1st President of Indonesia Sukarno

Profession: 1st President of Indonesia


Biography: Sukarno was a prominent leader of Indonesia's nationalist movement during the Dutch colonial period and spent over a decade under Dutch detention.

Released by invading Japanese forces, Sukarno and his fellow nationalists collaborated to garner support for the Japanese war effort from the population in exchange for Japanese aid in spreading nationalist ideas.

Upon Japanese surrender, Sukarno and Mohammad Hatta declared Indonesian independence on 17th August 1945, Sukarno was appointed the fledgling state's first president.

He led Indonesians in resisting Dutch re-colonization efforts via diplomatic and military means until the Dutch acknowledgment of Indonesian independence in 1949.

After a chaotic period of parliamentary democracy, Sukarno established an autocratic system called "Guided Democracy" in 1957 that successfully ended the instability and rebellions which were threatening the survival of the diverse and fractious country.

During the early 1960s Sukarno moved leftwards, providing support and protection to the Indonesian Communist Party (PKI) at the expense of the military and Islamic elements.

During this period he also used the guise of anti-imperialism and aid from the Soviet Union and China to embark on a series of aggressive foreign policies, notably the confrontation with Malaysia.

This lost Sukarno western support and combined with the 30 September Movement (G30S) in 1965 led to the destruction of the PKI and Sukarno's eventual downfall and replacement in 1967 by Suharto, one of his generals.

Suharto place Sukarno under house arrest until his death in 1970.

Born: June 6, 1901
Birthplace: Surabaya, Java, Dutch East Indies

Generation: Greatest Generation
Chinese Zodiac: Ox
Star Sign: Gemini

Died: June 21, 1970 (aged 69)
Cause of Death: Kidney failure while under house arrest

Historical Events

  • 1927-07-04 Sukarno and friends form the pro-Indonesian independence party, the PNI (Perserikatan Nasional Indonesia) in Batavia, Dutch East Indies
  • 1929-12-29 Dutch colonial authorities arrest Sukarno and other key PNI leaders in Java
  • 1930-12-24 Sukarno sentenced to four years in prison by Indonesian authorities in Bandung, Dutch East Indies
  • 1933-08-01 Dutch colonial regime in Batavia arrests Sukarno
  • 1942-11-06 Sukarno & Mohammed Hatta found Ampat Serangkai
  • 1943-03-06 Sukarno asks for cooperation with Japanese occupiers
  • 1945-08-17 Sukarno and Mohammad Hatta declare Indonesia (Dutch East Indies) independent from the Netherlands
  • 1945-08-18 Sukarno elected 1st President of Indonesia by the Preparatory Committee for Indonesian Independence (PPKI)
  • 1946-06-08 Sukarno calls for anti colonial defiance in Indonesia
  • 1950-08-15 Sukarno proclaims the unitary Republic of Indonesia and becomes its 1st President
  • 1957-11-30 Assassination attempt on Indonesian President Sukarno, kills 8
  • 1957-12-05 President Sukarno of Indonesia expels all Dutch people.
  • 1960-03-06 President Sukarno disbands Indonesia's parliament
  • 1961-12-19 Indonesian President Sukarno proclaims general mobilization
  • 1962-01-07 Assassination attempt fails on Indonesian President Sukarno
  • 1963-05-20 Sukarno appointed president of Indonesia
  • 1965-03-11 Indonesia President Sukarno signs the 'Supersemar' order, giving army commander Lt. Gen. Suharto authority to do whatever he "deemed necessary" to restore order
  • 1966-02-21 Indonesian President Sukarno dismisses General Nasution
  • 1967-03-12 Indonesian congress strips President Sukarno of authority and names General Suharto as acting President
  • 1967-12-03 Fomrer Indonesian president Sukarno placed under house arrest
  • 1968-03-27 Suharto officially succeeds Sukarno as president of Indonesia

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