Republic of.Formerly Netherland East Indies. Dutch East Indies.a republic in the Malay Archipelago consisting of 13,677 islands, including Sumatra, Java, Sulawesi, the S part of Borneo, the W part of New Guinea, the Moluccas, the Lesser Sunda Islands, Bali, and Madura: gained independence from the Netherlands in 1949. 741,098 sq. mi. (1,919,443 sq. km).Capital: Jakarta.