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The Indonesian Portal

Flag of the Republic Of Indonesia Coat of arms of the Republic of Indonesia
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Indonesia, officially the Republic of Indonesia (Indonesian: Republik Indonesia), is a nation of islands consisting of almost 18,000 islands located in the South East Asian Archipelago. It covers the distance from Sabang in the west to Merauke to east (about 5,000 kilometres [3,100 mi]) and from the island of Miangas in the north to the islands of Rote to south (about 1,000 kilometres [620 mi]). The country respects its diversity with the motto Bhinneka Tunggal Ika or "Unity in Diversity". Jakarta, the nation's capital city, is located on island of Java, which is one of the five most populous islands in the nation, along with Sumatra, Kalimantan (Borneo), Sulawesi and New Guinea, and the most populous island in the world.

Europeans first started visiting the archipelago in the Sixteenth Century. For example the famous British circumnavigator, Sir Francis Drake arrived in Ternate in the Moluccas Islands in November 1579. Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch and British continued to arrive over the next century. Later, these countries demanded more than spices and began colonising the archipelago. The Dutch ruled the area for more than 300 years and, in 1942, the Japanese arrived in Indonesia and ruled for three years. Indonesia declared its independence on 17 August 1945. It is the world's fourth most populous country and the most populous Muslim-majority nation, with more than 250 million citizens.

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The Komodo dragon is the largest living species of lizard, growing to an average length of 2–3 metres (6 ft 7 in–9 ft 10 in). Komodo dragons are a member of the monitor lizard family and only inhabit the islands of Komodo, Rinca, Padar, Flores, Gili Motang, Owadi, and Samiin in eastern Indonesia. In the wild, large adults tend to weigh around 70 kilograms (154 pounds). Their saliva will frequently be blood-tinged, because their teeth are almost completely covered by gingival tissue and this tissue is naturally lacerated during feeding. Komodo Dragons are carnivorous. Although they eat mostly carrion, studies show that they also hunt live prey. When suitable prey arrives near its ambush site, it will suddenly charge at the animal and go for the underside or the throat. (Read more...)

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General Sudirman (1916–50) was the military commander of Indonesian forces during the country's fight for independence from the Dutch in the 1940s. Born in Rembang, Central Java, he studied at the Dutch Native School in Purwokerto, and then at a Muhammadiyah teacher training college in Surakarta. He worked as a teacher at the Muhammadiyah school in Cilacap. During the Japanese occupation of Indonesia during World War II, Sudirman trained to become a battalion commander in PETA, the "homeland defense" army promoted by the Japanese. On 12 November 1945 he was elected Commander-in-chief of the Army, a position he held until his death. During much of the next five years he was sick with tuberculosis, but led several guerrilla actions against the Dutch. He led the resistance to the Dutch attack on Yogyakarta, then the Republic of Indonesia's headquarters, in December 1948. (Read more...)

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Oerip Soemohardjo

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Gedung Merdeka, home of the Asian-African Conference

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Kelimutu crater lakes.jpg
Kelimutu, a national park in Flores, East Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia.

Photographer: Tom Casadevall (U.S. Geological Survey); License: Public domain

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