Sejarah Indonesia

2001 to Today

July 2001

July 26 Abdurrahman Wahid leaves for Baltimore, Maryland, USA for medical treatment.

July 26 Hamzah Haz is selected Vice-President by the Assembly.

July 26 Supreme Court judge Syafiuddin Kartasasmita is assassinated by two gunmen on motorcycles in Central Jakarta.

July 30 Floods and landslides hit Nias; governor of Sumatera Utara province blames deforestation for the disaster.

July 31 Supreme Court rules that the charges against the Golkar party (which would have led to the dissolution of the party) should be dropped.



President Megawati Sukarnoputri meeting with President Arroyo of the Philippines in November 2001.

August 2001

August 1 Bombing in Jakarta at Atrium Senen shopping plaza.

August 6 Police seize guns, grenades and ammo at Jakarta residences that had been rented by Tommy Suharto.

August 8 U.S.-owned Caltex oil operations in Riau offer a package of job offers for local residents and community development funds in order to avoid a planned blockade by protesters. Local activists had demanded a 70% stake in the operations.

August 9 President Megawati announces her new cabinet ("Gotong Royong or Mutual Cooperation Cabinet").

August 10 Siti Hardiyanti Rukmana (Tutut), daughter of former president Suharto, is questioned by police for five hours regarding the disappearance of her brother Tommy.

August 13 Ari Sigit Harjodjudanto, grandson of former president Suharto, is arrested.

August 17 President Megawati offers an apology to residents of Aceh and West Papua for human rights violations in the past.

August 17 Violence in Aceh during Independence Day celebrations includes widespread rioting and bombing and several deaths. Four banks are bombed; as many as 60 schools are burnt.

August 20 Two men are sentenced to 20 years in prison each in connection with the Stock Exchange bombing of the previous September.

August 27 A small group of Islamic fundamentalists demonstrates against President Megawati in Jakarta, claiming that a woman should not be President.

August 27 Indonesian government signs Letter of Intent with the International Monetary Fund. The agreement releases US$400 million of an eventual US$5 billion loan from the IMF to Indonesia.

August 27 The Norwegien freighter Tampa rescues over 400 Middle Eastern migrants from the sinking Indonesian ship KM Palapa 1. The migrants were leaving Indonesia and attempting to enter Australia. Australia refuses entry to the migrants, who eventually end up in Nauru.

August 29 The captain and five crew members of the ship Ocean Silver are taken hostage in the Straits of Malacca by members of Gerakan Aceh Merdeka and held for a Rp300 million ransom.


September 2001

September 6 Rector of Syiah Kuala University in Banda Aceh is assassinated.

September 7 President Megawati presents the 2002 budget to the Assembly. The budget assumes economic growth and lower debt burdens in the coming year.

September 9 President Megawati visits Aceh for a meeting with community leaders. Just after the meeting, members of Gerakan Aceh Merdeka kidnap the community leaders at gunpoint for 24 hours.

September 9 The Partai Demokrat is founded by supporters of Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.

September 18 Former vice-president and retired Gen. Try Sutrisno makes an out-of-court agreement with family members of victims of the Tanjung Priok violence of 1984.

September 18 President Megawati arrives in Washington on a state visit. Megawati condems the September 11 terrorist attacks on the U.S. The U.S. and Indonesia agree to restore some military ties which had previously been cancelled over the issue of East Timor. The U.S. also pledges another US$150 million in aid to Indonesia to support legal reforms, reconstruction and refugee assistance in Maluku and Aceh, and police training.

September 21 U.S. Ambassador Gelbard asks for police protection for the U.S. Embassy against anti-U.S. demonstrations.

September 23 Bombing in Jakarta at Atrium Senen shopping plaza.

September 23 Islamic radicals conduct a "sweep" for foreigners, particularly U.S. citizens, through Surakarta and Jepara, threatening them if they do not agree to leave the country. Police vow to stop such "sweeps" in the future.

September 24 Suripto, former head of the government's Forestry and Plantations Department, wins a Rp500 million judgment against former president Wahid. Wahid had accused Suripto of corruption and of helping Tommy Suharto escape the police; Suripto claimed that the charges were false and had damaged his reputation.

September 28 Ilaga town in West Papua province is burned down by OPM supporters.

In September 2001, relations with Australia were strained over the issue of illegal immigrants who were using Indonesia as a base for entry into Australia.

October 2001

October 1 Supreme Court dismisses case against Tommy Suharto involving corrupt land deals and Bulog.

October 4 Cabinet meeting results in broad government decision to prohibit excessive demonstrations and acts of violence against foreigners, and to prohibit Indonesian citizens from joining foreign military services at war.

October 7 Garment factories in Semarang lay off 1200 workers. Footwear and electronic factories also report slowdowns.

October 8 Indonesian government expresses concern over the U.S. actions in Afghanistan, and asks the U.N. to pay attention to humanitarian issues there. Partai Keadilan members demonstrate at the U.S. Embassy. Islamic fundamentalists in Lashkar Jihad and other radical groups threaten to attack U.S. citizens on Indonesian soil.

October 13 Vice-President Hamzah Haz criticizes the U.S. actions in Afghanistan. Police arrest over 60 demonstrators on weapons charges.

October 19 Partai Keadilan members demonstrate again at the U.S. Embassy. Hamzah Haz asks for a stop to demonstrations and to calls for boycotts against the U.S.

October 20 Nations at the APEC economic meeting in Shanghai pass an anti-terrorism resolution; Indonesia supports the resolution.

October 31 Attorney General's office questions Akbar Tanjung and retired Gen. Wiranto regarding the Bulog investigation.

October 31 Assembly committee reaches agreement on recommendations for constitutional changes, including allowing the direct election of the President and Vice-President.

Hamzah Haz, from the PPP party, Vice-President in Megawati's administration.

November 2001

November 1 President Megawati, addressing the Assembly (MPR), calls for a ceasefire in Afghanistan.

November 6 Attorney General's office sends a request to Bank Indonesia to freeze the funds of any persons or groups suspected of having ties to international terrorism.

November 6 ASEAN nations and China agree to form a regional free trade zone within ten years.

November 7 Chinese Prime Minister Zhu Rongji visits Jakarta.

November 8 Member nations of the Consultative Group on Indonesia approve a US$3.14 billion loan to cover the Indonesian government's budget deficit for 2002.

November 11 Theys Eluay, leader of the independence movement for Papua (Irian Jaya), is found dead in a town east of Jayapura. The body was found in a crashed vehicle with police license plates, and showed signs of beating. Scattered rioting breaks out around Jayapura. The next day, TNI officials in Jakarta deny that the Army was involved in the killing of Theys Eluay.

November 12 Ja'Far Umar Thalib, leader of the Laskar Jihad extremist group, says in an interview that his organization had been offered money and weapons by Osama bin Laden five years earlier, but that the offer was turned down.

November 19 Indonesia offers to send peacekeeping troops to Afghanistan.

November 20 Former finance director of Bulog testifies in a hearing at the Attorney General's office that he witnessed the transfer of Rp 40 billion to Akbar Tanjung. Akbar Tanjung denies receiving the funds personally.

November 26 A report issued after a meeting between Assembly members and Finance Minister Boediono states that as much as 40 percent of funds intended for local governments are misappropriated. Vice-President Hamzah Haz requests an investigation the next day.

November 28 Laskar Jihad fighters burn four Christian villages near Poso, Sulawesi Tengah. At least 3 are killed; as many as 40,000 are made refugees.

November 28 Tommy Suharto (Hutomo Mandala Putra) is found and arrested by police in Tangerang.

November 29 Government announces intention to pursue charges against Tommy Suharto, including involvement in the killing of Judge Kartasasmita, possession of weapons and explosives, involvement in the bombing at Taman Mini Indonesia Indah, and fleeing arrest.


December 2001

December 2 Attorneys for Tommy Suharto claim that he had paid money to former President Wahid in exchange for special legal treatment. Officials of Wahid's PKB party deny the allegations.

December 5 Security Minister Yudhoyono visits Poso, Sulawesi Tengah, amid continuing violence there.

December 11 Former President Habibie, in Germany, is questioned by Indonesian prosecutors regarding the Bulog funds investigation. Habibie tells them that he instructed Akbar Tanjung to disburse Rp 40 million in food aid to the poor in February 1999, but never received a report back on the disbursements.

December 12 Army spokesman states that camps for extremist Islamic militants on Sulawesi have had ties with the international al-Qaeda network in the past.

December 20 Leaders of Muslim and Christian communities around Poso, Sulawesi Tengah, issue a declaration agreeing to end three years of intercommunal fighting.

During the first half of December, the Army sent over 3,000 fresh security forces to the area around Poso, Sulawesi Tengah, to help stop the continuing violence between Christians and Muslims there. Over 1,000 had been killed in the violence there in the previous two years.

January 2002

January 2 Government begins instituting price increases for electricity, oil products, and telephone services. Kerosene shortages break out in scattered communities.

January 8 PDI-P members of the Assembly request that Akbar Tanjung resign as Speaker. Amien Rais joins the calls for Akbar Tanjung's resignation the next day.

January 11 President Megawati meets with the head of Bulog regarding steeply rising rice prices.

January 17 Government raises the domestic price of oil by 22 percent; future prices are to be adjusted according to international market prices.

January 17 Fathur Rohman, an Indonesian citizen, is arrested in Manila in connection with fatal terrorist bombings there in December 2000. He admits to being a member of the Jemaah Islamiya terrorist group. The arrest leads Philippine police to a house in General Santos, Mindanao, containing over a ton of explosives. He is later tried and found guilty.

January 20 PKB conference in Yogya opens membership in the party to persons who are not members of Nahdlatul Ulama, including non-Muslims.

January 22 Army security forces attack a Gerakan Aceh Merdeka headquarters in the hills near Pidie; Teungku Abdullah Syafi'e, leader of GAM, is killed.

January 28 Golkar Party leadership appoints "Team of Five" or "Rescue Team" to protect the party's future and integrity as charges are brought against Akbar Tanjung.

Price increases for kerosene, a staple fuel in many households, were controversial, even though the subsidized price for kerosene was less than half the price for kerosene in neighboring Malaysia.

February 2002

February 2 Indonesian government and Gerakan Aceh Merdeka begin new round of talks in Geneva.

February 5 Assembly committee votes to deny an official reception for Australian Prime Minister Howard, in protest of Australia's interference in internal Indonesian affairs.

February 5 Akbar Tanjung testifies in a hearing at the Attorney General's office about the distribution of Bulog funds in 1999, stating that everything was done according to former President Habibie's policies.

February 8 Students protest as Australian P.M. Howard visits Gadjah Mada University in Yogyakarta.

February 11 Muslim and Christian community leaders from Maluku meet at Malino, Sulawesi Selatan, to explore a possible end to the conflict in Maluku. A preliminary agreement is reached the next day. .

February 18 President Megawati makes Chinese New Year a national holiday.

February 18 Senior Minister Lee Kwan Yew of Singapore criticizes Indonesia, saying that leaders of the Jemaah Islamiya and al-Qaeda terrorist networks operate freely in Indonesia and pose a security threat to Singapore.

February 20 Tommy Suharto is placed in custody in Cipinang Prison in Jakarta. r.

February 27 Muslim and Christian residents of villages near Ambon hold a peace parade.

Flooding in the Jakarta area led to greater discussions of uncontrolled building both in the area and in the hills to the sound, and calls for better planning and smarter development.

March 2002

March 1 Rahardi Ramelan, former head of Bulog, is arrested.

March 5 Government backs down on its plan to allow large businesses with agreements to repay their restructuring debts to the government over four years to extend their repayments over ten years.

March 5 Demonstration by Muslim activists at the office of the Governor of Maluku in Ambon breaks down into violence.

March 7 Akbar Tanjung and two others are taken into custody for 20 days in connection with the ongoing Bulog investigation.

March 7 Tommy Suharto is charged with murder in connection with the killing of Judge Kartasasmita.

March 8 Attorneys for Akbar Tanjung and members of the Golkar Party leadership ask that Akbar Tanjung's be released on his own recognizance, with the condition that he not leave Jakarta.

March 11 Winfried Simatupang, one of the suspects in the ongoing Bulog investigation, returns Rp 32 billion of the missing funds, and offers to return the remainder, in contradiction to his previous statements that the money had already been spent to buy food aid for the poor.

March 13 Governor of Bank Indonesia Syahril Sabirin is sentenced to three years in prison for corruption in the Bank Bali scandal. He says he will appeal and refuses to step down.

March 13 Former President Wahid suggests in a panel discussion in Yogyakarta that more public figures will become suspects in the Bulog investigation.

March 15 Former East Timor Governor Abilio Soares and former East Timor Police Chief Timbul Silaen go on trial for human rights violations during the 1999 referendum.

March 19 Five military and police officers go on trial for charges related to a massacre at a church in Suai, East Timor, in September 1999.

March 20 Tommy Suharto goes on trial in Jakarta.

March 20 Vice-President Hamzah Haz states that there is no plan to place U.S. military forces in Indonesia, in reply to unsubstantiated reports in the U.S. press. U.S. officials deny the reports two days later.

March 21 Philippine police arrest three Indonesian citizens in Manila for possession of explosives and suspicion of planning terrorist activities. One of them, Tamsil Linrung, had been active in Assembly Speaker Amien Rais' PAN party. Linrung and one of the other suspects are released at the request of the Indonesian government.

March 24 President Megawati leaves on a state visit to China, North Korea, and India. While away, she criticizes Israeli actions in the Palestinian territories. China offers US$400 million in loans.

March 26 Investigators report to a commission of the Assembly that at least 44 persons or institutions had taken Bulog funds illegally between 1993 and 2000, and that the list of suspects had been delivered to former Attorney General Marzuki Darusman in August 2000, but no action had been taken.


April 2002

April 3 Fatal bombing in Ambon is followed by a fire which burns down the Governor's office.

April 4 Ret. Gen. Wiranto testifies as a witness in the trial of Soares and Silaen, stating that in his view the violence in East Timor in September 1999 occurred after the departure of Indonesian military and police forces due to the lack of any law enforcement.

April 5 Court releases Akbar Tanjung from detention pending the outcome of his trial. The other defendants in the Bulog-related cases remain in custody.

April 9 Police reveal that five suspected members of the al-Qaeda terrorist network had arrived in Medan with Singaporean passports the previous January 6, but that their current whereabouts remain unknown. Officials in Singapore accused one of the five of unsuccessfully planning a terrorist attack on Changi Airport in Singapore.

April 10 Military police arrest three officers for the killing of Theys Eluay.

April 12 Indonesia reaches an agreement with the "Paris Club" group of nations to restructure US$5.4 billion of its foreign debt, including interest payments. The rupiah and stock prices rise on the news.

April 15 Joint delegation of Christian and Muslim religious leaders visits Ambon to support the peace process.

April 17 Police take Alex Manuputty, leader of the Front for Moluccan Sovereignty (a Christian faction in Ambon), into custody for questioning.

April 20 Vice-President Hamzah Haz tells reporters that Indonesia's national debt has reached Rp 1.3 trillion.

April 25 Local Christian and Muslim residents organize unsuccessful patrols to prevent members of the Front for Maluku Sovereignty from holding a ceremonies to raise the flag of the Republik Maluku Selatan (Republic of the South Moluccas) from the 1940s. Scattered violence breaks out.

April 30 Dadang Sukandar testifies in court that the official report on the distribution of Bulog funds for food aid to the poor was fiction, as well as several other official reports on the disbursement of funds.


May 2002

May 3 Government forces conduct a sweep of private residences in Ambon, searching for weapons.

May 4 Police in Surabaya arrest Ja'Far Umar Thalib, leader of the extremist Laskar Jihad movement, which had sent weapons and fighters to Ambon and Maluku.

May 7 Vice-President Hamzah Haz visits Ja'Far Umar Thalib in jail.

May 8 Winfried Simatupang testifies in court that the return of Rp 40 billion in Bulog funds was part of a plan to rescue Akbar Tanjung from the case.

May 8 Two gunmen are sentenced to life in prison for the killing of Judge Kartasasmita in July 2001.

May 8 Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines sign an agreement to fight terrorist activities jointly.

May 15 Four are wounded by gunfire in a dispute between Army forces and Police in Ambon.

May 19 President Megawati attends ceremonies in Dili, East Timor, as control is transferred from United Nations forces to independent East Timor.

May 21 Representatives of ASEAN nations, meeting in Kuala Lumpur, agree to form a joint front to fight terrorism in the region.

May 27 A group of local oil-producing districts threatens to cut off oil and gas production in their areas unless the central government keeps its promises regarding the division of oil revenues between local governments and Jakarta. Finance minister Boediono invites provincial officials to meet with him to discuss the matter.

May 27 United Nations summit meeting on the global environment opens on Bali, with over 6000 delegates.

May 29 Vice-President Hamzah Haz pays a visit to Abu Bakar Ba'asyir in Surakarta. Malaysia and Singapore had accused Ba'asyir of being a secret leader of Jemaah Islamiya and of having ties to the international al-Qaeda network.

Ja'Far Umar Thalib and Abu Bakar Ba'asyir were among the extremist leaders who were accused of having links with international terrorism in 2002. Thalib was the leader of Laskar Jihad, a group which was known to have advocated violence against non-Muslims in Maluku and other areas. Ba'asyir operated a pesantren (Islamic boarding school) in Surakarta, but was accused of being the secret leader of Jemaah Islamiya, which had been involved in planning unsuccessful terrorist attacks in Singapore. Both were accused of having contact with the infamous al-Qaeda terrorist network. While the views of such men were not widely respected in Indonesia, their contacts with foreign terrorists and willingness to resort to violence caused concern.

June 2002

June 3 National Development Planning Minister Kwik Kian Gie says that Indonesia should stop accepting IMF loans if the conditions for their acceptance are too harsh.

June 5 Omar al-Faruq, a Kuwaiti citizen and high-ranking member of the al-Qaeda terrorist group, is arrested by Indonesian authorities. He is later transferred to U.S. custody and sent to Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan for questioning.

Bomb blast on a bus near Poso, Sulawesi Tengah kills four.

June 7 Army Gen. Sutarto is installed as armed forces chief.

June 8 Indonesia hosts the first Southwest Pacific forum, attended by senior officials from Indonesia, Australia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Papua New Guinea and East Timor.

June 10 IBRA cancels a planned sale of its 51 percent share of Bank Niaga due to low bids.

June 11 Vice-President Hamzah Haz visits Ambon, warning that the government will crack down on any groups that promote unrest there. He donates Rp 100 million to a church in Soya village that was destroyed in April. However, he also visits a school and clinic run by Laskar Jihad supporters.

June 12 Indonesia agrees to economic reforms in exchange for a resumption of IMF loans.

June 13 Bankruptcy court declares Manulife Indonesia, a local affiliate of a Canadian insurance corporation, to be bankrupt even though it posted a profit for the previous year.

June 25 Justice Minister Mahendra says that an investigation will be conducted into allegations of bribery and corruption around the Manulife Indonesia case.

Info from al-Faruq would later prove vital in arresting and charging suspects in the Bali bombings of October 2002.

July 2002

July 2 East Timor President Gusmao visits Jakarta. Indonesia and East Timor establish full diplomatic ties.

July 10 Security Minister Yudhoyono visits Aceh; seven are killed during clashes in eastern Aceh.

July 26 Tommy Suharto is sentenced to 15 years in jail for murder.


August 2002

August 1 New Malaysian immigration law goes into effect, with punishments for illegal migrant workers including caning and prison. Tens of thousands of Indonesian migrant workers leave Malaysia for border camps in Indonesia.

August 3 5,000 demostrate outside the Assembly building in Jakarta, demanding that shariah law be recognized in the constitution. Among the demonstrators are Jafar Umar Thalib and Abu Bakar Baasyir.

August 10 The Assembly (MPR) passes changes to Indonesia's constitution allowing for direct election of the President and Vice-President, and ending the allocation of Assembly seats for the armed forces.

August 13 Muslim "laskar" burn Christian homes around Poso, Sulawesi Tengah; five are killed.

August 14 Former Gov. Soares of the Indonesian province of East Timor is convicted of crimes against humanity, but only sentenced to three years in jail.

August 15 Six military officers are acquitted of war crimes in a government human rights tribunal in Jakarta.

August 17 Grenade attack on an Independence Day crowd in Banda Aceh injures 13.

August 19 Security Minister Yudhoyono says that GAM rebels have until the end of Ramadan (December 7, 2002) to accept a peace agreement.

August 19 Alex Manuputty, a Christian militia leader from Maluku, goes on trial in Jakarta on charges of separatism.

August 20 Amien Rais calls new Malaysian immigration laws "inhumane and insulting."

August 25 Indonesian forces kill at least 11 GAM rebels in clashes in Aceh.

August 31 Truck convoy is attacked near the Freeport McMoran Grasberg mine at Tembagapura, Papua; three are killed.


September 2002

September 4 Akbar Tanjung is found guilty of corruption and sentenced to three years in jail.

September 11 Large demonstrations against Jakarta Gov. Sutiyoso are dispersed with violence. About 30 demonstrators are hospitalized after receiving food during the demonstration that contained cyanide. Gov. Sutiyoso is re-elected to his post by the city council for another five-year term despite charges of vote manipulation.


October 2002

October 2 United States and Indonesia agree to reschedule $485.5 million in debt payments.

October 3 Media reports in Australia say that the Australian military is investigating allegations of torture, mistreatment and execution of pro-Indonesian prisoners by Australian forces in East Timor in October 1999.

October 10 Members of Jemaah Islamiyah, the Malaysian KMM extremist movement, and Syafullah, a Yemeni al-Qaeda operative previously involved in the bombing of U.S. military barracks in Saudi Arabia in 1996, meet in Semarang to make final plans for the bombing of "soft targets" in Bali.

October 10 Members of Jemaah Islamiyah hold a press conference in Surakarta, saying that if Abu Bakar Ba'asyir, head of Jemaah Islamiyah, is arrested, they will wage jihad.

October 12 Bomb blasts in Denpasar, Bali, kill 202, including 88 Australians.

October 13 Laskar Jihad headquarters in Yogya closes suddenly.

October 14 Defense Minister Matori Abdul Djalil tells reporters that the Bali bombings were the work of "al-Qaeda and local terrorists".

October 15 700 out of about 3000 Laskar Jihad paramilitaries in the Ambon area leave Maluku by ship.

October 18 Abu Bakar Ba'asyir, head of Jemaah Islamiyah, is arrested in connection with the bombings of December 24, 2000, and a plot to assassinate President Megawati.

October 19 President Megawati signs two new anti-terrorism decrees, giving police the ability to detain terrorism suspects for six months without trial, and authorizing the death penalty for terrorist acts. Nahdlatul Ulama and Muhammadiyah express their support for the new anti-terrorism decrees.

October 28 President Megawati makes an unannounced visit to Bali on the way back from an APEC conference in Mexico, visiting burn victims in the hospital and the site of the attacks.

October 31 Armed forces chief Gen. Sutarto makes a public statement that all "laskar" and related paramilitary groups should disband.

During this time, Sultan Hamengkubuwono X of Yogya led a public campaign urging extremists to leave the city of Yogyakarta.

November 2002

November 2 Earthquake measuring 7.5 on the Richter scale hits Simeulue island off Aceh, causing injuries and destruction.

November 3 Annual ASEAN summit is held in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, under tight security. Leaders attending the summit agree to take joint action against regional terror groups.

November 5 Police arrest Amrozi, the owner of a van used in the Bali bombings, and charge him with purchasing explosives used in the attack.

November 7 Government forces begin a siege of GAM forces at Paya Cot Trieng in northern Aceh.

November 21 Imam Samudra, a leading suspect in the Bali bombings thought to be the chief tactical and financial planner of the attacks, is arrested in Merak, Jawa Barat, while boarding a ferry for Sumatra.

November 27 Imam Samudra admits to police that he has connections with Hambali, a fugitive leader of Jemaah Islamiyah with al-Qaeda connections.

November 27 Eurico Guterres, leader of the pro-Indonesian Aitarak militia in East Timor, is sentenced to 10 years in prison by an Indonesian court for human rights violations and crimes against humanity.

November 29 Defense Minister Matori Abdul Jalil says that Abu Bakar Ba'asyir was probably involved in the Bali bombings.

November 29 Four military officers are acquitted in an Indonesian court of charges of failing to prevent pro-Indonesian militias from killing 22 in Liquiçá, East Timor, in April 1999.


December 2002

December 1 Australian P.M. Howard tells reporters that the U.N. Charter should be changed to allow countries to make pre-emptive strikes against terrorists in other countries. Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines protest.

December 3 Ali Ghufron or "Mukhlas", a suspect in the Bali bombings and a leader of Jemaah Islamiyah, is arrested near Surakarta along with several others.

December 5 Bombings linked with Laskar Jundullah in Makassar kill three.

December 9 Indonesian diplomats and Gerakan Aceh Merdeka representatives sign a peace accord in Geneva. Details include a cease-fire to be monitored by foreign observers, and elections for an autonomous legislative body in 2004, and an agreement to allow the province to keep 70% of oil and gas revenues.

December 17 The International Court of Justice awards the disputed islands of Sipadan and Ligitan off Kalimantan Timur to Malaysia. Indonesia says it will abide by the decision of the court.

December 24 Rahardi Ramelan, former head of Bulog under President Habibie, is found guilty on corruption charges.

December 28 Monitoring teams begin work of observing the peace process in Aceh. Teams consist of Indonesian military and GAM representatives alongside military observers from Thailand and the Philippines.


January 2003

January 1 Government raises fuel prices by 22%, telephone rates by 15% and electric rates by 6% under pressure from the IMF and other finanical aid organizations.

January 3 Seven soldiers go on trial for the killing of Theys Eluay in 2001.

January 7 Lawyers for the suspects in the Bali bombings are attacked by Balinese onlookers as they leave court in Denpasar. A request to move the trial is denied.

January 14 Police arrest two suspects in Kalimantan Timur in connection with the October Bali bombings. The two were attempting to flee the country.

January 15 Government postpones the January 1 raise in telephone rates indefinitely.

January 20 Government announces a rollback of some of the January 1 fuel price increases to 8%, after weeks of street protests.

January 21 Police recommend to prosecutors that Abu Bakar Ba'asyir be charged with treason for plotting to overthrow the government and assassinate President Megawati.

January 21 Indonesia gets US$2.8 billion in loans from the CGI group of donor nations, after a conference on Bali.

January 21 Economics minister Kuntjoro-Jakti says that Indonesia will not rely on International Monetary Fund financial aid after the end of the year, due to the burdensome restrictions required by the IMF loans.

The 2003 Annual Report on press freedom by RSF stated that "the Indonesian press is one of the freest in South-East Asia." While the group still found room for improvement, this report recognized remarkable improvement in this field for Indonesia in just the previous 5 years.

February 2003

February 2 Indonesian police arrest Mas Selamat Kastari, the head of the Singapore branch of Jemaah Islamiyah, on Bintan.

February 3 Bomb explodes at the entrance to Indonesian Police headquarters in Jakarta.

February 9 50,000 attend a demonstration organized by Partai Keadilan against possible war in Iraq.

February 11 Ali Imron, one of the suspects in the Bali bombings, confesses at a police-organized news conference in Denpasar.

February 18 Assembly passes a bill requiring that 30% of all candidates for Assembly seats should be female.

February 25 Ret. Gen. Wiranto and six other military leaders are indicted for war crimes by the U.N. regarding the election violence in East Timor in 1999. The Indonesian government says it will ignore the indictments; Amien Rais issues an official protest.


March 2003

March 4 First shari'ah court for criminal cases opens in Aceh.

March 9 300,000 take part in an NU-led demonstration in Surabaya against a U.S.-led war in Iraq.


April 2003

April 27 Bomb at Sukarno-Hatta airport in Jakarta injures 11.


May 2003

May 18 Talks between the government and GAM rebels break down. Martial law is declared in Aceh. TNI opens a major offensive against GAM in Aceh.


August 2003

August 5 A suicide bombing outside the Marriott hotel in Jakarta kills 10.

August 14 Riduan Isamuddin or "Hambali", a leader of Jemaah Islamiyah and associate of al-Qaeda, is arrested in Thailand.


September 2003

September 2 Abu Bakar Ba'asyir is acquitted on terrorism charges, but found guilty of plotting to overthrow the Indonesian government.

September 9 Abdul Aziz is sentenced to death for his part in the Bali bombings.

September 19 Ali Imron is sentenced for his part in the Bali bombings.


October 2003

October 1 Ali Ghufron or "Mukhlas" is sentenced to death for his part in the Bali bombings.

October 6 ASEAN, Indian, Chinese and Japanese leaders meet on Bali to discuss forming an Asian economic community.

October 22 U.S. President Bush visits Bali for three hours and meets with President Megawati, Hasyim Muzadi, chairman of Nahdlatul Ulama, and others. Amid widespread skepticism of the visit, Megawati notes in her comments that her government and the Bush administration "do not always share common perspective."


January 2004

January 16 Wiranto states that he will run for president in the July elections.

January 30 Government announces a selective cull of chickens to combat bird flu.

The Indonesian government was initially criticized for a slow response to the outbreak of H5N1 or "bird flu", however, after five years no major epidemic had erupted.

February 2004

February 5 Earthquake in Papua kills 23.


March 2004

March 11 Yudhoyono resigns as Security Minister, and states that he will run for president in July.

Relations between Yudhoyono and President Megawati's administration had been increasingly tense in the previous six months.

April 2004

April 5 DPR elections are held. Golkar wins the largest number of seats (21.6%), followed by Megawati's PDI-P party (18.5%).

April 20 Wiranto becomes the official Golkar candidate for President.


May 2004

May 10 A United Nations tribunal issues an arrest warrant for Wiranto regarding the 1999 events in East Timor.


July 2004

July 5 Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono leads with 33% of the vote among many candidates in the first round of the Presidential election.


August 2004

August 6 Convictions of four Indonesian officers for crimes in East Timor in 1999 are overturned on appeal.


September 2004

September 6 Car bomb in Jakarta kills 8.

September 20 Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono wins with almost 61% of the vote in the runoff round of the Presidential election.


October 2004

October 20 Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono is sworn in as President.

President Yudhoyono
Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, the first directly elected President of Indonesia, popularly called "SBY".

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