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West Kalimantan ( ) is a province of Indonesiamarker. It is one of four Indonesian provinces in Kalimantan, the Indonesian part of the island of Borneomarker. Its capital city Pontianakmarker is located right on the Equator line.

The province has an area of 146,807 km² with a recorded 2000 census population of 3,750,795, an official intercensal estimate is 4,118,225 for 2006. Major ethnic groups include the Dayak, Malay, Chinese, which make up about 90% of the total population. The rest are Javanese, Bugis, Maduresemarker, 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 Pontianakmarker and Singkawangmarker; the regencies are Sambas, Bengkayang, Pontianakmarker, Ketapangmarker, Landak, Sanggaumarker, Sekadau, Sintang, Melawi , Kapuas Hulu, and the youngest regencies Kayong Utara and Kubu Raya. 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 1997 and early 2000, resulting in about 500 deaths. [53818] [53819]

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.During the Japanese occupation, more than 21,000 people in Pontianak (including sultans, nobleman, women and children) were kidnapped, tortured and massacred by Japanese troops. Japanese intelligence had become concerned ethnic Chinese were planning to start a rebellion, and were worried that people in the city had received guns and ammunition from the Chinese government.

After the end of war, the Japanese officers in Pontianak were arrested by allied troops and brought in front of an international military tribune. During the trial, it was revealed that the plan to start the rebellion did not exist and instead was only an imaginary plan created by Japanese officers who wanted to get promoted.

The massacre occurred from April 23, 1943 to June 28, 1944 and most of the victims were buried in several giant wells in Mandor (88 km from Pontianak). Allied forces occupying the area after the war found several thousand bones, and more than 60 years after the massacre, several secret graves of the victims were found in Mandor and the surrounding areas.

A monument called Makam Juang Mandor was created to commemorate this tragic event.

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)

Ecology

There are two National Parks in the province: Danau Sentarummarker and Gunung Palungmarker.

References

  1. [http://kalbar.bps.go.id/tabel/Tabel%204%20Penduduk.htm
  • 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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