A Political Chronology of South-East Asia and Oceania

By David Lea; Colette Milward et al. | Go to book overview

East Timor

3000 BC: Malay and Melanesian tribes began to migrate to the island, which was already inhabited by the indigenous Atoni people.

c. AD 672: The island became incorporated into the Srivijaya Empire, which was ruled from Sumatra (Indonesia).

13th century: Javanese traders were attracted to the island by the abundant supplies of beeswax and sandalwood; it soon became incorporated into the trading routes between India and China and received regular visits from Arab, Chinese and Gujarati traders.

1420: Following the decline of the Srivijaya civilization, Timor became part of the Javanese Majaphit Empire.

1509: Portuguese traders arrived on the island.

1566: The Portuguese established a settlement on the island of Solor and from there conducted trade with the Timorese in sandalwood and finished goods.

1586: Portuguese Dominican friars established the first European settlement on the island at Lifau, in present-day Oecussi. Increasing numbers of Portuguese settlers arrived and recruited the inhabitants as slave labour in the exploitation of the island’s natural resources.

1646: The Portuguese built a fortified settlement at Cupão (Kupang).

1653: Dutch forces captured Cupão and built a new fort on the site, which they named Fort Concordia. The Portuguese retreated to Lifau.

1702: The Portuguese established a colonial administration, based at Lifau, which came into increasing conflict with Dutch traders.

1749: Following a battle between the Portuguese and Dutch, the European powers occupied separate halves of the island, the Dutch the western areas and the Portuguese the East.

20 April 1859: Portugal and the Netherlands concluded the Treaty of Lisbon, by which the Portuguese received the north-eastern areas, Atauro Island and the enclave of Oecussi. They subsequently sought to impose their rule on the area through the authority of local chiefs. The adminstration of the colony was joined with that of Macau; however the development of its infrastructure and economy was largely neglected. For a period it also served as a penal settlement for Portuguese dissidents.

-42-

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A Political Chronology of South-East Asia and Oceania
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Foreword v
  • Contents vii
  • Australia 1
  • Brunei 16
  • Cambodia 22
  • East Timor 42
  • Fiji 50
  • Indonesia 58
  • Kiribati 81
  • Laos 85
  • Malaysia 96
  • Marshall Islands 108
  • Federated States of Micronesia 112
  • Myanmar 115
  • Nauru 127
  • New Zealand 131
  • Palau 145
  • Papua New Guinea 148
  • The Philippines 157
  • Samoa 176
  • Singapore 180
  • Solomon Islands 186
  • Thailand 191
  • Tonga 208
  • Tuvalu 211
  • Vanuatu 213
  • Vanuatu 215
  • Viet Nam 217
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