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Today's Headlines Colonial Period

  • Indonesian President Joko Widodo to Visit the Netherlands on 21-22 April

    Indonesian President Joko Widodo to Visit the Netherlands on 21-22 April

    For the first time in 16 years an Indonesian president will visit the Netherlands. Starting on 21 April 2016 Indonesian President Joko Widodo will pay a two-day state visit to the former colonial masters as the last part of his short visit to the European Union. The main aim of the visit to the Netherlands is to enhance economic ties between both nations. Widodo (often called "Jokowi") will be welcomed by Dutch King Willem-Alexander, meet Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, visit Maasvlakte 2 (a major civil engineering project in the port city of Rotterdam), and meet various Dutch businessmen.

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  • Projects in Indonesia: Update on Jakarta’s Kota Tua Renovation Project

    Projects in Indonesia: Update on Jakarta’s Kota Tua Renovation Project

    Lin Che Wei, CEO of the Jakarta Old Town Revitalization Corporation, said that renovation of the Kota Tua area is expected to be finished before the start of the 2018 Asian Games. Kota Tua (Old Batavia) is the oldest part of Jakarta, located in the northern part of Indonesia’s capital city, spanning 1.3 square kilometres, and used to function as the centre of Dutch colonial rule in the 17th and 18th century. Currently, however, many buildings in the Kota Tua area are in a state of near collapse although the area has great tourism potential.

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  • Jakarta's Kota Tua Revitalization Program Inaugurated by Joko Widodo

    At the end of last week, Jakarta Governor Joko Widodo (better known as Jokowi) inaugurated the Kota Tua revitalization program in North Jakarta. Kota Tua (Old Batavia) is the oldest part of Jakarta, spanning 1.3 square kilometres, and used to be the center of Dutch colonial rule in the 17th and 18th century (in the 19th century the Dutch moved its administrative center to the south). Today, Kota Tua still breathes a colonial atmosphere through the old architecture and museums, attracting tourists on a daily basis.

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Latest Columns Colonial Period

  • Knowing Indonesia’s National Heroes: Who Was Mohammad Husni Thamrin?

    Knowing Indonesia’s National Heroes: Who Was Mohammad Husni Thamrin?

    Those who have ever traveled across Indonesian cities have possibly come across Jalan MH Thamrin (Thamrin Street), a street that is usually located in the center of Indonesian cities. Most famously is the Thamrin Street in Indonesia’s capital city of Jakarta. In Jakarta, the street runs from the capital’s iconic Monumen Nasional or Monas (National Monument) to the evenly iconic Bundaran Hotel Indonesia (Hotel Indonesia Roundabout).

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  • Ahead of Trade Mission to Indonesia, Dutch War Graves Vanish in Java Sea

    Ahead of Trade Mission to Indonesia, Dutch War Graves Vanish in Java Sea

    Several days before a big Dutch trade mission visits Indonesia to enhance bilateral trade relations between both nations, there surfaced reports of three missing Dutch warships. These warships had been sunk by Japanese forces during the Battle of the Java Sea in February 1942 and had been lying on the bottom of the Java Sea off the coast of Java ever since (or, more precise, were believed to be lying there). After divers discovered the wrecks in 2002, the site was declared a war grave. The Dutch government is demanding a full investigation into this violation of a war grave.

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  • Joko Widodo to Visit the Netherlands to Improve Trade Relations?

    Joko Widodo to Visit the Netherlands to Improve Trade Relations?

    Indonesian President Joko Widodo may visit the Netherlands in 2016. In an interview with Dutch newspaper "De Telegraaf" newly appointed Indonesian ambassador to the Netherlands Gusti Agung Wesaka Puja hinted at Widodo's visit to the Netherlands. Ambassador Puja informed further that more information about this possible state visit is to follow in the next couple of weeks. "You will be surprised," he was quoted saying. Reportedly, Bert Koenders, Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs, will visit Indonesia in the next two weeks to prepare Widodo's visit.

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  • National Heroes Indonesia: Ki Hajar Dewantara; Education Pioneer

    National Heroes Indonesia: Ki Hajar Dewantara; Education Pioneer

    Ki Hajar Dewantara (also known as Raden Mas Soewardi Soerjaningrat), 1889-1959, was a writer, columnist, politician and advocator of Indonesian independence from the Dutch colonial power. However, he may be most remembered for his pioneering role in the development of education in the Indonesian colony. A native of Yogyakarta (Java), Dewantara founded the Taman Siswa school in 1922 in Yogyakarta. This school provided education for native Indonesians, whereas previously education was limited to the Dutch colonials and Javanese aristocracy.

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  • National Heroes of Indonesia: Abdul Muis; Writer, Journalist & Nationalist

    National Heroes of Indonesia: Abdul Muis; Writer, Journalist & Nationalist

    Abdul Muis (in old Indonesian spelling Abdoel Moeis), 1886-1959, was an Indonesian novelist, journalist and advocator of Indonesian independence from the Netherlands. As a novelist, Muis is most remembered for being the author of Salah Asuhan (Wrong Upbringing), a novel that is regarded as one of the great pieces of early modern Indonesian literature. As a journalist and freedom fighter, he is remembered for his blunt criticism toward the colonization of Indonesia. As a result he was arrested and spent several years in exile.

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  • 60th Anniversary 1st Asian African Conference - Bandung Conference 1955

    60th Anniversary 1st Asian African Conference - Bandung Conference 1955

    Next month it will be the 60th anniversary of the first Asian African Conference, held in the Gedung Merdeka in Bandung (West Java) between 18 and 24 April 1955. This conference, which is also known as the Bandung Conference, is regarded as a milestone as it was the first time an encounter took place among 29 Asian and African countries - many of which had just gained independence from western colonizers - with the aim to promote Afro-Asian economic and cultural cooperation as well as to oppose (neo)colonialism.

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  • History of Indonesia: Politics and the Economy under Sukarno

    History of Indonesia: Politics and the Economy under Sukarno

    By the mid-1960s, politics and the economy of Indonesia had turned into disaster. After Independence in 1945 (and the cessation of hostilities with the Dutch in 1949), the young nation was plagued by hostile internal politics in which several political forces - consisting of the army, nationalists, Muslims, and communists - opposed each other. For over a decade, Sukarno, Indonesia’s first president, had reasonable success in keeping these forces in check by the force of his own personality. However, by the mid-1960s his failure became evident.

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  • Indonesia Raya; the National Anthem of Indonesia

    Indonesia Raya; the Story of the National Anthem of Indonesia

    Since the Second Indonesian Youth Congress (held on 28 October 1928), the song “Indonesia Raya” (Great Indonesia) has been the most important song for the Indonesian people. The song, written by Wage Rudolph Supratman, was born at a time when Indonesia’s nationalist movement reached its peak. After a gradual 3-century long process of political and economic expansion, the Dutch colonizers had created a king-sized colony (containing roughly 17,000 islands) by 1928 that had taken the territorial boundaries of present-day Indonesia.

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  • The Netherlands Sends Largest Ever Trade Mission to Indonesia

    The Netherlands Sends Largest Ever Trade Mission to Indonesia

    This week, a group of Dutch politicians and businessmen, led by prime minister Mark Rutte, will pay a four day visit to Indonesia. The aim of the visit is to smoothen bilateral relations and search for business opportunities between both countries. This Dutch group, which includes more than one hundred Dutch company delegates, forms the largest Dutch trade delegation that has visited Southeast Asia's biggest economy in the modern history. However, relations between the Netherlands and Indonesia are still complex today.

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