Indonesian ex-dictator Suharto dies

This video says about itself:

Soeharto orchestrated bloody military coup in 1965 and blamed it on PKI communist party. In this video you can see Suharto‘s sons, daughters, even in-laws who dominated Indonesian government for 32 years.

From British daily The Independent:

Disgraced and vilified, Suharto dies aged 86

Indonesia‘s former dictator Suharto, an army general who crushed Indonesia‘s communist movement and pushed aside the country’s founding father to usher in 32 years of tough rule that saw up to a million political opponents killed, died today. He was 86. …

Finally toppled by mass street protests in 1998, the US Cold War ally‘s departure opened the way for democracy in this predominantly Muslim nation of 235 million people and he withdrew from public life, rarely venturing from his comfortable villa on a leafy lane in the capital.

Suharto had ruled with a totalitarian dominance that saw soldiers stationed in every village, instilling a deep fear of authority across this Southeast Asian nation of some 6,000 inhabited islands that stretch across more than 3,000 miles.

See also here.

It is a pity that this dictator was never punished for his crimes.

According to Dutch [Rightist] daily De Telegraaf:

The US American ambassador in Jakarta, Cameron Hume, praised Soeharto for his close ties to the United States.

This shows how much the US Bush’s administration’s propaganda talk about “supporting democracy” is really worth. Just like the past US ties to dictators like Franco in Spain; the Greek colonels, Pinochet in Chile, Mobutu in Congo. And the present ties to the regimes of Musharraf in Pakistan; the royal family in Saudi Arabia; Mubarak in Egypt; etc.

Government leaders pay tribute to Indonesia’s former dictator Suharto: here.

Australia and Suharto: here.

The Australian Labor Party and Indonesia’s dictator Suharto: here.

Suharto: ‘One of the greatest mass murderers of the 20th century’: here.

Exposing Indonesia’s Cold War purge of Communists: here.

Rising food prices provoke angry protests in Indonesia: here.

Former Indonesian President Abdurrahman Wahid has died aged 69, according to party officials: here.

8 thoughts on “Indonesian ex-dictator Suharto dies

  1. We cordially invite you for the following lecture:

    Aksi, the fall of Suharto and Indonesian history: the line of argument in Unfinished Nation: Indonesia before and after Suharto
    By Max Lane (Department of Malay Studies, National University of Singapore)

    Max Lane’s book Unfinished Nation: Indonesia before and after Suharto was published in May, 2008. Unfinished Nation sets out an argument that the key factor in the fall of Suharto, especially its particular form, was the re-winning in the 1990s of a method of political struggle first introduced into political life during the early stages of the national revolution: aksi mass. It argues that this was particularly crucial as structures of Suharto authoritarianism were built around precisely the suppression of this mode of struggle. Its re-winning, therefore, has a specific significance in the longer term dynamics of Indonesian history. At the same time, the concluding chapters of the book point out that the re-winning of aksi massa as a mode of political action was not accompanied by a re-winning of either the progressive political ideologies associated with the national revolution, nor with a revival of ideological life in general. This emergence of a mode of political struggle attached to an ideology is presented as part of the explanation for the stagnation of the democratic mass movement since 1998 as well as, therefore, a problem requiring solution before any major progress will be made in attacking the structures of elite power.

    Max Lane is a political activist, translator, writer and academic. He has translated into English the novels of Pramoedya Ananta Toer and the plays of W.S. Rendra. He has been a prolific journalistic writer on Indonesia, the Philippines and East Timor and has published academic articles and monographs in Australia, Singapore and Malaysia. He was the founding editor of Inside Indonesia Magazine in the early 1980s. He has held academic positions at several Institutes. He is currently a Visiting Fellow at the Department of Malay Studies, National University of Singapore.

    Date: Wednesday 24 September 2008
    Time: 15.30 – 17.00
    Venue: KITLV, Room 138, Reuvensplaats 2, 2311 BE, Leiden
    Information: For more information on this lecture please contact Esrih Bakker at or 071-527 2295

    The Leiden Southeast Asia Seminar is a cooperation of the IIAS, ISIM, VVI, KITLV, the Department of Languages & Cultures of Indonesia and the Department of Cultural Anthropology & Development Sociology, Leiden University

    Kind regards,
    International Institute for Asian Studies

    The International Institute for Asian Studies (IIAS) is a postdoctoral research centre based in Leiden and Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Our main objective is to encourage the interdisciplinary and comparative study of Asia and to promote national and international cooperation in the field. The institute focuses on the human and social sciences and on their interaction with other sciences.


  2. President-elect Obama Do not appoint former Adm. Dennis Blair as Director of National Intelligence

    View Current Signatures – Sign the Petition

    Thanks to all who are signing. If you want to be added to ETAN’s e-mail list send a note to If you want to learn more about us go to htttp://

    To: President-elect Barack Obama

    President-elect Obama –

    We urge you not to appoint Adm. Dennis Blair as Director of National Intelligence. During his years as Pacific Commander, Blair actively worked to reinstate military assistance and deepen ties to Indonesia’s military, despite its ongoing human rights violations in East Timor and its consistent record of impunity. In 1999, he undermined the U.S. efforts to support human rights and self-determination in the Indonesian-occupied territory and opposed congressional efforts to limit assistance.

    In April 1999, just days after Indonesian security forces and their militias carried out a brutal, churchyard massacre, Adm. Blair delivered a message of ‘business-as-usual’ to Indonesian General Wiranto, then Commander of the Indonesian armed forces. Following East Timor’s pro-independence vote, Blair sought the quickest possible restoration of military assistance, despite Indonesia’s highly destructive exit and the failure, which continues to this day, to prosecute the senior officials who oversaw the violence.

    This lack of concern for human rights shows that he is unlikely to be a champion of reform. I don’t believe that this is the kind of change people are expecting.

    [additional information about Adm. Blair’s action concerning East Timor and Indonesia can be found at


    The Undersigned



    Soeharto’s role in ’49 offensive questioned

    Ridwan Max Sijabat ,  The Jakarta Post ,  Jakarta   |  Fri, 04/16/2010 10:00 AM  |


    A new book is challenging the long-held claim that Soeharto was the initiator of the historic March 1, 1949, offensive to retake Yogyakarta from the Dutch colonial administration.
    According to Serangan Oemoem (or General Offensive), written by Eka Hartoto,  the offensive was initiated by Col. Bambang Sugeng, then commander of the Army Division III overseeing security in Central Java.
    The book was launched here on Wednesday in a ceremony attended by Lt. Gen. (ret) Prabowo Subiyanto – Soeharto’s son in law, businessman Hasyim Djojohadikusumo, Soeharto’s former deputy Try Sutrisno, and historians Soekotjo Tjokroatmodjo and Batara R. Hutagalung.
    History books written during Soeharto’s 32-year-rule cite him as the initiator and leader of the offensive on Yogyakarta, which was then the capital of Indonesia. A film about Soeharto’s role in the campaign was produced during his reign.
    Batara said facts surrounding Soeharto’s role in the 1949 event had been twisted and he called for the Yudhoyono government to rewrite history.
    “Soeharto, who was a lieutenant colonel at that time, led the offensive that involved some 2,000 Army personnel, but the decision to launch the strike was made by Col. Bambang Sugeng,” said Soekotjo, himself an Army lieutenant when Bambang was appointed Army chief by former president Sukarno in 1952.
    Batara and Soekotjo were but two of many historians who have asked the Defense Ministry and the Education Ministry to rewrite history books so as not to mislead younger generations.
    “Like books on the disputed Sept. 30, 1965, communist coup, the ones on the General Offensive must be rewritten. History teachers should use alternative books to allow students to learn the truth,” he said.
    The biography also discusses Bambang’s military and diplomatic career. The book says Bambang took the initiative to launch the offensive to retake Yogyakarta from the Dutch colonial government which refused to recognize the 1945 Indonesian proclamation of independence.
    The Dutch sent founding president Sukarno to exile in Bengkulu. By controlling Yogyakarta as capital of the republic, the colonial government had an excuse to reject a UN resolution recognizing Indonesian sovereignty.
    After the General Offensive, Sukarno promoted Bambang as Army chief in 1952, a position he held until 1955, with the role of settling internal conflicts in the Army.
    After retiring from military service, Bambang was appointed as ambassador to the Vatican, Japan and Brazil consecutively.
    Born in Magelang, Central Java, in 1913, Bambang died June 24, 1977.

    (Correction: The name of the author “Panglima Bambang Sugeng – Commander in Chief” is Edi Hartoto, not Eka Hartoto. Edi Hartoto is a nephew of Bambang Sugeng – BRH)


    Another new book on “SERANGAN UMUM 1 MARET 1949” (General Offensive 1 March 1949), launched in March 2010 is:

    Title : “SERANGAN UMUM 1 MARET 1949, Dalam Kaleidoskop Sejarah
    Perjuangan Mempertahankan Kemerdekaan Indonesia”
    Author : Batara R. Hutagalung
    Publisher : LKiS, Yogyakarta
    Pages : xxviii hlm + 716 hlm = 744 halaman
    Price : Rp. 150.000,-
    Available in GRAMEDIA Bookstores.


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