Cover Story

cover-top5The Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste has restored its independence from Indonesia on 20 May 2002, going through 24 years of hard-fought resistance and countless painful experiences. It was said that the independence struggle “will not succeed”; however, with the determined spirit of solidarity by the Timorese people, Timor-Leste became the first independent country in the 21st century.

However, as we can see from the unrest in 2006 and attacks on the President and Prime Minister in 2008, the road was never smooth. It is no exaggeration to say that Timor-Leste has been facing series of hardships. This is why when people hear “Timor-Leste”, most of them instinctively ask: “Isn’t it where they had conflicts?” or “Is the security situation all right?”. Timor-Leste is very different place today. Conflicts are now solved and the security situation is stable.

It is true that a lot of people in Timor-Leste is underprivileged. However, it is by no means they are unhappy. They have dazzling eyes. The country is changing day by day for the better future. As we say: “Seeing is believing”, I cannot think of any other country, besides Timor-Leste, which best refers to this idiom.。

Timor-Leste is an island country which has about the same area as Iwate or Nagano Prefecture, and its total land area is almost equivalent to Tokyo, Chiba Prefecture, Kanagawa Prefecture and Saitama Prefecture put together. The country produces “Café Timor” which by surely beats the taste of Blue Mountain, and rich fragrant coffee flowers make beautiful white flower road. There is Marobo hot spring, its source having the world-class quantity and quality. Like the sacred mountain of Mount Ramelau, with 2,960 meters altitude, Timor-Leste’s mountainous picturesque is just magnificent. The 3,500 years old cave painting in sacred Irikerekere captures all of us. Jaco island has pristine white sand beach and out of this world crystal blue sea where you will be greeted by tropical colorful fishes. There is mysterious lake where it will be covered by snow-white salt during the dry season. Brightly colored tropical flowers such as hibiscus and bougainvillea are blossoming. Stars are twinkling in the night sky, including the dazzling Southern Cross. Such attractions await you, together with very friendly and charming people of Timor-Leste. The country is indeed filled with fascination.