Chronography of Indonesia

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For events of World War Two in Pacific, S E Asia, see China-Japan-Korea


See also South-East Asia


Demography of Indonesia

Demography of Timor L�Este


Box Index

4.0, Timor L�Este gains independence 1999-2002 (see also Suharto 1967-1999)

4.0(a), President Adbrurrahman Wahid, 1999-2001

3.0, Suharto era, 1967 - 1999

2.0, Attempted Communist takeover of Indonesia, 1965-66

1.0, Assertive Indonesian Nationalism, 1955-1963

0.0, Indonesian struggle for independence, 1945-49

-1.0, Dutch government colonisation, 1799-1927

-2.0, Dutch VOC colonisation, 1502-1799


2006, Timor L�Este reached an agreement with Australia over exploitation of oil and gas reserves in the Timor Sea.

9 July 2006, Jose Ramos Horta was nominated as Prime Minister of Timor L�Este.

26 June 2006, Mar� Alkatiri resigned as Prime Minister of East Timor after weeks of political unrest.

15 August 2005, A peace agreement was made between the Indonesian government and the Aceh secessionists (GAM). GAM disarmed and the Indoensian Army withdrew from Aceh.

1 October 2005, The resort of Bali was bombed by terrorists.26 were killed and 100 injured.

18 July 2005, The European Union was planning an operation to monitor the peace process in Aceh, Indonesia.

2004, Former General, Susilo Bambang, won the first ever Indonesian elections to choose a president directly.

26 December 2004, A very large earthquake struck the floor of the Indian Ocean just off Aceh Province, Indonesia. It was estimated as magnitude 9.3 on the Richter Scale, and shifted parts of the sea bed vertically by ten metres. It caused a very large tsunami to sweep across the Indian Ocean, causing at least 165,000 casualties. In January 2005 the Indonesian government raised its death toll to 166,320, bringing the total estimated number of casualties to 232,010. The confirmed death toll on 18 January 05 stood at 162,705, including 115,229 from Indonesia, 30,920 from Sri Lanka, 10,714 from India, 5,291 from Thailand, 298 from Somalia, 82 from the Maldives, 68 from Malaysia, 10 from Tanzania, 2 from Bangladesh, and 1 from Kenya. The secretive military regime in Burma reported just 90 deaths, a suspiciously low figure. Many tourists from Europe, who had been on winter holidays, died, including at least 400 Britons (possibly 2,000 Britons).

2003, Peace talks between Indonesia and the Aceh secessionists broke down, and the Indonesian army began an offensive.


4.0, Timor L�Este gains independence 1999-2002 (see also Suharto 1967-1999)

12 October 2002. A large bomb hit the Sari nightclub in Bali, a popular holiday destination for Australians and other Westerners, and the only Hindu island in the otherwise Muslim republic of Indonesia. 202 died and over 300 were injured, mostly Australian tourists. Al Qaeda, the organisation which hit the USA on '9-11', 2002, was blamed. Australia had been instrumental in helping East Timor to achieve independence from Indonesia, and the decadence of Bali did not fit with Islamic ideals.

20 May 2002, East Timor became independent from Indonesia, under President Gusmao. It had been a Portuguese colony, whereas the west of Timor, along with the rest of Indonesia, had been a Dutch colony until gaining independence in 1949. The Portuguese retained East Timor until 1975, when, with majority support, the Frente Revolucionaria de Timor Leste Independente, or Fretelin, a Leftist organisation, took control. Indonesia then invaded the former colony, and east Timor was declared the 27th province of Indonesia in July 1976. However the UN refused to recognise Indonesian sovereignty over East Timor, instead continuing to regard it as a Portuguese colony. In 1991 pro-independence demonstrators were massacred by the Indonesian Army in Dili, attracting international condemnation. Guerrilla warfare between Indonesia and Timor independence fighters continued until 1999, when Indonesia agreed to a plebiscite offering East Timor a choice between a special autonomous regime within Indonesia or independence. There was a large majority for independence, and President Xanana Gusmao, leader of Fretilin, became President of the newly independent state.


4.0(a), President Adbrurrahman Wahid, 1999-2001

23 July 2001, President Wahid was removed, amidst allegations of corruption and incompetence; Megawati Sukarnoputri became the 5th President of Indonesia.

29 January 2001, Thousands of student protestors stormed the Indonesian Parliament building to demand the resignation of President Adburrahman Wahid due to corruption scandals.

1999, Free elections in Indonesia were won by the opposition leader Megawati Sukarnoputri. Adburrahman Wahid elected President, and Megawati became Vice-President. Wahid offered Aceh greater autonomy.


20 September 1999, Timor L�Este appealed for help from the international community.

30 August 1999, In a referendum, East Timor voted for indeoendence from Indonesia. Pro-Indonesian militias then went o the rampage, with the connivance of the Indonesian Army, until UNH peacekeepers arrived on 20 September 1999.


3.0, Suharto era, 1967 - 1999

21 May 1998, President Suharto of Indonesia resigned as the country�s economy worsened and civil unrest grew. 21 May 1998, Thursday (+19,371) President Suharto of Indonesia resigned as the country�s economy worsened. He had ruled since 1967. He was replaced by Bacharuddin Habibie.

1997, Economic recession hit Indonesia, and the Rupiah plummeted. Indonesia was also hit by smog from large forest fires.

1996, Timor�s exiled resistance leader, Jose Ramos Horta, and the Bishop of Dili, Carlos Belo, were jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, thereby raising global awareness of the Timor secessionist movement.

1993, Timor secessionist leader Gusmao was imprisoned for life by an Indonesian Court. In 1994 the Indonesian military held talks with him in prison on the possibility of a Unuted Nations referendum on independence.

1992, Fretilin independence leader Jose Xanana Gusmao was captured near Dili.

17 October 1992, Hermann Johannes, Indonesian politician and independence fighter against the Dutch, died.

1991, Indonesian troops opened fire on a crowd of funeral mourners in Dili, killing at least 50.

1991, Indonesia agreed to allow a delegation from Portugal to visit East Timor, however the vist was cancelled at the last minute when Indonesia objected to a member of the delegation.

1989, Indonesian Foreign Debt reached US$ 50 billion. Western credit was offered on conditions of domestic austerity measures and coincessions to Western companies.

1988, Suharto re-elected for a 5th term.

1986, Fretilin and UDT agreed to co-ordinate their resistance efforts against Indonesia.

1984, Muslim protests in Jakarta.

1979, Indonesia began implementing the Transmigrasi (Transmigration) Project. Over 2 million people were moved from overcrowded Java to less densely populated islands. This would change the ethnic makeup of the region; whereas Indonesia is 90% Miuslim, East Timor is 90% Catholic.

7 December 1975, Indonesia invaded East Timor. See 28 November 1975. The United Nations Security Council called on Indonesia to withdraw from East Timor. On 17 July 1976 East Timor was declared the 27th province of Indonesia. Portugal broke off diplomatic relations with Indonesia.

28 November 1975, Portuguese Timor declared independence from Portugal, as East Timor. See 7 December 1975.

16 October 1975, Indonesian forces on a raid into Portuguese Timor killed 5 Australian-based journalists.

11 August 1975, Mario Lemos Pires, Governor of Portuguese Timor, was forced to abandon the capital, Dili, due to civil war between UDT and Fretilin.

15 January 1974, Riots in Jakarta, Indonesia, in protest at a visit by the Japanese Prime Minister.

1971, Student protests against government corruption.

3 July 1971, The first elections in Indonesia for 16 years. The incumbent government won a clear victory.

21 June 1970, Achmed Sukarno, President of Indonesia, died aged 69.

18 September 1968, Indonesia claimed sovereignty over most of Sabah. On 19 September 1968 Malaysia withdrew its diplomats from Manila.

1967, Indonesia played a leading role in the formation of Asean, the Association of South East Asian Nations.

22 February 1967, Suharto replaced Sukarno as President of Indonesia. Indonesia rejoined the United Nations.


25 October 1966, A military court in Jakarta sentenced Indonesia's ex-foreign minister Subandrio to death, on charges of being involved in the 30 September Movement. The sentence was reduced to life imprisonment on the intervention of the British government.

11 August 1966. Malaysia and Indonesia ended a 3 year war.


2.0, Attempted Communist takeover of Indonesia, 1965-66

16 March 1966, Anti-communist demonstrations in Indonesia.

12 March 1966, General Suharto assumed power in an army coup in Indonesia. He forced Sukarno, held under armed guard in the Presidential Palace, to sign an order giving him executive authority Suharto swiftly moved to annihilate the Communist Party, resulting in a massacre of between 250,000 and 500,000 people. Not only Communists were killed, but also many ethnic Chinese, who had gained a powerful economic position in Indonesia.

1 October 1965, General Suharto quickly took control of the insurrection and now proclaimed the Communist Party (which Sukarno had relied on as a counterweight to the Army) as guilty for the rebellion. Within a few weeks the extermination of the PKI (Communists) had begun. The PKI had been the largest Communist Party in the world outside Russia and China, with 3 million members.

30 September 1965, A group of middle-ranking Army officers in Indonesia seized power, led by Lieutenant-Colonel Untung of Sukarno�s Presidential Guard. They killed several top Generals and took President Sukarno to an airbase near Jakarta where they proclaimed a Revolutionary Council.

7 January 1965. Indonesia left the United Nations, under President Sukarno. This was in protest at Malaysia becoming a Security Council member.

1965, The alliance between the PKI (Communist Party of Indonesia) and the military ended.

1963, President Sukarno made himself �President for life�.


1.0, Assertive Indonesian Nationalism, 1955-1963

31 October 1963, Britain suspended aid to Indonesia.

1 May 1963, Indonesia took control of the Netherlands New Guinea province from UN administration, and renamed it Irian Jaya, and also announced a policy of �konfrontasi� with Malaysia.

15 August 1962, The Netherlands agreed to hand over Irian Jaya (West Papua) to Indonesia after a transition period asministered by the United Nations.

1960, Indonesia�s Land Reform Bill limited land holdings to a maximum of 7.5 hectares, breaking up the old large estates. Tenant farmers bought the smallholdings they had previously rented.

1960, President Sukarno suspended parliament, making himself dictator.

9 February 1959. The UK supplied arms to Indonesia. There were fears of Communist takeover, from Vietnam.

31 December 1958, President Sukharno proclaimed a state of Emergency in Sumatra. Western Sumatra had attempted to secede

5 December 1957. All Dutch nationals were expelled from Indonesia.

3 December 1958. Indonesia nationalised Dutch businesses.

3 February 1958, Indonesian President Sukarno took over and nationalised the assets of oil company Royal Dutch Shell imn his country.

4 August 1956, Indonesia repudiated its debts to The Netherlands.

3 March 1956, Harahap took control of the Indonesian government.

11 August 1955. Muslim right wing government took over in Indonesia.


20 September 1953, Tengku Daud Beureh, Military Governor of Aceh (Achin, Atjeh) province, began a rebellion against Indonesia. The province, mainly Muslim, did not wish to be part of the new Indonesian State under President Sukarno. Guerrilla warfare continued until a ceasefire was arranged in 3/1957, wich Achin being granted autonomy in areas of religion and local law. Other Indonesian islands also sought greater autonomy.

1950, Chancellor Suomokil declared the Moluccas Islands independent. The Indonesian Army quickly suppressed the secessionist movement.


0.0, Indonesian struggle for independence, 1945-49

28 December 1949, Ahmed Sukarno, aged 48, leader of the Indonesian Nationalist Party, arrived in Batavia (Djakarta) to take up residence on the former Dutch Governor�s Palace. Since the end of the Japanese occupation of Indonesia in 1945, Sukarno had fought hard for independence from the Netherlands.

27 December 1949. The Netherlands recognised the independence of Indonesia.

16 December 1949, Ahmed Sukharno was elected President of Indonesia.

24 December 1948, The UN Security Council ordered an immediate ceasefire in Indonesia and called on the Dutch government to release Sukarno and other political prisoners.

19 December 1948, Dutch forces in Indonesia launched Operation Kraai with the objective of crushing the Indonesian Republic once and for all.

15 December 1948. In Indonesia, Dutch troops seized Jakarta.

10/1948, The Madiun Rebellion in the Philippines was fiercely suppressed by Dutch forces. The rebellion was started by the PKI (Partai Komunis Indonesia), the Communist Party of Indonesia. The PKI disagreed with other Indonesian forces as to the final path towards independence. The defeat of the PKI paved the way for greater US support for independence, which persuaded the Dutch to withdraw in 1949.

26 April 1948, South Molucca declared independence from Indonesia.

3 August 1947, Ceasefire in Indonesia between Dutch troops and Indonesian nationalists took effect.

1 August 1947. The UN Security Council asked for a ceasefire in Indonesia.

20 July 1947. Dutch troops attacked Indonesian forces in Java.

29 November 1946, The last British troops, who had been assisting the Dutch colonial government in Indonesia, now left as Indonesia prepared for independence.

17 November 1945, Sukarno became de facto leader of Indonesia

15 November 1946, In Indonesia the Dutch signed the Cheribon Agreement, recognising that Indonesia would be granted independence.,

8 November 1945, British commander E.C. Mansergh ordered all Indonesians to surrender their arms by 6 a.m. Saturday or face �all the naval, army and air forces under my command�. That night President Sukarno of the unrecognized Indonesian Republic appealed to President Truman and Prime Minister Attlee to intervene in the conflict to prevent bloodshed.

31 October 1946, The Indonesian rupiah was introduced with a broadcast by Vice-President Mohammad Hatta, urging Indonesians to use the money as a symbol of independence and economic development. The first attempt to create the new currency had been thwarted in January, when Dutch colonial authorities seized the printing office and confiscated the original run of notes.

17 August 1945, Indonesia was proclaimed an independent republic, under Dr Sukarno, after its liberation from Japanese forces.The PNI (Indonesian Nationalist Party) proclaimed a Republic in the city they called Jakarta, and the Dutch called Batavia.The Dutch and the PNI began fighting.


1942, Japanese forces occupied Indonesia, until 1945. For more events of World War Two in the Pacific see Japan.


-1.0, Dutch government colonisation, 1799-1927

4 June 1927. In Indonesia, Ahmed Sukarno founded the Indonesian Nationalist Party.

12 November 1926, Nationalist revolt against Dutch rule in Java, Indonesia.

3 December 1918, Abdul Haris Nasution, Indonesian general, was born (died 2000).

1910, Dutch colonial control now extended fully to the more remote islands of the Indonesian archipelago.

1907, End of the Achinese War 1873-1907. The Dutch finally gained control of Aceh. They had mounted a military expedition to pacify the area in 1873, and after prolonged conflict, in 1903 the Sultan of Aceh, Muhammad daud, signed a treaty recognising Dutch soivereignty. However guerrilla warfare sontinued, with the Achinese people refusing to acknowledge Dutch rule. The Dutch established secuere bases for their troops in Aceh and from thesefinally won control by 1907.

1 September 1906, Australia declared that British New Guinea, the western half of New Guinea (currently part of Indonesia), was now a Federal possession of Australia known as Papua. Australia felt this territory was vital for its defence and that Britain had neglected this.

5 April 1904, Dutch troops defeated rebels in Sumatra, Indonesia.

6 June 1901, Sukarno, President of Indonesia, was born (died 1970).

1882, The Dutch occupied northern Bali, overthrowing the Madjapahit rulers.

10 August 1845, British naval forces destroyed a pirate�s lair on the Maradu River, Borneo, which had previously harassed British shipping.

1830, Dutch colonisers implemented the �Culture System�, forcing the cultivation of commercial crops for export in Indonesia.

28 March 1830, A rebellion in Indonesia against Dutch rule ended with victory to the Dutch. This day the Indonesian rebel leader, Diponegoro ceremonially surrendered his kris (dagger) to the Dutch Governor, Hendrik Merkus de Kock.

1825, The Java Wars began; an unsuccessful indigenous attempt to end Dutch colonial rule. Conflict was over by 1830.

8 August 1811, British forces occupied Dutch-held Java, now that The Netehrlands had been incorporate into France.

1799, The VOC Charter expired; the Dutch Government took control of the colony of Indonesia.


-2.0, Dutch VOC colonisation, 1502-1799

1799, The VOC Charter expired; the Dutch Government took control of the colony of Indonesia.

1660, Celebes became a Dutch colony.

1646, Death of Sultan Agung, ruler of the Mataram Kingdom from 1613. The Mataram Kingdom became priominent in the early 17th C as it waged military camapaigns to expand its territory. However it then came up against the Dutch colonisers. Under Agung�s incompetent son, Amangkurat I, Mataram came close to toal collapse as internal rivalries tore its government apart. Finally, Mataram was divided under the Giyanti Settlement of 1755.

1609, The VOC(Dutch East India Company) founded Batavia (now Jakarta).

1602, The VOC established a monopoly over the regional spice trade.

1520, Dutch colonisers established a post on Timor.

1502, Dutch colonisers arrived at Ternate, and gained control of the clove trade.


1300s, Islamic principalities began to emerge along the sea lanes and coastal areas of Indonesia.

1293, The Sri-Vijaya Empire Empire was replaced by the Hindu-Buddhist Java-based Majapahit Empire.

1100s, Islam began penetrating the Indonesian Archipelago.

700, The Buddhist Sumatra-based Sri Vijaya Empire was becoming prominent; the earliest-known Indonesia kingdom.

100 CE, Earliest known contacts between India and the peoples of Indonesia.


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