South Sumatra

87°F (31°C)
Local time: Wed 5:28 PM
South Sumatra (Indonesian: Sumatra Selatan) is a province of Indonesia. It is located on the southeast of the island of Sumatra, The province spans 91,592.43 km2 (35,364 sq mi) and an estimated population of 8,497,196. The capital of the province is Palembang. The province borders the provinces of Jambi to the north, Bengkulu to the west and Lampung to the south. The Bangka Strait in the east separates South Sumatra and the island of Bangka, which is part of the Bangka Belitung Islands province. This province is rich in natural resources, such as petroleum, natural gas and coal. The province is inhabited by many different ethnic groups, with Palembang people the largest ethnic group. Most speak Palembang Malay, which is mutually unintelligible to both Indonesian and Standard Malay. Other ethnic groups include the Javanese, Sundanese, Minangkabau and Chinese. Most are concentrated in urban areas and are largely immigrants from other parts of Indonesia. From the 7th century to the late 14th century, the province was the seat of the Buddhist Srivijaya Empire, which influenced much of Southeast Asia. Srivijaya was an important centre for the expansion of Buddhism from the 8th to the 12th century. Srivijaya was the first unified kingdom to dominate much of Indonesian archipelago. Owing to its geographical position, the capital of Srivijaya, Palembang, became a thriving port frequented by traders from the Middle-East, the Indian Sub-continent and China. At the height of its power, the territory of the Srivijaya Empire reached modern-day Thailand, Cambodia and Malaysia. After Srivijaya collapsed in the 14th century, small kingdoms began to establish itself in the province. Beginning in the 16th century, Islam began to spread in the region, effectively replacing Hinduism and Buddhism as the dominant religion in the region. In the 17th century, the Islamic Palembang Sultanate was established with Palembang as its capital. At that time, however, Europeans began arriving in the region, first the Portuguese and then the Dutch. The Dutch became the dominant power in the region. Through the Dutch East India Company (VOC), the Dutch exerted influence on the Palembang Sultanate. In 1811, during the Napoleonic Wars, the last Sultan of Palembang, Sultan Mahmud Badaruddin II attacked the Dutch in Palembang, but he refused to cooperate with the British, so Thomas Stamford Raffles sent troops to attack Palembang and Sultan Mahmud Badaruddin II was forced to flee the royal palace, then Raffles appointed the Sultan Ahmad Najamuddin II, brother of Sultan Mahmud Badaruddin II as king. In 1813 Sultan Mahmud Badaruddin II again took over the kingdom, but one month later he was brought down again by Raffles and reappointed Sultan Ahmad Najamuddin II, causing a split in the Sultanate of Palembang. After the Dutch returned to the region, the Dutch attacked and annexed the sultanate to the Dutch East Indies, and exiled the sultan and his family to Ternate. The Dutch controlled the region for the next century, but during World War II, the Japanese attacked Palembang and expelled the Dutch. The Japanese occupied the region until August 1945, when they surrendered to the Allied forces. The Dutch attempted to return to the region, but this was opposed by the newly-declared Republic Of Indonesia, resulting in a War of Independence. In the end, the Dutch recognized the Indonesian sovereignty and withdrew from the region in 1950. The province of South Sumatra was then formed on 12 September 1950. Wikipedia ->
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