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Jakarta Post

Editorial: Respect thy heroes

Jakarta   /   Sat, November 10 2012   /  10:06 am

The long-overdue recognition of first president Sukarno and vice president Mohammad Hatta as national heroes came just ahead of this year’s Heroes Day, which falls today. As President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said in his address when conferring the National Hero status to the country’s founding fathers on Wednesday, controversy over Sukarno’s link to the Indonesian Communist Party and an aborted coup blamed on it in 1965 should stop once and for all.

The stigma as a pro-communist has been slapped on Sukarno ever since the Provisional People’s Consultative Assembly (MPRS) endorsed a decree in 1967 that declared the then president’s policy concerning the communist party’s role in the coup inconclusive. The assembly then impeached Sukarno, paving the way for a transfer of power to Gen. Soeharto.

In 1986, President Soeharto named both Sukarno and Hatta the Proclamat...