Indonesia Mourns Suharto

Former dictator's sins take backseat as nation grieves
By Caroline Zimmerman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 27, 2008 3:00 PM CST
Indonesia Mourns Suharto
People watch television news in Jakarta, Sunday, Jan 27, 2008. Former dictator Suharto, an army general who crushed Indonesia's communist movement and pushed aside the country's founding father to usher in 32 years of tough rule that saw up to a million political opponents killed, died Sunday. He was...   (Associated Press)

Suharto's critics kept quiet today as Indonesia mourned the former dictator on the streets and around TVs, the New York Times reports. Crowds swarmed an ambulance transporting his body, television channels ran nostalgic accounts of his life, and President Susilo Yudhoyono called on the nation to pray for Suharto, saying, "Pray that the deceased’s good deeds and dedication to the nation be may accepted by God the Almighty."

The nation was riveted yesterday when Suharto's eldest daughter, Siti Hardiyanti Rukmana, faced a haze of camera flashes to express her grief. “I cannot bear the sadness,” she said, unable to go on. Suharto's six children, all wealthy, may still face a civil suit that seeks to reclaim $1.4 billion allegedly stolen by the dictator. "I ask forgiveness for any mistakes my father made," his daughter said. (Read more obituary stories.)

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