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Last Updated: Monday, 28 January 2008, 14:42 GMT
Suharto: 'Resentment and mourning'
Former Indonesian President Suharto has died at the age of 86.

He was credited with bringing stability to Indonesia during his time in power. But he was also accused of political repression, corruption and human rights abuses.

People in Indonesia and East Timor, which was occupied by Indonesia for 25 years, have been reacting to his death.


Ange Sakka Tuse
Ange says Aceh suffered greatly under Suharto's regime
I think his death is a great pity. I regret that he was never brought to justice.

When Suharto was in power, Aceh was where a lot of military operations took place.

In fact, under Suharto, Aceh was the last place you wanted to go in Indonesia. For 10 years, from 1988 to 1998, it was a place of great suffering.

Many people in Aceh suffered at that time. It was when Gam, the Free Aceh movement, was active, and the military wanted to clean them out. But they did it without any justice. People did not go to court. There were summary killings.

I wasn't so personally affected because I was lucky enough to live in the city, but those who live in the villages around here will tell you a different story.

So for me this is a big story and a great pity. I am sorry for the people of Indonesia and I am sorry for human rights. Many cases remain unfinished. The human rights abuses, the corruption - anything and everything that went wrong during his reign - none of it will be brought to justice now.

Everybody around me feels the same way as me. He made us suffer. We're all really upset because justice will never be served.

But at least Aceh is finding its own feet and direction. At least we can live like normal people now.


Suharto brought prosperity, security and order. I think it's a loss. He gave us what other Indonesian leaders have not been able to give - stability.

Westerners like to talk about human rights, but in my view the most basic human right is the right to live in prosperity and security, and he managed to give that to the vast majority of the Indonesian people.

Maybe the distribution of wealth wasn't very good, but I think people felt the sense of stability he created. We had no social unrest, no demonstrations. People who went about their own business did just fine.

Most people I know are saddened by his death.

Suharto brought prosperity, security and order
I enjoyed the relative calm we had during his period. It bears interesting comparison with the present day.

Just turn on the television and the news these days is full of demonstrations, inter-village fighting - everything seems to be related to chaos and decline.

We didn't see that during the Suharto era.

I feel it is a loss for the country.


Marenda Pandu Rizqi
Marenda Pandu Rizqi believes Suharto should have been brought to justice

I hope he will be forgiven now wherever he is.

Suharto made many mistakes in his 30 years as the leader of our country. He also did a lot of good. I think we should review his reign with a long-term perspective.

I believe his death is a loss. He was a remarkable figure. He accomplished a lot and did a lot for Indonesia. Over the last 30 years we have developed at a very satisfactory rate. That is the good side of his time in power.

But I also believe he should have been properly punished for all of his abuses. The law should have acted properly and swiftly to bring him to justice.

I was in high school when Suharto resigned. On the surface it didn't seem as if life was full of conflict. But we later knew that Suharto had oppressed a lot of Indonesian people. It seemed quite stable at the time but that was just on the surface.

There is a lot of resentment towards him but there is also a lot of mourning. He was the leader of our time, we cannot escape his importance to us.


Salvador Pires
Salvador Pires says it is important for East Timor to forgive the past

I feel great pity for him. East Timor is no longer under occupation, we have our independence now so my perspective is that the past is the past. Let's keep it that way.

But there are many people in the older generations who have memories. Some of them remember the real cruelty of the Indonesian occupation after we declared independence in 1975.

There was great unhappiness at that time, a lot of killing. He ruled Indonesia for 35 years and he occupied East Timor and was responsible for many dark things.

But what he did, the colonisation by Indonesia, the unhappiness, cruelty - that is all over now. I'm so happy because we got our independence

What can be done about the past? We used to think of revenge but we must look to the future. We have got what we fought for. Suharto is just a name now.

In one sense you can respect him. He did what he did because he thought it was the best for his country.

We're wounded in our hearts by what he did but East Timor needs to be an international player now. We have got to think about our relationship with Indonesia.

He was a symbol of the cruelty of Indonesia - but he is gone now and it feels like the end of an era.

Suharto buried in state funeral
28 Jan 08 |  Asia-Pacific
In pictures: Suharto funeral
28 Jan 08 |  In Pictures
The lasting legacy of Suharto
27 Jan 08 |  Asia-Pacific

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