PRAMBANAN, Indonesia (Washington Post) - When Willie Sebastian bought a tiny piece of land to build a storage space, government officials in the heart of Java island delivered him an unpleasant surprise.
Questions about the role of Chinese Indonesians have loomed large in the world's largest Muslim-majority country over the past few months as Jakarta Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, known simply as "Ahok," the most prominent politician of Chinese descent in decades, wages a reelection campaign while facing trial for allegedly insulting Islam.
Local officials said they could not comment on government issues and directed questions to the special governor.
Over the months that followed, military and civilian groups killed an estimated 500,000 to 1 million people, exterminating the world's third-largest Communist Party (behind China and the Soviet Union) while torturing and killing untold numbers of individuals accused of association with communists.
At the same time, Suharto relied on powerful Chinese businessman to build the economy, and many became very wealthy while common Chinese citizens were left behind." It's estimated that there are at least 3 million Chinese-descendant citizens in Indonesia, out of a population of approximately 260 million.