East Timor was ravaged by the Indonesian occupation, which may have killed up to 200,000 East Timorese (or one in every five persons in East Timor). During the Portuguese colonial era, many East Timorese were compelled to forsake their native animist beliefs in favor of Roman Catholicism. Speaking favorably of Suharto’s Orde Baru or the notion of East Timor being a part of Indonesia may not go over well with the East Timorese. Many East Timorese feel sympathetic, if not openly nostalgic, about the time of Portuguese control over East Timor, when the Portuguese colonial authority mostly left them to their own devices. As with talking politics elsewhere, if you aren’t confident a conversation about sensitive subjects will go well, don’t bring it up.