*Data furnished by BBC.com (Indonesia profile - Timeline)

Indonesia Timeline

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 - Western New Guinea, or West Papua, held by the Netherlands, is placed under UN administration and subsequently occupied by Indonesian forces. Opposition to Indonesian rule erupts.

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.

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.