Stamp Territories and Territorial Philately:
Postage stamp territories - East Timor
Article from the postage stamp territories area focused on the postal service in the eastern part of the island of Timor
Timor is an island located in Southeast Asia, less than 500 km north of Australia. It has an area of 30,777 km2, which is about 3/5 of the area of Slovakia.
Politically, it is divided into two parts, the eastern part of the island is an independent state of East Timor and the western part is part of Indonesia. In the western part lies an exclave of East Timor called the Oecusse District.
Timor on a map from 1825.
From the 16th century, two then colonial powers, the Netherlands and Portugal, fought for dominance over Timor. The western part joined the Dutch East Indies colony and the eastern part was known as Portuguese Timor. The border between them was not formally decided until 1859 by the Treaty of Lisbon.
Timor's location in the Malay Archipelago on a map from 1892.
The first stamps for its colony were issued by Portugal in 1884, they were Macau stamps with TIMOR overprint.
Letter sent on July 1, 1885 from Dilly to Makassar, a red oval mark P.PAGO means that postage was paid.
Letter sent on February 1, 1887 from Dilly to Lisbon.
On April 1st, 1898, on the 400th anniversary of the discovery of the sea voyage to India by the navigator Vasco da Gama, the Portuguese administration issued a series of eight stamps for its colonies.
Registered letter sent on June 29, 1898 from Timor to Baden Baden in Germany, resent to Laboe on August 16, 1898.
Postal card sent on July 29, 1898 from Timor to Anvers (Antwerp) in Belgium, via Makassar on August 4, 1898, Weltevreden on August 10, 1898 and arrival in Anvers on September 15, 1898.
Registered postal card sent on 18 July 1914 from Timor to Prague, date stamp from 27 August 1914 confirms successful delivery.
Registered letter sent on April 12, 1933 from Dilly to Kuopio in Finland.
Registered letter sent on April 2, 1940 by air from Dilly to New York, arriving in New York on May 10, 1940.
Although Portugal was neutral during World War II, in December 1941, East Timor was occupied by Australian and Dutch troops expecting a Japanese invasion. Although this military intervention dragged Timor into the conflict, it also slowed down Japanese expansion. The Japanese landed on the island in February 1942 and gradually occupied it.
Postal card sent by a soldier of the 48th Division, unit 8605, with a censor stamp.
The unit served in Timor as an epidemic prevention and drinking water supply unit.
Free-franking letter of the Red Cross sent to a prison camp in Timor, sent (or received) on March 9, 1943,
top right Australian purple censor stamp number V122, Japanese purple rectangular censor stamp number 240 and red rectangular censor cachet.
Letter of the Red Cross sent on 5 June 1943 from Melbourne, Australia,
on the front and back of the envelope is a purple square censor stamp number 310, a Japanese censor stamp number 242 and a red censor cachet.
The Japanese remained on the island until their capitulation in September 1945. After the war, its eastern part was returned to Portugal, while the western part became part of the newly formed Indonesia.
Registered letter sent on June 8, 1948 from Dili to Lisbon, via Darwin on June 11, 1948 and arriving in Lisbon on June 20, 1948.
Registered letter sent on July 3, 1960 from Dili to the village of Bludov in the district of Šumperk.
Registered letter sent on 5 January 1973 from Dili to Kenosha, USA, arriving on 12 January 1973.
Following the coup d'état on 25 April 1974, the new Portuguese government favored a gradual process of decolonization of the Portuguese territories in Asia and Africa. When the East Timorese political parties were legalized for the first time, three parties had the largest number of supporters.
The Timorese Democratic Union (UDT) was in favor of maintaining East Timor as a Portuguese protectorate and announced its support for independence in September. FRETILIN supported the "universal doctrines of socialism" as well as the right to independence and later declared himself the only legitimate representative of the people. A third party, APODETI, advocated integration with Indonesia, expressing concern that an independent East Timor would be economically weak and vulnerable.
The political dispute between the parties soon escalated into an armed conflict. On November 28, 1975, FRETILIN unilaterally declared independence as the Democratic Republic of East Timor (República Democrática de Timor-Leste).
Under the pretext of decolonization, the Indonesian Armed Forces began an invasion of East Timor on December 7, 1975, a puppet government was formed in mid-December, and on July 17, 1976, East Timor officially became the 27th Province of the Republic of Indonesia. However, the UN did not recognize the annexation and continued to consider Portugal as the legitimate administrative power of East Timor.
Indonesian flag of East Timor.
FDC issued on 17 August 1976 on the occasion of the accession of East Timor to Indonesia.
Excerpt from the envelope with the cancellation Dili 22. 8. 84.
Postcard sent on 22 February 1992 from Aileu.
Postal card sent on March 29, 1992 from Dili to Jakarta.
The period of the first two decades of annexation is referred to as indigenous genocide, which is estimated at 60,000 to 100,000 victims.
In 1996, global attention suddenly turned to East Timor, when the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to José Ramos-Hort and Bishop Carlos Filipe Ximenes Belo "for their work towards a just and peaceful solution to the conflict in East Timor."
Indonesia and Portugal announced on 5 May 1999 that they had agreed to a referendum that would allow the people of East Timor to choose between Indonesian autonomy or full independence. The vote took place under the auspices of the United Nations on 30 August and was attended by 98.6% of registered voters. UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan announced on 4 September that 78.5% had voted in favor of independence.
The announcement of the result has provoked violent conflicts, as well as a humanitarian and security crisis in the region. Many Timorese were killed, another 500,000 were displaced and about half of the population fled the territory.
To end this situation, on 25 October 1999, the UN took over the administration of East Timor through the "United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor" (UNTAET).
UNTAET Post Office in Dili.
Letter sent on 11 November 1999 to Canadian Navy officers to Teulon, Canada.
For postal purposes, two stamps with the inscription Timor Lorosae / UNTAET were issued on 29 April 2000, for domestic postage (Dom.) and the other for international postage (Int.).
FDC issued on 29 April 2000.
Letter sent on May 11, 2001 from Dili to China.
Letter sent on July 23, 2001 from Dili to Nanjing, China.
Pictorial postcard sent on September 12, 2001 from Dili to the island of St. Helena.
Pictorial postcard sent on April 12, 2002 from Dili to Nanjing, China.
Letter sent on February 17, 2003 from Dili to Australia.
Under the auspices of the United Nations, elections were held on 30 August 2001 to the members of the Constitutional Assembly, which approved the Constitution on 22 March 2002 and entered into force on 20 May.
The UN has recognized East Timor as independent. The UNTAET mission was also terminated that day, with most of the functions transferred to the Government of East Timor. Military and police forces have been transferred to the newly created United Nations Mission in East Timor (UNMISET).
On 20 May 2002, four postage stamps with the inscription Timor Leste were issued for postal use.
FDC issued on 20 May 2002.
Letter sent on 30 October 2003 from the Australian Embassy in Dili to New York.
Instead of the stamp, a temporary sticker (label) with the inscription FRANQUIA / DILI / TIMOR LOROSAE / 30-10-2003 was affixed.
Letter sent on 18 August 2005 from the UN headquarters in Dili to Portugal.
In March 2011, the UN handed over operational control to the East Timorese authorities and ended its peacekeeping mission on 31 December 2012.
Letter sent on June 24, 2013 from Dili to New Zealand and returned to the sender.
Registered letter sent on 18 August 2015 to India.
Pictorial postcard sent on January 8, 2019 from Dili to Jeddah in Saudi Arabia.
Current division of East Timor on a map from 2015.
Since 1999, "stamps" have been issued with the words EAST TIMOR / PARA TIMOR, which have nothing to do with the postal service on the island and are issued only for financial gain.
Bruce Ronald Henderson (also known as Bruce Grenville) is a New Zealand anarchist who founded the fictitious Sultanate of Occussi-Ambeno with the capital, Pante Macassar, in 1968 in the Exclave of Timor and declared himself Sultan.
The Sultanate issued "stamps" with the inscription OCCUSSI-AMBENO.