Currently viewing the tag: "Indonesia"

In North Maluku, the mass violence that followed democratisation officially ended in mid-2000. One year of successive waves of violence resulted in the displacement of over one fifth of the local population and killed an estimated 3,000 people.[i] As a result of the conflict, provincial elections were delayed until 2002, the government decentralisation process was halted until 2004, and provincial elections were postponed to 2007. During this interim emergency governance period, several important bureaucratic changes were made, aimed at restoring security and stable government.

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 ‘Politics is not the art of the possible. It consists of choosing between the disastrous and the unpalatable.’ J.K. Galbraith (1969)[i]

In 1998, following over 40 years of authoritarian rule, Indonesia officially returned to democracy. Political activists in Aceh, East Timor and Papua seized their opportunity to renegotiate their positions within the Indonesian [...]

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There is bitter irony here. Even for the winning side, this bloody outcome was not optimal. Indonesia was left in physical control of the towns, but not of the mountains, where low level guerrilla warfare continued for decades. It controlled most bodies but few hearts and minds among the traumatised population. Once news of the atrocities broke through the Indonesian and Australian information blockade, it deepened Indonesia’s diplomatic isolation. Within Indonesia, the East Timor atrocities exacerbated New Order militarism.

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