Jan 30 2008

How Will Suharto be Remembered?

Feature Stories | Published 30 Jan 2008, 11:54 am | Comments Off on How Will Suharto be Remembered? -

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SuhartoGUEST: John Miller, National coordinator for the East Timor and Indonesia Action Network

Indonesia’s long time former dictator, Mohamed Suharto, is dead at the age of 86. He was given a state funeral with full military honors. Suharto ruled Indonesia with an iron fist for 32 years before being overthrown in an uprising sparked by the Asian financial crisis in 1998. In speaking at his funeral, current Indonesian president, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono dismissed Suharto’s bloody legacy, saying he “made mistakes because no one is perfect.” Suharto came to power in a US-backed coup in 1965, and stands accused of committing genocide. The US Embassy in Jakarta supplied Suharto with a list of Indonesian Communist Party members. Between 500,000 and 3 million people vanished in the several months after the coup. Despite some praise for improving Indonesia’s economy, Suharto was also accused of of extreme corruption. According to the UN and World, Suharto embezzled an estimated $15-35 billion in state funds. Nine years after Suharto was ousted Indonesia’s government remains one of the most corrupt in the world. Today we’ll take an a deep look at the legacy of Suharto.

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