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Thursday, October 05, 2006

History of Indonesia

Taking photo from this
(source from this)

This article is part of
the History of Indonesia series

Pre-colonial Indonesia (before 1602)
Srivijaya (3rd century–1400)
Sailendra (8th Centry-832)
Kingdom of Mataram (752-1045)
Kediri (1045–1221)
Singhasari (1222–1292)
Majapahit Empire (1293–1500)
Sultanate of Demak (1475-1518)
Mataram Sultanate (1500s to 1700s)
Dutch East Indies (1602–1945)
Anglo-Dutch Java War (1810–1811)
Padri War (1821–1837)
Java War (1825–1830)
Aceh War (1873–1904)
National Revival (1899–1942)
Japanese Occupation (1942–1945)
Independence (1945–1965)
Declaration of Independence (1945)
National Revolution (1945–1949)
Asian-African Conference (1955)
Indonesia-Malaysia Confrontation (1962–1965)
New Order (1965–1998)
Overthrow of Sukarno (1965–1966)
Act of Free Choice (1969)
Reformasi (1998–present)
Revolution of 1998 (1996–1998)
2004 Indian Ocean Earthquake (2004–present)

Indonesia is a country encompassing an archipelago of 17,508 islands (6,000 inhabited) stretching along the Equator. The area is populated by peoples of various migrations, creating a diversity of cultures, ethnicities, and languages. These diverse peoples were influenced in varying degrees by trade and contact with the civilizations of the Middle East, South Asia, and East Asia, before the Portuguese initiated a direct relation between Indonesia and Europe, and colonists from the Netherlands finally consolidated most of the archipelago into a single administrative unit, under the Dutch East India Company.

The outbreak of World War II saw Indonesia put in the middle of warfare between the Dutch and Imperial Japan. The defeat of the Dutch saw them driven out and replaced with Japanese occupation forces, but the weakening of these two world powers provided an opening for Indonesian Nationalists, led by Sukarno, and other independence movements to launch an armed conflict. After a brief time, during which the Dutch sought to re-colonize the country, the Indonesian Nationalists won recognition for the newly formed Republic of Indonesia. In doing so, it was among the first Third World nations to gain its independence after World War II.

Since gaining independence, the Republic of Indonesia has largely been ruled by a strong central government in Jakarta. After Indonesia's founding President Sukarno was weakened by prolonged warfare against Malaysia and its Commonwealth allies in the Konfrontasi, and by internal conflict between the Indonesian Army and the Communist Party of Indonesia, general Suharto took power in 1966. The period of his rule, known as the era of the New Order, would last 32 years and would make Indonesia a rapidly industrializing nation, though not without the problems of extensive corruption and popular discontent. After a wave of protests demanding democracy, Suharto stepped down, beginning the present period of Indonesian history, known as the Reformation era.


The skull of H.floresiensis.Geologically the area of modern Indonesia appeared sometime around the Pleistocene period when it was still linked with the Asian mainland. The archipelago formed during the thaw after the latest ice age. The area's first known humanlike inhabitant some 500,000 years ago was "Java Man" (first classified as Pithecanthropus erectus, then subsequently named a part of the species Homo erectus). Recent discoveries on the island of Flores were dubbed "Flores Man" (Homo floresiensis), a miniature hominoid that grew only three feet tall, although whether this is a separate species is in dispute. Nevertheless, Flores Man seems to have shared some islands with Java Man until only 10,000 years ago, when they became extinct.


Indian scholars wrote about the Dvipantara or Jawa Dwipa Hindu kingdom in Java and Sumatra around 200 BC.

The earliest archeological record from the present era is from the Ujung Kulon National Park, West Java, where an early Hindu archeological relic of a Ganesha statue from the 1st century AD was found on the summit of Mount Raksa in Panaitan Island.

There is also archeological evidence of a kingdom in Tatar Sunda / Sunda Territory (West Java) dating from the 2nd century, and according to Dr Tony Djubiantono, the head of Bandung Archeology Agency, Jiwa Temple in Batujaya, Karawang, Java was also built around this time.

Three rough plinths dating from the beginning of the fourth century are found in Kutai, East Kalimantan, near Mahakam River. The plinths bear an inscription in the Pallava script of India reading "A gift to the Brahmin priests". In addition, the "Batu Tulis" monument (a huge black boulder) near Bogor, West Java, dates from around 450. On this monument, King Purnawarna inscribed his name and made an imprint of his footprints, as well as his elephant's footprints. The accompanying inscription reads, "Here are the footprints of King Purnawarna, the heroic conqueror of the world". This inscription is in Sanskrit and is still clear after 1500 years.


By the time of the European Renaissance, the two largest islands in what is now Indonesia, Java and Sumatra had already seen over a millennium of civilization and two major empires.

Kingdom of Mataram
Mataram was an Indianized kingdom based in Central Java (the area surrounding modern-day Yogjakarta) between the 8th and 10th centuries. The centre of the kingdom was moved from Central Java to East Java by Mpu Sindok. The move may have been caused by an eruption of the volcano Mount Merapi, or a power struggle.

The first king of Mataram was Sanjaya, who drove the Sailendras from Java and left inscriptions in stone. The monumental Hindu temple of Prambanan in the vicinity of Yogyakarta was built by Daksa. Dharmawangsa ordered the translation of the Mahabharata into Old Javanese in 996.

The kingdom collapsed into chaos at the end of Dharmawangsa's reign under military pressure from Srivijaya. Airlangga, a son of Udayana of Bali and a relative of Dharmawangsa re-established the kingdom (including Bali) under the name of Kahuripan.

Srivijaya Empire

Srivijaya (-sri meaning glitters or radiant, -jaya meaning success or excellence) was an ancient Malay kingdom on the island of Sumatra which influenced much of the Malay Archipelago. Records of its beginning are scarce, and estimates are from the 200s to the 500s. It ceased to exist around the year 1400.

Around 500 the roots of Srivijaya developed around present-day Palembang, and around the year 600 Chinese records mention two kingdoms on Sumatra based at Jambi and Palembang, as well as three kingdoms on Java.

Srivijaya was centered in the coastal trading center of present day Palembang. The empire was a thalassocracy and did not extend its influence far beyond the coastal areas of the islands of Southeast Asia. Srivijaya was organised in three main zones — the estuarine capital region centred on Palembang, the Musi River basin which served as hinterland, and rival esturarine zones capable of formng rival power centres. The capital zone was administered directly by the ruler. The hinterland zone remained under its own local datus or chiefs who were organized into a network of allegiance to the maharaja. Force was the dominant element in the empire's relations with rival river systems such as the Batang Hari river basin centred on Jambi. The ruling lineage intermarried with and allied with the Sailendras of Central Java.

Although historical records and archaeological evidence are scarce, it appears that by the seventh century, Srivijaya established suzerainty over large areas of Sumatra, western Java, and much of the Malay Peninsula. Dominating the Malacca and Sunda straits, Srivijaya controlled both the Spice Route traffic and local trade, charging a toll on passing ships, and remained a formidable sea power until the thirteenth century. This spread the Malay culture throughout Sumatra, the Malay Peninsula, and western Borneo.

A stronghold of Vajrayana Buddhism, Srivijaya attracted pilgrims and scholars from other parts of Asia. These included the Chinese monk Yijing, who made several lengthy visits to Sumatra on his way to study at Nalanda in India in 671 and 695, and the eleventh-century Buddhist scholar Atisha, who played a major role in the development of Vajrayana Buddhism in Tibet. Travellers to these islands mentioned that gold coinage was in use on the coasts, but not inland.

In 1068, Rajendra Chola, the Chola king of Tamil Nadu, conquered Kedah from Srivijaya. The Cholas continued a series of raids and conquests throughout what is now Indonesia and Malaysia for the next 20 years. Although the Chola invasion was ultimately unsuccessful, it gravely weakened the Srivijayan hegemony and enabled the formation of regional kingdoms based, like Kediri, on intensive agriculture rather than coastal and long distance trade.

Srivijaya influence waned by the 11th century. The island was in frequent conflict with the Javanese kingdoms, first Singhasari and then Majapahit. Islam eventually made its way to the Aceh region of Sumatra, spreading its influence through contacts with Arabs and Indian traders. By the late 13th century, the kingdom of Pasai (in northern Sumatra) converted to Islam. At the same time Srivijaya was briefly a tributary of the Khmer empire and later the Sukhothai kingdom. The last inscription dates to 1374, in a crown prince, Ananggavarman, is mentioned.

By 1414 Parameswara, the last prince of Srivijaya converted to Islam, and founded the Sultanate of Malacca on the Malay peninsula.

Singhasari and the Majapahit Empire

Two empires would originate in Eastern Java, and would drive Srivijaya and assume its territory: the Singhasari and the Majapahit. Singhasari was a kingdom located in east Java between 1222 and 1292. The Majapahit Empire would emerge later, and ruled much of the southern Malay Peninsula, Borneo, Sumatra, and Bali from about 1293 to around 1500.

The founder of the Majapahit Empire, Kertarajasa, was the son-in-law of the ruler of the Singhasari kingdom, also based in Java. After Singhasari drove Srivijaya out of Java altogether in 1290, the rising power of Singhasari came to the attention of Kublai Khan in China and he sent emissaries demanding tribute. Kertanagara, ruler of the Singhasari kingdom, refused to pay tribute and the Khan sent a punitive expedition which arrived off the coast of Java in 1293.

By that time, a rebel from Kediri, Jayakatwang, had killed Kertanagara. The Majapahit founder allied himself with the Mongols against Jayakatwang and, once the Singhasari kingdom was destroyed, turned and forced his Mongol allies to withdraw in confusion.

Gajah Mada, an ambitious Majapahit prime minister and regent from 1331 to 1364, extended the empire's rule to the surrounding islands. A few years after Gajah Madah's death, the Majapahit navy captured Palembang, putting an end to the Srivijayan kingdom.

Although the Majapahit rulers extended their power over other islands and destroyed neighboring kingdoms, their focus seems to have been on controlling and gaining a larger share of the commercial trade that passed through the archipelago. About the time Majapahit was founded, Muslim traders and proselytizers began entering the area.

After peaking the 1300s, Majapahit power began to decline with a war over succession that started in 1401 and went on for four years. Majapahit found itself unable to control the rising power of the Sultanate of Malacca. Dates for the end of the Majapahit Empire range from 1478 to 1520. A large number of courtiers, artisans, priests, and members of the royalty moved east to the island of Bali at the end of Majapahit's existence.

Islam arrived in Indonesia sometime during the 12th century and, through assimilation, supplanted Hinduism by the end of the 16th century in Java and Sumatra. Only Bali retained a Hindu majority. In the eastern archipelago, both Christian and Islamic missionaries were active in the 16th and 17th centuries, and, currently, there are large communities of both religions on these islands. The spread of Islam was driven by increasing trade links outside of the archipelago; in general, traders and the royalty of major kingdoms were the first to adopt the new religion. Dominant kingdoms included Mataram in Central Java, and the sultanates of Ternate and Tidore in the Maluku Islands to the east.

Sultanate of Mataram

Sultanate of Mataram was the third Sultanate in Java. The first was Demak Bintoro and the second was Pajang

According to Javanese records, Kyai Gedhe Pamanahan became the ruler of the Mataram area some time within the in the 1570s with the support of the kingdom of Pajang to the east, near the current site of Surakarta (Solo). Pamanahan was often referred to as Kyai Gedhe Mataram after his ascension.

Pamanahan's son, Panembahan Senapati Ingalaga, replaced his father on the throne around 1584. Under Senapati the kingdom grew substantially through regular military campaigns against Mataram's neighbors. Shortly after his accession, for example, he conquered his father's patrons in Pajang.

The reign of Panembahan Seda ing Krapyak (c. 1601-1613), the son of Senapati, was dominated by further warfare, especially against powerful Surabaya, already a major center in East Java. The first contact between Mataram and the Dutch East India Company (VOC) occurred under Krapyak. Dutch activities at the time were limited to trading from limited coastal settlements, so their interactions with the inland Mataram kingdom were limited, although they did form an alliance against Surabaya in 1613. Krapyak died that year.

Krapyak was succeeded by his son, who is known simply as Sultan Agung ("Great Sultan") in Javanese records. Agung was responsible for the great expansion and lasting historical legacy of Mataram due to the extensive military conquests of his long reign from 1613 to 1646.

After years of war Agung finally conquered Surabaya. The city was taken not through outright military invasion, but instead because Agung surrounded it on land and sea, starving it into submission. With Surabaya brought into the empire, the Mataram kingdom encompassed all of central and eastern Java, and Madura; only in the west did Banten and the Dutch settlement in Batavia remain outside Agung's control. He tried repeatedly in the 1620s and 1630s to drive the Dutch from Batavia, but his armies had met their match, and he was forced to share control over Java.

In 1645 he began building Imogiri, his burial place, about fifteen kilometers south of Yogyakarta. Imogiri remains the resting place of most of the royalty of Yogyakarta and Surakarta to this day. Agung died in the spring of 1646, with his image of royal invincibility shattered by his losses to the Dutch, but he did leave behind an empire that covered most of Java and stretched to its neighboring islands.

Upon taking the throne, Agung's son Susuhunan Amangkurat I tried to bring long-term stability to Mataram's realm, murdering local leaders that were insufficiently deferential to him, and closing ports so he alone had control over trade with the Dutch.

By the mid-1670s dissatisfaction with the king fanned into open revolt, beginning at the margins and creeping inward. Raden Trunajaya, a prince from Madura, lead a revolt fortified by itinerant fighters from faraway Makassar that captured the king's court at Mataram in mid-1677. The king escaped to the north coast with his eldest son, the future king Amangkurat II, leaving his younger son Pangeran Puger in Mataram. Apparently more interested in profit and revenge than in running a struggling empire, the rebel Trunajaya looted the court and withdrew to his stronghold in East Java leaving Puger in control of a weak court.

Amangkurat I died just after his expulsion, making Amangkurat II king in 1677. He too was nearly helpless, though, having fled without an army or treasury to build one. In an attempt to regain his kingdom, he made substantial concessions to the Dutch, who then went to war to reinstate him. For the Dutch, a stable Mataram empire that was deeply indebted to them would help ensure continued trade on favorable terms. They were willing to lend their military might to keep the kingdom together. Dutch forces first captured Trunajaya, then forced Puger to recognize the sovereignty of his elder brother Amangkurat II.

Colonial era

Beginning in 1602 the Dutch gradually established themselves as rulers of what is now Indonesia, exploiting the fractionalization of the small kingdoms that had replaced Majapahit. The most notable exception was Portuguese Timor, which remained under Portuguese rule until 1975 when it was invaded and occupied, becoming the Indonesia province of East Timor. The Netherlands controlled Indonesia for almost 350 years, excluding a short period of British rule in part of the islands after the Anglo-Dutch Java War and the period of Japanese occupation during World War II. During their rule the Dutch developed the Dutch East Indies into one of the world's richest colonial possessions.

Dutch East-India Company

The logo of the Amsterdam Chamber of the Dutch East-India Company (VOC).In the 17th and 18th centuries the Dutch East Indies were not controlled directly by the Dutch government, but by a joint-stock trading company, the Dutch East India Company (in Dutch: Verenigde Oostindische Compagnie or VOC). The VOC had been awarded a monopoly on trade and colonial activities in the region by the Dutch parliament in 1602, but had no territory of its own in Java. In 1619, the Company conquered the Javanese city of Jayakarta, burned it to the ground and then founded the city of Batavia (present-day Jakarta), modelling it on Amsterdam.

A primary aim of the VOC was the maintenance of its monopoly of the spice trade in the archipelago. It did this through the use and threatened use of violence against the peoples of the spice-producing islands, and against non-Dutch outsiders who attempted to trade with them. For example, when the people of the Banda Islands continued to sell nutmeg to English merchants, the Dutch killed or deported virtually the entire population and repopulated the islands with VOC indentured servants and slaves who worked in the nutmeg groves.

The VOC became deeply involved in the internal politics of Java in this period, and fought in a number of wars involving the leaders of Mataram and Banten (Bantam).

Dutch state rule

After the VOC went bankrupt at the end of the 18th century and after a short British rule under Thomas Stamford Raffles, the Dutch state took over the VOC possessions in 1816. A Javanese uprising was crushed in the Java War of 1825-1830. After 1830 a system of forced cultivations was introduced on Java, the Cultivation System (in Dutch: cultuurstelsel). This system brought the Dutch and their Indonesian collaborators enormous wealth. The cultivation system was a government monopoly and was abolished in a more liberal period after 1870.

During Dutch rule, several important treaties that delinate modern Indonesian borders were signed. One of them was the Anglo-Dutch Treaty of 1824. This particular treaty effectively delineated the border of future British Malaya and Dutch East Indies.

In 1901 the Dutch adopted what they called the Ethical Policy, which included somewhat increased investment in indigenous education, and modest political reforms. Under governor-general J.B. van Heutsz the government extended more direct colonial rule throughout the Dutch East Indies, thereby laying the foundations of today's Indonesian state.

Early nationalist groups

In 1908 the first nationalist movement was formed, Budi Utomo, followed in 1912 by the first nationalist mass movement, Sarekat Islam. The Dutch responded after the First World War with repressive measures. The nationalist leaders came from a small group of young professionals and students, some of whom had been educated in the Netherlands. Many, including Indonesia's first president, Sukarno (1901-70), were imprisoned for political activities.

In 1914 exiled Dutch socialist Henk Sneevliet founded the Indies Social Democratic Association. Initially a small forum of Dutch socialists, it would later evolve into the Communist Party of Indonesia.

World War II

Sukarno, leader of the Indonesian Nationalists, and first president of IndonesiaIn May 1940, early in World War II, the Netherlands was occupied by Nazi Germany. The Dutch East Indies declared a state of siege and in July redirected exports for Japan to the US and Britain. Negotiations with the Japanese aimed at securing supplies of aviation fuel collapsed in June 1941, and the Japanese started their conquest of Southeast Asia in December of that year. That same month, factions from Sumatra sought Japanese assistance for a revolt against the Dutch wartime government. The last Dutch forces were defeated by Japan in March 1942.

Japanese occupation

During World War II, with the Netherlands under German occupation, Japan began a five-prong campaign in December 1941 towards Java and the vital fuel supplies of the Dutch East Indies.[1] In July 1942, Sukarno accepted Japan's offer to rally the public in support of the Japanese war effort. Sukarno and Mohammad Hatta were decorated by the Emperor of Japan in 1943. However, experience of the Japanese occupation of Indonesia varied considerably, depending upon where one lived and one's social position. Many who lived in areas considered important to the war effort experienced torture, sex slavery, arbitrary arrest and execution, and other war crimes. Thousands taken away from Indonesia as war labourers (romusha) suffered or died as a result of ill-treatment and stravation. People of Dutch and mixed Dutch-Indonesian descent were particular targets of the Japanese occupation.

In March 1945 Japan organized an Indonesian committee (BPUPKI) on independence. At its first meeting in May, Supomo spoke of national integration and against personal individualism; while Muhammad Yamin suggested that the new nation should claim Sarawak, Sabah, Malaya, Portuguese Timor, and all the pre-war territories of the Dutch East Indies. The committee drafted the 1945 Constitution, which remains in force, though now much amended.

On 9 August 1945 Sukarno, Hatta, and Radjiman Wediodiningrat were flown to meet Marshal Terauchi in Vietnam. They were told that Japan intended to announce Indonesian independence on 24 August. After the Japanese surrender however, Sukarno unilaterally proclaimed Indonesian independence on 17 August.

Nationalist Revolution

Indonesian National Revolution
Informed that Japan no longer had the power to such make decisions on 16 August, Sukarno read out a brief unilateral "Proklamasi" (Declaration of Independence) on the following day. Word of the proclamation spread by shortwave and flyers while the Indonesian war-time military (PETA), youths, and others rallied in support of the new republic, fotne moving to take over government offices from the Japanese.

On 29 August 1945 the group appointed Sukarno as President and Mohammad Hatta as Vice-President using the constitution drafted by the BPUPKI. The BPUPKI was renamed the KNIP (Central Indonesian National Committee) and became a temporary governing body until elections could be held. This group declared the new government on 31 August and determined that the new Republic of Indonesia would cover all the territory of the Dutch East Indies, and would consist of 8 provinces: Sumatra, Borneo, West Java, Central Java, East Java, Sulawesi, Maluku, and Sunda Kecil.

From 1945 to 1949 the Australian maritime unions in sympathy with an independence effort, enforced a total ban on all Dutch shipping throughout the long conflict, to deny Dutch authorities access to the shipping, supplies and logistical support required to re-establish colonial control. Following the defeat of Japan in the World War, the Netherlands' Army, at first backed by the British, attempted to reoccupy their former East Indies colonies.[2] Indonesia's war for independence lasted from 1945 until December 27, 1949 when, under heavy international pressure, especially from the United States, which threatened to cut off Marshall Plan funds, the Netherlands acknowledged the independence of Indonesia as a Federation of autonomous states.[3] This federation soon became a republic with Sukarno as president and Hatta as vice president. See Indonesian National Revolution. It was not until August 17, 2005 that the Dutch government recognized 1945 as the country's year of independence and expressed regrets over the Indonesian deaths caused by the Netherlands' Army.[4]

Dutch efforts to reestablish complete control met resistance. At the war's end, a power vacuum arose, and the nationalists often succeeded in seizing the arms of the demoralised Japanese. A period of unrest with city guerrilla warfare called the Bersiap period ensued. Groups of Indonesian nationalists armed with improvised weapons (like bamboo spears) but also firearms attacked returning Allied troops. 3500 Europeans were killed and 20000 were missing, meaning more European deaths in Indonesia after the war than during the war. After returning to Java, Dutch forces quickly re-occupied the colonial capital of Batavia (now Jakarta), so the city of Yogyakarta in central Java became the capital of the nationalist forces. Negotiations with the nationalists led to two major truce agreements, but disputes about their implementation, and much mutual provocation, led each time to renewed conflict. Within four years the Dutch had recaptured almost the whole of Indonesia, but guerilla resistance persisted. On 27 December 1949, after four years of sporadic warfare and fierce criticism of the Dutch by the United Nations, Queen Juliana of the Netherlands acknowledged sovereignty to a federal Indonesian Government. In 1950, Indonesia became the 60th member of the United Nations .

Independence era

Coat of Arms of the Republic of Indonesia, adopted 1950Shortly after hostilities with the Dutch ended in 1949, Indonesia adopted a new constitution providing for a parliamentary system of government in which the executive was chosen by and made responsible to parliament. Parliament was divided among many political parties before and after the country's first nationwide election in 1955, and stable governmental coalitions were difficult to achieve.

The role of Islam in Indonesia became a divisive issue. Sukarno defended a secular state based on Pancasila while some Muslim groups preferred either an Islamic state or a constitution that included preambular provision requiring adherents of Islam to be subject to Islamic law.

Unsuccessful rebellions on Sumatra, Sulawesi, West Java, and other islands beginning in 1958, plus a failure by the constituent assembly to develop a new constitution, weakened the parliamentary system. Consequently, in 1959, when President Sukarno unilaterally revived the provisional 1945 constitution, which gave broad presidential powers, he met little resistance.

Guided Democracy

From 1959 to 1965, President Sukarno imposed an authoritarian regime under the label of "Guided Democracy." He also moved Indonesia's foreign policy toward nonalignment, a foreign policy stance supported by other prominent leaders of former colonies who rejected formal alliances with either the Western or Soviet blocs. Under Sukarno's auspices, these leaders gathered in Bandung, West Java, 1955, to lay the groundwork for what became known as the Non-Aligned Movement. In the late 1950s and early 1960s, President Sukarno moved closer to Asian communist states and toward the Communist Party of Indonesia (PKI) in domestic affairs. Though the PKI represented the largest communist party outside the Soviet Union and China, its mass support base never demonstrated an ideological adherence typical of communist parties in other countries.

West Irian question

At the time of independence, the Dutch retained control over the western half of New Guinea, and permitted steps toward their own self-government and declaration of independence December 1, 1961.

After negotiations with the Dutch on the incorporation of the territory into Indonesia failed, an Indonesian paratroop invasion December 18 preceded armed clashes between Indonesian and Dutch troops in 1961 and 1962. In 1962 the United States pressured the Netherlands into secret talks with Indonesia which in August 1962 produced the New York Agreement, and Indonesia assumed administrative responsibility for West Irian on May 1, 1963.

Indonesia-Malaysia confrontation

In 1961, the island of Borneo was divided into four separate states: Kalimantan, an Indonesian province, was located in the south of the island. In the north were the sultanate of Brunei (a British protectorate) and two British colonies — Sarawak and British North Borneo (which was later renamed Sabah). As a part of its withdrawal from its Southeast Asian colonies, the UK moved to combine its colonies on Borneo with those on peninsular Malaya, to form Malaysia.

In Brunei, the Indonesian-backed North Kalimantan National Army (TKNU) revolted on December 8, 1962. They tried to capture the Sultan of Brunei, seize the oil fields and take European hostages. The Sultan escaped and asked for British help. He received British and Gurkha troops from Singapore. On December 16, British Far Eastern Command claimed that all major rebel centers had been occupied, and on April 17, 1963, the rebel commander was captured and the rebellion ended.

The Philippines and Indonesia formally agreed to accept the formation of Malaysia if a majority in the disputed region voted for it in a referendum organized by the United Nations. However, on September 16, before the results of the vote were reported, the Malaysian government announced that the federation would be created, depicting the decision as an internal matter, with no need for consultation. The Indonesian government saw this as a broken promise and as evidence of British imperialism.

On January 20, 1963, Indonesian Foreign Minister Subandrio announced that Indonesia would pursue a policy of Konfrontasi with Malaysia. On April 12, Indonesian volunteers — allegedly Indonesian Army personnel — began to infiltrate Sarawak and Sabah, to engage in raids and sabotage, and spread propaganda. On July 27, Sukarno declared that he was going to "crush Malaysia" or in Indonesian "Ganyang Malaysia".

Tensions rose on both sides of the Straits of Malacca. Two days later rioters burned the British embassy in Jakarta. Several hundred rioters sacked the Singapore embassy in Jakarta and the homes of Singaporean diplomats. In Malaysia, Indonesian agents were captured and crowds attacked the Indonesian embassy in Kuala Lumpur.

When the United Nations accepted Malaysia as a nonpermanent member, Sukarno withdrew Indonesia from the UN and attempted to form the Conference of New Emerging Forces (Conefo) as an alternative.

In mid-1965, the Indonesian government began to openly use Indonesian army forces. On June 28, they crossed the border into eastern Sebatik Island near Tawau, Sabah, and clashed with defenders. The outbreak of an all-out war would only be stopped by the outbreak of civil war in Indonesia.

Overthrow of Sukarno

By late 1965, the Indonesian Army had fragmented into Left-wing and right-wing camps. The former were allied with the Communist Party of Indonesia (PKI), which also controlled many of the mass civic and cultural organizations that Sukarno had established to mobilize support for his regime. The latter were courted from abroad by the United States, which trained a number of Army officers and which formed a number of think-tanks. After gaining Sukarno's acquiescence, the PKI began to arm groups of peasants in order to combat the growing power of right-wing military commands in the countryside. Army leaders objected to this campaign.

On September 30, 1965 six senior generals within the military and several other officers were murdered by palace guards, alleged to be loyal to the PKI. The guards claimed they were attempting to stop an attempt by the generals to assassinate President Sukarno. After panic spread throughout Indonesia about a communist coup attempt, Major General Suharto, the commander of the Army Strategic Reserve (Kostrad), organized an offensive under the justification of crushing this alleged rebellion. The army is believed killed tens of thousands of alleged communists in rural areas. The number of those murdered by 1966 was at least 500,000. The violence was especially brutal in Java and Bali.

Seeing the nationalist and pro-Communist Sukarno as a threat to their interests, the West was keen to exploit the situation to its advantage. Suharto's portrayal of events as 'communist carnage' was the official version promoted in the West. Christopher Koch's popular novel The Year of Living Dangerously later helped cement this view. Yet a large body of evidence [citation needed] has since emerged that the killings of PKI members were encouraged by the US and UK governments. According to a CIA memo, Prime Minister Harold Macmillan and President John F. Kennedy had agreed to "liquidate President Sukarno, depending on the situation and available opportunities". In 1990 the American journalist Kathy Kadane revealed the extent of the secret American support of some of the massacres of 1965-66 that allowed Suharto to seize the Presidency. She interviewed many former US officials and CIA members, who spoke of compiled lists of 5,000 PKI operatives, which the Americans ticked off as the victims were killed or captured. They worked closely with the British who were keen to protect their interests in Malaysia. Sir Andrew Gilchrist cabled the Foreign Office in London saying: "…a little shooting in Indonesia would be an essential preliminary to effective change". The PKI had won some popular support from the poor, it was this popularity, rather than any armed insurgency that alarmed the American government. [citation needed] Like Vietnam in the North, Indonesia might 'go communist'.

There are doubts the massacre was done by military alone. Although PKI had won some support from the poor, they hadn't won any support from others who were believed them to be godless. The communist, unlike Sukarno who coined Marhaenism, didn't realize most of the farmer have their own farm. Hence, when they have support from some poor peasant, they got more hatred from other peasants who was afraid their land was taken by Peasants Front of Indonesia (Barisan Tani Indonesia). Not mentioning some of them were Ulama or Kyai.

Soe Hok Gie in his writing, About the Massacre in Bali Island (Di Sekitar Peristiwa Pembunuhan Besar-Besaran di Pulau Bali), wrote about what happened in Bali. Instead of military, the massacre was done by Bali people themselves, lead by, ironically, supporters of Nasakom (Nationalist - Religion - Communist) or they who had affiliation with Communist. They lead the mass to kill anyone who had been accused as communist (not necessary to be real communist) to hide their connection with communist or to use the event to thrown their rival (either in business or in politics) away.

At the same time, there are doubts about the CIA involvement with the fall of communist in Indonesia. In his journal to America, Gie was surprised being accused as being manipulated by CIA to thrown his own anti-colonialism President Sukarno. As what he wrote in his diary and his article of student movement against Sukarno, his hatred to Sukarno and Indonesia Communist Party was purely caused by their ignorant of people and their exploitation of the mass and he has had the opinion far before September 30th 1965.

In Gie's article, The Ruler's Men or Stockholder (Kuli Penguasa atau Pemegang Saham), the military has a long history of disagreement with Sukarno. Instead of CIA's involvement, in Gie's article, the military was encouraged by the Indonesian student and intellectuals. Hence, any report about CIA's involvement in the collapse of Indonesian Communist Party might be a hoax, a propaganda spread by CIA to gain support for Vietnam War.

Throughout the 1965-66 period, President Sukarno attempted to restore his political position and shift the country back to its pre-October 1965 position. Although he remained president, in March 1966, Sukarno had to transfer key political and military powers to General Suharto, who by that time had become head of the armed forces. In March 1967, the Provisional People's Consultative Assembly (MPRS) named General Suharto acting president. Sukarno ceased to be a political force and lived under virtual house arrest until his death in 1970.

New Order era

Suharto was the military president of Indonesia from 1967 to 1998.The 1950s and 1960s saw Sukarno's government aligned first with the emerging non-aligned movement and later with the socialist bloc. The 1960s saw Indonesia in a military confrontation against neighbouring Malaysia, and increasing frustration over domestic economic difficulties.[5] Army general Suharto became president in 1967 on the pretext of securing the country against an alleged communist coup attempt against a weakening Sukarno, whose tilt leftward had alarmed both the military and Western powers. In the aftermath of Suharto's rise, hundreds of thousands of people were killed or imprisoned by the military and religious groups in a backlash against alleged communist supporters.[6] Suharto's administration is commonly called the New Order era.[7] Suharto invited major foreign investment, which produced substantial, if uneven, economic growth. However, Suharto enriched himself and his family through widespread corruption and was forced to step down amid massive popular demonstrations and a faltering economy by the Indonesian Revolution of 1998.[8] From 1998 to 2005, the country had four presidents: Bacharuddin Jusuf (BJ) Habibie (1998 to 1999), Abdurrahman Wahid (1999 to 2001), Megawati Sukarnoputri (2001 to 2004) and Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (2004 to Current).[9] On May 21, 1998, President Suharto announced his resignation and ask Indonesian Vice President DR BJ Habibie to become the new Indonesian President

Annexation of West Irian

Rejecting United Nations supervision, the Indonesian government under Suharto decided to settle the question of West Irian, the former Dutch New Guinea, in their favor. Rather than a referendum of all residents of West Irian as had been agreed under Sukarno, an "Act of Free Choice" was conducted 1969 in which 1,025 Papuan representatives of local councils were selected by the Indonesians. After training in Indonesian language they were warned to vote in favor of Indonesian integration [citation needed] with the group unanimously voting for integration with Indonesia. A subsequent UN General Assembly resolution confirmed the transfer of sovereignty to Indonesia.

West Irian was renamed Irian Jaya ('glorious Irian') in 1973. Opposition to Indonesian administration of Irian Jaya (later known as Papua) gave rise to small-scale guerrilla activity in the years following Jakarta's assumption of control.

Annexation of East Timor

History of East Timor
In 1975, the Carnation Revolution in Portugal caused authorities there to announce plans for decolonisation of Portuguese Timor, the eastern half of the island of Timor whose western half was a part of the Indonesian province of East Nusa Tenggara. In the elections held in 1975, Fretilin, a left-leaning party and UDT, aligned with the local elite, emerged as the largest parties, having previously formed an alliance to campaign for independence from Portugal. Apodeti, a party advocating integration with Indonesia, enjoyed little popular support.

Indonesia alleged that Fretilin was communist, and feared that an independent East Timor would influence separatism in the archipelago. Indonesian military intelligence influenced the break-up of the alliance between Fretilin and UDT, which led to a coup by the UDT on August 11, 1975, and a month-long civil war. During this time, the Portuguese government effectively abandoned the territory, and did not resume the decolonisation process. On November 28, Fretilin unilaterally declared independence, and proclaimed the 'Democratic Republic of East Timor'. Nine days later, on December 7, Indonesia invaded East Timor, eventually annexing the tiny country of (then) 680,000 people. Indonesia was supported materially and diplomatically by the United States, Australia and the United Kingdom who regarded Indonesia as an anti-communist ally.


Transmigration program
Under Suharto, development and modernisation of Indonesian urban centers, as well as rising living standards caused urban population density to rise dramatically, as rural peoples migrated to the cities in search of jobs. To counteract this, Suharto sanctioned transmigration programs, moving people from the islands of Java, Bali, and Madura to areas including Papua, Kalimantan, Sumatra, and Sulawesi.

At its peak between 1979 and 1984, 535,000 families, or almost 2.5 million people, moved under the transmigration program. It had had a major impact on the demographics of some areas; for example, in 1981 sixty percent of the three million people in the southern Sumatra province of Lampung were transmigrants. The World Bank, Asian Development Bank and bilateral donors funded the program with huge sums of money in the 1980s.

The stated purpose of the program was to reduce poverty and crowding on Java, provide opportunities for hard-working poor people, and to provide a workforce to better utilize the natural resources of the outer islands. The program coincided with efforts to further unify the country through the creation of a single 'Indonesian' identity to augment or replace regional identities.

Critics of these program accused the government of Indonesia of trying to use these migrants to replace native populations, and to weaken separatist movements. The program became a subject of considerable controversy and conflict, including violence between settlers and indigenous populations.

In August 2000, after the Asian financial crisis and the fall of the Suharto government, the Indonesian government officially cancelled the large-scale transmigration program, funding no longer being available to underwrite it.

Pro-democracy movement

In 1996 Suharto undertook efforts to pre-empt a challenge to the New Order government. The Indonesian Democratic Party (PDI), a legal party that had traditionally propped up the regime had changed direction, and began to assert its independence. Suharto fostered a split over the leadership of PDI, backing a co-opted faction loyal to deputy speaker of Parliament Suryadi against a faction loyal to Megawati Sukarnoputri, the daughter of Sukarno and PDI's proper chairperson.

After the Suryadi faction announced a party congress to sack Megawati would be held in Medan June 20 - 22, Megawati proclaimed that her supporters would hold demonstrations in protest. The Suryadi faction went through with its sacking of Megawati, and the demonstrations manifested themselves throughout Indonesia. This lead to several confrontations on the streets between protesters and security forces, and recriminations over the violence. The protests culminated in the military allowing Megawati's supporters to take over PDI headquarters in Jakarta, with a pledge of no further demonstrations.

Suharto allowed the occupation of PDI headquarters to go on for almost a month, as attentions were also on Jakarta due to a set of high-profile ASEAN meetings scheduled to take place there. Capitalizing on this, Megawati supporters organized "democracy forums" with several speakers at the site. On July 26, officers of the military, Suryadi, and Suharto openly aired their disgust with the forums. (Aspinall 1996)

On July 27, police, soldiers, and persons claiming to be Suryadi supporters stormed the headquarters. Several Megawati supporters were killed, and over two-hundred arrested and tried under the Anti-Subversion and Hate-spreading laws. The day would become known as "Black Saturday" and mark the beginning of a renewed crackdown by the New Order government against supporters of democracy, now called the "Reformasi" or Reformation. (Amnesty International 1996)

Economic crisis

In 1997 Asian financial crisis had dire consequences for the Indonesian economy and society, and Suharto's regime. The rupiah, the Indonesian currency, took a sharp dive in value. Suharto came under scrutiny from international lending institutions, chiefly the World Bank, International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the United States, over longtime embezzlement of funds and some protectionist policies. In December, Suharto's government signed a letter of intent to the IMF, pledging to enact austerity measures, including cuts to public services and removal of subsidies, in return for receiving the aid of the IMF and other donors.

Suharto resigned, handed over presidency to Jusuf Habibie on 21 May 1998.Beginning early 1998, the austerity measures approved by Suharto had started to erode domestic confidence in the regime. Prices for goods such as kerosene and rice, and fees for public services including education rose dramatically. The effects were exacerbated by widespread corruption.

Suharto stood for reelection by parliament for the seventh time in March 1998, justifying it on the grounds of the necessity of his leadership during the crisis. The parliament approved a new term. This sparked protests and riots throughout the country, now termed the Indonesian 1998 Revolution. Dissent within the ranks of his own Golkar party and military finally weakened Suharto, and on May 21 he stood down from power. He was replaced by his deputy Jusuf Habibie.

Reformation era

President Habibie quickly assembled a cabinet. One of its main tasks was to reestablish International Monetary Fund and donor community support for an economic stabilization program. He moved quickly to release political prisoners and lift some controls on freedom of speech and association.

Elections for the national, provincial, and sub-provincial parliaments were held on June 7, 1999. For the national parliament, Indonesian Democratic Party-Struggle (PDI-P, led by Sukarno's daughter Megawati Sukarnoputri) won 34% of the vote; Golkar (Suharto's party; formerly the only legal party of government) 22%; United Development Party (PPP, led by Hamzah Haz) 12%; and National Awakening Party (PKB, led by Abdurrahman Wahid) 10%.

East Timorese independence

On August 30, 1999, the people of East Timor voted overwhelmingly for independence in a UN-conducted popular consultation. About 99% of the eligible population participated; more than three quarters chose independence despite months of attacks by the Indonesian military and its militia. After the result was announced, the Indonesian military and its militia retaliated by murdering some 2,000 East Timorese, displacing two-thirds of the population, raping hundreds of women and girls, and destroying much of the country's infrastructure.

In October 1999, the Indonesian parliament (MPR) revoked the decree that annexed East Timor, and the United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET) assumed responsibility for governing East Timor until it officially became an independent state in May 2002.

Wahid administration

In October 1999, the People's Consultative Assembly (MPR), which consists of the 500-member Parliament plus 200 appointed members, elected Abdurrahman Wahid (commonly referred to as "Gus Dur") as President, and Megawati Sukarnoputri as Vice President, for 5-year terms. Wahid named his first Cabinet in early November 1999 and a reshuffled, second Cabinet in August 2000.

President Wahid's government continued to pursue democratization and to encourage renewed economic growth under challenging conditions. In addition to continuing economic malaise, his government faced regional, interethnic, and interreligious conflict, particularly in Aceh, Maluku Islands, and Irian Jaya. In West Timor, the problems of displaced East Timorese and violence by pro-Indonesian East Timorese militias caused considerable humanitarian and social problems. An increasingly assertive Parliament frequently challenged President Wahid's policies and prerogatives, contributing to a lively and sometimes rancorous national political debate.

Megawati administration

During the People's Consultative Assembly's first annual session in August 2000, President Wahid gave an account of his government's performance. On January 29, 2001 thousands of student protesters stormed parliament grounds and demanded that President Abdurrahman Wahid resign due to alleged involvement in corruption scandals. Under pressure from the Assembly to improve management and coordination within the government, he issued a presidential decree giving Vice President Megawati control over the day-to-day administration of government. Soon after, Megawati Sukarnoputri assumed the presidency on July 23.

Yudhoyono administration

In 2004, the largest one-day election in the world and Indonesia's first direct Presidential election was held and was won by Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, commonly referred by his initials SBY.

Natural Disasters

On 26 December 2004, early in Yudhoyono's administration, a massive earthquake and tsunami devastated parts of northern Sumatra, particularly Aceh. Partly as a result of the need for cooperation and peace during the recovery from the tsunami in Aceh, peace talks between the Indonesian government and the Free Aceh Movement (GAM) were restarted. Accords signed in Helsinki created a framework for military de-escalation in which the government has reduced its military presence, as members of GAM's armed wing decommission their weapons and apply for amnesty. The agreement also allows for Acehnese nationalist forces to form their own party, and other autonomy measures. See: Effect of the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake on Indonesia.

In March 2005, a powerful earthquake destroyed most buildings on Nias Island, west of Sumatra. Hundreds of people were killed.

On the morning of Saturday, May 27, 2006, the city of Yogyakarta was struck by a severe earthquake. More than 6,000 people are currently estimated to have died.[10].

References and further reading
Dijk, Kees van. 2001. A country in despair. Indonesia between 1997 and 2000. KITLV Press, Leiden, ISBN 90-6718-160-9
Ricklefs, M.C. 2001. A history of modern Indonesia since c.1200. Stanford: Stanford University Press. ISBN 0-8047-4480-7
Taylor, Jean Gelman. 2003. Indonesia: Peoples and histories. New Haven: Yale University Press. ISBN 0-300-09709-3
Schwarz, Adam. 1994. A Nation in Waiting: Indonesia's Search for Stability. 2nd Edition. St Leonards, NSW : Allen & Unwin.
This article contains material from the Library of Congress Country Studies, which are United States government publications in the public domain.

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