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Jakarta Post

Minority rights and the Indonesian diaspora

  • Calvin Sidjaya

Jakarta   /   Wed, August 29 2012   /  07:23 am

Early last month, the Indonesian government held its first ever congress of Indonesian diaspora in Los Angeles. With the rising importance of Indonesia in international relations, engaging its citizens overseas is one logical way to increase the country’s soft power and culture abroad.

The 2010 census revealed there were about 63,000 Indonesians registered in the United States, making them the 15th largest Asian minority after the Myanmarese.

Human rights, however, may foil Indonesia’s bid to achieve the goal of increasing power and culture aborad, as it has been experiencing a brain drain during its modern history due to persecutions which mostly remain unresolved.

In 1945, the Dutch Indonesians became the target of persecution during the Bersiap anti-Dutch movement, triggering flight from the capital of the new republic to the Netherlands, which only ceased in ...