such as the Australian government worked to prevent the push for independence, and assisted the Indonesian government in obscuring and discouraging media reporting on atrocities committed by Indonesian militias.
 Effects of the Dili Massacre
The Dili Massacre on 12 November 1991 was a turning point for sympathy for pro-independence East Timorese. A burgeoning East Timor solidarity movement grew in Portugal, Australia, and the United States. After the massacre, the US Congress voted to cut off funding for IMET training of Indonesian military personnel. However, arms sales continued from the US to the Indonesian National Armed Forces. President Clinton cut off all US military ties with the Indonesian military in 1999. The Australian government promoted a strong connection with the Indonesian military at the time of the massacre, but also cut off ties in 1999.
The Massacre had a profound effect on public opinion in Portugal, especially after television footage showing East Timorese praying in Portuguese, and independence leader Xanana Gusmão gained widespread respect, being awarded the Portugal’s highest honour in 1993, after he had been captured and imprisoned by the Indonesians.
In Australia, there was also widespread public outrage, and criticism of Canberra’s close relationship with the Suharto regime and recognition of Jakarta’s sovereignty over East Timor. This caused the Australian government embarrassment, but Foreign Minister Gareth Evans played down the killings, describing them as ‘an aberration, not an act of state policy’. Gareth Evans and Prime Minister Keating, along with subsequent Prime Minister John Howard and Foreign Affairs minister Alexander Downer, sought to maintain close relations with Indonesia. Neither Liberal nor Labor ministers challenged the persecution of the East Timorese until the Australian Labor Party member Laurie Brereton spoke out in 1999, and he was quickly discredited by both the Howard Government and Kevin Rudd.
 International lobbying
Bishop Carlos Belo, winner of the 1996 Nobel Peace Prize.
José Ramos-Horta, 1996 Nobel Peace Prize winner, former Prime Minister and present President of East Timor.
Portugal started to apply international pressure unsuccessfully, constantly raising the issue with its fellow European Union members in their dealings with Indonesia. However, other EU countries like the UK had close economic relations with Indonesia, including arms sales, and saw no advantage in forcefully raising the issue.
In 1996, Bishop Carlos Filipe Ximenes Belo and José Ramos-Horta, two leading East Timorese activists for peace and independence, received the Nobel Peace Prize.
In the mid-1990s, the pro-democracy People’s Democratic Party (PRD) in Indonesia called for withdrawal from East Timor. The party’s leadership was arrested in July 1996.
In July 1997, visiting South African President Nelson Mandela visited Suharto as well as the imprisoned Xanana Gusmão. He urged the freeing of all East Timorese leaders in a note reading, “We can never normalize the situation in East Timor unless all political leaders, including Mr. Gusmão, are freed. They are the ones who must bring about a solution.” Indonesia’s government refused but did announce that it would take three months off Gusmão’s 20-year sentence.
In 1998, following the resignation of Suharto and his replacement by President Habibie, Jakarta moved towards offering East Timor autonomy within the Indonesian state, although ruled out independence, and stated that Portugal and the UN must recognise Indonesian sovereignty.
 Referendum for independence, violence
Main articles: East Timor Special Autonomy Referendum and 1999 East Timorese crisis
However in 1999, the Indonesian government decided, under strong international pressure, to hold a referendum on the future of East Timor. Portugal had started to gain some political allies firstly in the EU, and after that in other places of the world to pressure Indonesia. The referendum, held on 30 August, gave a clear majority (78.5%) in favour of independence, rejecting the alternative offer of being an autonomous province within Indonesia, to be known as the Special Autonomous Region of East Timor (SARET).
Directly after this, Indonesian military-supported East Timorese pro-integration militia and Indonesian soldiers carried out a campaign of violence and terrorism in retaliation. Approximately 1,400 Timorese were killed and 300,000 and forcibly pushed into West Timor as refugees. The majority of the country’s infrastructure, including homes, irrigation systems, water supply systems, and schools, and nearly 100% of the country’s electrical grid were destroyed. According to Noam Chomsky, “In one month, this massive military operation murdered some 2,000 people, raped hundreds of women and girls, displaced three-quarters of the population, and demolished 75 percent of the country’s infrastructure” (Radical Priorities, 72).
On 20 September 1999 the Australian-led peacekeeping troops of the International Force for East Timor (INTERFET) deployed to the country and brought the violence to an end. Activists in Portugal, Australia, the United States, and elsewhere pressured their governments to take action, with US President Bill Clinton eventually threatening Indonesia, in dire economic straits already, with the withdrawal of IMF loans. The Indonesian government consented to withdraw its troops and allow a multinational force into Timor to stabilize the area. It was clear that the UN did not have sufficient resources to combat the paramilitary forces directly. Instead, the UN authorised the creation of a multinational military force known as INTERFET (International Force for East Timor), with Security Council Resolution 1264. Troops were contributed by 17 nations, about 9,900 in total. 4,400 came from Australia, the remainder mostly from South-East Asia. The force was led by Major-General (now General) Peter Cosgrove. Troops landed in East Timor on 20 September 1999.
 The independent republic
Xanana Gusmão, first President of East Timor and present Prime Minister.
The administration of East Timor was taken over by the UN through the United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET), established on 25 October 1999. The INTERFET deployment ended on 14 February 2000 with the transfer of military command to the UN. Elections were held in late 2001 for a constituent assembly to draft a constitution, a task finished in February 2002. East Timor became formally independent on 20 May 2002. Xanana Gusmão was sworn in as the country’s President. East Timor became a member of the UN on 27 September 2002.
On 4 December 2002, after a student had been arrested the previous day, rioting students set fire to the house of the Prime Minister Marí Alkatiri and advanced on the police station. The police opened fire and one student was killed, whose body the students carried to the National Parliament building. There they fought the police, set a supermarket on fire and plundered shops. The police opened fire again and four more students were killed. Alkatiri called an inquiry and blamed foreign influence for the violence.
Relations with Australia have been strained by disputes over the maritime boundary between the two countries. Canberra claims petroleum and natural gas fields in an area known as the ‘Timor Gap’, which East Timor regards as lying within its maritime boundaries.
 2006 crisis
Main article: 2006 East Timor crisis
Unrest started in the country in April 2006 following the riots in Dili. A rally in support of 600 East Timorese soldiers, who were dismissed for deserting their barracks, turned into rioting where five people were killed and over 20,000 fled their homes. Fierce fighting between pro-government troops and disaffected Falintil troops broke out in May 2006. While unclear, the motives behind the fighting appears to be the distribution of oil funds and the poor organization of the Timorese army and police, which includes former Indonesian-trained police and former Timorese rebels. Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri has called the violence a “coup” and has welcomed offers of foreign military assistance from several nations. As of 25 May 2006, Australia, Portugal, New Zealand, and Malaysia have sent troops to Timor, attempting to quell the violence. At least 23 deaths occurred as a result of the violence.
On 21 June 2006, President Xanana Gusmao formally requested Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri step down. A majority of Fretilin party members demanded the prime minister’s resignation, accusing him of lying about distributing weapons to civilians. On 26 June 2006 Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri resigned stating, “I declare I am ready to resign my position as prime minister of the government… so as to avoid the resignation of His Excellency the President of the Republic”. In August, rebel leader Alfredo Reinado escaped from Becora Prison, in Dili. Tensions were later raised after armed clashes between youth gangs forced the closure of Presidente Nicolau Lobato International Airport in late October.
In April 2007, Gusmão declined another presidential term. In the build-up to the April 2007 presidential elections there were renewed outbreaks of violence in February and March 2007. José Ramos-Horta was inaugurated as President on May 20, 2007, following his election win in the second round. Gusmão was sworn in as Prime Minister on August 8, 2007. President Ramos-Horta was critically injured in an assassination attempt on February 11, 2008, in a failed coup apparently perpetrated by Alfredo Reinado, a renegade soldier who died in the attack. Prime Minister Gusmão also faced gunfire separately but escaped unharmed. The Australian government immediately sent reinforcements to East Timor to keep order.The end @copyright Dr Iwan suwandy 2010
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