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Dili, spelled Díli in Portuguese, is the capital and largest city of East Timor. It lies on the northern coast of Timor island, the easternmost of the Lesser Sunda Islands. Dili is the chief port and commercial centre for East Timor, and has approximately 150,000 inhabitants. There is also an airport in Comoro, Presidente Nicolau Lobato International Airport, renamed after independence leader Nicolau Lobato, which is used for commercial and military flights.



Dili is the seat of the administration of the district of Dili, which is the administrative entity of the area and includes the island of Atauro and some cities close to Dili city. The city is part of the subdistricts of Nain Feto, Vera Cruz, Dom Aleixo and Cristo Rei and is divided into several sucos, which are headed by an elected chefe de suco. 18 of the 26 sucos of the four subdistricts are categorized as urban.[1] There is no city administration beside the district administrator, who was appointed by state gouvernment. The Timorese gouvernment started to plan in 2009 to change the status of districts into municipalities. These will have an elected mayor and council.[2]


Dili was settled about 1520 by the Portuguese, who made it the capital of Portuguese Timor in 1769. During World War II, Dili was occupied by the Japanese (see Battle of Timor). East Timor unilaterally declared independence from Portugal on November 28, 1975. However, nine days later, on December 7, Indonesian forces invaded Dili. On July 17, 1976, Indonesia annexed East Timor, which it designated the 27th province of Indonesia, Timor Timur (Indonesian for East Timor), with Dili as its capital.

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