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Chronology of Indonesian crisis

October 20, 1999
Web posted at: 9:57 p.m. HKT (1357 GMT)

JAKARTA, Indonesia (Reuters) -- Following is a chronology of the financial and social crisis that has swept Indonesia:


July: The Asian currency meltdown hits Indonesian rupiah, which is about 2,400 to the dollar when crisis starts.

October 31: IMF announces $40 billion aid package in return for economic reforms. It is later increased to over $45 billion.


Indonesia and East Timor

VideoCNN's Maria Ressa shows the turbulent 24 hours leading up to Wahid's election (October 20)
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VideoIndonesia's economy is going through a difficult time -- Correspondent Alan Buchnea explains what the new president faces (October 20)
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VideoCNN's Maria Ressa maps the political fallout (October 19)
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January 22: The rupiah hits 17,000 against the dollar. The IMF deal shows no sign of working and hints President Suharto protege, Research and Technology Minister B.J. Habibie, may be next vice president.

February 12: Suharto appoints loyalist General Wiranto as new armed forces commander.

March 10: Suharto re-elected to a seventh five-year term with Habibie as vice president.

May 4: Fuel prices are increased by up to 71 percent. Three days of riots follow in Medan, Sumatra. At least six die.

May 9: Suharto leaves for a week-long visit to Egypt.

May 12: Troops shoot four students dead at Jakarta protest.

May 13-14: Rioting spreads throughout Jakarta. Estimated 1,200 people die in two days. When Suharto returns from Egypt, he faces a flood of calls to resign.

May 21: Suharto resigns, hands power to Habibie.

May 22: Habibie names his Cabinet, including many Suharto ministers but dumps Suharto's daughter and family friends.

June 1: Habibie says the government will investigate alleged corruption during Suharto's rule. Protests demanding Suharto go on trial for corruption become commonplace in next few months.

June 17: The rupiah again hits 17,000 against the dollar.

September 21: Suharto questioned at home over his wealth, subsequently questioned several times.

September 24: Paris Club reschedules $4.2 billion of sovereign debt. Annual inflation at 82.4 percent in September.

September 29: Jakarta launches bank recapitalization scheme.

November 9:The armed forces says it is prepared to water down its political role -- a key student demand.

November 10: Special session of the People's Consultative Assembly (MPR) begins to discuss election and political reforms.

November 12-13: Students and police clash near parliament, capping a week of violence in which at least 11 die in Jakarta.

November 22: Ethnic Ambonese Christians clash with Muslims in Jakarta's Chinatown, leaving at least 13 dead.


January 3: At least 25 killed in several days of unrest in Aceh. Unrest in other areas follows, continues throughout 1999.

January 19: Christian-Muslim fighting erupts in Ambon, goes on for months, kills hundreds in and around eastern island.

January 27: Jakarta says it may give East Timor independence.

January 28: Parliament passes reforms ahead of June election, approves new parties, cuts military presence in parliament.

February 10: East Timor resistance leader Xanana Gusmao moved from prison to house arrest in Jakarta. Indonesia later announces plans to free him. In East Timor, anti-independence forces are starting to organize themselves into armed militia.

March 13: Government closes 38 insolvent banks.

March 18-26: Ethnic violence between indigenous people and migrants engulfs Borneo's Sambas region, at least 176 die.

April 17: East Timorese militia kill dozens in a rampage of violence against pro-independence leaders in Dili.

May 3: Indonesian security forces shoot unarmed protesters in Aceh province, kill 42. Upsurge of violence there follows.

May 5: Indonesia and Portugal sign agreement in New York for U.N.-run referendum on East Timor's future status.

May 19: Campaign starts for June parliamentary election, campaign period largely peaceful, but security is tight.

June 7: Indonesia holds first democratic election since 1955, generally deemed a success, widely boycotted in Aceh amid loud calls there for a referendum on province's future status.

July 20: Suharto hospitalized after a stroke.

August 3: Habibie declares result of election valid, ending months of delays in count. Megawati Sukarnoputri's party wins.

August 6: Finance Minister Bambang Subianto admits there were irregularities in loan-recovery deal involving PT Bank Bali. Scandal ultimately implicates members of Habibie's inner circle and prompts IMF and World Bank to suspend loans.

August 30: East Timor votes on future status after two delays to referendum and violence during campaigning.

September 4: U.N. announces East Timorese overwhelmingly rejected Indonesian rule in vote. The announcement triggers wave of killings, most foreigners flee territory, martial law imposed but Indonesian security forces widely accused of complicity.

September 7: Indonesia frees East Timor resistance leader Xanana Gusmao. He later leaves the country.

September 15: U.N. approves Australian-led multinational force for East Timor, triggering series of angry protests and attacks on Australian interests in Indonesia

September 20: U.N. force lands in East Timor

September 23-24: Violent protests near parliament after military rushes controversial security law through outgoing assembly, at least seven die. Government delays implementation of law.

October 1: Indonesia announces seventh month of deflation, with annual inflation down to a mere 1.25 percent.

October 1: People's Consultative Assembly (MPR), Indonesia's top legislature, opens session which will elect new president. Top Suharto opponent Amien Rais later elected to speakership.

October 2: Election set for October 20. Habibie, Megawati, Abdurrahman Wahid main candidates. Megawati tops opinion polls.

October 11: Corruption probe into Suharto charities dropped

October 13: Habibie names military chief Wiranto as running mate

October 14: Habibie gives speech accounting for actions of his presidency. Cites control of inflation as key achievement. Several factions of lawmakers urge rejection. More violent protests during and after speech.

On same day corruption case against Suharto's youngest son, the only member of the former first family to be prosecuted, is dropped by a Jakarta court.

October 18: Wiranto declines to be Habibie's running mate.

October 20: The People's Consultative Assembly elects Wahid president ahead of Megawati. Habibie quit the presidential contest moments before the vote.


Habibie withdraws from Indonesia's presidential race
October 19, 1999
White-collar workers in Jakarta join anti-Habibie chorus
October 18, 1999
Indonesia Habibie eyes defeat as assembly meets
October 18, 1999
Indonesian leader pleads with lawmakers for his job
October 17, 1999
Indonesian President Habibie names general as running mate
October 13, 1999

United Nations Home Page
Indonesian National Commission on Human Rights
Indonesian Embassy
  • Government of Indonesia
  • Facts about Indonesia
World-Wide Web Virtual Library: Indonesia
See related sites about Southeast Asia
Southeast Asian media sites

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