Indonesia Time Line
Just a few years ago, Indonesia was a promising economic tiger. Today, it is a country teetering on the brink of economic and social chaos. The following are some of the significant events in the unfolding crisis. (Note: Dates reflect time of publication).
| Sept. 1999
| Aug. 1999
| July 1999
| June 1999
| Jan. 1999 |
| Nov. 1998 |
| Sept. 1998 |
June 1998 |
May 1998 |
April 1998 |
| March 1998 |
| Feb. 1998 |
Jan. 1998 |
01: E. Timor Militia Resume Violence After Vote
Anti-independence militias returned to the streets of Dili, the capital of East Timor, and elsewhere around the territory, eliminating the hopes of peace after Monday's relatively violence-free referendum.
30: Security Tight as East Timor Polls Open
After 300 years of Portuguese rule and a quarter-century under Indonesian military occupation, the people of East Timor were finally allowed to vote on independence. Analysts believe that barring intimidation, they will choose it overwhelmingly.
03: Indonesian Politicians Mobilize to Stop Victor
The former ruling party in Indonesia, Golkar, has been scrambling to try to block opposition leader Megawati Sukarnoputri from becoming the country's next president.
30: Megawati Calls for New Indonesian Government
Indonesia's presidential front-runner, Megawati Sukarnoputri, proclaimed victory today for her political party and demanded that the current government step aside and make way for her new administration.
30: Militias Hit U.N. Office in E. Timor
More than 100 anti-independence militiamen surrounded a newly opened U.N. outpost in the town of Maliana, showering the building with stones and injuring a diplomat from South Africa.
11: In Indonesia, Opposition Seizes Lead
Despite a slow vote count, the opposition Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P), led by Megawati Sukarnoputri, appeared ready to emerge as the dominant party in the new parliament, capturing between 35 and 40 percent of the vote.
09: Long-Dominant Party Faces Defeat In Indonesian Vote
The Golkar party that has dominated Indonesian politics for three decades appeared to have lost its parliamentary majority in the country's first free elections in 44 years, according to fractional official returns and reports.
08: Indonesia Holds Its First Free Elections in 44 Years
More than 100 million Indonesians embrace a new era of democracy by casting ballots in the country's first free election in more than four decades.
05: Indonesian Leader Urges End to Violence
President B.J. Habibie calls for an end to violence in Indonesia following protests and riots that left at least 14 people dead and hundreds injured in three provinces.
15: Riots Follow Peaceful Jakarta Protest
Metal grates were ripped from storefronts, cars set ablaze and plumes of thick black smoke again could be seen over the capital as a massive student-led "people power" movement at the gates of parliament gave way to scattered rioting and looting in other parts of the city.
07: Indonesian Students Riot, Ask President to Resign
Hundreds of student demonstrators demanding the resignation of President B.J. Habibie tear down the front gate of Indonesia's parliament building in the largest protest since the mass demonstrations in May.
17: Marchers Protest Killing in E. Timor
Thousands of people march through the streets of Dili, East Timor in mournful remembrance of a recent victim of Indonesian occupation.
02: Indonesia Begins Probe of Suharto Wealth
Indonesian authorities order a probe into former President Suharto's wealth, following mounting calls for an investigation into the corrupt business practices that characterized his 32-year rule.
29: Indonesian President Agrees to 1999 Elections
Indonesian President B. J. Habibie agreed with parliamentary leaders on a plan to hold elections in 1999, following an overhaul of the country's political system by its national assembly later this year.
26: Habibie Promises Open Elections
Indonesia's new president, B.J. Habibie, pledged to lift restrictions on political parties and hold open elections as part of a package of reform measures that would liberalize life in the world's fourth most-populous nation.
22: U.S. Ties Aid to Reforms by Successor
With the resignation of Indonesia's President Suharto, the Clinton administration said that further international aid to the country would depend on its progress toward establishing a government with broad popular support.
21: Suharto Resigns, Names Successor
Indonesia's beleaguered President Suharto stepped down this morning from the post he has held for 32 years, defeated by mounting popular unrest and a collapsed economy he was unable to revive. His handpicked vice president, B.J. Habibie, was immediately sworn in as head of the nation.
20: Jakarta Opposition Rejects Suharto Plan
Thousands of cheering, chanting students continued their occupation of the Indonesian parliament grounds in a show of defiance of President Suharto and his plan to stay in office long enough to oversee a gradual transition to a new, elected leadership.
19: Suharto to Step Aside
Embattled Indonesian President Suharto, facing mounting calls for his resignation that have spread to the top ranks of his ruling party, told his crisis-wracked nation that he will remain in office only until a new parliament can be elected to choose his successor.
16: Indonesia Tallies Victims, Eyes Suharto
As heavily-armed troops backed by tanks and armored vehicles patrolled the debris-strewn streets of this ravaged capital, Indonesians tallied the victims of Thursday's violent outburst and anticipated the next act in the political drama being played out in the cloistered confines of the presidential residence.
14: Riots Rage in Indonesian Capital
Indonesia's capital erupted in an orgy of rioting and looting, with young protesters burning hundreds of stores, vehicles and offices across the city, sending panicked residents fleeing for the airport. The riots exposed publicly, for the first time, the serious rifts within the Indonesian armed forces.
13: Police Slay 6 Jakarta Protesters
Police opened fire on thousands of anti-government demonstrators at a Jakarta university, killing six and wounding more than a dozen others in the bloodiest outbreak of violence yet in Indonesia's growing political crisis.
12: Muslim Leader Urges Suharto to Step Down
A prominent Muslim leader and opposition figure called on President Suharto to step down today a move observers said is likely to energize student demonstrators who have been pressing the aging general to release his 32-year grip on power.
06: Indonesians Riot as Prices Rise
Riots and looting broke out in Medan in northern Indonesia, and tens of thousands of students demonstrated in other parts of the country as price increases went into effect as part of an economic reform plan worked out with the International Monetary Fund.
28: Indonesian Activist Describes Torture
A prominent opposition figure who reportedly was abducted for two months earlier this year said that his captors beat him and administered electric shocks in an attempt to discover details of his political activities.
23: Indonesia Meets First IMF Deadline
The government of President Suharto said that it has met the first deadline for revamping the nation's economic system under the terms of its latest bailout agreement with the International Monetary Fund.
08: Indonesia, IMF Agree to Bailout Revision
The International Monetary Fund reached an agreement with Indonesia that allowed the country's $43 billion international bailout to resume.
25: U.S. to Give Indonesia $56 Million in Aid
The Clinton administration said it would donate $56 million in food and medical aid to Indonesia, even as Washington continued to demand economic reforms from the government of President Suharto.
14: Suharto Ignores Criticism, Names Cronies to Cabinet
President Suharto effectively thumbed his nose at the West by naming a controversial cabinet of cronies, including his eldest daughter and one of his closest business associates.
12: Suharto Issues Call for Unity
President Suharto began a seventh five-year term today with a somber call for national unity and collective austerity, as thousands of students staged their biggest and most fiery anti-government protest since the economic crisis began eight months ago.
10: Suharto Reelected President
Indonesia's legislature appointed President Suharto, Asia's longest serving leader, to a seventh five-year term today after granting him sweeping new powers in the midst of the country's worst economic and political crisis in three decades.
18: Suharto Fires Central Bank Governor
President Suharto fired the independent-minded governor of Indonesia's central bank, exposing deep fissures within the country's ruling circle over economic policy and raising new questions about the future of a $43 billion International Monetary Fund bailout plan.
14: One Dead as Price Riots Escalate in Indonesia Towns
Rioters burned shops, set merchandise ablaze in the streets and ransacked a church in some of the worst violence to hit Indonesia since an economic crisis began seven months ago. One was reported dead in the violence.
27: Indonesia Announces Bank Guarantee Plan
Seeking to stave off a collapse of its financial system, Indonesia announced a sweeping plan that would guarantee all obligations of Indonesian banks and establish a new body to dispose of problem-ridden banks and their massive bad loans.
21: Suharto to Seek Seventh Term
Indonesian President Suharto said that he intends to run for a seventh five-year term in office, and in a move that stirred unease among international investors, he hinted that his choice for vice president is a strong-willed technology minister whose views are anathema to the International Monetary Fund.
15: Indonesia, IMF Agree on Reforms
Indonesia's embattled President Suharto, seeking in one grand stroke to restore confidence in his nation's battered economy, agreed to a package of reforms including curbs on official favoritism for companies controlled by his wealthy children.
09: White House, IMF Launch Joint Effort for Indonesia
The Clinton administration and the International Monetary Fund last night launched an emergency initiative to pull Indonesia back from the brink of economic disaster and stem Asia's deepening financial crisis.
Dec. 13: Currencies Plummet Across Southeast Asia
In Indonesia, the battered rupiah plunged to record depths. In Thailand, the baht fell to an all-time low. And in Hong Kong, at least one investment company began laying off staff as the local dollar came under threat.
Nov. 2: Indonesia Closes Banks, Plans Austerity
The government of Indonesia shut down 16 insolvent banks and planned other austerity measures, a day after receiving word of $33 billion in foreign loans to revive an economy hit hard by financial declines across Asia.
July 29: Thailand Seeks IMF Bailout
In a humbling turnabout for one of Asia's most dynamic economies, Thailand sought a bailout from the International Monetary Fund to shore up its battered financial system and halt a run on its currency that has shaken markets across three continents.
July 8: Indonesia's Currency Tumbles
The Indonesian currency, the rupiah, begins to crumble after Thai currency is devalued.
© Copyright 1998 The Washington Post Company
Back to the top