A Fragile Nation: The Indonesian Crisis by Khoon Choy Lee

By Khoon Choy Lee

In may possibly 1998, President Suharto stepped down as President of Indonesia. together with his fall, the 3rd greatest state in Asia has plunged into anarchy and political, fiscal and social strife. Racial and spiritual clashes, culminating in riots, burning and chaos, became the order of the day. Fissures within the social cloth are widening and there's actual risk that this multi-racial, multi-religious and multi-cultural kingdom may well collapse, similar to Yugoslavia and the Soviet Union. during this publication, the writer portrays the Indonesian humans, their heritage and their cultural traditions. He offers insightful analyses and views of the political cave in of Suharto and describes the chance dealing with the rustic. Describing the variety within the heritage, traditions, customs and cultures of a number of the ethnic teams, he presents an realizing of Indonesia. the writer goals to convey outsider's readability of belief and the journalist-diplomat's event of culture and historical past to the issues and to talk with authority and sensitivity in regards to the demanding situations dealing with an enormous, heterogeneous state that contains 336 ethnic teams talking 250 dialects.

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Violence erupted again when proindependence forces clashed with pro-Jakarta forces causing about 30 people to be killed. The pro-Jakarta elements have asked the Indonesian Armed Forces (Abri) to give them arms so that they could protect themselves. As early as 12 July, 1998, non-East Timorese farmers including ethnic Javanese and Bugis from South Sulawesi who had previously transmigrated to Dili, the East Timorese capital, were fleeing from their home town. Hundreds of cars and buses loaded with these transmigrants, many of whom are civil servants and small traders, were taking them out of East Timor.

The monument was to commemorate the millions of unknown soldiers who had sacrificed their lives for independence. After the fall of Suharto, even the Pancasila philosophy is facing a serious challenge by some fundamentalist Muslims who are clamouring for an Islamic state for Indonesia. The success of the Islamic revolutions, particularly in Iran and elsewhere, have encouraged them to revive the Islamic dream of enforcing Islamic law in Indonesia. p65 5 08/11/2000, 10:24 AM 6 A F R A G I L E N A T I O N that political parties be freed from the state ideology of Pancasila, and also demanding the establishment of an Islamic state in Indonesia.

There is a serious religious clash between the Muslims and the Christians in Ambon, resulting in at least 1,000 dead and hundreds wounded. The Muslims were burning down Christian churches, and the Christians destroying mosques. Jakarta Muslims are calling for a “jihad” (religious war) in Ambon. p65 2 08/11/2000, 10:24 AM I N T R O D U C T I O N 3 to other provinces where there are Christians. These events showed a serious infringement of the spirit of tolerance as symbolised by the motto Bhinneka Tunggul Ika (Unity in Diversity) inscribed on the Indonesian state crest.

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