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Introduction
After the Tsunami
Restless Earth
Forests under Threat
Data File

Introduction

 
 

Before the December 2004 tsunami, Indonesia rarely made our headlines, yet the country has the fourth biggest population in the world.
Muslim boys in Sumatra, the world's sixth largest island.
Muslim boys in Sumatra, the world's sixth largest island.
© Sean Sprague/Panos Pictures

Indonesia

How much do you know about Indonesia already? Test your knowledge with this quick quiz! quiz

Go to the Data File to find out more facts about Indonesia.

Flying foxes
© R Scoones
In parts of Indonesia, bats known as flying foxes have a wingspan of up to two metres. These ones have been caught, ready to eat.

Indonesia is one of the most culturally and naturally diverse countries in the world. Visit On Camera to see differences in Indonesia's environments, and go to Indonesia Online for more information and images of Indonesia's different peoples.

Brewing tension
Most Indonesians have lived together peacefully since independence in 1949. But tension between different communities has sometimes boiled over into violent conflict. On some islands, the fight for independence from the rest of Indonesia is the main cause of conflict. Elsewhere, people blame Indonesia's 'transmigration' programme, the world's largest ever resettlement project.

Flashpoints of conflict
'Transmigration': The Background

The Indonesian government knows that conflict scares off investors and is a major obstacle to development. In some places, the army has been sent in to stop the violence. But many argue that these troops only inflame conflict and are responsible for human rights abuses themselves.
Soldiers
© Chris Stowers/Panos Pictures

A lasting peace?
With support from the UN Development Programme, attempts to achieve lasting peace at grassroots level may be more successful. Meetings between village leaders and religious groups are helping to build trust, and in some places, 'reconciliation classes' have been organised for young people from a mixture of backgrounds. At the same time, the Indonesian government has given more rights and autonomy to some communities like the Dayaks in Kalimantan.

In the wake of the tsunami, the ongoing conflict in Aceh province, Sumatra is receiving attention from the world's press. Go to the next page to find out more.

 
 
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