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MANILA — East Timor, now known as Timor-Leste, is the world’s newest democracy. It may have a population of less than 1 million, but it has a proud, heroic history and a rich culture built up over centuries of diverse ethnic and colonial influences.

The island attracted Chinese and Malay traders in the 15th century. The Portuguese arrived not long after, and stayed 400 years. Now it is attracting attention as an example of United Nations-led nation-building.

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