Up in Smoke - Impoverishment and Instability in Post-Independence Timor Leste

In 2006, Timor Leste, Asia’s poorest and newest nation plunged into a serious political crisis which cast serious shadows of doubt over the capacities of the nation’s key structures and political actors to deal with the security, political, social and economic challenges faced by the nation. The crisis also raised fundamental questions about the role of the international community’s nation-building efforts given the central role played by the United Nations in Timor Leste since 1999.

This report examines the social, economic and political backgrounds to the crisis in Timor Leste and its implications both for the nation and the region.