World Leaders, Spouses and Capitals 1st May 2024

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Countries ▲▼Leader and their Current Age
Germany

The West


Flag used in Reuss, central Germany in 1778

Olaf Scholz Chancellor (since December 2021) 65 (wife Britta Ernst 63)

succeeding Angela Merkel 69

Capital City: Berlin. Founding Year: 1237

Berlin, capital of Prussia, lay east of the River Elbe bordering the early Germanic tribes of the Franks (and Saxons) to the west. Berlin's name thus had its roots in the language of its Slavic inhabitants, probably Berl - Swamp, though with the Ber- at the beginning sounding like the German word Bär - Bear, a bear appears in the coat of arms of the city.

Click here for the history of Germany.

France


Flag from 1794

Emmanuel Macron President 46 (wife Brigitte Macron 71)

Click here for history since 1789

Capital City: Paris. Founding Year: Circa 250BC

Italy


Flag used in Reggio Emilia, northern Italy in 1797

Giorgia Meloni PM (since October 2022) 47 (partner Andrea Giambruno separated)

Click here for some notes on Sicily and Naples in the south-west. Traditionally close to the west (Spain).

Click here for Venice in the north-east. Traditionally close to the east (Austria).

Click here for Florence, Tuscany in the north-west, homeplace of the Medici Family, the Renaissance and the modern Italian language. Traditionally close to Rome and the Royal House of Savoy who aided by France, engineered Italy's reunification 1848-1870 from Piedmont-Sardinia, with its initial capital at Turin in the alps.

Became a republic in 1946.

Capital City: Rome. Founding Year: Circa 753BC

UK


Flag from 1801

Rishi Sunak PM (since October 2022) 43 (wife Akshata Murty)

succeeding Boris Johnson 59 and Liz Truss 48 (briefly 6 September - 20 October)

Click here for some of England's history

Capital City: London. Year: Circa 47AD

Canada


Flag from 1965

Justin Trudeau PM 52 (wife, sep., Sophie Trudeau 49)

Click here for some of Canada's history

Founding Province: Quebec. Year: 1608

Capital City: Ottawa. Founding Year: 1855 with the renaming of Bytown.

USA


Flag adopted 1777

Joe Biden President 81 (wife Jill Jacobs 72)

succeeding Donald Trump (2016 - 2020) 77 (wife Melania Trump 54)

Click here for some of US's history

Major City: New York. Founding Year: 1624 as New Amsterdam. Renamed New York in 1664

Capital City: Washington D.C.. Founding Year: 1790 from two pre-existing settlements founded in 1749 and 1751.

Tonga


Flag from 1875

Tupou VI King 64 (wife Nanasipau'u 70)

The Kingdom of Tonga was a British protectorate 1900-1970, joining the United Nations in 1999

Click here for more on Tonga's history

Capital City: Nuku'alofa, formalized 1875

Other Pacific IslandsTahiti part of French Polynesia since 1842

Samoa ruled by Germany 1900-1914, New Zealand 1914-1962, a republic since 1962

Fiji was a British crown colony 1874-1970, a republic since 1970

Vanuatu was known as New Hebrides an Anglo-French condominium 1906-1970, a republic since 1970

New Caledonia a French territory since 1853

Solomon Islands a British protectorate 1886-1978, an independent constitutional monarchy since 1978

NZ


Flag from 1902

Christopher Luxon PM (since November 2023) 53 (wife Amanda Luxon)

Click here for some of New Zealand's history within the Commonwealth

Major City: Auckland. Founding Year: Circa 1350

Capital City: Wellington. Founding Year: Circa 1280

PNG


Flag from 1971

James Marape PM (since May 2019) 53 (wife Rachael Marape) pronounced Muh-rah-pay

Click here for Papua New Guinea Timeline

Capital City: Port Moresby. A trading village renamed in 1873. Became a British Protectorate in 1888 following German colonisation in the north.

 

Australia
Flag from 1901

Anthony Albanese PM 61 (partner Jodie Haydon)

succeeding Scott Morrison (PM 2018 - 2022) 55

NSW Qld Vic Premiers

Christopher Minns NSW 44 (since elections March 2023)

Steven Miles Qld 46 (since 15 Dec 2023)

Jacinta Allan Vic 50 (replacing Daniel Andrews on 27 Sept 2023)

Some Famous Aussie Politicians

Josh Frydenberg previous treasurer (2018-2022) 49
Click here for the account by his mother Erica Frydenberg (born Strausz) 80, of how she arrived in Australia from Hungary in 1950

Alexander Downer 72
Minister for Foreign Affairs from 1996 to 2007 and High Commissioner to the UK from 2014 to 2018. Click here for that London conversation with George Papadopoulos (Trump's adviser) in May 2016

Some Famous Aussie Writers
Adam Creighton (about) 40

Nikki Gemmell 57

Frances Whiting (about) mid 50s

Greg Sheridan 67

Click here for some editorials written by Greg in The Australian (2007-2023)

Bernard Salt 67

Phillip Adams 84

Famous Footballer
Israel Folau 35

Click here for New South Wales Timeline

Major City: Sydney. Founding Year: 1788

Capital City: Canberra. Parliament House Opened: 1927

Israel

Middle East


Flag from 1897

Benjamin Netanyahu PM (Election 1 Nov 2022, declared 29 Dec 2022) 74 (wife Sara 65)

Click here for the latest news on Israel

Capital City: Jerusalem. Called Salem circa 2000BC (afterwards named Jebus). Renamed as City of David circa 968BC.

Gaza StripIsmail Haniyeh Hamas Chief 62

Hamas, the Islamic Resistance Movement was founded in 1987 as an offshoot of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood. It has been the de facto governing authority of the Gaza Strip since its takeover of that area in 2007.
Since December 2019, Ismail Haniyeh has been living in Doha, Qatar, along with the previous Hamas chief, Khaled Mashal.

Major City: Gaza City. Founding Year: Circa 2000BC

West Bank (Palestine)


Flag from 1964

Mahmoud Abbas President 88 (wife Amina Abbas)

Click here for his predecessor Yasser Arafat and the founding of the PLO

Capital City (de facto): Ramallah. Founding Year: Circa 1000AD Crusader era

Turkey

Turkiye
Toor-kee-yeh
since Dec 2021


Flag from 1844

Recep Erdogan President 70 (wife Emine Erdogan 69)

Click here for a report in 2017 on Recep Erdogan in the Australian.

Major City: Istanbul. Founding Year: Circa 660BC as Byzantium. Made Eastern Capital City in 324AD by Roman Emperor Constantine with the name Constantinople. Name changed to Istanbul in 1923.

Capital City: Ankara. Founding Year: Circa 2000BC. Made Capital City in 1923.

Egypt


Flag from 1953

Abdel Fattah el-Sisi President 69 (wife Entissar Amer 67)

Capital City: Cairo. Founding Year: 969 AD as al-Qahirah Play ("Cairo") in Arabic

Egypt was known to the Arabs as Misr, and to the Jews as Mizraim, Noah's grandson via Ham who settled there after the flood. It was named Aegyptos by the Greeks, with its northern capital, 20kms south of Cairo, known as Memphis. The Greeks built Alexandria in 331 BC to be their capital, 200 kms to the north on the Mediterranean Sea. With its conquest by Rome in 30 BC followed by the rise of Christianity in 313 AD, many pagan temples were defaced and destroyed. With the Muslim conquest in 640 AD, the few remaining structures were dismantled so that the stone might be reused in the neighbouring villages, and later in Cairo.

Lebanon


Flag from 1943

Michel Aoun pronounced Mee-shell Oww-an President 89 (left in October 2022)

Najib Mikati PM (since 10 September 2021) 68
Became PM after Hassan Diab submitted his resignation in wake of the 2020 Beirut explosion.

Click here for Lebanese Civil War 1975-1990, with Michel Aoun serving as Brigadier-General. Granted asylum in France in 1990 after Syria occupied Lebanon. Returned in 2005 after suicide truck bomb assassination in Beirut of PM Rafic Hariri and Syria's subsequent withdrawal. In France, founded the Free Patriotic Movement, since 2007 broadcasting into Lebanon in French Arabic and Armenian. Led by son-in-law Gebran Bassil since 2015.

Capital City: Beirut founding Year: ca 2000BC an early Canaanite/Phoenician name meaning "Wells".
Became capital of Lebanon following its independence from France in 1943.

Syria


Flag from 1958

Bashar al-Assad President 58 (wife Asma al-Assad 48)

Click here for rulers of Syria since 1920

Capital City: Damascus. Founding Year: Circa 1400BC.

Jordan


Flag from 1921

Abdullah II King 62 (wife Queen Rania 53)

Following the Ottoman defeat in World War 1, it was agreed in 1921 that Abdullah bin Hussein would administer the territory known as Transjordan under the auspices of the British Mandate for Palestine. It achieved full independence as a kingdom in 1946, with its name shortened to Jordan in 1949.

Capital City: Amman. Founding Year: Circa 2000BC. Capital city for the Ammonite tribe.

 

Saudi Arabia


Green Flag from 1744

Salman King 88 (wife Fahda bint Falah Al Hithlain)

Mohammad bin Salman Crown Prince (since 21 June 2017) 38 (wife Princess Sara bint Mashour Al Saud)

Click here for Saudi royal family background

Capital City: Riyadh pronounced Ree-yadd. Founding Year: 1744.

 

With regard to the failed state of Yemen directly to the south click here for recent Saudi-Houthi peace talks in Sanaa in April 2023, Yemen’s war erupted in 2014 when the Iran-supported Houthi rebels, a tribal militia from the country’s north, stormed the capital Sanaa and captured it. Saudi Arabia viewed the rebels presence on its southern border and Iran’s support for the movement as a dangerous expansion of Tehran’s regional footprint and formed an international, US-supported coalition to fight it. Subsequently the Saudis imposed an air land and sea blockade on Houthi areas around Sanaa, worsening the famine and cholera epidemic.

Until 2022, there were three Presidents

  1. Hadi, who resigned in Sanaa 21 Jan 2015 and was placed under virtual house arrest. A month later, Hadi escaped to his hometown of Aden, rescinded his resignation, denounced the Houthi takeover, and in March moved to Riyadh. In 2022 replaced by Rashad al-Alimi.
  2. Mahdi al-Mashat, Chairman of the Iran-funded Houthi movement in Sanaa, and
  3. Aidarus al-Zoubaidi, President of the Southern Transitional Council in Aden. Since 2022, Vice President.
Iraq


Flag from 1963

Mohammed Shia al-Sudani PM (since 27 Oct 2022) 53
Following elections in Oct 2021, formation of a new government stalled for 12 months. The party who won the most votes, supporters of militant nationalist cleric Moqtada al-Sadr occupied Parliament by force after Wed July 27 2022. They opposed al-Sudani, seen as aligned with Nouri al-Maliki PM 2006-2014. On August 29, al-Sadr announced his retirement.

History of Iraq
Associated with the ancient city of Uruk, about 80 kms north-west of ancient Ur.
Ruled by the Arabs following the fall of the Sassanid Empire of Persia in 633-654 as well as the eventual decline of the Zoroastrian religion.

Capital City: Baghdad. Founding Year: 762AD as a Persian village just north of ancient Babylon.

Baghdad reached its peak around 775AD as perhaps the largest world city for almost the next 500 years as its population passed one million. At the same time the first (fictional) account was written in Arabic of Queen Scheherazade with her "nightly tales" about Sinbad the Sailor, and others, and eventually the "1001 Arabian Nights". The later stories Aladdin and Ali Baba though were published first in French and English circa 1709 before being republished in Arabic.
The exotic Orient

Baghdad was sacked by the Mongols in 1258 and never reclaimed its grandeur.

After World War 1, Faisal bin Hussein became King of Iraq under the British Mandate. Iraq became an independent kingdom in 1932, then a republic in 1958. Baghdad's population grew from 145,000 in 1900 to 7 million today.

 

Iran


Tricolor Flag from 1906

Ali Khamenei Supreme Leader (Ayatollah) 85 (wife Mansoureh Khojaste Khamenei)

Mohammad Mokhber Acting President till June election (since 19 May 2024) 68

Aga Khan IV Prince Shah Karim Al Hussaini born in Geneva Switzerland. 87
He has been married and divorced twice and is currently single. He has a daughter and two sons by his first wife, now in their late 40s and early 50s, and one son, now 21, by his second wife. At present no successor has been named.
His great great grandfather (Aga Khan I) and his great grandfather (Aga Khan II) were both born in Iran in 1804 and 1830 respectively. His grandfather Aga Khan III (1877-1957) was born in Karachi in what was then British India, today Pakistan. They are said to be direct lineal descendants of Mohammed through Mohammed's cousin and son-in-law, Ali, considered the first Imam in Shia Islam, and Ali's wife Fatima az-Zahra, Mohammed's daughter from his first marriage. While the Aga Khan has British citizenship and travels worldwide continually, his primary residence is in Gouvieux, 65 kms north of Paris France.

Click here for recent news on Iran

Capital City: Tehran. Founding Year: 1554 when a bazaar and a square town wall with four gates were built. Previously it was an unwalled region with just 1,000 residents. Circa 1778, a citadel (today's Golestan Palace) was built by Karim Khan Zand. In 1786 Tehran was made the capital of Iran, and by 1807 its population had grown to 50,000. Greater Tehran now includes Rhages, a prominent city that belonged to the Medes.

Click here for Iran's earlier capitals back to Susa (or Shushan) at the time of Daniel, Cyrus the Great and Esther.

Russia

East


Flag from 1696

Vladimir Putin President 71 (currently single)

Capital City: Moscow. Founding Year: 1147

A brief history of Russia
Click here for Moscow in 1283, traditionally the year of its first monastery. In 1582 Western Siberia was invaded by Russian Cossacks, building the town of Tobolsk in 1590 to be its historic capital. By 1640 they were encroaching upon Manchuria in China, though were driven back in 1685, signing a cross-border trading agreement instead in 1689.

Emperor Peter the Great (1672-1725) moved the capital from Moscow to Saint Petersburg in 1712, a seaport and also a base for Peter's navy, protected by the fortress of Kronstadt. In the east, Russia settled the far eastern Kamchatka peninsula and reached "Russian America" in 1732, later selling it (as Alaska) to the USA in 1867. In 1858 the Chinese were pressured into signing the Treaty of Aigun, providing Russia with the port of Vladivostok on the Pacific Ocean in 1862.

In the west, Russia's treaty with the Turks in 1829 brought about the autonomy of Serbia in 1830, the autonomy of Greece in 1832, though her advance into Romania was delayed (until 1940) by the Crimean War 1854.

Following the Russian revolution in 1917 then the peace treaty with Germany in March 1918, Finland declared its independence after 150 years of Russian rule. For extra protection Russia moved her capital inland back to Moscow. Under Lenin (and Trotsky), from 1922 Russia formed the USSR Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. Following Lenin's death and under Stalin's iron rule, Trotsky was forced to flee to Turkey in 1929, then ultimately Mexico where he was assassinated in 1940.

Mikhail Gorbachev was the last President of the USSR with the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) forming in its place in December 1991. Boris Yeltsin (1931-2007) having won the vote in July, was founding President of Russia. In 2000 he was succeeded by Vladimir Putin. The three western states of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia chose not to participate in CIS, Georgia withdrew its membership in 2008, and the Ukraine, following Russia's annexation of the Crimea, ended its participation in CIS statutory bodies in May 2018.

The nine full member states are Russia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Tajikstan and Uzbekistan. A tenth state, Turkmenistan, is an "associate state", and Afghanistan and Mongolia are "observer states".

Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022, following a meeting with France.
Click here for a map status of Russia's occupation of Ukraine in January 2023.
On its western borders are Poland, Slovakia, and Hungary,
and in the south Romania, and Moldova.

 

Ukraine


Flag from 1848

Volodymyr Zelensky President (since 20 May 2019) 46 (wife Olena Zelenska 46)

A brief history of Ukraine (literally border country)
Its capital Kiev was a Slavic settlement that was invaded by Goths, Huns, Bulgarians and Kazakhs (Cossacks) before being captured by the Viking Oleg, ruler of Novgorod (in the north) about 879. Famously "Christianized" with a mass baptism in 988 by its ruler Vladimir the Great, it became a major city in Europe, growing to 50,000 inhabitants on the great trade route between Scandinavia and Constantinople. It was then completely destroyed during the Mongol invasions that occurred in 1240. It came under a union of Poland and Lithuania in 1340, a Cossack state in 1648, was incorporated into Russia in 1764, and except for a short period in 1918-1921 did not achieve independence until the breakup of the USSR in 1991.

 

Pakistan


Flag from 1947

Shehbaz Sharif PM (since 4 Mar 2024) 72 (wife Tehmina Durrani 71)

Pakistan (Muslim), which in 1947 included East Pakistan (modern Bangladesh), became independent from India (Hindu) on Aug 14, 1947 using the artificial "Radcliffe" line (published three days later) to split the provinces of Punjab and Bengal.
Much war and violence followed as millions of refugees fled both countries. Pakistan appointed a Prime Minister and Governor General, becoming a Dominion in the (British) Commonwealth of Nations until March 23 1956, when under its Muslim constitution it became a Republic with Iskander Mirza elected as its first President.

Click here for rulers of Pakistan since 1973

Major City: Karachi. Founding Year: 1729

Capital City: Islamabad. Founding Year: 1960

 

India


Flag from 1947

Narendra Modi PM 73 (currently estranged from wife)
India and China, 2 most populated countries in the world
Click here for India's eight most widely spoken languages and scripts.

Click here for India's history after Noah's flood.

The Dominion of India came into being in the (British) Commonwealth of Nations between 15 August 1947 and 26 January 1950, following which it became the modern Republic of India with the adoption of its new constitution.

Capital City: New Delhi. Continuous settlement since about 6th century BC. Founding Year as a walled city, now known as Old Delhi: 1648. From 1857 the British capital was in Calcutta. The Foundation Stone for New Delhi was laid in 1911 by King George V, and the new capital was inaugurated in 1931.

Dalai Lama 88 (a monk since childhood)
As Leader of Tibetan government in exile, the Dalai Lama's residence is in Dharamshala in the far north of India. Several thousand Tibetan refugees live in exile in the suburb of McLeod Ganj where he resides.
Regarding the Tibet Autonomous Region, a large province in south-west China, it is sparsely populated – just 3 million. On Tibet's southern border with Nepal (Pop. 29 million) is Mount Everest, the highest point on earth.

 

Bangladesh


Flag from 1972

Sheikh Hasina PM 76 (currently widowed)

Capital City: Dakha. Founding Year: 1608

A brief history of Bangladesh
After independence from India in 1947, East Bengal province, and then East Pakistan as it became known after 1955, were ruled by Pakistan in the west. With a separate language and other ethnic differences, Bengalis felt their needs were being continually overlooked by Pakistan. Hasina's father, Sheikh Mujib Rahman, played an important role at this time forming the Awami Muslim League.

War broke out in March 1971. Her father was arrested and taken to Pakistan. Bangladesh formed a provisional government, with her absent father named as President in April. They were aided by India at this time, and had Calcutta as the capital-in-exile.
In Dec 1971 Pakistan surrendered, Bangladesh declared its independence, and her father became its Prime Minister. It was finally recognised by Pakistan in Feb 1974. After suffering a major famine that same year, in Jan 1975 he became President once again, and now dissolved parliament, implementing a one party state, closing all newspapers except for four nationalised ones. Next he, his wife and most of his family were assassinated in Aug 1975 by junior army officers, and in the turmoil that followed, the executioners were granted immunity from prosecution. However, after Sheikh Hasina's election in 1996, that immunity was revoked.

 

Myanmar (Burma)


Flag from 2010

Min Aung Hlaing State Leader, age 67 (wife Kyu Kyu Hla)
Military coup d'état 1st February 2021

Win Myint President since 2018, age 72 (wife Cho Cho)
Deposed in coup d'état 1st February 2021

Aung San Suu Kyi Owwn Saan Soo Chee
State Counsellor since 2016, age 78 (widowed since 1999)
Deposed in coup d'état 1st February 2021

Click here for some further notes on Burma

Major City: Yangon (also known as Rangoon). Founding Year: Circa 1028. In 2006, the military government relocated the administrative functions to the purpose-built city of Naypyidaw.

China


Flag from 1949

Xi Jinping President 70 (wife Peng Liyuan 61)

China and India 2 most populated countries in the world

Click here for the history of paper money in China

Click here for a history of China's dynasties, censuses

Capital City: Beijing in 1949. Founding Year: 1045BC

 

Korea North


Flag from 1948

Kim Jong-Un Supreme Leader age 41 according to South Korea, 40 according to US records (wife Ri Sol-ju)

In 1910 Japan annexed the whole country. Following Japan's defeat and with Soviet troops advancing, the country was divided at the 38th parallel by US troops on 10 August 1945. When Soviet troops entered Pyongyang on 25 August 1945, it became a temporary capital for the provisional government, then the de facto capital after 1948. With Korea's division, between 400,000 to 4 million refugees fled south 1945-1950. In May 1946 the Soviet-US joint commission who were overseeing Korea's reunification made it illegal to cross the 38th Parallel without a permit. Following the failure of the commission, first South then North Korea appointed their own leaders in 1948.

In 1950 North Korea invaded South Korea with the aid of Stalin. They captured Seoul in late June 1950 but were forced out by the UN in September, with US President Truman hand selecting WW2 hero General Douglas MacArthur, Allied commander of the Japanese occupation, to lead the UN command. Crossing the 38th parallel, the UN captured Pyongyang on 19th October and occupied it until 6th December. During November Chinese Chairman Mao sent considerable forces to drive the UN and South Korea troops back south. With that help North Korea recaptured Seoul in early January 1951, before being forced back north in March. As General Macarthur prepared to escalate the war into China, on 11th April he was relieved of his command by President Truman, who was unwilling to engage in a long land war in Asia. Instead, a long stalemate followed, arguments over POWs with numerous North Korean and Chinese POWs not wanting to be returned to their homeland. Finally an armistice was arranged in 1953 with ⅔ of the Chinese POWs heading to Taiwan. Both sides lost 1 to 1½ million people each during the war, the UN, well, mainly the US assisting the south. From Australia 17,000 military personnel served between June 1950 and July 1953 with 339 dead and 1200 wounded.

Click here for some recent news of North Korea

Capital City: Pyongyang. Founding Year (according to Korean mythology): 1122BC

Korea South


Flag from 1948

Yoon Suk-yeol President (since 10 May 2022) 63 (wife Kim Keon-hee 51)

succeeding Moon Jae-In (President 2017 - 2022) 69

Click here for the US forces currently stationed in South Korea approximately 23,500

Capital City: Seoul in 1945 resumed its traditional role. Founding Year: 18BC

Japan


Flag from 1870

Fumio Kishida PM (from 4 October 2021) 66 (wife Yuko Kishida 59)

Naruhito Emperor (since 1 May 2019) 64 (wife Empress Masako 60)

Click here for the US forces currently stationed in Japan, approximately 50,000

Capital City: Tokyo. First fortified (from a small fishing village): Circa 1200

Philippines


Flag from 1898

Bongbong Marcos President (since 30 June 2022) 66 (wife Liza Araneta Marcos 64)

succeeding Rodrigo Duterte 77

Click here for the US Spanish War of 1898. Granted independence 1946

Capital City: Manila. First Fortified (for trading): Circa 1200

 

Vietnam


Flag from 1940

Nguyen Phu Trong (pronounced Wen Phoo Trong) General Secretary 80 (wife Ngo Thi Man) Play

Click here for the Officeholders from the establishing of the Indochina Communist Party in 1930.

After the French left in 1955, South Vietnam had two Catholic military presidents, and strong US support from 1964-1975

  1. Ngo Dinh Diem   Play until 1963 when he was killed in a coup d'etat by his successor.
  2. Nguyen Van Thieu   Play until his resignation April 21 1975, fleeing to Taiwan five days later.

Australia's military commitment to South Vietnam April 1965 to January 1973.
Click here for some historical notes of Vietnam (French Indochina) that included Cambodia (and Laos).

Major City: Ho Chi Minh City also known as Saigon. Founding Year as a Temple site: Circa 400AD. First settled about 1000AD.

Capital City: Hanoi. Founding Year: 1010

Cambodia


Flag from 1863

Hun Manet PM (since 2023) 46 (wife Pich Chanmony)

Succeeded his father Hun Sen who'd had a significant role from April 1975, when the US backed Khmer Republic (1970-1975) fell. Hun Sen had left for Vietnam in June 1977, returned with Vietnam's invasion in December 1978 (under Pol Pot's "Khmer Rouge" regime 1975-1979 all monetary exchange had been abolished). Vietnam set up a new government, and the Cambodian riel was reintroduced.

Capital City: Phnom Penh. Founding Year: 1372

Thailand


Flag from 1917

Srettha Thavisin PM (since Aug 2023) 62 (wife Pakpilai Thavisin)

Maha Vajiralongkorn (Rama X) King (since 2016) age 71 (current wife Suthida). Due to unpopularity the king has been mostly in self-imposed exile, reigning from an alpine resort in Bavaria in southern Germany.

Click here for some further notes on Thailand

Capital City: Bangkok. Founding Year: 1782

 

Malaysia


Flag from 1950

Anwar Ibrahim Current PM (since 24 November 2022) 76 (wife Wan Azizah Wan Ismail 71)

Mahathir Mohamad long-term politician 98 (wife Siti Hasmah Mohamad Ali 97)

A brief history of Malaya (and Singapore)
In 1800 the population of Malaya was just 3 million with the British East India company establishing an outpost in Penang.

In 1942 the island of Singapore, violently invaded, fell to Japan. After Japan's surrender in 1945, a significant number of British troops were deployed to Malaya and Singapore until 1971, with Australia RAAF support from June 1950 and additional ground forces deployed in October 1955.

In 1957 the Federation of Malaya was formed, becoming Malaysia in 1963 when it merged with Singapore, also Sarawak & Sabah in north British Borneo. A violent confrontation with Indonesia ensued over Borneo, easing in 1966 with General Suharto's replacing President Sukarno.
In 1965 Singapore was expelled from the Federation, becoming its own Republic.

Although British troops withdrew in 1971, good relations have been maintained, with a five nation (Au, NZ, UK, Singapore and Malaysia) operational headquarters set up at Butterworth Air Base at Penang.

Click here for further notes on the early years of British Singapore and Malaysia, starting with Stanley Raffles in Penang in 1805.

Click here for a timeline snapshot (from Wikipedia) of British Malaya and British Borneo.

Capital City: Kuala Lumpur. Founding Year: Circa 1857

Indonesia


Flag in 13th century

Joko Widodo President 62 (wife Iriana 60)

Capital City: Jakarta on the island of Java (known to the Dutch as Batavia until Indonesian independence on December 27, 1949). Founding Year: Circa 400AD

Nusantara, Kalimantan, is the planned future capital of Indonesia on the island of Borneo, set to be inaugurated in August 2024

Click here for a map of Indonesia and recent news in June 2022

A brief history of Indonesia
It was ruled by the Dutch East India Company (Nederlands Oost Indië) from 1603-1800. At the time the population of Java was about 4 million. The Netherlands then ruled until 1942 and the Japanese invasion. Earlier in the 1930s Sukarno, an architect by profession, became leader of Indonesia's independence-seeking National Party. He welcomed Japan as the pathway to an independent Indonesia, visiting Tokyo in 1943.

Upon Japan's surrender, Sukarno was declared to be President of the new Republic of Indonesia, ruling from Yogyakarta, 560 kms south-east of Batavia. Four years of intermittent civil war followed, British and Australian troops remaining reluctantly in the East Indies until November 1946 to assist authorities maintaining the peace. Sukarno's capture in December 1948, was followed soon after by a peace agreement in May 1949, then independence in December.

There was a murderous assault on the top military brass involving the Indonesian army at the close of September 1965 ...

where six top anti-communist military leaders were kidnapped and executed by army troops said to be "protecting the president" and forestalling a planned government coup. The men executed included the commander of the army, the second deputy-commander, two brigadier-generals, and two other senior men. However the troops failed to kill the Minister of Defense, who escaped, and hid, and with a broken ankle immediately appointed General Suharto as new Army Commander. Read further details here

with the action attributed to the PKI (Communist Party of Indonesia). Up to one million Indonesians died in reprisals in 1965-1966. Sukarno eventually resigned and was replaced by General Suharto in March 1968, with Indonesia suspending relations with China from 1967 until 1990.

Following the Asia economic crisis in 1997 when the rupiah dropped from 2,600 to 17,000 to the US dollar, Suharto resigned and was replaced by his Vice-President Habibie.

In 2004 SBY (Yudhoyono) was elected President, followed by Joko Widodo in 2014, and Prabowo Subianto (President-elect) in Feb 2024.

Click here for the three "Charlies" Carl Linnaeus 1707-1778, Charles Darwin 1809-1882, and Karl Marx 1818-1883

Click here for D.L.Moody 1837-1899, wife Emma Moody 1842-1903, Ira Sankey 1840-1908

Click here for J.R.R. Tolkien 1892-1973

Click here for C.S. Lewis 1898-1963 and Joy Davidman 1915-1960

Click here for Derek Prince 1915-2003

Click here for Merlin Carothers 1924-2013

Click here for Henry Kissinger 1923-2023

Click here for Jordan Peterson 1962-

** End of List

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