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A Brief History of Indonesia

The Republic of Indonesia – more than 17000 islands that extend along the equatorial line for about 5000 kilometres – it corresponds to the former Dutch colonial settlements in South-East Asia. Following the collapse of the Vereenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie in 1799, administration of the Indies fell to the Dutch government, through a resident governor in Batavia. Subsequent to the progressive affirmation of the Dutch dominion, many local powers, that had previously converted from Buddhism and Hinduism to Islam, became weaker; afterwards, a nationalist pan-Indonesia movement started to grow, and it reached its apex in 1942 during the Japanese occupation of the Dutch colonial territories. Soekarno and Mohammed Hatta proclaimed indipendence on 17 August 1945, while the western part of Papua was annexed, with the name Irian Jaya, in 1969.
From 1975 to 2002 Indonesia occupied the Portuguese former territories in Timor Leste, that became independent after a referendum.
Gen. Soeharto was the successor of Soekarno. He limited civil freedoms, eliminated political opponents and installed a dictatorial regime that lasted for more than 32 years.
The serious crisis that occurred in South-East Asia in 1997 led to the collapse of Soeharto presidency; he was replace d by his deputy, vice-president Habibie, and then the elected president Wahid. In 2001 Wahid was subjected to an “impeachment” procedure and he was replaced by his vice Megawati, Soekarno’s daughter. She ruled the Country until October 2004, when the first election with universal participation saw the victory of Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, already Minister for Foreign Affairs and Safety during Megawati’s administration.