East Timor, also known as Timor-Leste (officially the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste) is a country in Southeast Asia. Its official languages are Tetum and Portuguese. East Timor was colonized by Portugal in the 16th century, and was known as Portuguese Timor until Portugal's decolonization of the country. In late 1975 East Timor declared its independence but was invaded and occupied by Indonesia later that year, and declared that country's 27th province the following year. In 1999, following the United Nations-sponsored act of self-determination, Indonesia relinquished control of the territory and East Timor became the first new sovereign state of the twenty-first century on May 20, 2002.
The Falintil-Forças de Defesa de Timor Leste (Tetum: Forcas Defesa Timor Lorosae, English: Timor Leste Defence Force) or FALINTIL-FDTL (often F-FDTL) is the military organisation responsible for the defence of East Timor. The F-FDTL was established in February 2001 and currently comprises two small infantry battalions, a small Naval Component and several supporting units.
The F-FDTL's primary role is to protect East Timor from external threats. It also has an internal security role, which overlaps with the role assigned to the Policia Nacional de Timor Leste (PNTL). This overlap has led to tensions between the services, which have been exacerbated by poor morale and discipline within the F-FDTL.
The F-FDTL's problems came to a head in 2006 when almost half the force was dismissed following protests over discrimination and poor conditions. The dismissal contributed to a general collapse of both the F-FDTL and PNTL in May and forced the government to request foreign peacekeepers to restore security. The F-FDTL is currently being rebuilt with foreign assistance and has drawn up a long-term force development plan.
Kay Rala Xanana GusmãoGCL (born José Alexandre Gusmão, on June 20, 1946) is a former freedom fighter who was the first President of East Timor, serving from May 2002 to May 2007. He later became the fourth and current Prime Minister of East Timor on August 8, 2007.