Seeds of Peace Vol.17 No.3 Sept.-Dec. (2001)

Shortly before this issue went to press the Indonesian parliament voted to impeach President Wahid. After months of struggling to remain in power Wahid seems to have accepted the parliament’s decision. Ramu Manivannan’s article in this issue was written while Wahid remained in power. It raises some important points about democracy and the power of the media. It also puts out a call for leadership in the Third World. A leadership based on moral authority rather than economic or military power. Wahid was a powerful figure who sought to provide that leadership. Despite his lofty position he still maintained strong connections with the grassroots. No doubt Wahid will continue to lead the grassroots movement. He will also continue to play a key role in organising the Bandung II conference. Although the days of the Soeharto regime are well and truly over in Indonesia, the struggle for a genuine democracy there continues. Megawati may turn out to be a Cory Aquino, fostering a low-intensity democracy that provides a favorable investment climate for foreign investors-hence the round of international applause as Wahid fell. There are also fears that Megawati will give free rein to the military with disastrous consequences in Aceh and West Papua.


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