World Country Indonesia

About the world country Indonesia, its location, size, population, and who is in power.

NATIONS OF THE WORLD

INDONESIA

Location: Most of the East Indies Archipelago, between Australia and mainland Southeast Asia. Size: 782,659 sq. mi. (2,027,087 sq. km.) (excluding East Timor). Population: 154,000,000.

Who Really Rules: The government and many of the economic enterprises of Indonesia are effectively controlled by active and former top military officials. General Suharto, the president, has balanced the interests of numerous anti-Communist military factions since he seized power in 1965-1966. Whenever the press, student groups, or Muslim activists challenge the authority of the government--usually in protest of high-level corruption--the military cracks down, with arrests and censorship. In the past few years Indonesia has released most of the remaining tens of thousands of leftists held without trial since the late 1960s, but the government watches the former prisoners to ensure that they do not become politically active.

Since the late 1960s Suharto has relied heavily upon U.S. military aid, economic assistance from the U.S. and its allies, and the cooperation of multinational banks and resource corporations, such as Caltex, a joint venture of Standard Oil of California and Texaco. Though foreign capitalist interests support the military because it reversed Indonesia's slide toward communism and economic nationalism, foreign investors don't have much confidence in the managerial abilities of military leaders. For this reason they have insisted that U.S.-trained "technocrats" be given power over the Indonesian economy.

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