• Short Summary

    The armed forces of Indonesia celebrated their 35th anniversary on Sunday (5 October) amid growing signs of dissent against the government of President Suharto.

  • Description

    GV EXT Military cemetery in Jakarta, Indonesia, showing Admiral Sudomo, (head of National Security, in white) and General Mohammed Jusuf (Minister of Defence) entering. Eternal flame. Bugler playing Last Post. (4 SHOTS)

    GV Air display showing fighter aircraft and then transport aircraft dropping paratroopers. (3 SHOTS)

    GV President Suharto of Indonesia watching display.

    GV Helicopters.

    GV Armed troops in march past.

    GV Tanks driving past. (3 SHOTS)

    Initials JS/

    Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved

    Background: The armed forces of Indonesia celebrated their 35th anniversary on Sunday (5 October) amid growing signs of dissent against the government of President Suharto. The anniversary celebrates the fight for freedom against the Dutch after World War Two. But, there are new pressures emerging which could undermine President Suharto's 14-year-old administration, which has been criticised because of its association with the military. Opponents of Mr. Suharto are reportedly tired of those they term "the faces of 1945", those who brought Indonesia to independence and have stayed in control ever since. However, for the foreseeable future, President Suharto is content to consolidate his position by including more members of the military in his cabinet. He is also gearing himself to stay on a President after election in 1982.

    SYNOPSIS: Admiral Sudoma, in white, accompanied General Mohammed Jusuf to pay respects to those Indonesians who died in the anti-colonialist war against the Dutch after 1945. Admiral Sudomo, the country's National Security head, and General Jusuf, the Defence Minister, are strong supporters of President Suharto. Their positions of power indicate the extent of military influence in the Indonesian government.

    President Suharto, the present ruler, has been in power for 14 years, and is mid-way through another five-year term of office. He faces re-election in 1983, but, there are doubts as to whether he'll be chosen again. Military shows of strength like this confirm the President's grassroots support. In a 1978 cabinet re-shuffle he tilted the balance of power towards his military backers. But the balance of resentment within the country is again Mr. Suharto.

    In May this year (1980), 50 Indonesians, including many respected elder statesmen and retired military men, signed a statement of concern criticising various aspects of Mr. Suharto's regime. Their main complaint was against corruption. The President hit back by questioning some of the signatories, and withdrawing their exit visas. For the first time since he took power dissident groups have joined forces to try to undermine his authority. They range from separatists and communist groups to Moslem fundamentalists calling for a Moslem state. For the moment, though, President Suharto and his military supporters are determined to stay and meet any challenge to their authority.

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