Consulate of Indonesia
Yerevan, Armenia
Israyelyan Street, Bld. 37/147
0015 Yerevan, Armenia
Tel: + 374 10 528825
Fax:+ 374 10 565669
E-mail: [email protected]
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 When World War II broke out in Europe and spread to the Pacific, the Japanese occupied the Dutch East Indies as of March 1942, after the surrender of the Dutch colonial army following the fall of Hong Kong, Manila and Singapore.

On April 1, 1945, American troops landed in Okinawa. Soon after, in August 6 and 9, the United States dropped Atom bombs on two Japanese cities, Hiroshima and Nagasaki. A few days later, on August 14 1945, the Japanese surrendered to the Allied Forces.

That occasion opened the opportunity for the Indonesian people to proclaim their independence. Three days after the unconditional Japanese surrender, on august 17, 1945, the Indonesian national leaders Ir. Soekarno and Drs. Mohammad Hatta proclaimed Indonesia`s independence on behalf of the people.

The proclamation, which took place at 58, Jalan Pegangsaan Timur, Jakarta, was heard by thousands of Indonesians throughout the country because the text was secretly broadcast by Indonesian radio personnel using the transmitters of the Japanese-controlled radio station, Jakarta Hoso Kyoku. An English translation of the proclamation was broadcast overseas.

The State Philosophy

Pancasila, pronounced Panchaseela, is the philosophical basis of the Indonesian State. Pancasila consists of two Sanskrit words, "Panca" meaning five, and "Sila" meaning principle. It comprises five inseparable and interrelated principles. They are:


Elaboration of the five principles is as follows:

  1. Belief in the One and Only God

This principle of Pancasila reaffirms the Indonesian people's belief that God does exist. It also implies that the Indonesian people believe in life after death. It emphasizes the pursuit sacred values will lead the people to a better life in the hereafter. The principle is embodied in article 29, Section 1of the 1945 Constitution and reads: The state shall be based on the belief in the One and Only God.

  1. Just and Civilized Humanity

Just principle requires that human beings be treated with due regard to their dignity as God's creatures. It emphasizes that the Indonesian people do not tolerate physical or spiritual oppression of human beings by their own people or by any other nation.

  1. The Unity of Indonesia

This principle embodies the concept of nationalism, of love for one's nation and motherland. It envisages the need to always foster national unity and integrity. Pancasila Nationalsm demands that Indonesians avoid feelings of superiority on ethnical grounds, for reasons of ancestry and colour of the skin. In 1928 Indonesian youth pledged to have one country, one nation and one language, while the Indonesian coat of arms enshrines the symbols of "Bhineka Tunggal Ika" which means "Unity in diversity".

  1. Democracy Guided by the Inner Wisdom in the Unanimity Arising Out of Deliberations amongst Representatives

Pancasila democracy calls for decision-making through deliberations, or musyawarah, to reach a consensus, or mufakat. It is democracy that lives up to the principles of Pancasila. This implies that democratic right must always be exercised with a deep sense of responsibility to God Almighty according to one's own conviction and religious belief, with respect for humanitarian values of man's dignity and integrity, and with a view to preserving and strengthening national unity and the pursuit of social justice.

Thus, Pancasila Democracy means democracy based on the people's soveregnity which is inspired by and integrated with other principles of Pancasila. This means that the use of democratic rights should always be in line with respuomnsibility towards God Almighty according to the respective faith; uphold humanvalues in line with human dignity; guarantee and strengthen national unity; and be aimed at realizing social justice for the whole of the people of Indonesia.

  1. Social Justice for the Whole of the People of Indonesia

This principle calls for the equitable spread of welfare to the entire population, not in a static but in a dynamic progressive way. This means that all the country's natural resources and the national potentials should be utilized for the greater possible good and happiness of the people.

Social justice implies protection of the weak. But protection should not deny them work. On the contrary, they should work according to their abilities and fields of activity. Protection should prevent wilful treatment by the strong and ensure the rule of justice.

These are the sacred values of Pancasila which, as a cultural principle, should always be respected by every Indonesian because it is now the ideology of the state and the life philosophy of the Indonesian people.

The 1945 Constitution

The Constitution of the Republic of Indonesia is usually referred to as the 1945 Constitution. This partly because the constitution was drafted and adopted in 1945 when the Republic was being established, and partly to distinguish it from other constitutions which were introduced in free Indonesia. Furthermore, the articles of the 1945 Constitution spell out the ideals and the goals for which independence was proclaimed on August 17, 1945, and defended there after. It reflects the spirit and vigor of the time when the constitution was shaped. It was inspired by the urge for unity and for the common goals and democracy built upon the age-old Indonesian concepts of gotong royong (mutual assistance), deliberations of representatives (musyawarah) and consensus (mufakat).

Preceded by a preamble, the Constitution of the Republic of Indonesia consists of 37 articles, four transitional clauses and two additional provisions.

The preamble is composed of four paragraphs and includes a condemnation of any form of colonialism in the world, a reference to Indonesia's struggle for independence, a declaration of independence and a statement of fundamental goals and principles. It further states, inter alia, that Indonesia's national independence shall be established in the unitary state of the Republic of Indonesia with sovereignty vested in the people. The State shall be based upon the following philosophical principles: Belief in the One and Only God, just and civilized humanity, the unity of Indonesia, democracy guided by the inner wisdom in the unanimity arising out of deliberations amongst representatives, and social justice for the whole of the people of Indonesia.

Guide by these fundamental principles, the basic aims of the state are to establish an Indonesian Government which shall protect all the Indonesian people and their entire motherland, advance the public welfare, develop the intellectual life of the nation, and contribute toward the establishment of a world order based on freedom peace and social justice.

The Amendments of the 1945 Constitution

Since the reformation era, the 1945 Constitution has experienced some amendments, additions, and completion for four times in the annual session of 1999, 2000, 2001 and 2002. The amendments were based on topics covering among other are the following issues:

  1. Sovereignty

The Constitution, the 1945 Constitution originally adhered an ideology that the sovereignty was vested in the people executed fully by the People's Consultative Assembly (Majelis Permusyawaratan Rakyat / MPR). It adhered an ideology of the PCA supremacy, making the PCA be a state institution that had unlimited authority because it became an institution of the sovereignty embodiment of all Indonesian people. Its huge and unlimited power caused MPR was unable to be controlled by any other state institutions. Accordingly, MPR became a super body state institution that in the structure of the matters pertaining to form of the government of the Republic of Indonesia was positioned as the highest state institution. To keep abreast to the changing era, the original 1945 Constitution views was no longer conforming to democracy ideology that required the implementation of checks and balances system among intra-state institutions. For that, its decree of the Article 2 section (1) was converted to the sovereignty is vested in the people and executed according to the constitution.

  1. The Structure of the Membership Authority of the People's Consultative Assembly (Majelis Permusyawaratan Rakyat /MPR)

Before the amendment, the stsructure of the membership of the MPR consisted of member of the House of Representative (Dewan Perwakilan Rakyat /DPR) included appointed members of the Indonesian Military /Police, the appointed Regional Delegates ( Utusan Daerah /UD), and Group / Delegates ( Utusan Golongan /UG). The member of DPR were elected in the General Election, while the UD and the UG were appointed. The appointment of some members of MPR was considered not conforming to with the teaching and spirit of democracy, therefore the formulation was changed by conforming that all members of MPR have to be chosen by the people through general election. With this amendment, the structure of the membership of MPR consists of DPR members and the Regional Representatives' Council members, a new representative institution in the structure of the matters pertaining to form of government of the Republic of Indonesia.

  1. The Authority of the President

The 1945 Constitution adheres presidential government system. Either in theoretic and practice of the matters pertaining to form of government in countries following the presidential government system by this constitution, the president has such a quite big and important power and role. So does in Indonesia. Therefore, it was logical that there quite many materials related to the Presidential authority in the 1945 Constitution that spread over in various articles and sections, especially concerning his power begun from declaring war until granting abolition.

  1. Direct Election of the President and the Vice-President by the People

Since the establishment of the Republic of Indonesia, the election of president and vice president had been executed by MPR by an indirect of representative mechanism. In accordance with the spirit of democracy that requiring the people are being given the right to elect the president and vice-president directly, so the current election system by MPR has to be changed to the direct election system by the people.

If the conditions of the first round general election are not fulfilled, the second round will be executed to appoint a candidate pair who has the majority vote from the first and second ranks. The couple that has the majority vote will be inaugurated as the president and vice-president.

  1. The Term of Office of the President and Vice-President

Before having been amended, the formulation of the term of office of the president and vice-president in the 1945 Constitution was not decisive or concrete to arrange the frequency of the term. In consequence, it opened chance for more than one interpretation. The amended 1945 Constitution sets that the president and vicepresident hold the fixed term of five years and can be re-elected for another term. It means that an Indonesia citizen is only being able to be voted for the president and vice-president for 10 years consecutively.

  1. The Discharge of the President and Vice-President on Posts

Prior, there was no decree in the 1945 Constitution which arranged the discharge of the president and/or vice-president from their offices. The constitution only stipulated a decree on the accountability of the president before the extraordinary session of MPR based on the invitation of the DPR. It is executed when DPR considers the president is really violating the basic state guidelines of state policy.

Now the amended 1945 Constitution embodies casual factors and procedures of discharging the president and/or vice-president from their offices.

  1. The replacement of the President amid the Term by the Vice-President

According to the amended 1945 Constitution, the position of the Vice-President is to assist the President in discharging his/her duties. That position makes the Vicepresident automatically shall replace the president until the end of his/her term if the president die, resigns is discharged, or unable to discharge his/her duties during his/her term of office.

  1. The Executor of the Presidential Duties

Although improbable, there remain another possibility of the emergency condition caused by, for example, the President and Vice-President at the same time die, resign, and are discharged, or are unable to discharge their duties of offices during on their terms. In this condition, prompt decision based on a strong law is needed.

Anticipating such case the amended 1945 Constitution, stipulates that in case that condition occurred, the executors of the presidential duties are that consisting of three cabinet members namely: the Foreign Affairs Minister, the Home Affairs Minister and the Defence Minister.

  1. The formation of the President Advisory Council and the Elimination of the Supreme Advisory Council (Dewan Pertimbangan Agung /DPA)

The existence of DPA as a state institution, which was equal with the president and had a task to give advice and judgment to the president was viewed as less effective and efficient. It was due to unbinding of the advice and judgment to the president.

Based on that consideration, the amended 1945 Constitution eliminates the existence of DPA. To substitute for it the constitution gives the authority to the President to form the Advisory Council that has the task to give advice and judgment to the President.

  1. The State Ministry

As a constitution adhering to the ideology of presidential government system, the amended 1945 Constitution asserts that the state ministers, who are appointed and discharged by him/her, are to assist the President.

  1. The Regional Government

The regions are given the freedom and authorities to exploit and manage their natural resources, with the yield emphasized regulates to raise the regional progress and prosperity. The regional autonomy has to be executed and remains within the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia.

The newly amended Constitution also regulates the state recognition of and respect for regional administration units, which is special and extraordinary in character.

  1. The Regional Representative's Council

The amended 1945 Constitution introduces a new representative institution in the structure of the government of Indonesia. The institution is the Regional Representative Council (Dewan Perwakilan Daerah /DPD) as stated in the provisions of the Chapter VIIA concerning the DPD.

The Coat of Arms

The National Flag

The Indonesian national flag is called "Sang Saka Merah Putih". The flag is made up of two colors, red on top of white. It's width is two-third of its length, or two meters by three meters. It is hoisted in front of the presidential palace, of government buildings and Indonesian mission abroad. The first flag was courageously flown amidst Japanese occupation forces on the day Indonesia's independence was proclaimed. Since then it has been hoisted at independence day commemoration in front of the presidential palace in the capital city of Jakarta. This historical flag, or "bendera pusaka", was flown for the last time on August 17, 1968. Since then it has been preserved and replaced by a replica woven of pure Indonesian silk.


The National Anthem

The national anthem is "Indonesia Raya", which means Great Indonesia. The song was composed in 1928.

The birth of Indonesia Raya marked the beginning of Indonesian nationalist movements. The song first introduced by its composer, Wage Rudolf Supratman, at the second All Indonesian Youth Congress on October 28, 1928 in Batavia, now Jakarta. It was the moment when Indonesian youth of different ethnic, language, religious and cultural backgrounds resolutely pledged allegiance to:

  1. One native land, Indonesia;
  2. One nation, the Indonesian nation;
  3. One unifying language, the Indonesian language.

Soon the national song, which called for the unity of Indonesia, became popular. It was echoed at Indonesian political rallies, where people stood in solemn observance. The song seriously aroused national consciousness among the people throughout the archipelago Indonesia's National Anthem.


Indonesia's official coat of arms is centered on the Garuda, and ancient, mythical bird from the country's historical epics. Like the Bald Eagle in the United States, the Garuda is often used to represent Indonesia.
A great deal of symbolism runs through the Garuda. The eagle is a symbol of creative energy. Its principal color, gold, symbolizes the greatness of the nation. The black color represents nature. There are 17 feathers on each wing, 8 on the tail and 45 on the neck. These numbers stand for the date Indonesia proclaimed its independence: 17 August 1945. The shield symbolizes self-defense and protection in struggle. The five symbols on the shield represent the state philosophy of Pancasila. The motto Bhinneka Tunggal Ika ("Unity in Diversity") is enshrined on a banner held in the eagle's talons, signifying the unity of the Indonesian people despite their diverse ethnic and cultural backgrounds.