Invasion to independence in East Timor
A timeline of key events which led to East Timor's 10th year of independence.
- December 1975: Indonesian troops invade the former Portuguese colony of East Timor. Around 100,000 people die from fighting, disease and starvation during the 24-year occupation.
- August 30, 1999: Timorese vote 78.5 per cent to 21.5 per cent in favour of independence from Indonesia in a United Nations-backed referendum. Violence by the Indonesian military and pro-integration militias kills around 1,400 people and displaces hundreds of thousands as an Australian-led UN force struggles to restore order.
- May 20, 2002: East Timor gains formal independence with former rebel leader Xanana Gusmao elected president. The UN begins winding down its presence.
- May 2006: A revolt by troops under the command of charismatic army deserter Alfredo Reinado as well as chaotic street fighting in Dili among police, soldiers and gangs kills 37 and displaces 100,000. Foreign countries send troops and police to restore stability.
- May 2007: Nobel laureate Jose Ramos-Horta is elected president.
- February 11, 2008: Gun attacks by renegade soldiers under Reinado leave Dr Ramos-Horta near death at his Dili home. Reinado is killed.
- July 2008: A joint Indonesia-East Timor truth and reconciliation commission finds rights violations during the occupation and 1999 referendum. The leaders of both nations rule out prosecuting military and militia leaders responsible for the bloodshed.
- August 29, 2009: A re-burial of the remains of resistance fighters, Falantil, in Dili takes place as part of ceremonies marking the 10th anniversary of East Timor's independence vote.
- August 30, 2009: 10 years since East Timorese voted in favour of independence. Celebrations are held in Dili featuring local performers and an Indonesian pop singer. Australian Governor-General Quentin Bryce and Major-General Peter Cosgrove attend.