Popular Consultation Day in East Timor in 2024

Popular Consultation Day in East Timor in 2024
  How long until Popular Consultation Day?
Popular Consultation Day
  Dates of Popular Consultation Day in East Timor
2025 East Timor Sat, Aug 30 National Holiday
2024 East Timor Fri, Aug 30 National Holiday
2023 East Timor Wed, Aug 30 National Holiday
2022 East Timor Tue, Aug 30 National Holiday
2021 East Timor Mon, Aug 30 National Holiday

Marks the date of the 1999 referendum to decide whether East Timor should have autonomy within Indonesia or become independent

When is Popular Consultation Day?

Popular Consultation Day is a public holiday in Timor-Leste (East Timor) on August 30th each year.

This day commemorates the referendum that took place on this day in 1999, paving the way for independence from Indonesia.

History of Popular Consultation Day

Colonised by the Portuguese in the 16th century, East Timor declared its independence from Portugal on November 28th 1975.

Independence proved to be very short-lived as Indonesia invaded nine days later and annexed East Timor, declaring it as a province of Indonesia in 1976.

This holiday commemorates the independence referendum that was held in East Timor on August 30th 1999.

Surprisingly the referendum didn't take place because of a specific clamour for independence and instead was held at the request of the President of Indonesia, B. J. Habibie.

Changing the policy of previous Indonesian presidents, President Habibie had been making comments that the cost of supporting East Timor as a province wasn't cost-effective.

IN early 1999, Habibie asked the United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan for the United Nations to hold a referendum, whereby the Indonesian province would be given choice of either greater autonomy within Indonesia or independence.

The result of the referendum was that over 78% of voters rejected a proposal for special autonomy of East Timor within Indonesia, instead pushing for separation.

The result was a shock to many Indonesians and a period of violence followed in which over 1,400 people were killed. 

The Indonesian government accepted the result on October 19th 1999 and repealed the law that formally annexed East Timor to Indonesia.

Independence followed in May 2002.

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