The East Timor Independence Day is celebrated on the 20th of May every year. The event is held to mark the independence won by Timor Leste from Indonesian rule in 2002. The day is also referred to as the Independence Restoration Day of Timor Leste.
East Timor Independence Day Celebrations
The East Timor Independence Day is celebrated officially at prestigious establishments like the President of the Republic Palace. Important political bodies such as the Organization Commission of the Minister of State Administration are responsible for staging the festivities.
The ceremonies normally begin a day before the Independence Day. Masses are held at cathedrals early on in the morning. On the day itself, proceedings start with the President of the Republic Palace welcoming the Armed Forces.
The President, Dr. Jose Ramos-Horta then inspects the troupes and flags are raised following the inspection. Arms are hoisted and fitting tributes are paid to the soldiers and freedom fighters of Timor Leste.
This session is followed by a cocktail and the festivities continue normally till around 4 pm. The ceremony ends with the lowering of the National Flag of East Timor. The celebrations are attended by top dignitaries such as the President, Prime Minister, President of the Court of Appeal and President of the National Parliament.
East Timor Independence Day History
Just prior to its independence the governance of Timor Leste was assumed by the UN by way of the United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor. This rule was established on 25th October 1999. The deployment of the International Force for East Timor came to an end on 14th February 2000.
Late in 2001 elections were organized in order to choose a constituent assembly that would draft a constitution. The constitution was formed in 2002 and independence was formally declared on 20th May 2002. Xanana Gusmao was the first President of East Timor. On 27th September 2002 East Timor gained membership of the United Nations.
Challenges before East Timor
One of the major challenges facing Timor Leste is the usage of oil and gas industry to help the other sectors achieve optimum growth and continue with it. Poverty has also been a critical issue for this new Asian country.
East Timor is also one of the poorest countries in Asia and has thus been reliant on international assistance to keep going. The infrastructure is problematic and the country is vulnerable to droughts as well.