Saturday, April 17, 2010
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Indonesia, officially the Republic of Indonesia (pronounced /ˌɪndoʊˈniːziə/ or /ˌɪndəˈniːʒə/) (Indonesian: Republik Indonesia), is a country in Southeast Asia and Oceania. Indonesia comprises 17,508 islands. With a population of around 230 million people, it is the world's fourth most populous country, and has the world's largest population of Muslims. Indonesia is a republic, with an elected legislature and president. The nation's capital city is Jakarta. The country shares land borders with Papua New Guinea, East Timor, and Malaysia. Other neighboring countries include Singapore, Philippines, Australia, and the Indian territory of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Indonesia is a founding member of ASEAN and a member of G-20.
The Indonesian archipelago has been an important trade region since at least the seventh century, when Srivijaya and then later Majapahit traded with China and India. Local rulers gradually absorbed foreign cultural, religious and political models from the early centuries CE, and Hindu and Buddhist kingdoms flourished. Indonesian history has been influenced by foreign powers drawn to its natural resources. Muslim traders brought Islam, and European powers fought one another to monopolize trade in the Spice Islands of Maluku during the Age of Discovery. Following three and a half centuries of Dutch colonialism, Indonesia secured its independence after World War II. Indonesia's history has since been turbulent, with challenges posed by natural disasters, corruption, separatism, a democratization process, and periods of rapid economic change. The current nation of Indonesia is a unitary presidential republic consisting of thirty three provinces.
Across its many islands, Indonesia consists of distinct ethnic, linguistic, and religious groups. The Javanese are the largest—and the politically dominant—ethnic group. Indonesia has developed a shared identity defined by a national language, ethnic diversity, religious pluralism within a majority Muslim population, and a history of colonialism including rebellion against it. Indonesia's national motto, "Bhinneka Tunggal Ika" ("Unity in Diversity" literally, "many, yet one"), articulates the diversity that shapes the country. Despite its large population and densely populated regions, Indonesia has vast areas of wilderness that support the world's second highest level of biodiversity. The country is richly endowed with natural resources, yet poverty remains widespread in contemporary Indonesia.
The name Indonesia derives from the Latin Indus, and the Greek nesos, meaning "island". The name dates to the 18th century, far predating the formation of independent Indonesia. In 1850, George Earl, an English ethnologist, proposed the terms Indunesians — and, his preference, Malayunesians — for the inhabitants of the "Indian Archipelago or Malayan Archipelago". In the same publication, a student of Earl's, James Richardson Logan, used Indonesia as a synonym for Indian Archipelago. However, Dutch academics writing in East Indies publications were reluctant to use Indonesia. Instead, they used the terms Malay Archipelago (Maleische Archipel); the Netherlands East Indies (Nederlandsch Oost Indië), popularly Indië; the East (de Oost); and even Insulinde.
From 1900, the name Indonesia became more common in academic circles outside the Netherlands, and Indonesian nationalist groups adopted it for political expression. Adolf Bastian, of the University of Berlin, popularized the name through his book Indonesien oder die Inseln des Malayischen Archipels, 1884–1894. The first Indonesian scholar to use the name was Suwardi Suryaningrat (Ki Hajar Dewantara), when he established a press bureau in the Netherlands with the name Indonesisch Pers-bureau in 1913.
Fossilized remains of Homo erectus, popularly known as the "Java Man", suggest that the Indonesian archipelago was inhabited two million to 500,000 years ago. Austronesian people, who form the majority of the modern population, migrated to South East Asia from Taiwan. They arrived in Indonesia around 2000 BCE, and as they spread through the archipelago, confined the native Melanesian peoples to the far eastern regions. Ideal agricultural conditions, and the mastering of wet-field rice cultivation as early as the eighth century BCE, allowed villages, towns, and small kingdoms to flourish by the first century CE. Indonesia's strategic sea-lane position fostered inter-island and international trade. For example, trade links with both Indian kingdoms and China were established several centuries BCE. Trade has since fundamentally shaped Indonesian history.
From the seventh century CE, the powerful Srivijaya naval kingdom flourished as a result of trade and the influences of Hinduism and Buddhism that were imported with it. Between the eighth and 10th centuries CE, the agricultural Buddhist Sailendra and Hindu Mataram dynasties thrived and declined in inland Java, leaving grand religious monuments such as Sailendra's Borobudur and Mataram's Prambanan. The Hindu Majapahit kingdom was founded in eastern Java in the late 13th century, and under Gajah Mada, its influence stretched over much of Indonesia; this period is often referred to as a "Golden Age" in Indonesian history.
Although Muslim traders first traveled through South East Asia early in the Islamic era, the earliest evidence of Islamized populations in Indonesia dates to the 13th century in northern Sumatra. Other Indonesian areas gradually adopted Islam, and it was the dominant religion in Java and Sumatra by the end of the 16th century. For the most part, Islam overlaid and mixed with existing cultural and religious influences, which shaped the predominant form of Islam in Indonesia, particularly in Java. The first Europeans arrived in Indonesia in 1512, when Portuguese traders, led by Francisco Serrão, sought to monopolize the sources of nutmeg, cloves, and cubeb pepper in Maluku. Dutch and British traders followed. In 1602 the Dutch established the Dutch East India Company (VOC) and became the dominant European power. Following bankruptcy, the VOC was formally dissolved in 1800, and the government of the Netherlands established the Dutch East Indies as a nationalized colony.
For most of the colonial period, Dutch control over the archipelago was tenuous outside of coastal strongholds; only in the early 20th century did Dutch dominance extend to what was to become Indonesia's current boundaries. The Japanese invasion and subsequent occupation during World War II ended Dutch rule, and encouraged the previously suppressed Indonesian independence movement. Two days after the surrender of Japan in August 1945, Sukarno, an influential nationalist leader, declared independence and was appointed president. The Netherlands tried to reestablish their rule, and an armed and diplomatic struggle ended in December 1949, when in the face of international pressure, the Dutch formally recognized Indonesian independence (with the exception of The Dutch territory of West New Guinea, which was incorporated into Indonesia following the 1962 New York Agreement, and the UN-mandated Act of Free Choice of 1969).
Sukarno moved from democracy towards authoritarianism, and maintained his power base by balancing the opposing forces of the Military and the Communist Party of Indonesia (PKI). An attempted coup on 30 September 1965 was countered by the army, who led a violent anti-communist purge, during which the PKI was blamed for the coup and effectively destroyed. Between 500,000 and one million people were killed. The head of the military, General Suharto, out-maneuvered the politically weakened Sukarno, and was formally appointed president in March 1968. His New Order administration was supported by the US government, and encouraged foreign direct investment in Indonesia, which was a major factor in the subsequent three decades of substantial economic growth. However, the authoritarian "New Order" was widely accused of corruption and suppression of political opposition.
In 1997 and 1998, Indonesia was the country hardest hit by the Asian Financial Crisis. This increased popular discontent with the New Order and led to popular protests. Suharto resigned on 21 May 1998. In 1999, East Timor voted to secede from Indonesia, after a twenty-five-year military occupation that was marked by international condemnation of often brutal repression of the East Timorese. Since Suharto's resignation, a strengthening of democratic processes has included a regional autonomy program, and the first direct presidential election in 2004. Political and economic instability, social unrest, corruption, and terrorism have slowed progress. Although relations among different religious and ethnic groups are largely harmonious, acute sectarian discontent and violence remain problems in some areas. A political settlement to an armed separatist conflict in Aceh was achieved in 2005.
Government and politics
Indonesia is a republic with a presidential system. As a unitary state, power is concentrated in the central government. Following the resignation of President Suharto in 1998, Indonesian political and governmental structures have undergone major reforms. Four amendments to the 1945 Constitution of Indonesia have revamped the executive, judicial, and legislative branches. The president of Indonesia is the head of state, commander-in-chief of the Indonesian National Armed Forces, and the director of domestic governance, policy-making, and foreign affairs. The president appoints a council of ministers, who are not required to be elected members of the legislature. The 2004 presidential election was the first in which the people directly elected the president and vice president. The president may serve a maximum of two consecutive five-year terms.
The highest representative body at national level is the People's Consultative Assembly (MPR). Its main functions are supporting and amending the constitution, inaugurating the president, and formalizing broad outlines of state policy. It has the power to impeach the president. The MPR comprises two houses; the People's Representative Council (DPR), with 560 members, and the Regional Representative Council (DPD), with 132 members. The DPR passes legislation and monitors the executive branch; party-aligned members are elected for five-year terms by proportional representation. Reforms since 1998 have markedly increased the DPR's role in national governance. The DPD is a new chamber for matters of regional management.
Most civil disputes appear before a State Court; appeals are heard before the High Court. The Supreme Court is the country's highest court, and hears final cassation appeals and conducts case reviews. Other courts include the Commercial Court, which handles bankruptcy and insolvency; a State Administrative Court to hear administrative law cases against the government; a Constitutional Court to hear disputes concerning legality of law, general elections, dissolution of political parties, and the scope of authority of state institutions; and a Religious Court to deal with specific religious cases.
Foreign relations and military
In contrast to Sukarno's anti-imperialistic antipathy to western powers and tensions with Malaysia, Indonesia's foreign relations since the Suharto "New Order" have been based on economic and political cooperation with Western nations. Indonesia maintains close relationships with its neighbors in Asia, and is a founding member of ASEAN and the East Asia Summit. The nation restored relations with the People's Republic of China in 1990 following a freeze in place since anti-communist purges early in the Suharto era. Indonesia has been a member of the United Nations since 1950, and was a founder of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) and the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC). Indonesia is signatory to the ASEAN Free Trade Area agreement, the Cairns Group, and the WTO, and has historically been a member of OPEC, although it withdrew in 2008 as it was no longer a net exporter of oil. Indonesia has received humanitarian and development aid since 1966, in particular from the United States, western Europe, Australia, and Japan.
The Indonesian Government has worked with other countries to apprehend and prosecute perpetrators of major bombings linked to militant Islamism and Al-Qaeda. The deadliest killed 202 people (including 164 international tourists) in the Bali resort town of Kuta in 2002. The attacks, and subsequent travel warnings issued by other countries, severely damaged Indonesia's tourism industry and foreign investment prospects.
Indonesia's 300,000-member armed forces (TNI) include the Army (TNI–AD), Navy (TNI–AL, which includes marines), and Air Force (TNI–AU). The army has about 233,000 active-duty personnel. Defense spending in the national budget was 4% of GDP in 2006, and is controversially supplemented by revenue from military commercial interests and foundations. One of the reforms following the 1998 resignation of Suharto was the removal of formal TNI representation in parliament; nevertheless, its political influence remains extensive.
Separatist movements in the provinces of Aceh and Papua have led to armed conflict, and subsequent allegations of human rights abuses and brutality from all sides. Following a sporadic thirty-year guerrilla war between the Free Aceh Movement (GAM) and the Indonesian military, a ceasefire agreement was reached in 2005. In Papua, there has been a significant, albeit imperfect, implementation of regional autonomy laws, and a reported decline in the levels of violence and human rights abuses, since the presidency of Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.
Administratively, Indonesia consists of 33 provinces, five of which have special status. Each province has its own political legislature and governor. The provinces are subdivided into regencies (kabupaten) and cities (kota), which are further subdivided into subdistricts (kecamatan), and again into village groupings (either desa or kelurahan). Following the implementation of regional autonomy measures in 2001, the regencies and cities have become the key administrative units, responsible for providing most government services. The village administration level is the most influential on a citizen's daily life, and handles matters of a village or neighborhood through an elected lurah or kepala desa (village chief).
The provinces of Aceh, Jakarta, Yogyakarta, and West Papua have greater legislative privileges and a higher degree of autonomy from the central government than the other provinces. The Acehnese government, for example, has the right to create an independent legal system; in 2003, it instituted a form of Sharia (Islamic law). Yogyakarta was granted the status of Special Region in recognition of its pivotal role in supporting Indonesian Republicans during the Indonesian Revolution. Papua, formerly known as Irian Jaya, now West Papua, was granted special autonomy status in 2001. Jakarta is the country's special capital region.
Indonesian provinces and their capitals – listed by region
(Indonesian name in parentheses if different from English)
† indicates provinces with Special Status
New7Wonders of Nature is an initiative started in 2007 to create a list of seven natural wonders chosen by people through a global poll. It is being led by Canadian-Swiss Bernard Weber and organized by the New7Wonders Foundation, a Swiss-based, government-controlled foundation. This campaign follows the New Seven Wonders of the World, which attracted 100 million votes from around the world.
Stages of the campaign
The Official New7Wonders of Nature campaign started in 2007, immediately after the campaign to elect the man-made New Seven Wonders of the World, in which more than 100 million votes were cast. From over 440 participants representing over 220 countries and through a national qualification and race to become one of the Top 77, as well as the recommendations of the Panel of Experts lead by Prof. Federico Mayor, the list of 28 "Official Finalist Candidates" has been determined. Voting is underway and will continue throughout 2010 and into 2011. During this time, the New7Wonders World Tour is planned to visit each of the finalists to allow them to present themselves to the voters across the globe. The Official Declaration of the New7Wonders of Nature will be in 2011.
The 28 finalists
- New Seven Wonders of the World
- Wonders of the World
You can vote KOMODO NATIONAL park to be one OF NEW SEVEN WONDERS OF nature at www.new7wonders.com
New7Wonders of Nature
Indonesia’s Komodo National Park includes the three larger islands Komodo, Rinca and Padar, as well as numerous smaller ones, for a total area of 1,817 square kilometers (603 square kilometers of it land). The national park was founded in 1980 to protect the Komodo dragon. Later, it was also dedicated to protecting other species, including marine animals. The islands of the national park are of volcanic origin.
Jakarta (English pronunciation: /dʒəˈkɑrtə/; Indonesian: /dʒakarta/), officially the Special Capital Territory of Jakarta, is the capital and largest city of Indonesia. Located on the northwest coast of Java, it has an area of 661 square kilometres (255 sq mi) and a population of 8,490,000. Jakarta is the country's economic, cultural and political center. It is the most populous city in Indonesia and in Southeast Asia, and is the twelfth-largest city in the world. The metropolitan area, Jabodetabek, is the second largest in the world. Jakarta is listed as a global city in the 2008 Globalization and World Cities Study Group and Network (GaWC) research. The city's name is derived from the Sanskrit word "Jayakarta" (जयकर्ता) which translates as "victorious deed," "complete act,"or "complete victory."
Established in the fourth century, the city became an important trading port for the Kingdom of Sunda. It grew as the capital of the colonial Dutch East Indies. It was made capital of Indonesia when the country became independent after World War II. It was formerly known as Sunda Kelapa (397–1527), Jayakarta (1527–1619), Batavia (1619–1942), and Djakarta (1942–1972).
Landmarks include the National Monument and Istiqlal Mosque. The city is the seat of the ASEAN Secretariat. Jakarta is served by the Soekarno-Hatta International Airport, Halim Perdanakusuma International Airport, and Tanjung Priok harbour; it is connected by several intercity and commuter railways, and served by several bus lines running on reserved busways.
The Jakarta area was part of the fourth century Indianized kingdom of Tarumanagara. In AD 397, King Purnawarman established Sunda Pura as a new capital city for the kingdom, located at the northern coast of Java. Purnawarman left seven memorial stones across the area with inscriptions bearing his name, including the present-day Banten and West Java provinces.
After the power of Tarumanagara declined, its territories, including Sunda Pura, became part of the Kingdom of Sunda. The harbour area was renamed Sunda Kelapa as written in a Hindu monk's lontar manuscripts. By the fourteenth century, Sunda Kelapa became a major trading port for the kingdom. The first European fleet, four Portuguese ships from Malacca, arrived in 1513 when the Portuguese were looking for a route for spices, especially black pepper. The Kingdom of Sunda made a peace agreement with Portugal by allowing the Portuguese to build a port in 1522 in order to defend against the rising power of the Sultanate of Demak from central Java.
In 1527, Fatahillah, a Sumatran Malay warrior from Demak attacked Kingdom of Sunda and succeeded in conquering the harbour on June 22, 1527, after which Sunda Kelapa was renamed Jayakarta. The ports became part of the Sultanate of Banten, that was created in the aftermath of conquest of Banten and Sunda Kelapa from Sunda kingdom. The sultanate would grew into a major trading center in Southeast Asia.
Through the relationship with Prince Jayawikarta from the Sultanate of Banten, Dutch ships arrived in Jayakarta in 1596. In 1602, the British East India Company's first voyage, commanded by Sir James Lancaster, arrived in Aceh and sailed on to Banten where they were allowed to build a trading post. This site became the center of British trade in Indonesia until 1682.
Jayawikarta is thought to have made trading connections with the English merchants, rivals of the Dutch, by allowing them to build houses directly across from the Dutch buildings in 1615.
When relations between Prince Jayawikarta and the Dutch deteriorated, Jayawikarta's soldiers attacked the Dutch fortress. Prince Jayakarta's army and the British were defeated by the Dutch, in part owing to the timely arrival of Jan Pieterszoon Coen (J.P. Coen). The Dutch burned the English fort, and forced the English to retreat on their ships. The victory consolidated Dutch power and in 1619 they renamed the city "Batavia."
Commercial opportunities in the capital of the Dutch colony attracted Indonesian and especially Chinese immigrants, the increasing numbers creating burdens on the city. Tensions grew as the colonial government tried to restrict Chinese migration through deportations. On 9 October 1740, 5,000 Chinese were massacred and the following year, Chinese inhabitants were moved to Glodok outside the city walls. The city began to move further south as epidemics in 1835 and 1870 encouraged more people to move far south of the port. The Koningsplein, now Merdeka Square was completed in 1818, the housing park of Menteng was started in 1913, and Kebayoran Baru was the last Dutch-built residential area. By 1930 Batavia had more than 500,000 inhabitants, including 37,067 Europeans.
The Japanese renamed the city "Jakarta" during their World War II occupation of Indonesia.
Following World War II, Indonesian Republicans withdrew from allied-occupied Jakarta during their fight for Indonesian independence and established their capital in Yogyakarta. In 1950, once independence was secured, Jakarta was once again made the national capital. Indonesia's founding president, Sukarno, envisaged Jakarta as a great international city. He instigated large government-funded projects undertaken with openly nationalistic and modernist architecture. Projects in Jakarta included a clover-leaf highway, a major boulevard (Jalan MH Thamrin-Sudirman), monuments such as The National Monument, major hotels, shopping centre, and a new parliament building.
In October 1965, Jakarta was the site of an abortive coup attempt which saw 6 top generals killed, and ultimately resulted in the downfall of Sukarno and the start of Suharto's "New Order. A propaganda monument stands at the place where the general's bodies were dumped. In 1966, Jakarta was declared a "special capital city district" (daerah khusus ibukota), thus gaining a status approximately equivalent to that of a state or province. Lieutenant General Ali Sadikin served as Governor from the mid-60's commencement of the "New Order" through to 1977; he rehabilitated roads and bridges, encouraged the arts, built several hospitals, and a large number of new schools. He also cleared out slum dwellers for new development projects—some for the benefit of the Suharto family—and tried to eliminate rickshaws and ban street vendors. He began control of migration to the city in order to stem the overcrowding and poverty. Foreign investment contributed to a real estate boom which changed the face of the city.
The boom ended with the 1997/98 East Asian Economic crisis putting Jakarta at the center of violence, protest, and political maneuvering. Long-time president, Suharto, began to lose his grip on power. Tensions reached a peak in the Jakarta riots of May 1998, when four students were shot dead at Trisakti University by security forces; four days of riots and violence ensued that killed an estimated 1,200, and destroyed or damaged 6,000 buildings. The Jakarta riots targeted Chinese Indonesians. Suharto resigned as president, and Jakarta has remained the focal point of democratic change in Indonesia. Jemaah Islamiah-connected bombings have occurred in the city since 2000 on an almost annual basis, although the 2009 bombing of two international hotels was the first since 2005.
Kota or Kotamadya (Cities) of Jakarta
Officially, Jakarta is not a city, but a province with special status as the capital of Indonesia. It has a governor (instead of a mayor), and is divided into several sub-regions with their own administrative systems. As a province, the official name of Jakarta is Daerah Khusus Ibukota Jakarta ("Special Capital City District of Jakarta"), which in Indonesian is abbreviated to DKI Jakarta.
Jakarta is divided into five kota or kotamadya ("cities" - formerly municipalities), each headed by a mayor, and one regency (kabupaten) headed by a regent. In August 2007, Jakarta held its first ever election to choose a governor, whereas previously the city's governors were appointed by local parliament. The poll is part of a country-wide decentralization drive, allowing for direct local elections in several areas.
The Cities/Municipalities of Jakarta are:
- Central Jakarta (Jakarta Pusat) is Jakarta's smallest city and home to most of Jakarta's administrative and political center. It is characterized by large parks and Dutch colonial buildings. Landmarks include the National Monument (Monas), the Istiqlal Mosque, and museums.
- West Jakarta (Jakarta Barat) has the highest concentration of small-scale industries in Jakarta. The area includes Jakarta's Chinatown and landmarks include the Chinese Langgam building and the Toko Merah building. West Jakarta contains part of the Jakarta Old Town.
- South Jakarta (Jakarta Selatan), originally planned as a satellite city, is now the location of large upscale shopping centers and affluent residential areas. Jakarta Selatan functions as Jakarta's ground water buffer, but recently the green belt areas are threatened by new developments. Much of the CBD area of Jakarta is concentrated in Setia Budi, South Jakarta, bordering the Tanah Abang/Sudirman area of Central Jakarta.
- East Jakarta (Jakarta Timur) territory is characterized by several industrial sectors erected in this city. There is also still some area of swamps and rice fields in this city
- North Jakarta (Jakarta Utara) is the only city in Jakarta that is bounded by the sea (Java Sea). It is the location of the Tanjung Priok Port. Big-scale and medium-scale industries are concentrated in North Jakarta. North Jakarta contains the location of Jakarta Old Town, formerly known as Batavia since the 17th century, and was a center of VOC trade activity in Dutch East Indies. Also located in North Jakarta is Ancol Dreamland (Taman Impian Jaya Ancol), currently the largest integrated tourism area in South East Asia.
The only Regency (Kabupaten) of Jakarta is:
- Thousand Islands (Kepulauan Seribu), formerly a subdistrict of North Jakarta, is a collection of 105 small islands located on Java Sea. It has a high conservation value because of its unique and special ecosystems. Marine tourism, such as diving, water bicycle, and wind surfing, is the most important touristic activity in this territory. The main transportation between these islands are speed boat or small ferries.