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T-shirt celebrating the new Democratic Republic of East Timor

Date: 2002
Overall (laid flat): 750 x 920 x 5 mm
Medium: Cotton
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from Nairana Da Silva
Object Name: T-shirt
Object No: 00046018

User Terms

    HistoryIn August 1975 civil war erupted in East Timor and hundreds of refugees fled to Australia by boat. Thousands more arrived after Indonesia invaded in December 1975. Tight knit communities formed in Sydney, Melbourne and Darwin that maintained cultural traditions and campaigned to give their country a voice on the global stage.

    In 1999 the Indonesian government finally permitted the East Timorese to vote on their future. While the East Timorese voted overwhelmingly in favour of independence, the referendum was marred by violent clashes with Indonesian militia. Australia led the international peace-keeping force INTERFET to restore order. Australia was also involved in the transitional government in the lead up to the official declaration of independence, with Australian Major General Mike Smith appointed Deputy Force Commander of the United Nations Transitional Administration (UNTAET) from 2000. On 20 May 2002, after 450 years of foreign rule, the East Timorese shouted 'Viva' and toasted their independence. In doing so, East Timor became the world's newest nation.

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