27 January 2008

Indonesia's former president Suharto dies at age 86

Just yesterday at our BBQ gathering, I was just asking Albert, as he is Indonesian, has he followed up on Suharto's news. And today he passed away. Life is unpredictable. . .

In memory of Indonesia's former president Suharto
20 Feb 1921 - 27 Jan 2008

JAKARTA : Former president Suharto died on Sunday aged 86, his family and police said at a Jakarta hospital.

"Father has returned to God," Suharto's eldest daughter, Siti Hariyanti "Tutut" Rukmana, told reporters breaking down in tears.

"We ask that if he had any faults, please forgive them...may he be absolved of all his mistakes," she said.

His death came more than three weeks after he was admitted to hospital with heart, lung and kidney problems, although he had surprised his doctors by his resilience despite being in a critical condition.

His team of doctors said earlier Sunday that Suharto had suffered multiple organ failure overnight, and had been resuscitated but remained unconscious.

"Our former president HM Suharto has passed away around 13:10 (0610 GMT)," Dicky Sondani, the sub-district police chief, told reporters at the hospital.

Suharto, who was among Asia's most notorious strongmen of the 20th century, stepped down in 1998 amid deadly riots and mass pro-democracy protests that were sparked by the 1997 Asian economic crisis.

Opinion on his rule remains divided in Indonesia, which also enjoyed dramatic economic growth under his rule.

After leaving office he dropped out of public view and avoided criminal trial for massive corruption allegations by citing poor health.

Attempts to bring him to justice for alleged human rights atrocities in East Timor, which he invaded in 1975, as well as Aceh and Papua, have also been stymied by a lack of evidence.

Doctors have said two strokes left him with some permanent brain damage.

A doctor who treated Suharto, Munawar, said: "We have worked our best...God has decided otherwise." "

At around nine or ten, the condition of the heart and blood pressure remained up and down and we, to be truthful, were already beginning to give up, because the condition of his brain, was already very serious...," he told ElShinta radio.

"At 11, we already told the family," that Suharto was dying, he said.

All of Suharto's six children had gathered on Sunday at his bedside, the former president's close aide, Moerdiono earlier said.

Article from Channel News Asia

For more on Suharto's life, pls read here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suharto

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