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Indonesia History Timeline

1900s continued
  • (1925) New constitution established that Council of the Indies would be advisory, local government received limited legislative powers
  • (1928) Youth Congress adopted "sumpah pemuda" (one nation, one language)
  • (1938) Autonomy petition from Indonesia rejected by Netherlands government
  • (1942) Japan declared war against Netherlands, invaded Dutch East Indies (Indonesia)
  • (1942 - 1945) During World War II, Japan occupied Dutch East Indies
  • (1945) Indonesian nationalists declared independence from Netherlands
  • (1945 - 1949) War of independence between Indonesia and Netherlands
  • (1949) Dutch recognized Indonesian independence
  • (1950) Provisional constitution adopted, called for parliamentary democracy
  • (1950) Sukarno appointed president of Indonesia
  • (1950) Indonesia admitted to United Nations
  • (1950) Maluku declared independence from Indonesia, fought unsuccessful war
  • (1962) West Papua transferred to Indonesia
  • (1966) President Sukarno handed emergency powers to General Suharto
  • (1968) General Suharto won presidential election
  • (1969) West Papau formally incorporated into Indonesia, became Irian Jaya Province
  • (1975) Indonesia invaded East Timor
  • (1976) UN General Assembly rejected Indonesia's annexation of East Timor
  • (1978) Istiqlal Mosque, the largest mosque in southeast Asia, was constructed in Jakarta
  • (1986) Bomb attacks occurred on the U.S., Japanese and Canadian embassies in Jakarta
  • (1988) Suharto reelected president
  • (1993) Suharto reelected to sixth term as president
  • (1997) El Nino winds from Pacific Ocean caused severe drought followed by forest fires
  • (1997) Asian economic crisis caused Indonesia currency (rupiah) to plummet in value
  • (1998) Protests and rioting forced resignation of President Suharto, B J Habibie became president
  • (1999) Christian, Muslim clashes in Maluku
  • (1999) East Timor voted to secede from Indonesia, came under UN administration
2000s
  • (2000) President Wahid's administration was unable to stabilize economy, stop economic corruption, reform military nor deal with religious violence in Maluku and Sulawesi
  • (2000) Churches were bombed, 18 people killed in three dozen coordinated attacks across the country
  • (2001) President Wahid impeached on ground of incompetence, Megawati elected president by Parliament
  • (2002) Bomb attacks in nightclub district in Bali killed 202
  • (2002) East Timor became independent
  • (2002) Constitutional changes allowed voters to elect president and vice president
  • (2004) In first direct presidential election, Bambang Yudhoyono beat Megawati
  • (2004) Indian Ocean undersea earthquake generated a huge tsunami that struck Indonesia, over 200,000 people were killed
  • (2005) Indonesian government and Aceh signed peace agreement which provided for rebel disarmament, withdrawal of government soldiers from the province
  • (2006) Earthquake in Yogyarkarta region in central Java killed thousands
  • (2006) Following attempts to remove illegal prospectors from U.S.-owned gold and copper mines in Papua, deadly protests took place
  • (2007) Prosecutors filed lawsuit against former President Suhorto, seeking $1.54 billion in damages and funds allegedly stolen during his reign
  • (2008) Former President Suharto died
  • (2008) Floods in Jakarta killed three, displaced nearly 100,000
  • (2008) Protests broke out after government raised gasoline prices by nearly 30%
  • (2009) President Yudhoyono won re-election
  • (2009) Twin suicide bomb attacks in Jakarta at Ritz-Carlton and JW Marriott hotels killed nine, injured many others
  • (2009) Underwater earthquake in western Indonesia caused a tsunami alert to be issued for countries along Indian Ocean, over 1,100 killed in Padang, located on the active seismic fault line on the Ring of Fire
  • (2009) Parliament, the most corrupt of Indonesia's government institutions, passed law which weakened Corruption Eradication Commission
  • (2010) Merapi Volanco erupted, 353 people killed, over 350,000 forced to evacuate
  • (2010) Men seen in video torturing Papuan villagers were members of the military
  • (2011) Two churches were set on fire in Central Java during protest of Muslims about blasphemy
  • (2011) Three members of a minority Muslim group were killed in mob attack in West Java
  • (2011) Volcano eruption by Mount Lokon on Sulawesi forced thousands to evacuate
  • (2012) New warning systems and emergency responses for earthquakes and possible tsunamis put into place
  • (2012) Russian passenger airliner went missing during demonstration flight, wreckage found in a mountainous area, no survivors
  • (2013) Flooding in Jakarta killed 26, more than 100,000 were displaced
  • (2013) Armed men in Papua province shot and killed eight soldiers in two separate attacks
  • (2013) Violent protests erupted after Parliament approved major gas and diesel price hike
  • (2013) The Netherlands publicly apologized for the mass killings carried out by the Dutch army during the war of independence in the 1940s
  • (2013) Eruption of Mount Sinabung volcano forced evacuation of over 19,000
  • (2014) Indonesian officials announced an increase of maritime security patrols after Australia breached Indonesia's territorial waters in effort to repel boats carrying migrants
  • (2014) Mont Sinabung erupted, killed 14

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This page was last updated on April 7, 2017.