The Guardian June 6, 2001


Indonesia's future in the melting pot as anti-Wahid push grows

Intense political manoeuvring in Indonesia, in which the army is playing 
a substantial role, has yet to reach its end. The next few weeks will 
decide whether President Wahid will remain in power or be replaced by 
Megawati Sukarnoputri or some one else.

Although Wahid has been charged with corruption it is more likely that it 
is the policies his government has pursued, ineffective and complicated as 
the situation is, that have aroused opposition at home and overseas.

The intense political conflicts have not helped to establish a stable 
government, able to attend to the economic and social needs of the people. 
It is obvious from the coverage in the daily mass media that the 
reactionary forces in Australia and elsewhere are working to speed 
President Wahid's departure from office.

Vice-President Megawati Sukarnoputri has played an opportunist role, 
currying favour with the Indonesian military and remaining silent on her 
policies should she replace Wahid as President.

Megawati was among those who opposed the referendum in East Timor that led 
to the success for the independence movement and the establishment of an 
East Timorese nation.

While the preservation of Indonesia as a unified state is highly desirable, 
it remains to be seen whether Megawati as President would achieve this or 
whether as Wahid declares, his removal will lead to the breakup of 
Indonesia.

The breakup of Indonesia and the formation of a number of mini-states will 
enable the stronger imperialist countries to impose their domination over 
all.

Meanwhile, Indonesia's economic situation remains insufferable for millions 
of the Indonesian people. Indonesia, unlike other Asian countries, has not 
recovered from the blows suffered during the Asian currency crisis of 1997-
98.

Millions are unemployed and living in dire poverty. The situation will not 
be stabilised or improved until a popular government is established 
implementing urgent policies that improve living standards and provide 
jobs.

This demands that Indonesia break from the policies imposed by the IMF and 
the World Bank with the backing of the Australian and US Governments. The 
US and Australia are also working behind the scenes to throw President 
Wahid out of office and impose a regime that would be subservient to the 
demands of the western powers.

Such an outcome is also a threat to other South-East Asian nations which 
have increasingly declared their opposition to "big brother" imperialist 
countries who have the aim of imposing a new colonialism on their people.

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