The one Suharto analysis you should read

Unspun has not hig regard for the FEER but thinks highly of Jeremy Wagstaff, a former correspondent for the Asian Wall Street Journal and now a tech columnist, a blogger and an author to boot. In the analytical piece below you will see why.
Way before he reinvented himself into a tech columnist Jeremy was covering politics and the economy in Indonesia. He is one of the rare journalists Unspun knows who 1. can write well (most can’t, some even can’t spell or string two sentences together – they have copyeditors to do that for them) and 2. has enough empathy and intelligence to go below surface appeareances to tap into a nation’s psyche.The result is an article that captures the complexity of Suharto the man who came to lead a nation in waiting. Well done Jeremy and for heaven’s sake get that book on Suharto out soon.
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Remembering Suharto

Published by admin at 12:27 pm under History, Politics, Southeast Asia
by Jeremy WagstaffThe only time Suharto was seen crying was when his wife, Ibu Tien, died in 1996. As with most the key watersheds in the New Order, the moment is cloaked in mystery. But his tears told us more about the man than anything else he said or did in 31 years of being Indonesia’s president.

Some time between 3 a.m. and 4 a.m. on Sunday, April 28, Ibu Tien had awoken. She slept alone: They had been married 48 years but in recent times had grown apart. She had grown tired of the trappings of power, and had watched as her children’s avarice destroyed the family and as her husband renege on promises to step down. The previous day she had visited her beloved horticultural garden outside Jakarta. None of her family was with her and, to those who accompanied her, it seemed as if she was saying goodbye.

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Suharto the escape artist — or his detractors ineffective nags?

There are many Indonesians now who feel cheated that Suharto has gone to meet his maker before he could be held to account for his transgressions.

They are the type who would recall misdeeds perpetrated on themselves, their friends or their relatives from years ago. Fair enough. It looks like Suharto has managed to evade justice but the flip side of this equation is what the hell did the wronged ones do to force the governments after Suharto to bring the former dictator to account for his deeds?

They bellyached, they spoke to journalists when the opportunity arose and belleyached some more but on the whole they did not organize themselves – and those wronged by Suharto must be legion – into a political force to bedn the governments of Habibie, Abdurrahman Wahid, Megawati and SBY to their will.

They were content to gripe and not motivated or capable of making things happen in a focussed away. As such Suharto is the one that they let get away from them.

Suharto is today gone but justice can still be served. Suharto could not have perpetrated the deeds by himself. There must be military commanders that passed on Suharto’s orders to make people disappear among other misdeeds. There were people who gave orders and people who carried them out. Why have they not been brought to book until today?

Nietzsch spoke of justice being the spirit of revenge. Unspun thinks revenge is a bit of a waste of time, but the truth must be unraveled. Someone must speak for those countless victims of  repression and oppression, someone must let the light shine on these distardley deeds and the people who carried them out, if nothing else, to ensure that those who come after them will know that you cannot, or at least will find it very difficult, to  hide evil forever.

So what is to be the Suharto-wronged crowd? More bellyaching and achieve nothing, or organize yourselves, focus and get some results?

Suharto’s death: why the surprise?

Why is it that Death always seems to either surprise, shock, and sadden people into reverence?For an alternative attitude about Death visit here.
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Indonesia ex-leader Suharto dies
Indonesian ex-leader Suharto, 86, has died after suffering multiple organ failure for the second time this month.
He died at 1310 (0610 GMT) after slipping into a coma, doctors said.
During his 32-years in power, the economy thrived, but thousands were killed in the provinces of Papua and Aceh and in East Timor invaded in 1975.

Former Indonesian President Suharto (file photo)

Suharto ruled Indonesia with an iron fist for three decades

Suharto left office in 1998 amid mass protests over corruption and the human rights abuses, but did not stand trial on health grounds.
No-one has been punished for the killings.
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Two views on Suharto’s deathwatch

Below are two views as Suharto’s health declines and he seems to be close to meeting his maker. The first is a letter to the editor in The Jakarta Post where a reader expresses her disgust at the invasion of Suharto’s privacy in his last moments.The second is a reading of Seno Gumira Ajidarma’s 1994 satire called Waiting for Uncle Scrooge‘s Death.
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Soeharto’s picture

I am well aware of the fact that the news media take pride in
providing the public with reports that are as accurate and complete

as possible.

However, when I looked at the picture of ex-president Soeharto, an
elderly man obviously suffering and in a critical condition, on the
front page of The Jakarta Post on Jan. 9, I felt distinctly
uncomfortable. I felt as if I was a discourteous and unwanted
intruder on an occurrence which should have been very private and
restricted, and reserved for the critically ill patient and his

nearest family members only.

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Butet menunggu kematian Paman Gober

Tidak hanya sastrawan Putu Wijaya yang tampil luar biasa dan memukau
lewat monolognya pada penyerahan Federasi Teater Indonesia (FTI) Award
2007 di Teater Studio, Taman Ismail Marzuki, Jakarta, Rabu (9/1)
malam. Sang Presiden BBM, Si Butet Yogya, yang tampil membacakan

cerita pendek (cerpen), juga luar biasa dan membuat gelak tawa.

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What of the Cendana family after Suharto?

Unspun was trying to call an old friend in the wire services tonight and couldn’t get him. When he returned the call the first thing he said was: “Suharto is dying.”All night tonight reporters have been staking out the hospital where Suharto is being treated as news of his faltering condition begans to spread.

This set Unspun thinking about power, the maintenance of power, its mystique and ultimate dissipation.

It has been a decade since Suharto was ousted from power, yet he and his family have remained powerful. No longer in the limelight they nonetheless were, excepting Tommy who was so prominent he had to be put away for a while, almost untouchable.

Seemingly out of power and ill the old man still commanded respect or fear. Some business deals had to have his blessings still or it was a no go.

Now that Suharto is virtually in his deathbed it is interesting to ponder what it was that retained his power even after he had been ousted. Was it the careful use of all those fables richess that he and his family was supposed to have stowed away? Was it the residual mystique of the man? Or did his supporters remained loyal? Or a combination of all these?

Whatever it was his family remained protected. With Suharto’s inevitable passing it is perhaps time to ponder what will happen to them once the old man is gone. Will all the facade of power they have come crumbling down like a pack of cards, or will they still remain influential among Indonesia’s elite?

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Suharto ‘suffers organ failure’

Former Indonesian President Suharto (file photo)

Mr Suharto has always denied the allegations against him

Former Indonesian leader Suharto is suffering from multiple organ failure, his medical team says.

He is losing consciousness and having “very bad breathing difficulties”, the Jakarta hospital where he has been since last week said in a statement.

Family members of the 86-year-old have rushed to his bedside, where he remains in a critical condition.

Suharto took power in 1966 and ruled the archipelago with an iron fist for the following three decades.

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