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Lombok Island

Written By al hery harjanto on Senin, 05 Maret 2012 | 03.57

Lombok island is located east of Bali and accessible by air, fast boat or public ferry.
The simple pleasure of sunshine, white sandy beaches in quieter settings,unique culture, and eco tours makes Lombok a perfect getaway for honeymooners, families or those who look for a total relaxing holiday.

History.
Little is known about the Lombok before the seventeenth century. Before this time it was made up of numerous competing and feuding petty states each of which were presided over by a Sasak 'prince'. This disunity was taken advantage of by the neighbouring Balinese who took control of western Lombok in the early seventeenth century. The Makassarese meanwhile invaded eastern Lombok from their colonies in neighbouring Sumbawa. The Dutch had first visited Lombok in 1674 and the Dutch East India Company concluded its first treaty with the Sasak Princess of Lombok. The Balinese had managed to take over the whole island by 1750, but Balinese infighting resulted in the island being split into four feuding Balinese kingdoms. In 1838, the Mataram kingdom brought its rivals under control.

Relations between the Sasak and Balinese in western Lombok were largely harmonious and intermarriage was common. In the island's east, however, relations were less cordial and the Balinese maintained control from garrisoned forts. While Sasak village government remained in place, the village head became little more than a tax collector for the Balinese. Villagers became a kind of serf and Sasak aristocracy lost much of its power and land holdings.

During one of the many Sasak peasant rebellions against the Balinese, Sasak chiefs sent envoys to the Dutch in Bali and invited them to rule Lombok. In June 1894, the governor general of the Dutch East Indies, Van der Wijck, signed a treaty with Sasak rebels in eastern Lombok. He sent a large army to Lombok and the Balinese raja capitulated to Dutch demands.(see Dutch intervention in Lombok) The younger princes however overruled the raja and attacked and routed the Dutch. The Dutch counterattacked overrunning Mataram and the raja surrendered. The entire island was annexed to the Netherlands East Indies in 1895. The Dutch ruled over Lombok's 500,000 people with a force of no more than 250 by cultivating the support of the Balinese and Sasak aristocracy. While the period was one of deprivation for the Sasak, they Dutch are remembered as liberators from Balinese hegemony.

During World War II a Japanese invasion force comprising elements of the 2nd Southern Expeditionary Fleet invaded and occupied the Lesser Sunda Islands, including the island of Lombok. They sailed from Soerabaja harbour at 09:00 hrs on 8 March 1942 and proceeded towards Lombok Island. On 9 May 1942 at 17:00 hrs the fleet sailed into port of Ampenan on Lombok Island. The Dutch defenders were soon defeated and the island occupied.

Following the cessation of hostilities the Japanese forces occupying Indonesia were withdrawn and Lombok returned temporarily to Dutch control. Following the subsequent Indonesian independence from the Dutch, the Balinese and Sasak aristocracy continued to dominate Lombok. In 1958, the island was incorporated into the province of West Nusa Tenggara with Mataram becoming the provincial capital. Mass killings of communists occurred across the island following the abortive coup attempt in Jakarta and Central Java. During President Suharto's New Order administration, Lombok experienced a degree of stability and development but not to the extent of the boom and wealth in Java and Bali. Crop failures led to famine in 1966 and food shortages in 1973. The national government's transmigrasi program moved a lot of people out of Lombok. The 1980s saw external developers and speculators instigate a nascent tourism boom although local's share of earnings was limited. Indonesia's political and economic crises of the late 1990s hit Lombok hard. In January 2000, riots broke out across Mataram with Christians and ethnic Chinese the main victims, with alleged agents provocateur from outside Lombok. Tourism slumped, but in recent years has seen a renewed growth.
Geography.
The Lombok Strait lies to the immediate west of the island and this waterway marks the passage of the biogeographical division between the fauna of the Indomalayan ecozone and the distinctly different fauna of Australasia that is known as the Wallace Line, for Alfred Russel Wallace, who first remarked upon the distinction between these two major biogeographical regions and how abrupt the boundary was between the two biomes.

To the east of Lombok lies the Alas Strait, a narrow body of water separating the island of Lombok from the nearby island of Sumbawa to the east.
The island's topography is dominated by the centrally-located stratovolcano Mount Rinjani, which rises to 3,726 m (12,224 ft), making the second highest volcano in Indonesia and the nation's third-highest mountain. The most recent eruption of Rinjani was in May, 2010 at Gunung Barujari. Ash was reported as rising up to two km into the atmosphere from the Barujari cone in Rinjani's caldera lake of Segara Anak. Lavaflowed into the caldera lake, pushing its temperature up and crops on the slopes of Rinjani were damaged by ash fall. The volcano, and its crater lake, 'Segara Anak' (child of the sea), are protected by the Gunung Rinjani National Park established in 1997.

The highlands of Lombok are forest clad and mostly undeveloped. The lowlands are highly cultivated. Rice, soybeans, coffee, tobacco, cotton, cinnamon, cacao, cloves, cassava, corn,coconuts, copra, bananas and vanilla are the major crops grown in the fertile soils of the island. The southern part of the island is fertile but drier, especially toward the southern coastline.

The water supply in Lombok is stressed and this places strain upon both the water supply of the provincial capital, Mataram, and the island in general. The southern and central areas are reported to be the most critically affected. West Nusa Tenggara province in general is threatened with a water crisis caused by increasing forest and water table damage and degradation. 160 thousand hectares of a total of 1960 thousand hectares are thought to have been affected. The Head of Built Environment and Security Forest Service Forest West Nusa Tenggara Andi Pramari stated in Mataram on Wednesday, May 6, 2009 that, "If this situation is not addressed it can be expected that within five years it may be difficult for people to obtain water in this part of NTB (West Nusa Tenggara). Not only that, the productivity of agriculture in value added will fall, and the residents are experiencing water deficiency in their wells". High cases of timber theft in the region of NTB are contributing to this problem. In September 2010, Central Lombok some villagers were reported to be walking for several hours to fetch a single pail of water. Nieleando, a small coastal village about 50 kilometers from the provincial capital, Mataram, has seen dry wells for years. It has been reported that occasionally the problem escalates sufficiently for disputes and fighting between villagers to occur. The problems have been reported to be most pronounced in the sub-districts of Jonggat, Janapria, Praya Timur, Praya Barat, Praya Barat Daya and Pujut. In 2010 all six sub-districts were declared drought areas by provincial authorities. Sumbawa, the other main island of the province, also experienced severe drought in 10, making it a proce-wide issue.
of the province, also experienced severe drought in 10, making it a proce-wide issue.

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