Timeline: Modern Indonesian History

· Indonesia-Malaysia

TIMELINE: Indonesian Modern history

Timeline : Indonesia
Timeline : Indonesian Princely States Part 1 : Sumatra, Java
425 A.D.
c. 653 A.D.
late 7th C.
13th C.

13th C.

mid 14th C.

1575 / 1580
c. 1615-1693





Buddhism arrived in Indonesia
First Muslim arrived on Sumatra
Establishment of Srivijaya (Buddhist, capital at Palembang)
Kingdom of (Hindu) Mataram establisdhed on Java
Kingdom of Perlak (located in modern Aceh) established
Srivijaya conquered by Indian Chola Kingdom
Samudra Pasai Sultanate established in northern Sumatra (Aceh region); extended influence onto
Malay peninsula
Islam arrived from Gujarat
Establishment of Sultanate of Singhasari, on Java
Kingdom of Malayu, centered on Jambi (Sumatra) conquered by Singhasari
Marco Polo visited Samudra Pasai Sultanate; he called island Sumatra, after Sultanate; he observed
presence of many Muslims
Following Mongol invasion (1292), establishment of Majapahit
Gajah Mada Vezir of Majapahit; pursued policy of expansion beyond Java
Ibn Battuta visited Samudra Pasai
Pasai invaded by Javanese
Majapahit war of succession; begin of Majapahit decline
Last ruler of Srivijaya, Parameswara, converted to Islam, moved capital to Malacca, founded
Sultanate of Malacca, which caused decline of Pasai trade
Portuguese conquest of Pasai
Sultan of Aceh (hitherto vassall of Pasai) expelled Portuguese from Pasai; begin of Sultanate of Aceh
Demak conquered Kediri, Sunda Kelapa, which was renamed Jayakerta (Jakatra)
End of Majapahit
Demak conquered Balambangan, last Hindu kingdom on Eastern Java
Estalishment of Acehnese-Ottoman relations
Acehnese sacked Johore
Establishment of Sultanat of Mataram (Muslim)
Life of ‘Abd al-Ra’uf of Singkel, influential scholar, secretary of Sultan
Acehnese conquest of Johore
Mataram forces laid siege to V.O.C. fort at Batavia
Sultan Agung of Mataram introduced Islamic Javanese calendar
Death of Sultan of Aceh Iskandar Than, conciding with V.O.C. conqust of Malacca from the Portuguese;
begin of decline of Sultanate
Mataram became a V.O.C. satellite
V.O.C. established control over Banten (Bandung); Sultanate abolished
Mataram ceded sovereignty over vassals in Western Java to V.O.C.
Rebellion on East Java (Mataram), suppressed with support of the V.O.C.
Sultan of Palembang granted V.O.C. monopoly over Bangka tin export
Sultanate of Mataram split into three – Surakarta, Yogyakarta, Mangkunegara
Anglo-Dutch agreement on borders of mutual spheres of influence; Aceh designated s being located
outside of both spheres
Java War
Dutch conquest of Palembang; Sultanate abolished
Padri War, the Dutch established control over Minangkabau
U.S. forces landed in Aceh to protect U.S. interests
Sultan of Jambi accepted Dutch sovereignty; begin of indirect rule
U.S. forces landed in Aceh to protect U.S. interests
Sumatra Treatise signed by Dutch, British; the latter recognized Aceh being located in the Dutch
sphere of interest
Dutch conquest of Aceh
Jambi War; Dutch conquest, abolition of Sultanate
Sultan of Aceh surrendered to the Dutch; Sutanate was abolished
Sultanate of Yogyakarta provided asylum, base for Indonesian independence fighters
Sultanate of Yogyakarta declared itself part of Indonesia, granted status of special region

Timeline : V.O.C. (Dutch Admin)


1628, 1629



Dutch Admiral Wybrand van Warwyck landed on Mauritius, named and claimed island; in 1602
the island was transferred to the V.O.C. It was important as a stopover en route to and from India
V.O.C. established, granted a monopoly to trade with the area east of the Cape of Good Hope
V.O.C. ousted the Portuguese from the Moluccas
V.O.C. constructed fort on Ternate
V.O.C. established trading factory in Japan
V.O.C. conquered Banda Islands, massacred population; islands were resettled by the Dutch
V.O.C. trading factory established at Pulicat, Coromandel Coast (India)
V.O.C. trading factory established at Jakatra (soon to be called Batavia)
The V.O.C. established Fort Batavia at Jakatra on Java; the V.O.C. gained control over the city, which,
as Batavia, was to become the capital of the V.O.C. Empire
V.O.C. established trading factory at Gamron, Persia (= Bandar Abbas)
Murder of Ambon; V.O.C. embloyees killed English merchants on the island.
V.O.C. established Fort Zeelandia on Taiwan
Batavia besieged by Mataram forces
V.O.C. trading factory in Bengal established
V.O.C. established first stronghold on Ceylon
V.O.C. trading factory at Dejima, an artificial island in the port of Nagasaki (Japan), completed
Japan ousted all foreign traders except for the V.O.C. which was permitted to send one ship a year
V.O.C. ousted the Portuguese from Malacca
V.O.C. fleet taken by Cambodians; matter settled 1646
V.O.C. fleet attacked Jolo, occupied Zamboanga (returned to the Spanish in 1648)
Jan van Riebeeck, on behalf of the V.O.C., founded Cape Town and Cape Colony, settled Boers there
(farmers) with the purpose to supply ships en route to and from India with vitamins
V.O.C. settlement on Mauritius abandoned
V.O.C. ousted the Portuguese from Ceylon alltogether, controlled coastal regions of the island
V.O.C. conquered Negapatnam (Coromandel, India) from the Portuguese
V.O.C. ousted from Taiwan
The Spanish abandoned the Moluccas
V.O.C. took Fort at Cochin (Malabar, India) from the Portuguese
V.O.C. resettled Mauritius
Hostilities with Kandy, on Ceylon
War with Makassar
Makassar ceded Fort Udjungpandang to the V.O.C.
The V.O.C. expelled the French from Trincomalee (Ceylon)
Rebellion against V.O.C. rule (taxation) on Ceylon
Raja of Mataram ceded coastal stretch in northeast Java to V.O.C., reward for the latter’s aid in
putting down a rebellion against him which had broken out in 1675.
The V.O.C. established control over Minahasa
The Sultan of Ternate fought and was defeated by the V.O.C.
Begin of large-scale sugar plantation on Java
V.O.C. established control over Bantam (Banten, Bandung) on Java
V.O.C. introduced tea cultivation to Java
V.O.C. introduced coffee cultivation to Java
V.O.C. acquired sovereignty over Mataram vassalls in western Java
Mauritius abandoned a second time
Sultan of Palembang granted V.O.C. the monopoly to sell Bangka’s entire tin production
V.O.C. war with Kandy; earlier, rebellions had broken out in V.O.C. territory
V.O.C. trading post at Mocca (Yemen) abandoned
Massacre of Chinese inhabitants of Batavia
V.O.C. Malabar force defeated by Raja of Travancore
V.O.C. acquired entire northern coast of Java
V.O.C. fleet attacked Basilan, Zamboanga (Sp. Philippines)
V.O.C. abandoned trading factory in Gamron (Persia); established Fort Mosselstein on Kharg
V.O.C. expedition against Bengal
War with Kandy on Ceylon; V.O.C. victory
Mysore conquered V.O.C. ally Calicut; V.O.C. trade in Malabar declined
Persian force conquered Fort Mosselstein from V.O.C.
Fourth Anglo-Dutch War
V.O.C. ceded Negapatnam to the E.I.C.
V.O.C. (Malacca) defeated Buginese
From 1780 onward, the V.O.C. operated at a loss
British occupation of the Cape Colony
British occupation of Malacca
British occupation of Cochin (Malabar)
British occupation of Ceylon
V.O.C. bankrupt, formally dissolved; Dutch govt. took over assets, debts

Timeline : Dutch East Indies

1800            V.O.C. formlly dissolved; Dutch govt. took over assets, debts
1802            Treaty of Amiens; British returned occupied Malacca, Moluccas to the Dutch
1806            Ministry of Colonies founded in NL
1806            British occupation of Bangka
1807            British occupation of Malacca
1808-1811    Administration of Governor Daendels; reforms
1810            British occupation of the Moluccas
1817            Botanical garden at Bogor established
1817            Currency reform : Dutch East India Guilder introduced
1818            Slave trade on Java ended
1824            Anglo-Dutch treaty; Malacca ceded to the British
1825-1830    Java War
1830            Introduction of the Cultuurstelsel (Cultivation System)
1830            Begin of Indigo cultivation on Java
1830            First steamboat arrived in the Dutch East Indies
1830            Dutch East Indian Army formed
1832            The Dutch deposed the Sultan of Jailolo and annexed Halmahera
1834            Sultan of Jambi recognized Dutch sovereignty
1838            Padri War ended; Dutch annexed Minangkabau
1838            Dutch expedition against Flores
1843            Rajah of Lombok recognized Dutch sovereignty
1845            Begin of vanilla cultivation on Java
1849            Dutch took Palembang
1851            Begin of tin mining on Biliton; Chinese workers brought in
1854            Regulations concerning gvernment (in the colonies) passed by Dutch parliament
1854            Currency reform; Dutch East India Guilder decimalized
1857            First telegraph line in D.E.I. opened, connecting Batavia and Buitenzorg
1859/1863    Slavery in D.E.I. banned
1860            Multatuli (Eduard Douwes Dekker) published “Max Havelaar”
1860            Dutch annexed Sultanate of Banjermasin
1863            Tobacco cultivation introduced to Sumatra
1863/1866    End of Cultuurstelsel
1864            First postage stamp for D.E.I. issued
1870            Steamer line connecting NL, D.E.I. via Suez Canal began operation
1873/1908    Conquest of Aceh
1873            Begin of railway construction on Java
1876            Rubber cultivation introduced on Java
1880            Coolie Ordinnance regulated treatment of workers
1883            Eruption of Krakatau
1890            Oil production on Sumatra began
1901            Queen Wilhelmina announced an Ethical Policy regarding the administration of D.E.I.
1903            First elections held on Java
1905            First trade union in D.E.I. founded, for railway workers

1907            Royal Dutch Shell formed
1912            Sarekat Islam founded
1914            D.E.I. Army organized an airforce
1916            Koloniale Raad (Colonial Council) established; later renamed Volksraad (People’s Council)
1918            Dutch government promised self-determination for D.E.I., without setting a date
1919            Air connection Batavia-Amsterdam opened by KLM
1920/1924    Communist Party of Indonesia emerged from Indies Social Democratic Association (est. 1914)
1920            PNI founded
1934            Technical Highschool established at Banten (Bandung)
1925            Airmail connection Amsterdam-Batavia opened
1925            New consitution for D.E.I.

1927            First radio station opened in Batavia
1929            Volksraad requested negotiations aiming for self-government
1933            Indonesians gained majority in the Volksraad
1934            Mutiny of the “Zeven Provincien”
1936            Begin of protectionist policy to keep out cheap Japanese imports

1936            The Dutch East Indies left the Gold Standard
1938            Dutch government rejected petition for autonomy for D.E.I.
1940            Autonomy for the D.E.I. rejected a second time by the Dutch government
1940            Netherlands occupied by the Germans; exile govt. formed, D.E.I. loyal to exile govt.
1941            Indonesian militia formed, by Volksraad decision
1942/1945   Japanese occupation
1944            The Japanese, in order to gain support of Indonesians, promised independence
1945            Indonesia proclaimed independence
1945            Bahasa Indonesia declared official language
1945            British landed, establishd British Military Administration
1948/1949    “Police Actions”; attempt by the Dutch to restore colonial rule against resistance of
independence fighters
1949             Dutch East Indies, except for West New Guinea, released into independence; country
renamed Indonesia

Timeline: Indonesia

A chronology of key events:

1670-1900 – Dutch colonists bring the whole of Indonesia under one government as the Dutch East Indies.

1928 – A youth conference pledges to work for “one nation, one language, one people” for Indonesia.

1942 – Japan invades Dutch East Indies.

1945 – The Japanese help independence leader Sukarno return from internal exile and declare independence.

1949 – The Dutch recognise Indonesian independence after four years of guerrilla warfare.

1950s – Maluku (Moluccas) declares independence from Indonesia and fights an unsuccessful separatist war.

1962 – The Dutch agree to transfer West Papua to Indonesia after a period of UN administration.

Suharto comes to power

1965 – Failed coup: In the aftermath, hundreds of thousands of suspected Communists are killed in a purge of leftists which descends into vigilantism.

1966 – Sukarno hands over emergency powers to General Suharto, who becomes president in March 1967.

1969 – West Papua formally incorporated into Indonesia, becoming Irian Jaya Province.

1975 – Portugal grants East Timor independence.

1976 – Indonesia invades East Timor and incorporates it as a province.

1997 – Asian economic crisis: Indonesian rupiah plummets in value.

1998 – Protests and rioting topple Suharto; B J Habibie becomes president.

East Timor independence vote

1999 – Ethnic violence breaks out in Maluku. Free elections are held in Indonesia.

East Timor votes for independence in UN-sponsored referendum, after which anti-independence militia go on the rampage. East Timor comes under UN administration. Abdurrahman Wahid (Gus Dur) becomes president.

15,000 died in 30-year separatist conflict

2000 – Two financial scandals dog the Wahid administration: Buloggate (embezzled funds from the state logistics agency), and Bruneigate (missing humanitarian aid funds from the Sultan of Brunei).

The corruption case against former President Suharto collapses.

Irian Jaya separatists become more vocal in demanding a referendum.

2001 – Ethnic violence in Kalimantan as indigenous Dayaks force out Madurese transmigrants. Mass political demonstrations by Wahid’s supporters and opponents. IMF stops further loans citing lack of progress in tackling corruption.

Megawati sworn in

2001 July – Parliament dismisses President Wahid over allegations of corruption and incompetence. Vice President Megawati Sukarnoputri is sworn in as his replacement, even as Wahid refuses to leave the presidential palace.


2002 January – Indonesia inaugurates human rights court which is expected to test government’s willingness to hold the military accountable for atrocities in East Timor after the 1999 independence vote.

Irian Jaya province granted greater autonomy by Jakarta, allowed to adopt locally-preferred name of Papua.

2002 May – East Timor becomes independent.

2002 August – Constitutional changes are seen as a step towards democracy. For the first time, voters will be able to elect a president and vice president.

Bali attacks

2002 October – Bomb attack on the Kuta Beach nightclub district on Bali kills 202 people, most of them tourists.

Muslim Cleric Abu Bakar Ba’asyir is arrested shortly after the bombings. He is accused of plotting to overthrow the government as the alleged spiritual leader of Jemaah Islamiah (JI), the group thought to be behind the Bali bombing.

Remembering the victims of the 2002 Bali bombings

2002 December – Government and separatist Free Aceh Movement (Gam) sign peace deal in Geneva, aimed at ending 26 years of violence. The accord provides for autonomy and free elections in the Muslim oil-rich province of Aceh; in return the Gam must disarm.

2003 May – Peace talks between government and Gam separatists break down; government mounts military offensive against Gam rebels. Martial law is imposed.

2003 August – Car bomb explodes outside the Marriott Hotel in Jakarta, killing 14 people.

2003 August-October – Three Bali bombing suspects are found guilty and sentenced to death for their roles in the 2002 attacks. A fourth suspect is given life imprisonment.

Abu Bakar Ba’asyir is cleared of treason but jailed for subversion and immigration offences. The subversion charge is later overturned.

2004 April – Parliamentary and local elections: Golkar party of former President Suharto wins greatest share of vote, with Megawati Sukarnoputri’s PDI-P coming second.

2004 July – First-ever direct presidential elections; first round narrows field to Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and incumbent Megawati Sukarnoputri.

2004 September – Car bomb attack outside Australian embassy in Jakarta kills nine, injures more than 180.

Former general Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono wins second round of presidential elections, unseating incumbent Megawati Sukarnoputri.

2004 November – End of two-year process under which 18 people were tried by Indonesian court for human rights abuses in East Timor during 1999 crisis. Only one conviction – that of militia leader Eurico Guterres – is left standing.

Tsunami; Aceh deal

2004 December – More than 220,000 people are dead or missing in Indonesia alone after a powerful undersea earthquake off Sumatra generates massive tidal waves. The waves devastate Indian Ocean communities as far afield as Thailand, India, Sri Lanka and Somalia.

2005 March – Court finds Muslim cleric Abu Bakar Ba’asyir guilty of conspiracy over 2002 Bali bombings, sentences him to two-and-a-half years in jail. He is freed in June 2006.

A powerful earthquake off Sumatra kills at least 1,000 people, many of them on the island of Nias. The quake triggers tsunami alerts around the Indian Ocean.

2005 August – Government and Free Aceh Movement separatists sign a peace deal providing for rebel disarmament and the withdrawal of government soldiers from the province. Rebels begin handing in weapons in September; government completes troop pull-out in December.

2005 September – Airliner crashes on take-off from Sumatran city of Medan, killing more than 100 passengers and around 50 people on the ground.

2005 October – Three suicide bombings on the resort island of Bali kill 23 people, including the bombers.

2006 January – East Timorese report accuses Indonesia of widespread atrocities during its 24-year occupation, holding it responsible for the deaths of more than 100,000 people.

2006 February-March – Deadly protests at a major US-owned gold and copper mine in Papua province follow attempts to remove illegal prospectors from the site.

2006 May – A powerful earthquake kills thousands of people on Java.

2006 July – A tsunami, triggered by a large undersea earthquake, kills more than 500 people on Java.

2006 December – First direct elections held in Aceh province, consolidating the August 2005 peace accord. Former separatist rebel leader Irwandi Yusuf elected governor.

Counter-terror efforts

2007 June – Police capture the alleged head of the militant group Jemaah Islamiah (JI), Zarkasih, and the leader of the group’s military wing, Abu Dujana.

2007 August – Islamist group Hizb ut-Tahrir holds international conference in Jakarta calling for creation of single state or caliphate across Muslim world.

2007 December – Alleged Jemaah Islamiah leader Zarkasih goes on trial in Jakarta.

2008 January – Former President Suharto dies.

2008 July – Final report by joint Indonesian-East Timorese Truth Commission blames Indonesia for the human rights violations in the run-up to East Timor’s independence in 1999 and urges it to apologise. President Yudhoyono expresses “deep regret” but stops short of an apology.

2008 November – Three Islamic militants convicted of carrying out the 2002 Bali bombings executed.

2009 February – Visiting US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says Indonesia will have a critical role in the new Obama administration’s foreign policy.

2009 April – President Yudhoyono’s Democrat Party increases its vote in parliamentary elections, making it the strongest party in terms of forming a viable coalition.

2009 July – President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono wins re-election.

Bombs rip through the JW Marriott and Ritz-Carlton hotels in Jakarta.

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