Kalimantan Barat

West Kalimantan

West Kalimantan (Indonesian: Kalimantan Barat often abbreviated to Kalbar) is a province of Indonesia. It is one of four Indonesian provinces in Kalimantan, the Indonesian part of the island of Borneo. Its capital city Pontianak is located right on the Equator line.

The province has an area of 146,807 km² with the population of about 3.74 million people (2000 census). Major ethnic groups include the Dayak, Malay, Chinese, which make up about 90% of the total population. The rest are Javanese, Bugis, Madurese, and other ethnicities.

The borders of West Kalimantan roughly trace the mountain ranges surrounding the watershed of the Kapuas River, which drains most of the province. West Kalimantan is subdivided into two urban cities (kota) and ten rural regencies (kabupaten). The cities are Pontianak and Singkawang; the regencies are Sambas, Bengkayang, Pontianak, Ketapang, Landak, Sanggau, Sekadau, Sintang, Melawi and Kapuas Hulu. About 29 percent of the population lives in the Pontianak area.

There was a serious outbreak of communal violence in the province between indigenous Dayak and Madurese settlers in late 1996 and early 1997, resulting in about 500 deaths.

History

The history of West Kalimantan can be dated back to 17th century. Dayaks was the main inhabitants of the province before 17th century. The Malay migrated to West Kalimantan and built their own sultanates. The facts that there are many Chinese population in this province was there used to be a republic built by Chinese miners called Lanfang Republic after defeated the local Malay sultans. The government of Lanfang Republic was ended in West Kalimantan after the Dutch occupation in 1884.

West Kalimantan was under Japanese occupation from 1942 to 1945, when Indonesia declared its Independence.

West Kalimantan was the site of substantial fighting during the Indonesia-Malaysia confrontation under the Sukarno government in the mid-1960s. After Suharto deposed Sukarno in 1965, the confrontation was quickly resolved. Domestic conflict continued, however, for another ten years between the new military Suharto government and fighters organized during the confrontation and backed by the banned Indonesian Communist Party (PKI).(see Indonesian killings of 1965–66)

References

  • Davidson, Jamie S. and Douglas Kammen (2002). Indonesia's unknown war and the lineages of violence in West Kalimantan. Indonesia 73:53.
  • Yuan, Bing Ling (1999). Chinese Democracies - A Study of the Kongsis of West Borneo (1776 – 1884).

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