The resignation of Suharto

Who is B.J. Habibie?

By Peter Symonds, 22 May 1998

Jusef Habibie, 61, sworn in yesterday as the new Indonesian president, is one of Suharto's most trusted and longstanding political lieutenants. Suharto has acted as Habibie's patron and sponsor since the 1950s, when he came to know the young man and his family during a military posting to the South Sulawesi.

What the IMF expects of the next Indonesian government

By Peter Symonds, 22 May 1998

A key factor in compelling Suharto to resign his post as president on Thursday was the announcement the previous day by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), backed by the Clinton administration, of a delay to further payments to Indonesia from its $US43 billion rescue package.

Installation of Habibie marks new stage in crisis of Jakarta regime

By Mike Head, 22 May 1998

The bid of Indonesia's military-controlled regime to preserve itself by installing as President B. J. Habibie, a life-long protege of Suharto, has only heightened the already volatile political and economic crisis, with none of the underlying issues resolved.

US Secretary of State showers praise on Suharto

By Barry Grey, 22 May 1998

At a May 20 speech to the US Coast Guard Academy in Connecticut, Secretary of State Madeleine Albright used the language of diplomacy to increase the pressure on General Suharto to resign. She urged him to "preserve his legacy as a man who not only led his country, but provided for its democratic transition."

How Washington builds its second line of defense

US funding for opposition groups in Indonesia

By Barry Grey, 21 May 1998

At the same time that the American military has been training Indonesian commando units, including Suharto's presidential guard, the State Department has been doling out tens of millions of dollars to support bourgeois reform groups opposed to the regime. But any contradiction here is more apparent than real.

Large demonstrations demanded Suharto's fall

By Mike Head, 21 May 1998

Despite calls by opposition leaders to stay at home, hundreds of thousands of students, workers and professional people defied a massive military mobilisation to join demonstrations in major Indonesian cities on Wednesday, demanding Suharto's immediate resignation.

Suharto resigns in bid to preserve Indonesian regime

Hand-picked successor installed by military

By Mike Head, 21 May 1998

In a desperate bid to defuse an intense political crisis, Indonesian dictator General Suharto has resigned and installed his hand-picked successor, vice president B. J. Habibie, as his replacement with the backing of the military high command.

During Suharto's coup in 1965-66

US officials provided Indonesian military with death lists

By the Editorial Board, 20 May 1998

It is critical that students and workers engaged in the struggle against the Suharto dictatorship not fall prey to any illusions in the so-called democratic role of the US government. The statements by President Clinton and the State Department urging restraint on the part of the Indonesian military must be placed in the context of the actual historical role of American imperialism in the massacre of hundreds of thousands of workers and peasants that accompanied the 1965-66 military coup which brought Suharto to power and the more than three decades of US support for his dictatorship.

Opposition leader tries to call off Indonesian demonstrations

Military mobilised for mass repression, amid secret negotiations

By Mike Head, 20 May 1998

Amien Rais, a leader of the bourgeois opposition to the Suharto regime, this morning issued a last minute call for the cancellation of mass demonstrations planned by students and others against the dictatorship. Some student leaders, however, declared that marches would continue, defying tanks and heavily-armed troops.

Which social classes support the struggle for democracy in Indonesia?

The lessons of history

By the Editorial Board, 20 May 1998

Also in German and Indonesian

Suharto pledges to quit, but clings to power

Military backs Indonesian dictator's call for 'orderly transition'

By a correspondent, 19 May 1998

In a speech to the nation on Tuesday morning, Indonesian dictator General Suharto refused to bow to demands for his resignation, but instead pledged to stand aside after an indefinite "transitional" period.

As students prepare for national demonstrations

A letter to Indonesian students and teachers

A reply by the World Socialist Web Site to the Open Letter of Appeal of 14 May 1998 [Also in Indonesian]

18 May 1998

The World Socialist Web Site has sent the following reply to the appeal below from students and teachers at the Institute of Technology of Bandung (ITB), in Indonesia. Students at ITB and nationally are preparing for a May 20 day of protest against the Suharto regime.

A reply by the World Socialist Web Site to the Open Letter of Appeal of 14 May 1998

A letter to Indonesian students and teachers

A reply by the World Socialist Web Site to the Open Letter of Appeal of 14 May 1998

18 May 1998

[Also in Indonesian]

Military repression in Indonesia

Tanks mobilised against Jakarta protests

By our reporter, 16 May 1998

Tanks and armoured cars patrolled the streets and major intersections of Jakarta on Friday as 15,000 troops and riot police attempted to crush opposition to the Suharto regime after three days of intense protests and widespread looting. Soldiers were viciously beating demonstrators and looters despite the presence of international news crews.

Australian media owners urge Suharto to stand aside

By the Editorial Board, 16 May 1998

Expressing the economic and strategic interests of Australian capitalism--which has more than $10 billion in direct investments in Indonesia--daily newspaper editorials in Australia on Friday called on Suharto to stand down and make way for a new government that can restore order.

Students massacred in Indonesia

By the Editorial Board, 14 May 1998

The murder of six student demonstrators Tuesday in Jakarta, deliberately shot down by riot police mobilized by the Suharto dictatorship, marks a new stage in the political crisis in Indonesia. The six young people died of bullet wounds when police opened fire on students who were peacefully demonstrating against price increases ordered by the IMF and against the military dictatorship which has ruled Indonesia for 32 years. At least 16 students and teachers were wounded in the attack.

Six killed in Indonesia rioting

By Gadis Mardai, 9 May 1998

A new wave of demonstrations and riots have erupted in several major cities across Indonesia in the last few days. They have been sparked by the slashing of government subsidies on food, fuel, electricity as part of the IMF bailout package agreement.

Crackdown on Indonesian students

By Peter Symonds, 8 April 1998

The disappearance of a further 10 student activists in the central Javan city of Yogyakarta is the latest sign of a growing campaign of repression aimed at intimidating students and suppressing protests against the Suharto regime.

Protests defy Suharto’s repression

By Peter Symonds, 28 February 1998

Indonesia is in political and social turmoil in the lead-up to next week’s meeting of the People’s Consultative Assembly (MPR).

Social unrest undermines Suharto regime

By Peter Symonds, 10 February 1998

The Indonesian junta last weekend staged a huge military parade in the center of Jakarta in a bid to intimidate opposition groups and prevent further demonstrations against Suharto prior to the presidential election set for March 11.

Immigrant workers: Millions face expulsion

23 January 1998

Millions of migrant workers throughout Asia are among the hardest hit by the economic crisis. As unemployment and poverty rise, governments are shamelessly playing the nationalist card.

Indonesia: Cracks in the Suharto regime 

23 January 1998

The Suharto government has agreed to severe austerity measures after the International Monetary Fund threatened to withhold credits from its $33 billion package, sending the Indonesian rupiah and share prices plunging.