On May 20, 2002, a new nation was born in Southeast Asia. East Timor (which had been under colonial Portuguese rule for more than 450 years, under Indonesia for two decades, and administered by the United Nations for 3 years) emerged as an independent state: the Democratic Republic of Timor Lorosae, or the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste (DRTL), becoming the 191st member of the United Nations in the following September. At its birth, the small new country had 1.1 million people and was one of the poorest countries in the world. With the independence of East Timor, the last vestige of Western colonialism in Southeast Asia, which had begun in the second decade of the sixteenth century, at last disappeared.