Fri, 14 Oct 1994

Polemics on Sukarno

We support a call by Vice President Try Sutrisno to cease with the polemics concerning Sukarno and his role during the 1965 communist coup because the former president is now deceased.

The polemics surfaced early this month after former ambassador Manai Sophiaan launched his book Kehormatan Bagi Yang Berhak (Honors for the One Who Deserves It) which centers on Sukarno's activities during those critical years.

A number of topics have stirred controversy such as the alleged American CIA backing of student movements and Sukarno's level of involvement in the coup.

Most of those responding deplore the argument presented in the book. Former religious minister Alamsyah Ratuperwiranegara dismissed the book as containing inaccurate information. The so called 66 exponents comprising former student leaders plan to sue the author.

Minister of Public Housing Akbar Tanjung said that a certain political group might be sitting behind the author. "We are still in the dark now. We will get a clearer picture in court," he said.

The book is obviously a hot topic and if the polemics are allowed to continue, could bring untoward circumstances.

We share the opinion of the vice president. The nation is full of respect for Sukarno, one of the nation's independence proclaimer. We shouldn't let controversy continue to dodge him.

-- Pikiran Rakyat, Bandung