ad info

TIME Asia Home
Current Issue
Magazine Archive
Asia Buzz
Travel Watch
Web Features
  Photo Essays

Subscribe to TIME
Customer Services
About Us
Write to TIME Asia
TIME Canada
TIME Europe
TIME Pacific
TIME Digital
Latest CNN News

Young China
Olympics 2000
On The Road

  east asia
  southeast asia
  south asia
  central asia

Other News
From TIME Asia

Culture on Demand: Black is Beautiful
The American Express black card is the ultimate status symbol

Asia Buzz: Should the Net Be Free?
Web heads want it all -- for nothing

JAPAN: Failed Revolution
Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori clings to power as dissidents in his party finally decide not to back a no-confidence motion

Cover: Endgame?
After Florida's controversial ballot recount, Bush holds a 537-vote lead in the state, which could give him the election

TIME Digest

TIME Asia Services
Subscribe to TIME! Get up to 3 MONTHS FREE!

Bookmark TIME
TIME Media Kit
Recent awards

TIME Asia TIME Asia Asiaweek Asia Now TIME Asia story
Sukarno called this the "century of the awakening of the colored peoples," as they threw off the shackles of Western colonialism. He played a leading role in the process, initiating the historic Asia-Africa Conference at Bandung in 1955, after which the Non-Aligned Movement spread to Latin America. Sukarno also called this the "century of intervention," a time when the great powers could interfere at will in the affairs of smaller countries. Often, this intervention was the work of the intelligence community--a power within a power, a state within a state, entrusted with the task of eliminating communism from the face of the earth. In Asia, Africa and Latin America, the strategy was to back military governments as bulwarks against the Red Menace. Repressive regimes like Mobutu's in Africa or Suharto's in Asia received the West's blessing as long as the repression was carried out in the name of democracy and the suppression of communism.

m o r e
America's Unseen Hand
The CIA played a major role in Asia's passage through the last half of the 20th century

In this climate, Sukarno was no longer seen as another Thomas Jefferson, but instead as someone who might allow communism to expand its influence. The campaign against him began from the slander that he had been a Japanese collaborator during the war. This was followed by the accusation that, in his final years in power, he had become a dictator.

Are these accusations true? Was Sukarno a Japanese collaborator? Even when he was in a Dutch jail in the 1930s, Sukarno wrote to the colonial administration suggesting, in vain, that the Dutch cooperate with Indonesian nationalists to guard against Japanese fascism. Instead, when Japan invaded Indonesia, the Dutch surrendered the country and its people, including Sukarno in his prison.

That he then cooperated with the occupiers is undisputed. But he did so with the backing of fellow nationalist leader Hatta, and he used his influence to the advantage of his country. As he himself admitted, Sukarno did recruit thousands of manual laborers for the Japanese Army, most of whom perished during the war. Yet he also used the Japanese radio network to nurture a sense of nationalism throughout the archipelago. What honest observer can fault Sukarno for taking the opportunity to awaken the consciousness of the people to the struggle for freedom? Under the noses of the occupiers, he used his oratorical skills to arouse people who had been asleep for centuries and to prepare them to fight for independence when the moment arrived. It was thus that the world witnessed the heroism of Indonesian youth when they fought the Allied armies that landed in Surabaya to retake Indonesia for the Dutch on Nov. 10, 1945.

Was Sukarno a dictator? He did not have the character of a dictator. He was motivated and inspired by the ideas of the West, especially democracy, the French Revolution and the Enlightenment.

|  top  |  PAGE 1  |  2  |  3


The Most Influential Asians of the Century
August 23/30, 1999

Asians of the Century
A cavalcade of towering individuals and a newly awakened populace

Why Adam Smith Would Love Asia
Asia has been the proving ground for global capitalism

Ending Silence
Asian women are celebrating hard-won triumphs

Embrace the wisdom of democracy and capitalism

t h e  l i s t

Ho Chi Minh
Pol Pot
Issey Miyake
Daisuke Inoue
Rabindranath Tagore
Sun Yat-sen
Mohandas Gandhi
Mao Zedong
Lee Kuan Yew
Deng Xiaoping
Corazon Aquino
Park Chung Hee
Eiji Toyoda
King Rama
Akira Kurosawa
Dalai Lama
Akio Morita

v o t e

Tell us who you think are the most influential Asians of the century



U.S. secretary of state says China should be 'tolerant'

Philippine government denies Estrada's claim to presidency

Faith, madness, magic mix at sacred Hindu festival

Land mine explosion kills 11 Sri Lankan soldiers

Japan claims StarLink found in U.S. corn sample

Thai party announces first coalition partner


COVER: President Joseph Estrada gives in to the chanting crowds on the streets of Manila and agrees to make room for his Vice President

THAILAND: Twin teenage warriors turn themselves in to Bangkok officials

CHINA: Despite official vilification, hip Chinese dig Lamaist culture

PHOTO ESSAY: Estrada Calls Snap Election

WEB-ONLY INTERVIEW: Jimmy Lai on feeling lucky -- and why he's committed to the island state


COVER: The DoCoMo generation - Japan's leading mobile phone company goes global

Bandwidth Boom: Racing to wire - how underseas cable systems may yet fall short

TAIWAN: Party intrigues add to Chen Shui-bian's woes

JAPAN: Japan's ruling party crushes a rebel at a cost

SINGAPORE: Singaporeans need to have more babies. But success breeds selfishness

Launch CNN's Desktop Ticker and get the latest news, delivered right on your desktop!

Today on CNN

Back to the top   © 2000 Time Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines.