Indonesia. In several parts of Indonesia, during the spring, extensive demonstrations were held against the government’s proposal to scrap some state subsidies on fuel. The proposal meant that the price of fuel would rise by 33%.
In the troubled province of Papua in the far east, in March, five separatists were sentenced to three years in prison each for treason. They were convicted of advocating Papuan independence from Indonesia in the autumn of 2011. In June 2012, a separatist leader in Papua was shot dead by police. According to police, Mako Tabuni was shot while trying to escape an arrest in the city of Jayapura. However, eyewitnesses said that Tabuni was shot in the back of the street by a shooter in a passing car. Police suspected Tabuni of being behind violent riots and protests in Papua earlier in the year, which demanded several deaths. The shooting of Tabuni led to a series of new violent protests in the Jayapura area.
Police in March killed five suspected terrorists in Bali. According to police, the men planned to carry out a series of robberies to finance the blast attacks at various tourist resorts on the island. Police suspected that the men were in contact with militant Islamist group Jemaah Ansharut Tauhid (JAT). In October 2002, 202 people were killed, most of whom were foreign tourists, in blasts against tourist resorts in Bali. Even then, militant Islamists were behind.
- AbbreviationFinder.org: Provides most commonly used acronyms and abbreviations for Indonesia. Also includes location map, major cities, and country overview.
Prior to the local elections in Aceh in northern Sumatra in April, the police special forces for counterterrorism arrested five people in the province for what was termed as politically motivated violence. Previously, tens of people had been killed and many injured in a series of gunfire and explosions in Aceh. In the April 9 governor election, Aceh Party candidate Zaini Abdullah, 71, and “Foreign Minister” in exile for the separatist resistance movement GAM (the Movement for a Free Aceh) during the conflict in Aceh with the Indonesian government and military. At the same time, local leaders in 17 districts were also elected.
A sold-out concert with American pop star Lady Gaga, scheduled for June 3, was canceled in May after the Front of Islam’s defense threatened to stop it. The fundamentalist Islamist group believed that Lady Gaga was a “messenger of evil.” The front of Islam’s defense is notorious for trying to intervene against everything they think represents Western moral decay or beliefs that they think deviate from the right doctrine. Police later said that the concert could be held if Lady Gaga toned down certain elements of her show, something the artist declined. Several observers felt that the canceled concert was one of a series of signs that the government was becoming increasingly difficult to resist the pressure of Islamist pressure groups in Indonesian society.
In June, a court in the capital Jakarta sentenced “Demolition Man”, which is actually called Umar Patek, to 20 years in prison for producing the car bomb used in the biggest blast attack in Bali in 2002. He was also found guilty of participating in blast attacks against six churches in Jakarta in 2000, when a total of 19 people were killed. Patek was the last of the most central perpetrators to be sentenced for Balidåd 2002.
When US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton visited the country September 3, she called for negotiations to end the Papua conflict. At the same time, the United States was criticized by human rights organizations for its decision to resume arms sales to the Indonesian military, which they believed accounted for much of the violence in Papua.
In October, police attacked about a dozen people suspected of planning terrorist acts against Western targets, such as the US Consulate in Surabaya and the US Embassy in Jakarta. The arrested were believed to belong to a newly formed militant Sunni Muslim group, called Hasmi.
According to countryaah, the population of Indonesia in 2012 was 258,383,145, ranking number 4 in the world. The population growth rate was 1.330% yearly, and the population density was 142.6295 people per km2.