|Location||South East Asia|
|Area||743.37 km2 (287.02 sq mi)|
|Highest elevation||1,225 m (4019 ft)|
|Highest point||Mount Salahutu|
|Population||475,357 (2020 Census)|
|Pop. density||639.46/km2 (1656.19/sq mi)|
Ambon Island is part of the Maluku Islands of Indonesia. The island has an area of 743.37 km2 (287.02 sq mi) and is mountainous, well watered, and fertile. Ambon Island consists of two territories - the city of Ambon to the south and various districts (kecamatan) of the Central Maluku Regency to the north. The main city and seaport is Ambon (with a 2020 Census population of 347,288 ), which is also the capital of Maluku province, while those districts of Maluku Tengah Regency situated on Ambon Island had a 2020 Census population of 128,069. Ambon has an airport and is home to the Pattimura University and Open University (Universitas Terbuka), state universities, and a few private universities, which include Darussalam University (Universitas Darussalam, UNDAR) and Universitas Kristen Indonesia Maluku (UKIM).
Ambon Island lies off the southwest coast of the much larger Seram island. It is on the north side of the Banda Sea, part of a chain of volcanic islands that encircle the sea. It is 51 kilometres (32 miles) long and is of very irregular shape, being almost divided in two. The southeastern and smaller portion, a peninsula (called Leitimur) is united to the northern (called Leihitu or Hitoe) by a narrow neck of land. The Ambon Bay thus formed cuts about 20 kilometres (12 mi) into the island with the airport on the northern shore and the city of Ambon on the southern side. The city of Ambon covers the entirety of Leitimur, with its centre on the northwest coast of Leitimur, facing Leihitu, and has a safe harbor on Amboina Bay.
The highest mountains, Wawani at 1,100 metres (3,600 feet) and Salahutu at 1,225 metres (4,019 feet), have hot springs and solfataras. They are volcanoes, and the mountains of the neighboring Lease Islands are extinct volcanoes. Granite and serpentine rocks predominate, but the shores of Amboina Bay are of chalk and contain stalactite caves.
Wild areas of Ambon Island are covered by tropical rainforest, part of the Seram rain forests ecoregion, together with neighboring Seram. Seram, Ambon, and most of Maluku are part of Wallacea, the group of Indonesian islands that are separated by deep water from both the Asian and Australian continents and have never been linked to the continents by land.
As a result of this isolation, Ambon has few indigenous mammals; birds are more abundant. The insect diversity of the island, however, is rich, particularly in butterflies. Seashells are obtained in great numbers and variety. Tortoise shell is also exported.
The population of the island (administered as Kota Ambon, Kecamatan Leihitu, Kecamatan Leihitu Barat, and Kecamatan Salahutu), including a tiny sparsely populated island to the north, was just below 441,000 in the 2010 Census,but by 2020 had risen to over 475,000.
The average temperature is 27 °C (81 °F), rarely falling below 22 °C (72 °F). Rainfall can be heavy, especially after the eastern monsoons, and the island is vulnerable to violent typhoons. The wet season (October to April) coincides with the period of the west monsoon.
Cassava and sago are the chief crops, which also include breadfruit, sugarcane, coffee, cocoa, pepper and cotton. In addition to these, hunting and fishing supplement the local diet. Nutmeg and cloves were once the dominant export crops but are now produced in limited quantities. Copra is also exported. Amboina wood, obtained from the angsana tree and highly valued for ornamental woodwork, is now mostly grown on Seram. The main employers in Ambon Island are the Gubernatorial Office (PEMDA), the Mayoral Office (PEMKOT), Raiders 733 (Indonesian military unit). The whole economy of Ambon Island is starting to shift out of the "Old Towne" (Kota Lama) toward Passo, which is the newly appointed central business district of the island region. The economy of Ambon Island was recently boosted by the investment made by Ciputra Group in creating a whole new satellite city in Lateri, Kotamadya Ambon, Maluku: Citraland Bay View City. Furthermore, the new international standard shopping center, Ambon City Center, opened in 2012.
The Ambonese are of mixed Malay-Papuan origin. They are mostly Christians or Muslims. The predominant language of the island is Ambonese Malay, also called Ambonese. It developed as the trade language of central Maluku and is spoken elsewhere in Maluku as a second language. The old creole trade language called Portugis has died out. Bilingualism in Indonesian is high around Ambon City. There have been strong religious tensions on the island between Muslims and Christiansand ethnic tensions between indigenous Ambonese and migrants from Sulawesi, primarily Butonese, Bugis and Makassarese migrants.
In 1512, the Portuguese were the first Europeans to land in Ambon, and it became the new centre for Portuguese activities in Maluku following their expulsion from Ternate.The Portuguese, however, were regularly attacked by native Muslims on the island's northern coast, in particular Hitu, which had trading and religious links with major port cities on Java's north coast. They established a factory in 1521 but did not obtain peaceable possession of it until 1580. Indeed, the Portuguese never managed to control the local trade in spices and failed in attempts to establish their authority over the Banda Islands, the nearby centre of nutmeg production. The creole trade language Portugis, however, was spoken well into the 19th century, and many families still have Portuguese names and claim Portuguese ancestry, for example Muskita and De Fretes.
The Dutch dispossessed the Portuguese in 1605, when Steven van der Hagen took over the fort without a single shot. Ambon was the headquarters of the Dutch East India Company (VOC) from 1610 to 1619 until the founding of Batavia (now Jakarta) by the Dutch.About 1615 the English formed a settlement on the island at Cambello, which they retained until 1623, when the Dutch destroyed it. Frightful tortures inflicted on its unfortunate inhabitants were connected with its destruction. In 1654, after many fruitless negotiations, Oliver Cromwell compelled the United Provinces to give the sum of 300,000 gulden, as compensation to the descendants of those who suffered in the "Ambon Massacre", together with Manhattan. In 1673, the poet John Dryden produced his tragedy Amboyna; or the Cruelties of the Dutch to the English Merchants. The British, under Admiral Peter Rainier, captured Ambon in 1796, but they restored it to the Dutch at the Peace of Amiens in 1802. They retook the island in 1810 but once more restored it to the Dutch in 1814. Ambon used to be the world center of clove production; until the nineteenth century, the Dutch prohibited the rearing of the clove tree on all the other islands subject to their rule, in order to secure the monopoly to Ambon.
Under the Dutch Empire, Ambon city was the seat of the Dutch resident and military commander of the Moluccas. The town was protected by Fort Victoria, and a 1902 Encyclopædia characterized it as "a clean little town with wide streets, well planted".The population was divided into two classes: orang burger or citizens and orang negri or villagers, the former being a class of native origin enjoying certain privileges conferred on their ancestors by the old Dutch East India Company. There were also, besides the Dutch, some Arabs, Chinese and a few Portuguese settlers.
Ambon city was the site of a major Dutch military base that Imperial Japanese forces captured from Allied forces in the World War II Battle of Ambon in 1942. The battle was followed by the summary execution of more than 300 Allied PoWs in the Laha massacre.
A large Far East prisoner of war camp was situated in the north near Liang. This was made up of British men of the 77th HAA, 3rd Kings Own Hussars and some RAF volunteers. Approximately 1000 men arrived in April 1943 and were marched from Ambon town over two days without food or water (see 1000 men of Liang to follow).
The FEPOWs built the camp including a water pipeline. They were ordered to build an airfield and runway alongside the beach and cleared coconut trees for the task. They did all they could to sabotage construction.
Conditions were horrendous and many men died due to disease, starvation and ill treatment by the Japanese. Many men also suffered blindness due to working chipping at the coral.
Indonesia won its independence in 1945–49. As a consequence of ethnic and religious tensions, and President Sukarno making Indonesia a unitary state, Ambon was the scene of a revolt against the Indonesian government, resulting in the rebellion of the Republic of South Maluku in 1950.
In April and May 1958 during the Permesta rebellion in North Sulawesi, the USA supported and supplied the rebels. Pilots from a Taiwan-based CIA front organisation, Civil Air Transport, flying CIA B-26 Invader aircraft, repeatedly bombed and machine-gunned targets on Ambon. From 27 April until 18 May there were CIA air raids on Ambon city. Also, on 8 May 1958 CIA pilot Allen Pope bombed and machine-gunned the Indonesian Air Force base at Liang in the northeast of the island, damaging the runway and destroying a Consolidated PBY Catalina.The Indonesian Air Force had only one serviceable fighter aircraft on Ambon Island, a North American P-51 Mustang at Liang. Pope's last air raid was on 18 May, when an Indonesian pilot at Liang, Captain Ignatius Dewanto, was scrambled to the P-51. Pope had attacked Ambon city before Dewanto could catch him, but Dewanto intercepted him just as Pope was attacking one of a pair of troop ships in an Indonesian fleet west of Ambon Island. The B-26 was brought down by fire from both Dewanto and shipborne anti-aircraft gunners. Pope and his Indonesian radio operator bailed out and were captured, which immediately exposed the level of CIA support for the Permesta rebellion. Embarrassed, the Eisenhower administration quickly ended CIA support for Permesta and withdrew its agents and remaining aircraft from the conflict.
Between 1999 and 2002, Ambon was at the centre of sectarian conflict across the Maluku Islands. In 2007, Ambon resident Leonard Joni Sinay was sentenced to fifteen years' imprisonment for treason after he and other activists protested a visit by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono with a dance and a raising of the banned regional flag; both Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International called for his release, the latter organization designating him a prisoner of conscience.
The Maluku Islands or the Moluccas (Molukken) are an archipelago in eastern Indonesia. Tectonically they are located on the Halmahera Plate within the Molucca Sea Collision Zone. Geographically they are located east of Sulawesi, west of New Guinea, and north and east of Timor. Lying within Wallacea, the Maluku islands have been considered part of both Asia and Oceania.
North Maluku is a province of Indonesia. It covers the northern part of the Maluku Islands, bordering the Pacific Ocean to the north, the Halmahera Sea to the east, the Molucca Sea to the west, and the Seram Sea to the south. The provincial capital is Sofifi on the largest island of Halmahera, while the largest city is the island city of Ternate. The population of North Maluku was 1,038,087 in the 2010 census, making it one of the least-populous provinces in Indonesia, but by the 2020 Census the population had risen to 1,278,764.
Seram is the largest and main island of Maluku province of Indonesia, despite Ambon Island's historical importance. It is located just north of the smaller Ambon Island and a few other adjacent islands, such as Saparua, Haruku, Nusa Laut and the Banda Islands.
Saparua is an island east of Ambon Island in the Indonesian province of Maluku; the island of Haruku lies between Saparua and Ambon. The main port is in the south at Kota Saparua. The island of Maolana is located near its southwestern side and Nusa Laut off its southeastern tip.
Ambon is the capital and largest city of the Indonesian province of Maluku. This city is also known as Ambon Manise, which means "beautiful" or "pretty" Ambon. It covers a land area of 298.61 km2, and had a population of 331,254 at the 2010 Census and 347,288 at the 2020 Census. The city is divided into five administrative districts - namely Nusaniwe, Sirimau, Teluk Ambon, Baguala and Leitimur Selatan. Known as Indonesia's music city, Ambon became the first city in Southeast Asia to be recognised as the UNESCO City of Music in 2019.
Maluku is a province of Indonesia. It comprises the central and southern regions of the Maluku Islands. The main city and capital of Maluku province is Ambon on the small Ambon Island. The land area is 62,946 km2, and the total population of this province at the 2010 census was 1,533,506 people, rising to 1,848,923 at the 2020 Census. Maluku is located in Eastern Indonesia. It is directly adjacent to North Maluku and West Papua in the north, Central Sulawesi, and Southeast Sulawesi in the west, Banda Sea, East Timor and East Nusa Tenggara in the south and Arafura Sea and Papua in the east.
Palu is a chartered city on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi, at the mouth of the Palu River. It is the capital of the province of Central Sulawesi, situated on a long, narrow bay. Because of its sheltered position between mountain ridges, the climate is unusually dry. At the 2010 census Palu had a population of 336,532 On 28 September 2018, the city suffered severe damage due to a series of earthquakes followed by a tsunami, resulting in major soil liquefaction and mudflows, which caused many of the surrounding buildings to become submerged. At the 2020 census Palu had a population of 373,218, not including those living in neighbouring regencies.
Permesta was a rebel movement in Indonesia, its name based on the Universal Struggle Charter that was declared on 2 March 1957 by civil and military leaders in East Indonesia. Initially the center of the movement was in Makassar, which at that time was the capital of the province of Sulawesi. However, support for the movement in South Sulawesi gradually dissipated, forcing the headquarters to move to Manado in North Sulawesi. On 17 February 1958, Permesta joined forces with the Revolutionary Government of the Republic of Indonesia based in Sumatra that declared a revolutionary government two days earlier. Following successful attacks by government forces (TNI) from the Indonesian central government on the PRRI in Sumatra, the conflict swung to the east where the Permesta rebels were based. Manado was captured at the end of June 1958. However, the Permesta rebels continued their resistance, fighting a guerrilla campaign against the TNI until the last remnants surrendered and were given amnesty in 1961. The conflict killed 4,000 government soldiers and 2,000 Permesta rebels.
Solor is a volcanic island located off the eastern tip of Flores island in the Lesser Sunda Islands of Indonesia, in the Solor Archipelago. The island supports a small population that has been whaling for hundreds of years. They speak the languages of Adonara and Lamaholot. There are at least five volcanoes on this island which measures only 40 kilometres by 6 kilometres. The island's area is 226.34 square kilometres, and it had a population of 34,029 at the 2020 Census.
Allen Lawrence Pope is a retired US military and paramilitary aviator. He rose to international attention as the subject of a diplomatic dispute between the United States and Indonesia after the B-26 Invader aircraft he was piloting in a Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) covert operation was shot down over Ambon on 18 May 1958 during the "Indonesian crisis".
Central Maluku Regency is a regency of Maluku Province of Indonesia. The Regency covers an area of 11,595.57 km2, and had a population of 361,698 at the 2010 Census, and 423,094 at the 2020 Census. The principal town lies at Masohi, on Seram Island. The regency (kebupaten) is composed of the central part of the island of Seram, the Banda Islands, and the Lease Islands, together with those parts of Ambon Island which are outside the City of Ambon.
Morotai Island is an island in the Halmahera group of eastern Indonesia's Maluku Islands (Moluccas). It is one of Indonesia's northernmost islands.
Masohi is a coastal town on the Indonesian island of Seram. It is the capital of the Central Maluku Regency. It was the site of a detention camp for political prisoners in the 1970s. It had 36,433 inhabitants at the 2020 Census. The headquarters of Manusela National Park is located in Masohi.
Haruku Island is an island in Central Maluku Regency, Maluku Province, Indonesia - lying east of Ambon Island, off the southern coast of Seram and just west of Saparua. It is administered as a single district, Kecamatan Pulau Haruku, with a 2010 census population of 24,207 and a 2020 Census population of 27,390. The inhabitants of Haruku speak the Haruku language, as well as Indonesian and Ambonese Malay.
The Lease Islands, formerly called the Uliasers or Uliassers, are a group of three inhabited islands, lying immediately to the south of Seram and east of Ambon Island in the province of Maluku, in Indonesia. The three inhabited islands, from west to east, are Haruku, Saparua and Nusa Laut, while tiny uninhabited Molana is administratively part of Saparua District; these islands constitute four administrative districts (kecamatan) within Central Maluku Regency.
William Henry Beale Jr. was a US military and paramilitary aviator. In the Second World War, he was in the USAAF and flew bombing missions in the northern Pacific theater. In the Permesta rebellion in Indonesia in 1958 he flew bombing missions for the CIA. His career ended on a CIA covert mission in Laos in 1962 when he was killed in a plane crash.
SS Aquila was a cargo ship built in Britain in 1940 for Stavros Livanos' Trent Maritime Co Ltd. by William Gray & Company. An identical sister, SS Duke of Athens, was made for Trent at the same time.
The Invasion of Ambon was a combined Indonesian military operation which aimed to seize and annex the self proclaimed Republic of South Maluku.
Ambon Bay is a bay that located in Ambon island, Maluku province, Indonesia. The bay separates Ambon island into two peninsulas; the southeastern and smaller peninsula is called Leitimur, while the larger northern peninsula is called Leihitu or Hitoe. These peninsulas are connected by a narrow neck of land on the eastern part of the island. The bay opens to the Banda Sea in the southwest direction. The Ambon Bay thus formed cuts about 20 kilometres into the island with the airport on the northern shore and the city of Ambon on the southern side. The city of Ambon covers the entirety of Leitimur, with its centre on the northwest coast of Leitimur, facing Leihitu, and has a safe harbor on Amboina Bay.
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