History and Background
Sukarno, Indonesia's founding president
Indonesia did not exist as yet during
the Palaeocene period (70 million years BC), the Eocene period (30
million years BC), the Oligacene period (25 million years BC) and
the Miocene period (12 million years BC). It is believed that
Indonesia must have existed during the Pleistocene period (4 million
years BC) when it was linked with the present Asian mainland. It was
during this period that the Homonids made their first appearance and
Java Man inhabited the part of the world now called Indonesia. Java
Man, named Pithecanthropus Erectus by Eugence Dubois who found the
fossils on the island of Java, must have been the first inhabitant
When the sea level rose as the result
of melting ice north of Europe and the American continent, many
islands emerged, including the Indonesian archipelago. It was also
during this period (3000-500 BC) that Indonesia was inhabited by
Sub-Mongoloid migrants from Asia who later inter-married with the
indigenous people. Later still (1000 BC) inter-marriage occurred
with Indo-Arian migrants from the south-Asian sub-continent of
The first Indian migrants came
primarily from Gujarat in Southeast India during the first Christian
The Caka period in Indonesia
witnessed the introduction of the Sanskrit language and the Pallawa
script by the Indian Prince Aji Caka (78 AD). The Devanagari script
of the Sanskrit language was also used, as shown in ancient stone
and copper inscriptions (paracasthies) which have been unearthed.
The language and script were adapted and called the Kawi language
and included words and phrases derived from Javanese.
Early trade relations were
established between South India and Indonesia. Sumatra was then
named Swarna Dwipa of "the island of gold," Java was
called Java Dwipa or "the rice island," and a Hindu
kingdom of Crivijaya in Sumatra and Nalanda in South India were not
confined to religious and cultural exchanges. They later developed
diplomatic relations, and even covered a wide range of trade.
The influx of Indian settlers
continued during the period from the first to the seventh century
AD. Peacefully and gradually the Hindu religion spread throughout
the archipelago. It was adopted by all layers of the people of Java,
but limited to the upper classes on the other islands.
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OF HINDU KINGDOMS
Many well-organized kingdoms with a
high degree of civilization were ruled by indigenous kings who had
adopted the Hindu or Buddhist religion. This explains why this
period in history is called the Period of Hindu Kingdoms. It lasted
from ancient times to the 16th Century AD. Because the culture and
civilization, which emanated from the Hindu and Buddhist religions,
were syncretized with the local cultural elements, the period was
also referred to as the Hindu-Indonesian period.
Indian culture and customs were
introduced, such as the system of government in a monarchy, the
ancestry system, the organization of military troops, literature,
music and dances, architecture, religious practices and rituals, and
even the division of laborers into castes or varnas. The Hindu
literary works known as Vedas and the "Mahabharata" and
"Ramayana" epics were also introduced through the wayang,
or shadow-play performance, which is still very popular in many
parts of present day Indonesia.
The first Indian Buddhists arrived in
Indonesia between the 1st and 2nd Centuries AD. They brought with
them Buddhism in its two sects, Hinayana and Mahayana. The latter
became more advanced in the 8th Century AD.
In 144 AD a Chinese Buddhist saint,
Fa Hsien, was caught in a storm and landed in Java-Dwipa, or Java
Island, where he stayed for five months. The northern part of the
island was then ruled by an Indonesian Hindu King named Kudungga.
Kutai, on the island of Borneo, was successively ruled by the Hindu
kings Devawarman, Aswawarman and Mulawarman.
When the Greek explorer and
geographer, Ptolemy of Alexandria, wrote on Indonesia, he named
either the island of Java or Sumatra "abadiou". His
chronicles described Java as a country with a good system of
government and advanced agriculture, navigation and astronomy. There
was even mention of the "batik" printing process of cloth
that the people already knew. They also made metalware, used the
metric system and printed coins.
Chinese chronicles of 132 AD
described the existence of diplomatic relations between Java-Dwipa
and China. Around 502 AD Chinese annals mentioned the existence of
the Buddhist Kingdom, Kanto Lim in South Sumatra, presumably in the
neighborhood of present-day Palembang. It was ruled by king Gautama
Subhadra, and later by his son Pyrawarman of Vinyawarman who
established diplomatic relations with China. Because of a spelling
or pronunciation difficulty, what the Chinese called "Kanto
Li" was probably Crivijaya, a mighty Buddhist kingdom. On his
way to India, the Chinese Buddhist pilgrim, I Tsing, visited
Crivijaya in 671 AD to study the Sanskrit language. He returned 18
years later, in 689 AD Crivijaya was then the center of Buddhist
learning and had many well-known philosophy scholars like Sakyakirti,
Dharmapala and Vajabudhi.
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The kingdom had diplomatic relations
with the south Indian kingdom of Nalanda. The Crivijaya mission
built a school on its premises where Indians could learn the art of
molding bronze statues and broaden their knowledge of the Buddhist
philosophy. With the spread of Buddhism, Crivijaya's influence
reached out to many other parts of the archipelago.
Another known Buddhist kingdom was
Cailendra in Central Java. It was ruled by the kings of Cailendra
Dynasty. During their rule (750-850 AD) the famous Buddhist temple,
Borobudur, was built. In 772 AD other Buddhist temple were also
built. They include the Mendut, Kalasan and Pawon temples. All of
these temples are now preserved as tourist objects near the city of
Yogyakarta. The Cailendra kingdom was also known for its commercial
and naval power, and its flourishing arts and culture. A guide to
learn singing, known as the Chandra Cha-ana, was first written in
The Prambanan temple, which was
dedicated to Lord Civa, was started in 856 AD and completed in 900
AD by King Daksa. Earlier Civa temples were built in 675 AD on the
Dieng mountain range, southwest of Medang Kamolan, the capital of
the Mataram Kingdom.
In West Java were the kingdoms of Galuh, Kanoman, Kuningan and
Pajajaran. The latter was founded by
King Purana with Pakuan as its capital. It replaced the kingdom of
Galuh. The kingdoms of Taruma Negara, Kawali and Parahyangan Sunda
At the end of the 10th Century
(911-1007 AD) the powerful kingdom of Singasari emerged in East Java
under King Dharmawangsa. He codified laws and translated into
Javanese the "Mahabharata" epic and its basic philosophy,
as exposed in the Bhisma Parva scripture. He also ordered the 12
translations of the Hindu holy book, the Bhagavat Gita.
Meanwhile, the island of Bali was
also ruled by King Airlangga, known as a wise and strong ruler. He
had water-works built along the Brantas River that are still in use
today. Before his death in 971 AD he divided his kingdom into the
kingdoms of Janggala and Daha or Kediri. These were to be ruled by
his two sons.
King Jayabaya of Kediri 1135-1157
wrote a book in which he foretold the downfall of Indonesia.
Subsequently, so he wrote, the country would be ruled by a white
race, to be followed by a yellow race. His prediction turned out to
be Dutch colonial rule and the Japanese occupation of the country
during World War. However, Jayabaya also predicted that Indonesia
would ultimately regain her independence. During the golden period
of the Kediri Kingdom many other literary works were produced,
including the Javanese version of the Mahabharata by Mpu (saint)
Sedah and his brother Mpu Panuluh. This work was published in 1157.
The kingdoms of East Java were later
succeeded by the Majapahit Kingdom, first ruled by Prince Wijaya who
was also known as King Kartarajasa.
Under King Hayam Wuruk the Majapahit
Empire became the most powerful kingdom in the history of Indonesia.
It had dependencies in territories beyond the borders of the present
archipelago, such as Champa in North Vietnam, Kampuchea and the
Philippines (1331-1364). King Hayam Wuruk, with his able premier
Gajah Mada, succeeded in gradually uniting the whole archipelago
under the name of Dwipantara.
During this golden period of
Majapahit many literary works were produced. Among them was "Negara
Kertagama," by the famous author Prapancha (1335-1380). Parts
of the book described the diplomatic and economic ties between
Majapahit and numerous Southeast Asian countries including Myanmar,
Thailand, Tonkin, Annam, Kampuchea and even India and China. Other
works in Kawi, the old Javanese language, were "Pararaton,"
"Arjuna Wiwaha," "Ramayana," and "Sarasa
Muschaya." These works were later translated into modern
European languages for educational purposes.
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OF ISLAMIC KINGDOMS
Moslem merchants from Gujarat and
Persia began visiting Indonesia in the 13th Century and established
trade links between this country and India and Persia. Along with
trade, they propagated Islam among the Indonesian people,
particularly along the coastal areas of Java, like Demak. At a later
stage they even influenced and converted Hindu kings to Islam, the
first being the Sultan of Demak. This Moslem Sultan later spread
Islam westwards to Cirebon and Banten, and eastward along the
northern coast of Java to the kingdom of Gresik. In the end, he
brought the downfall of the powerful kingdom of Majapahit
After the fall of Majapahit, Islam
spread further east to where the sultanates of Bone and Goa in
Sulawesi were established. Also under the influence of Islam, were
the sultanates of Ternate and Tidore in Maluku.
North of Java, the religion spread to
Banjarmasin in Borneo and further west to Sumatra, where Palembang,
Minangkabau (West Sumatra), Pasai and Perlak were converted.
Meanwhile, descendants of the
Majapahit aristocracy, religious scholars and Hindu Ksatriyas
retreated through the East Java peninsula of Blambangan to the
island of Bali and Lombok. In a later period, however, the eastern
part of Lombok was converted to Islam, which entered the island from
the southern Sulawesi city of Makassar, now named Ujungpandang.
The capital of the West Java Kingdom
of Pajajaran was Sunda Kelapa (1300 AD). It was located in the
present capital city of Indonesia, Jakarta. In 1527 Sunda Kelapa was
conquered by Falatehan, an Islamic troop commander of the sultanate
of Demak. After his conquest the city was renamed Jaya Karta,
meaning "the great city," this was the origin of the
present name, Jakarta. Falatehan also defeated the Portuguese, who
had also tried to seize the city.
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PORTUGUESE IN INDONESIA
In their search for spices, the
Portuguese arrived in Indonesia in 1511, after their conquest of the
Islamic kingdom of Malacca on the Malay Peninsula. They were
followed by the Spaniards. Both began to propagate Christianity and
were most successful in Minahasa and Maluku, also known as the
The Sultan of Aceh in Sumatra, the
Sultan of Demak in Java and the Sultan of Ternate in the Maluku
islands joined forces in trying to ward off the Portuguese. At that
time the power and sovereignty of Ternate sultanate was recognized
by more than 72 islands, including the island of Timor. In 1570, the
Portuguese succeeded in killing the Sultan of Ternate, Khairun.
However, his successor, Sultan Baabullah, besieged the Portuguese
fortress at Ternate. Baabullah then allied himself with the Dutch to
further confront the Portuguese and Spaniards.
In 1651 the Dutch invaded Kupang in
Western Timor. Despite the Dutch presence in Timor, the formal and
precise definition of the territories controlled by the two colonial
powers did not take place until more than 200 years after the Dutch
conquest of Kupang. It was only on 20 April 1859, the Dutch
concluded a treaty with Portugal to divide Timor into their
respective control : The Dutch occupied the Western part and
Portugal the eastern part of the island. From that time Portugal
could secure a full control over East Timor until it left the region
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BEGINNING OF DUTCH COLONIALISM
Meanwhile, the Dutch had started
their quest for Indonesian spices to sell on the European market at
big profit. For the purpose of more efficient and better organized
merchant trade they established the Dutch East India Company (VOC)
in 1602. To protect the merchant fleet from frequent pirate attacks
on the high seas, Dutch warships were ordered to accompany it.
After the nationalization of the VOC
in 1799, the Dutch Government had a firm grip on the vital
territories of the country. People in those territories were forced
to surrender their agricultural produce to the Dutch merchants. It
was the beginning of Dutch colonialism in Indonesia. Sunda Kelapa
was renamed Batavia.
Meanwhile, the Hindu Kingdom of
Mataram converted to Islam and was ruled by the Muslim, Sultan Agung
Hanyokrokusumo. He developed the political power of the state and
was a keen patron of the arts and culture. In 1633 he introduced the
Islamic Javanese calendar.
Sultan Agung was a fierce enemy of
the Dutch. In 1629 he sent his troops to attack Batavia, but they
were repulsed by the troops of Governor General Jan Pieterszoon Coen.
After the seizure of Ambon in the
Moluccas in 1605 and Banda Island in 1623, the Dutch secured the
trade monopoly of the spice islands. A policy of ruthless
exploitation by "divide and rule" tactics was carried out.
In this way indigenous inter-island trade, like that between
Makassar, Aceh, Mataram and Banten, as well as overseas trade, was
gradually paralyzed. Indonesia was reduced to an agricultural
country to supply European markets. At the same time, the Dutch
adopted a so-called open-door policy toward the Chinese in order
that they could serve as middlemen in their trade with Indonesia.
Sultan Hasanuddin of Goa waged a war
against the Dutch in 1666. But was defeated and Goa became a vassal
state of the VOC under the treaty of Bunggaya of 1667. Prince
Trunojoyo of Madura also fought the Dutch. He was defeated and
killed in 1680.
To reinforce their spice monopoly in
the Moluccas, the Dutch undertook their notorious Hongi expeditions,
whereby they burned down the clove gardens of the people in an
effort to eliminate overproduction, which brought down the prices of
cloves on the European markets. In these outrageous expeditions
countless atrocities were committed against people who defended
In 1740 the Dutch suppressed a
rebellion in Jakarta that was sparked by dissatisfied Chinese, who
were later joined by Indonesians. Ten thousand Chinese were
The Kingdom of Mataram began to see
its downfall after it was divided by the VOC into the Principalities
of Yogyakarta and Surakarta. However, mismanagement and corruption
forced the VOC into bankruptcy and on December 31, 1799, all its
territories in Indonesia were taken over by the Dutch Administration
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In 1814 the British came to Indonesia
and built Fort York in Bengkulu on the west coast of Sumatra. It was
later renamed Fort Marlborough.
During the Napoleonic wars in Europe
when Holland was occupied by France, Indonesia fell under the rule
of the British East India Company (1811-1816). Sir Thomas Stanford
Raffles was appointed Lieutenant Governor General of Java and
dependencies. He was subordinated to the Governor General in Bengal,
Raffles introduced partial
self-government and abolished the slave trade. In those days slaves
were captured and traded by foreigners. He also introduced the
land-tenure system, replacing the hated Dutch forced-agricultural
system, whereby crops were grown and surrendered to the Government.
Borobudur and other temples were restored and research conducted.
Raffles wrote his famous book, "The History of Java," in
which he described Java's high civilization and culture.
During the British stay in Sumatra
(1814-1825), William Marsden wrote a similar book on the history of
Sumatra, which was published in 1889.
After the fall of Napoleon, and the
end of the French occupation of Holland the British and Dutch signed
a convention in London on August 13, 1814, in which it was agreed
that Dutch colonial possessions dating from 1803 onwards should be
returned to the Dutch Administration in Batavia. Thus, the
Indonesian archipelago was recovered from the British in 1815.
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RETURN OF DUTCH RULE
Soon the Dutch intensified their
colonial rule. But this only sparked widespread revolts to seize
freedom. These revolts, however, were suppressed one after the
To mention only a few: Thomas Matulessy, alias
Pattimura, staged a revolt against the Dutch in the
Moluccas (1816-1818). Prince Diponegoro of Mataram led the Java War
from 1825 until 1830. Again, it was a fierce struggle for freedom.
Tuanku Imam Bonjol led the Padri War in West Sumatra, while Teuku
Umar headed the Aceh War in North Sumatra (1873-1903). King
Sisingamangaraja of the Bataks revolved against the Dutch in 1907.
An attempt by the Dutch troops to occupy Bali in 1908 was repelled
by King Udayana. Revolts were also erupting in Goa, South Sulawesi,
and in South Kalimantan.
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When all these regional wars of
independence failed, Indonesian nationalists began thinking of a
more-organized struggle against Dutch colonialism. The move began
with the founding of Boedi Oetomo, literally meaning "noble
conduct," on May 20, 1908. This organization of Indonesian
intellectuals was initially set up for educational purposes but
later turned into politics. It was inspired by Japan's victory over
Russia in 1901, which also gave impetus to nationalist movements in
many parts of Indonesia. The founder of Boedi Oetomo was Dr. Soetomo
who was, at the time, a student of STOVIA, an institution to train
Indonesian medi-cal officers. Dr. Soetomo was greatly influenced by
Dr. Wahidin Soedirohoesodo and sup-ported by Gunawan and Suradji.
In 1912 Sarekat Dagang Islam, the
Association of Moslem Merchants, was formed by Haji Samanhudi and
others. Its objective was at first to stimulate and promote the
interest of Indonesian business in the Dutch East Indies. However,
in 1912 this organization of middle class businessmen turned into a
political party and was renamed Sarekat Islam under the leadership
of H.O.S. Tjokroaminoto, Haji Agoes Salim and others.
In 1912 a progressive Moslem
organization, Muhammadiyah, was established by K.H. Akhmad Dahlan in
Yogyakarta for the purpose of social and economic reforms.
In December of the same year Partai
Indonesia was founded by Douwes Dekker, later named Setiabudi, with
Dr. Tjipto Mangunkusumo and Ki Hajar Dewantoro. The objective of the
party was to strive for complete independence of Indonesia. All
three leaders of the party were exiled by the colonial government in
In 1914 communism was introduced in
the East Indies by three Dutch nationals-Sneevliet, Baars and
In May 1920 Sarikat Islam split into
a right and a left wing, the latter was to become the Partai Komunis
Indonesia (PKI, the Indonesian Communist Party) under the leadership
of Semaun, Darsono, Alimin, Muso and others.
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Powerless People's Council or Volksraad
In 1916 Sarikat Islam held its first
convention in Bandung and resolved the demand for self-government
for Indonesia in cooperation with the Dutch. When Sarikat Islam
demanded a share in the legislative power in the colony, the Dutch
responded by setting up the Volksraad in 1918 which was virtually a
powerless people's council with an advisory status.
Indonesian representatives on the
council were indirectly elected through regional councils, but some
of the other members were appointed colonial officials.
The Volksraad later developed into a
semi-legislative assembly. Among the members of this body were
prominent nationalist leaders like Dr. Tjipto Mangunkusumo, H.O.S.
Tjokroaminoto, Abdul Muis, Dr. G.S.S.J. Ratulangi, M.H. Thamrin,
Wiwoho, Sutardjo Kartohadikusumo, Dr. Radjiman, and Soekardjo
Under the pressure of the social
unrest in the Netherlands at the end of World War I, the Dutch
promised to grant self-government to Indonesians. This was known as
the "November promise." It was a promise that was never
Besides the Volksraad, there was
another body called Raad van Indie, "the Council of the
Indies," whose the members were appointed by the Government
Achmad Djajadiningrat and Sujono were among the very few Indonesian
members of this council.
In 1923 deteriorating economic
conditions and increasing labor strikes prompted the colonial
government to put severe restrictions on Indonesian civil liberties
and make amendments to the colonial laws and penal codes. Freedom of
assembly, speech and expression in writing was restricted.
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Growth of Indonesian Organizations
Despite the political restrictions,
on July 3, 1922 Ki Hajar Dewantoro founded Taman Siswa, an
organization to promote national education.
In 1924 the Indonesian Students
Association, "Perhimpunan Mahasiswa Indonesia," was formed
by Drs. Mohammad Hatta, Dr. Sukiman and others. This organization
became a driving force of the nationalist movement to gain
The Indonesian Communist Party (PKI)
staged revolts against the colonial government in November 1926 in
West Java, and in January 1927 in West Sumatra. After their
suppression the Government exiled many non-communist nationalist
leaders to Tanah Merah, which the Dutch called "Boven Digul"
in Irian Jaya. Dr. Tjipto Mangunkusumo was exiled to Bandaneira.
In February 1927 Mohammad Hatta,
Achmad Soebardjo and other members of Indonesia's Movements attended
the first international convention of the "League Against
Imperialism and Colonial Oppression" in Brussels, together with
Jawaharlal Nehru and many other prominent nationalist leaders from
Asia and Africa.
In July 1927, Soekarno, Sartono and
others formed the Indonesian Nationalist Party (PNI), which adopted
Bahasa Indonesia as the official language. This party adopted a
militant policy of non-cooperation with the Government as the result
of a fundamental conflict of interest between Indonesian nationalism
and Dutch colonialism.
In the same year, an all-Indonesia
nationalist movement was organized by Indonesian youth to replace
earlier organizations, which had been based on regionalism, such as
"Young Java," "Young Sumatra" and "Young
On October 28, 1929, delegates to the
second Indonesian Youth Congress in Jakarta pledged allegiance to
"one country, one nation and one language, Indonesia."
Concerned about the growing national
awareness of freedom, the colonial authorities arrested the PNI
leader, Soekarno, in December 1929. This touched off widespread
protests by Indonesians.
In 1930 the world was in the grip of
an economic and monetary crisis. The severe impact of the crisis was
felt in the Indies, a raw material producing country. The colonial
government responded with a strict balanced budget policy that
aggravated economic and social conditions.
Two other leaders of the PNI, Gatot
Mangkupradja and Maskun Supriadinata, were arrested and tried in
court on charges of plotting against the Government. Soekarno was
released in September 1931 but exiled again in August 1933. He
remained in Dutch custody until the Japanese invasion in 1942.
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In January 1931, Dr. Soetomo founded
Persatuan Bangsa Indonesia, the Indonesian Unity Party. Its
objective was to improve the social status of the Indonesian people.
In April of the same year, PNI was
abandoned. A new party was formed by Sartono, LLM and named Partai
Indonesia, the Indonesian Party. Its basis was nationalism, its line
Also in 1931, Sutan Syahrir formed
Pendidikan Nasional Indonesia. Known as the new PNI, it envisaged
national education. Mohammad Hatta joined this organization.
In 1933 a mutiny broke out on the
Dutch warship "De Zeven Provincien" for which Indonesian
nationalists were held responsible. The following year Sutan Syahrir
and Mohammad Hatta and other nationalist leaders were arrested and
banished until 1942.
In 1935, Soetomo merged Persatuan
Bangsa Indonesia and Boedi Oetomo to form Partai Indonesia Raya (Parindra).
Its fundamental goal was the independence of Great Indonesia.
In July 1936, Sutardjo submitted to
the "Volksraad" a petition calling for greater autonomy
for Indonesia. This petition was flatly rejected by the
In 1937 Dr. A.K. Gani started the
Indonesian People's Movement, Gerakan Rakyat Indonesia, which was
based on the principles of nationalism, social independence and
In 1939 the All Indonesian Political
Federation, GAPI, called for the establishment of a full-fledged
Indonesian parliament. This demand was rejected by the Government in
Holland in 1940.
GAPI also demanded an Indonesian
military service for the purpose of defending the country in times
of war. Again, this was turned down, notwithstanding the impending
outbreak of World War II. At the time, there were widespread
movements for fundamental and progressive reforms in the colonies
and dependencies in Asia.
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After their attack on Pearl Harbor in
Hawaii, the Japanese forces moved southwards to conquer several
Southeast Asian countries. After Singapore had fallen, they invaded
the Dutch East Indies and the colonial army surrendered in March
Soekarno and Hatta were released from
their detention. The Japanese began their propaganda campaign for
what they called "Great East Asia Co-prosperity". But
Indonesians soon realized that it was a camouflage for Japanese
imperialism in place of Dutch colonialism.
To further the cause of Indonesia's
independence, Soekarno and Hatta appeared to cooperate with the
Japanese authorities. In reality, however, Indonesian nationalist
leaders went underground and masterminded insurrections in Blitar
(East Java), Tasikmalaya and Indramayu (West Java), and in Sumatra
Under the pressure of the 4th Pacific
war, where their supply lines were interrupted, and the increasing
of Indonesian insurrections, the Japanese ultimately gave in to
allow the red-and-white flag to fly as the Indonesian national flag.
Recognition of "Indonesia Raya" as the national anthem and
Bahasa Indonesia as the national language followed. Hence, the
youth's pledge of 1928 was fulfilled.
After persistent demands, the
Japanese finally agreed to place the civil administration of the
country into Indonesian hands. This was a golden opportunity for
nationalist leaders to prepare for the proclamation of Indonesia's
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THE BIRTH OF
The Republic of Indonesia first saw
light on August 17, 1945, when its independence was proclaimed just
days after the Japanese surrender to the Allies. Pancasila became
the ideological and philosophical basis of the Republic, and on
August 18, 1945 the Constitution was adopted as the basic law of the
Following the provisions of the
Constitution, the country is headed by a President who is also the
Chief Executive. He is assisted by a Vice-President and a cabinet of
The sovereignty of the people rests
with the People's Consultative Assembly (MPR). Hence, the President
is accountable to the MPR. The legislative power is vested in the
House of Representatives (DPR). Other institutions of the state are
the Supreme Court, the Supreme Advisory Council and the Supreme
Soekarno became the first President
and Chief Executive, and Mohammad Hatta, the first Vice-President of
the Republic. On September 5, 1945 the first cabinet was formed.
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The War of
The infant republic was soon faced
with military threats to its very existence. British troops landed
in Indonesia as a contingent of the Allied Forces to disarm the
Japanese. Dutch troops also seized this opportunity to land in the
country, but for a different purpose, - namely, to regain control of
the former East Indies. At the beginning they were assisted by
British troops under General Christison, a fact later admitted by
Lord Louis Mountbatten, the Commander of the Allied Forces in
Southeast Asia based in Myanmar. In fact, the British troops were
officially only assigned to the task of repatriating Allied
prisoners of war and internees.
On November 10, 1945, fierce fighting
broke out between British troops and Indonesian freedom fighters in
which the British lost Brigadier Mallaby. As a result, the British
turned to an all-out combat from the sea, air and land. The
newly-recruited army of the Republic soon realized the superiority
of the British forces and withdrew from urban battles. They
subsequently formed guerrilla units and fought together with armed
groups of the people.
Under the pretext of representing the
Allied Forces, the Dutch sent in more troops to attack Indonesian
strongholds. Between 1945 and 1949 they undertook two military
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Meanwhile, on November 11, 1945,
Vice-President Hatta issued a manifesto that outlined the basic
policy of the new Republic. It was a policy of good neighborhood and
peace 22 with the rest of the world.
On November 14 of the same year, the
newly-appointed Prime Minister, Sutan Syahrir, introduced a
parliamentary system, with party representation, in the Republic.
On December 22, Sutan Syahrir
announced Indonesia's acceptance of the British proposal to disarm
and confine to internment camps 25,000 Japanese troops throughout
the country. This task was successfully carried out by TNI, the
Indonesian National Army. Repatriation of the Japanese troops began
on April 28, 1946.
Because fighting with the Dutch
troops continued, the seat of the Republican Government was moved
from Jakarta to Yogyakarta on January 4, 1946.
Indonesian Question in the United Nations
The war in Indonesia posed a threat
to international peace and security. In the spirit of article 24 of
the United Nations' Charter, the question of Indonesia was
officially brought before the Security Council by Jacob Malik of the
Soviet Unions. Soon afterwards, on February 10, 1946, the first
official meeting of Indonesian and Dutch representatives took place
under the chairmanship of Sir Archibald Clark Kerr.
But the freedom fight continued and
Dutch military aggressions met with stiff resistance from Indonesian
troops. The Indonesian Government conducted a diplomatic offensive
against the Dutch.
With the good offices of Lord
Killearn of Great Britain, Indonesian and Dutch representatives met
at Linggarjati in West Java. The negotiations resulted in the de
facto recognition by the Dutch of Indonesia's sovereignty over Java,
Sumatra and Madura. The Linggarjati Agreement was initiated on
November 1946 and signed on March 25, 1947.
But the agreement was a violation of
Indonesia's independence proclamation of August 17, 1945, which
implied sovereignty over the whole territory of the Republic. As
such, it met with the widespread disapproval of the people. Hence,
guerrilla fighting continued, bringing heavy pressure on Dutch
In July 1947 the Dutch launched a
military offensive to reinforce their urban bases and to intensify
their attacks on guerrilla strongholds. The offensive was, however,
put to end by the signing of the Renville Agreement on January 17,
1948. The negotiation was initiated by India and Australia and took
place under the auspices of the UN Security Council.
It was during these critical moments
that the Indonesian Communist Party (PKI) stabbed the newly-
proclaimed Republic of Indonesia in the back by declaring the
formation of the "Indonesian People's Republic" in Madiun,
East Java. Muso led an attempt to overthrow the Government, but this
was quickly stamped out and he was killed.
In violation of the Renville
agreement, on December 19, 1948, the Dutch launched their second
military aggression. They invaded the Republic capital of Yogyakarta,
arrested President Soekarno, Vice-President Mohammad Hatta and other
leaders, and detained them on the island of Bangka, off the east
coast of Sumatra. A caretaker Government, with headquarters in
Bukittinggi, West Sumatra, was set up under Syafruddin Prawiranegara.
On the initiative of Pandit
Jawaharlal Nehru of India, a meeting of 19 nations was convened in
New Delhi that produced a resolution for submission to the United
Nations, pressing for total Dutch surrender of sovereignty to the
Republic of Indonesia by January 1, 1950. It also pressed for the
release of all Indonesian detainees and the return of territories
seized during the military actions. On January 28, 1949, the UN
Security Council adopted a resolution to establish a cease-fire, the
release of Republican leaders and their Yogyakarta.
The Dutch, however, were adamant and
continued to occupy the city of Yogyakarta by ignoring of the
Republican Government and the National Army. They deliberately
issued a false statement to the world that the Government and the
army of the Republic of Indonesia no longer existed.
To prove that the Dutch claim was a
mere fabrication, Lieutenant Colonel Soeharto led an all-out attack
on the Dutch troops in Yogyakarta on March 1, 1949, and occupied the
city for several hours. This offensive is recorded in Indonesia's
history as "the first of March all-out attack" to show to
the world at the time that the Republic and its military were not
Consequently, on May 7, 1949, an
agreement was signed by Mohammad Roem of Indonesia and Van Rooyen of
the Netherlands, to end hostilities, restore the Republican
Government in Yogyakarta, and to hold further negotiations at a
round table conference under the auspices of the United Nations.
Recognition and Indonesia's Sovereignty
The Round Table conference was opened
in the Hague on August 23, 1949, under the auspices of the UN. It
was concluded on November 2 with an agreement that Holland was to
recognize the sovereignty of the Republic of Indonesia.
On December 27, 1949 the Dutch East
Indies ceased to exist. It now became the sovereign Federal Republic
of Indonesia with a federal constitution. The constitution, inter
alia, provided for a parliamentary system in which the cabinet was
responsible to Parliament. The question of sovereignty over Irian
Jaya, formerly West New Guinea, was suspended for further
negotiations between Indonesia and the Netherlands. This issue
remained a perpetual source of conflict between the two countries
for more than 13 years. On September 28, 1950, Indonesia became a
member of the United Nations.
State of the Republic of Indonesia
On August 17, 1950 the Unitary State
of the Republic on Indonesia, as originally proclaimed, was
restored. However, the liberal democratic system of government was
retained whereby the cabinet would be accountable to the House of
Representatives. This was a source of political instability with
frequent changes in government. In the absence of a stable
government, it was utterly impossible for a newly-independent state
to embark on any development program.
With the return of the unitary state,
the President once again assumed the duties of Chief Executive and
the Mandatary of the Provisional People's Consultative Assembly. He
is assisted by a Vice-President and a cabinet of his own choosing.
The Executive is not responsible to the House of Representatives.
to the Unitary State
The philosophy behind the Unitary
State was that a pluralistic country like Indonesia could only be
independent and strong if it was firmly united and integrated. This
was obviously the answer to the Dutch colonial practice of divide
and rule. Hence, the national motto was "Bhinneka Tunggal Ika"
as referred to earlier.
However, no sooner was the Unitary
State re-established then it had to face numerous armed rebellions.
The Darul Islam rebels under Kartosuwiryo terrorized the countryside
of West Java in their move to establish an Islamic State. It took
years to stamp them out. Then there was the terrorist APRA band of
former Dutch army captain Turco Westerling, which claimed the lives
of thousands of innocent people.
Outside Java, demobilized ex-colonial
arm men who remained loyal to the Dutch crown, staged a revolt and
proclaimed what they called "the Republic of South Maluku".
In South Sulawesi an ex-colonial army
officer, Andi Aziz, also rebelled. In Kalimantan Ibnu Hadjar led
another armed revolt. Sumatra could also account for a number of
separatist movements. And, to complete the list, the Indonesian
Communist Party again staged an abortive coup under the name of 30th
September movement, when they kidnaped and killed six of the
country's top army generals in the early hours of October 1, 1965.
President Soekarno had to his credit
the holding of the Asian-African Conference in Bandung, West Java,
from April 18 to 24, 1955. The initiative was taken by Indonesia,
India, Pakistan, Myanmar and Ceylon (Sri Lanka). The conference was
attended by delegates from 24 Asian and African countries. The
purpose of the meeting was to promote closer and amiable cooperation
in the economic, cultural and political fields. The resolution
adopted became known as the "Dasa Sila", or "The Ten
Principles," of Bandung. It strived for world peace, respect
for one another's sovereignty and territorial integrity, and for
non-interference in each other's internal affairs. The resolution
also sought to uphold the human rights principles of the United
The Asian-African Conference became
the embryo of the Non-Aligned Movement. The seeds that sprouted in
Bandung took firm root six years later when 25 newly independent
countries formally founded the Non-Aligned Movement at the Belgrade
Summit of 1961. Since then the membership of the Movement has grown
to its present strength of 112 member countries.
BEGINNING OF THE NEW ORDER GOVERNMENT
Over-confident of their strength and
precipitated by the serious illness of President Soekarno, who was
undergoing treatment by a Chinese medical team from Beijing, the
Indonesian Communist Party (PKI) attempted another coup on September
30, 1965. The uprising, however, was abrupt and quickly stamped out
by the Armed Forces under Major General Soeharto, then Chief of the
Army's Strategic Command.
On the night of September 30, or more
precisely in the early hours of October 1, 1965, armed PKI men and
members of Cakrabirawa, the President's security guard, set out to
kidnap, torture and kill six top Army Generals. Their bodies were
dumped in an abandoned well at Lubang Buaya, on the outskirts of
Jakarta. The coup was staged in the wake of troop deployments to
Kalimantan, at the height of Indonesia's confrontation with
Malaysia. Moreover, at the time, many cabinet members were attending
a celebration of the Chinese October Revolution in Beijing. It was
during this power vacuum that the communists struck again.
Under instructions from General Soeharto, crack troops of the Army's Commando Regiment
the central radio station (RRI) and the telecommunication center
from communist occupation.
Students made for the streets in
militant demonstrations to fight for a three-point claim, or "Tritura,"
that aimed to ban the PKI, replace Soekarno's cabinet ministers, and
reduce the prices of basic necessities. They set up a "street
parliament" to gather the demands of the people.
Under these explosive conditions,
President Soekarno eventually gave in and granted Soeharto full
power to restore order and security in the country. The transfer of
power was effected by a presidential order known as "the 11th
of March order" of 1966. Soon afterwards, on March 12, 1966,
General Soeharto banned the PKI. This decision was endorsed and
sanctioned by virtue of the Provisional People's Consultative
Assembly Decree No XXV/MPRS/1966. He also formed a new cabinet, but
Soekarno remained as Chief Executive. This brought dualism into the
cabinet, particularly when Soekarno did not show support for the
cabinet's program to establish political and economic stability.
Hence, a special session of the Provisional People's Consultative
Assembly (MPRS) was convened from March 7-12, 1967. The Assembly
resolved to relieve Soekarno of his presidential duties and
appointed Soeharto as Acting President, pending the election of a
new President by an elected People's Consultative Assembly.
Ever since taking office in 1967, the
New Order Government of President Soeharto was determined to return
constitutional life by upholding the 1945 Constitution in a strict
and consistent manner and by respecting Pancasila as the state
philosophy and ideology.
To emerge from the political and
economic legacy of Soekarno's Old Order, the new government set out
to undertake the following:
- To complete the restoration of
order and security and to establish political stability.
- To carry out economic
- To prepare a plan for national
development and execute it with the emphasis on economic
- To end confrontation and normalize
diplomatic relations with Malaysia.
- To rejoin to the United Nations,
which Indonesia had quit in January 1965.
- To consistently pursue an
independent and active foreign policy.
- To resolve the West Irian
- To regain Indonesia's economic
- To hold general elections once
every five years.
Much of the implementation of these
policies has been described in the foregoing pages. It remains here
to mention some of the more notable achievements of the New Order
during the first few years of its existence. Results of national
development are presented in this book under the heading
"Development Achievements" and are updated each year.
With regard to Malaysia, not only
were relations normalized but Indonesia together with Malaysia, the
Philippines, Singapore and Thailand joined to establish the
Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). On achieving
independence in 1984, Brunei Darussalam became the sixth member of
ASEAN. In July 1995, Vietnam was accepted as the seventh member of
this regional organization. The objective of the association is the
establishment of regional cooperation in the economic, social and
cultural fields, but ASEAN also operates in the political area.
To prepare for national development,
in addition to economic rehabilitation, Indonesia secured an
agreement with creditor countries to reschedule an overseas debt of
US$5 billion. With the recovery of the country's overseas
credibility, Indonesia succeeded in the formation of a consortium of
creditor countries to assist in her economic development. This
consortium is known as the Inter-Governmental Group on Indonesia (IGGI)
and includes the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand,
Japan, Britain and a number of West-European countries. Its annual
meetings are held in Amsterdam under the chairmanship of the
Netherlands. Currently, the IGGI has been replaced by the
Consultative Group for Indonesia (CGI) consisting of the former
members of IGGI (except the Netherlands) and five new creditors.
With the advent of World War II the
Japanese ousted both the Dutch and Portuguese from Timor, as well as
from the rest of Indonesia. When Japan surrendered to the allied
forces in 1945, Indonesians proclaimed the independence of their
country which covers the areas of the former Netherlands East
Indies. In the mean time, East Timor was returned to the Portuguese
by the Allied Forces after the war and the people stayed colonized.
They had made several attempts to fight the Portuguese and join
Indonesia, but they were suppressed by the colonial regime. Not
until 1974 did the Portuguese give them a chance to decide their own
In a statement on May 28, 1974, the
Governor of Portuguese Timor, Colonel Fernando Alves Aldela, granted
the people permission to form political parties. The response was
the emergence of five political parties - UDT (Uniao Democratica
Timorese), FRETILIN (Frente Revolucionaria de Timor Leste
Independent), APODETI (Associacao Popular Democratica de Timor),
KOTA (Klibur Oan Timur Aswain) and TRABALHISTA (Labor Party).
Through lack of popular support,
FRETILIN resorted to terror tactics, threats and blackmail in an
attempt to intimidate members of the other parties. This caused
growing tension throughout the colony and sparked an inevitable
On August 27, 1975, the Governor and
other Portuguese officials abandoned the capital of Dili, fled to
Atauro Island and left FRETILIN free to continue its reign of
terror. FRETILIN was even supplied with arms from the Portuguese
On November 28 of the same year,
FRETILIN unilaterally "declared the independence" of East
Timor and announced the formation of "the Democratic Republic
of East Timor".
In the light of these developments,
on November 30, 1975, at Balibo, UDT, APODETI, KOTA and TRABALHISTA
proclaimed the independence of the territory and its simultaneous
integration with Indonesia. On December 17, 1975, the four parties
announced the establishment of the Provisional Government of East
Timor in Dili.
On May 31, 1976, the duly elected
People's Assembly of East Timor decided in an open session to
formally integrate the territory with the Republic of Indonesia. A
bill on this integration was approved by the Indonesian House of
Representatives on July 15, 1976 and, with the promulgation by the
President, became Law on July 17. East Timor has since been the 27th
province of Indonesia with all the rights and duties under the 1945
Constitution of the Republic.
Since the outset of the First
Five-Year Development Plan in 1969, Indonesia under the New Order
Government of President Soeharto had endeavored to achieve its
national devel-opment goals. Indonesia, indeed, had been able to
achieve substantial progress in various fields which had been
enjoyed by the majority of the Indonesian people. Indonesia had
gained success in the national development. Unfortunately, economic
crisis, which began with the monetary crisis, struck Indonesia as of
Since the middle of 1997, the
people's standard of living dropped considerably. The de-cline in
the people's standard of living was aggravated by various political
tensions arising from the 1997 general elections. The political
system which had been developed since 1966 turned out to be unable
to accommodate the dynamism of the aspirations and interests of the
community. This led to riots and disturbances. To a certain extend,
they reflected the malfunctioning of the political order and of the
government, finally causing this situation to develop into a
The accumulation of the economic
crisis and the political crisis became a triggered factor for crisis
in confidence. This applied not just to officials and state-running
institutions, but also began to touch on the system of values and
the legal foundations that underpin the state-running institutions.
A number of student demonstrations
ensued, including the occupation of the People's Consultative
Assembly/House of People's Representatives compound. They appealed
for political and economic reform; demanded President Soeharto to
step down and stamp out corruption, collusion and nepotism.
Critical moments prevailed in the capital, Jakarta, and other towns
from 12 to 21 May 1998.
On 12 May a tragedy happened in the
Trisakti University Campus, causing the death of four students. On
18 May the leadership of the House suggested the President resign.
The President's effort to accommodate the developing aspirations of
the people by forming a re-form cabinet and a reform committee never
materialized as there was no adequate support from various circles.
Finally, on 21 May 1998, President Soeharto, after a 32-year rule of the New Order Government resigned.
Pursuant to Article 8 of the 1945 Constitution and the People's
Consultative Assembly decree no VII/1973, he handed over the
country's leadership to Vice-President Bacharuddin Jusuf Habibie.
After the announcement. Habibie took his oath of office before Chief
Justice Sarwata to become Indonesia's third President. Earlier
President Soeharto disbanded the cabinet which he formed shortly
after his reelection for a seventh five-year presidential term in
A day after his installment as the
third president, Habibie formed the Reform Development Cabinet. He
picked the ministers from the various political and social forces,
including three politicians from the two minority parties, the
United Development Party (PPP) and the Indonesian Democratic Party (PDI),
to provide the needed synergy.
- President B.J. Habibie outlined
the agenda for reform during his presidency as follows:
- rooting out corruption, collusion
and nepotism, and create a clean government.
- reviewing the five political laws
upon which the current political system is bound. They are the
laws on mass organization, the House of Representatives (DPR),
the People's Consultative Assembly (MPR), political parties,
regional administrations and elections.
- implementing sweeping reform in
all sectors, including in the political, economic, and legal
fields, to enable the government to satisfy mounting demands for
a strong and clean government.
- boosting output from the
agriculture, agribusiness, export-oriented industry and tourism
- safeguarding the implementation of
the 1998/99 state budget.
- accelerating the bank
- resolving the problem of corporate
- conducting a special session of
the People's Consultative Assembly (MPR) in November 1998,
followed by General Elections on May 1999.
Pancasila Democracy is a system of
life for the state and society on the basis of the people's
sovereignty. It is inspired by the noble values of the Indonesian
nation. Pancasila itself, which means the five principles, is the
name given to the foundation of the Indonesian Republic. The five
principles of Pancasila are : Belief in the One and Only God; A Just
and civilized humanity; the Unity of Indonesia; Democracy guided by
the inner wisdom of deliberations of representatives; and Social
Justice for all the Indonesian people.
Thus Pancasila Democracy means
democracy based on the people's sovereignty which is inspired by and
integrated with the other principles of Pancasila. This means that
the use of democratic rights should always be in line with
responsibility towards God Almighty according to the respective
faith; uphold human values in line with human dignity; guarantee and
strengthen national unity; and be aimed at realizing social justice
for the whole of the people of Indonesia.
In a democratic life based on Pancasila, the People's Consultative Assembly
(MPR), being the
highest state institution, has a very important role to play. As an
institution which fully exercises the sovereign rights of the
Indonesian people MPR should always reflect the aspirations and the
wishes of the people with all its decisions or decrees. And as the
holder of the highest power in the state, the Assembly appoints the
President and Vice-President and determines the Guidelines of State
Policy for implementation by the President.
The House of Representatives (DPR),
the members of which are from the people and are elected by the
people, has the function of exercising control over the conduct of
the administration by the President. The mechanism of this control
by the House of Representatives constitutes a means to prevent
constitutional deviation or deviations from the people's wish by the
OF POLITICAL PARTIES
The Government Manifesto of November
3, 1945, opened the way to a rapid growth of political parties. Soon
a multi-party system emerged with parties of different ideologies,
ranging from nationalism to socialism, religion and even
Marxism/Leninism. Hence, the political structure developed into a
liberal democracy that was a complete departure from the type of
democracy envisaged by Pancasila.
With sharply conflicting ideologies,
political rivalry was the order of the day and a stable Government
was out of the question. With a total of 24 political parties and
their fractions, cabinets could only be formed on the basis of a
shaky compromise between the strongest parties. In point of fact,
coalition cabinets were formed and dissolved very often. The
administration was a complete shambles and development was a far
The first and only general election
ever held during the rule of the Old Order took place in 1955. Even
that election did not produce a strong cabinet with a solid back-up
in Parliament. On the contrary, because political conditions
continued to deteriorate, the President ordered the formation of a
Constituent Assembly to draft a new constitution. However, as
mentioned earlier, this only ended in a total deadlock which led the
president to take all the power of the state into his own hands
under the pretext of guided democracy.
Having learned from the experience of
the unlimited multi-party system of the past, the New Order
Government, which came into office in 1967, decided to simplify the
political system along the following lines:
- In order to minimize ideological
conflicts between political organizations, all political
organizations shall adopt Pancasila as their sole basis
- To simplify the political system,
particularly for the purpose of choosing a political
organization by the people in general elections, it was felt
that the number of these organizations should be reduced.
- In the past, villages were made
the bases of political activities and maneuvers, most notably in
the heyday of the Indonesian Communist Party. This adversely
affected the social and economic life of the village
populations. Hence, it would be desirable to free villages from
the activities of political organizations.
Furthermore, the large number of
organizations has been reduced by the fusion of parties and their
affiliated organizations into two political parties - Partai
Persatuan Pembangunan (The United Development Party or Partai
Persatuan) and Partai Demokrasi Indonesia (the Indonesian Democracy
Party or PDI), and one Functional Group or Golongan Karya (Golkar).
Partai Persatuan is a fusion of
Nahdlatul Ulama (the Moslem Scholars Party), Parmusi (the Moslem
Party), PSII (the Islamic Confederation) and PERTI (the Islamic
PDI is a fusion of the former PNI
(the Nationalist Party), the Catholic Party, the Christian
(Protestant) Party, the Indonesian Independence Party, and Partai
Murba (the People's Party).
Golkar accommodates the aspirations
and political rights and duties of functional groups that are not
affiliated with either party, namely civil servants, retired members
of the Armed Forces, women's organizations, professional groups,
farmers, student, etc.
By virtue of the 1983 Guidelines of
the State Policy and on the basis of Act No. 3 of 1985, Pancasila
has finally been adopted as the one and only ideological principle
upon which all political organizations base their activities.
For the election of members of DPR
and the Regional DPR (DPRD), the system of proportional
representation and register system apply. In this way the
number/force of representatives of the organization in the DPR and
DPRD is as far as possible in proportion to the amount of support in
society. To this end, an organization whose candidates are listed on
the list of candidates will obtain a number of seats based on a
certain electoral quotient, i.e. a certain number of seats
available. The register system as well as the system of general
elections reflect the participation of the people and the parties
in the political system.
Indonesian Human Rights Actions
Indonesia aims to uphold human rights
in line with the United Nations Declaration and Actions in Vienna in
1993. The UN Declaration has inspired the Indonesian government to
organize the Second national workshop on human rights.
The national action on human rights
in Indonesia formulated in a program which has been enacted for five
years, as imbued in the policy of the Indonesian five-year
development program on the State Guidelines of the Republic of
The human rights action is expected
to strengthen respect for the rights of the Indonesian people for
justice as enacted in the 1945 Constitution.
There are four main pillars of the
Indonesian actions on human rights namely:
- Preparation on international human
- Dissemination and education of the
people on human rights.
- Priority on the implementation of
- The implementation of
international rules on human rights as approved by Indonesia.
The activities cover approval,
dissemination and education on human rights, priorities on the
implementation of human rights.
- To implement human rights as
ratified on the basis of recommendations of the related
government and non-government institutions.
- To further study priorities on
international human rights. This is done by an inter-sector
department working group.
- To prepare draft a document of the
ratification. This activity is done by a small
- To understand international
concepts on human rights.
- To disseminate information on
international concepts on human rights.
In the first year: the Indonesian
Government will organize the structure of human rights in the field
of economy, social affairs and culture as the convention is against
all forms of assassination, and inhuman actions. while the
international convention is against all forms of racial
In the second year: convention on the
prevention and punishment of genocide. and a convention on slavery.
In the third year: the government of
Indonesia approves the international convention on the protection of
the rights of all migrant workers and their families.
In the fourth year: Indonesia
approves an end to human exploitation and prostitution.
The fifth year covers the
international convention on civil and political rights.
Harmonization of National Law
In this phase, the government of
- To organize a study and assessment
on several laws and national regulations and or regional
regulations which are relevant to international human rights.
The activities cover the current laws and plans for new
- To also revise the current laws
and or draft new regulations in line with the international
- To give directives to law
enforcers concerned in upholding international human rights, for
which assistance from the UN Headquarters is needed.
An Obligation to Report
The Government of Indonesia also has
the obligation to report to the UN, and will organize:
- The formation of a national agency
charged with arranging reports from Indonesia to the UN.
- The necessity of regular
coordination and consultation between government and
non-government agencies on the implementation of international
- Training on the structure and
dissemination of the reports to certain agencies of the UN.
- Dissemination of guidelines of the
UN human rights on the obligation of the reports to the
government agencies concerned.
Dissemination And Education
The UN Decade on Human Rights
- To form a working group to carry
out the decade of activities, as follow up of the UN Vienna
Declaration and Action Program.
- To decide the priorities in the UN
plan of action on human rights education for the decade with UN
- To organize symposiums on regional
and national level for exchanging views to promote human rights
education, in line with the results of the National Workshop on
human rights education for development in Asia Pacific, Manila
- Development and dissemination of
human rights studies.
- To form a human rights study
center. In the first stage study centers will be set up in
several universities in Jakarta, Central and East Java and one
outside Java. To set up libraries on human rights in universities
and establish a national center on human rights.
- To organize a degree program for a
study on human rights in several universities in Indonesia or
abroad on a scholarship.
- Education and training on human
rights for law enforcement apparatuses with aid from UN
The government of Indonesia in
encouraging the socialization of human rights will prepare three
activities in schools such as:
- To prepare a curriculum on human
rights for elementary, secondary and high schools.
- To translate literature or books
on human rights for the students.
- To train teachers on human rights
with technical assistance from various related international
Extra Curricular Education
- To prepare publication on human
rights in which the public understands them easily.
- To make the public aware of human
rights in villages through government programs while guidance
and counseling are given to apparatuses.
- To promote workshop programs on
- To organize several workshops and
discussions in social organization and non-governmental
- To formulate counseling on
concepts of human rights in social groups such as religious
organizations, scouts, youth organizations etc.
Education through Family:
- Through an education pattern for
- Family reinforcement.
- To organize regular workshops and
training on human rights for journalists and information
- To organize interviews and
discussions on television and radio, in cooperation with the
Department of Justice.
- To disseminate information and
booklets on human rights.
- To display activities on human
rights in the printed and electronic media.
- To activate traditional media.
Priorities on the Implementation
of Human Rights
This is done specially on the right
to live, arbitrary arrests, abuse, law and justice and eradication
1. Dissemination of information on
international standards for law enforcers:
The translation and publication of information on human rights which
(1) a code of ethics for law enforcers by an institution,
(2) basic principles on the use of force and firearms by the law
(3) minimum standard for treatment of arrests,
(4) prevention and effective investigation on execution of the death
with-out due process of law, arbitrariness and suddenly,
(5) notes on explanation for submitting information on people
abducted by force
and against their will.
- The distribution of kits on human
- Integrated workshops for judges,
prosecutors, police jail wards on relevant problems, to be held
at least four times a year.
2. Dissemination of Ratified
International Convention on abuse and arbitrary Arrest:
- To multiply texts of the
- To distribute information kits on
the conventions and their consequences.
3. To develop Teaching on Human
Rights for Law Enforcers:
- Formally, the teaching is held in
extra-curricular activities in the police and military academy
and other higher learning institutions by using comparative
studies abroad for education and training organizers.
- Informal activities may be done in
discussions and groups of society.
4. Study and Dissemination on
International Humanitarian Law:
- To strengthen the task and
function of the existing national committee.
- To support the existing
humanitarian law study centers by way of organizing libraries
and visiting programs for comparative studies.
- To continue studies on the Geneva
conventions including their protocols and possibilities of the
ratification. This can be done through cooperation with
permanent humanitarian committees.
- To organize workshops on
humanitarian laws by arranging regional ICRC-ASEAN seminars.
5. Specific Program for Judges and
- Program and training in court
- Training abroad for special cases
on human rights, for a maximum of 10 people twice a year.
Implementation Of Human Rights
- Promotion and protection of
children's rights. This can be done through national
institutions. cooperation with regional and international
organizations in line with clause 23 of the convention.
training, data collecting, evaluation and controlling. social
mobilization. and better laws and regulations.
- Promotion and Protection of
- The activities are carried
out through the promotion of social mobilization,
socialization of information on the Convention on the
elimination of discrimination against women (CEDAW) and
meetings or seminars on CEDAW, to strengthen study
centers on women in the framework of promoting the role
of women in the implementation of human rights.
- The renovation of laws and
regulations and law enforcement. Through the
harmonization of national laws. In addition, the minimum
standard is set for women in the family, work place and
- National program on the
eradication of cruelty against women. this program will
enhance the awareness of the people on the importance of
reporting to authorized bodies about all forms of
cruelty against them. It will also strengthen the
position the working women in labor organizations.
- Administrative steps: This
will cover the inclusion of CEDAW in the national
pro-gram and policy, the allocation of a state budget to
implement CEDAW on all administrative levels.
- Monitoring and report:
This includes the development of a system or mechanism
to monitor CEDAW implementation, and preparation of
periodical report to the United Nations on the
implementation of CEDAW in Indonesia. The program is
carried out by an inter-departmental group in
cooperation with the National Committee on Human Rights
and Non-governmental organizations.
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Information provided by the Directorate
of Foreign Information Services, Department of Information, Republic of