The City with a Short Fuse | Foreign Policy
By Rushda Majeed
Civil unrest had earned Solo the dubious title of sumbu pendek — the city with a “short fuse.” In 1998 — as the effects of the Asian financial crisis deepened — crowds protesting rising oil prices, food shortages, and unemployment destroyed or damaged 330 businesses and 900 vehicles, most belonging to the ethnic Chinese minority. In 1999, violence flared again when supporters of the losing presidential candidate burned down Solo’s City Hall. An International Crisis Group report also traced roots of the militant Islamic organization Jemaah Islamiyah — a Southeast Asian group with links to al Qaeda — to Solo.
Photo: Tian Yake/Flickr