Portal:Indonesia/Biography schedule/October, 2006

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Selected biographies archive and schedule for October 2006
Last updated: 10:35, 8 October 2006 (UTC)

September 25 - October 8

Diah Permata Megawati Setiawati Soekarnoputri (born January 23, 1947), was President of Indonesia from July 2001 to October 20, 2004. She was the country's first female President.

On September 20 she lost her campaign for re-election in the 2004 Indonesian presidential election.

Note that Sukarnoputri means "daughter of Sukarno" (Sanskrit) and it is not the President's surname: Javanese do not have surnames. She is simply referred to as Megawati or Mega.

Her name is derived from Sanskrit meghavatī = "she who has a cloud", i.e. a raincloud, as rain is needed to make food crops grow, and it was raining when she was born.

Under Megawati, the process of democratic reform begun under Habibie and Wahid continued, albeit slowly and erratically. Megawati appeared to see her role mainly as a symbol of national unity, and she rarely actively intervened in government business. The military, disgraced at the time of Suharto's fall, regained much of its influence. Corruption continued to be pervasive, though Megawati herself was seldom blamed for this. (read more...)

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October 9 - October 22

Abdurrahman Wahid (also known as Gus Dur) (born August 4, 1940) was the President of Indonesia from 1999 to 2001, and leader of the National Awakening Party (PKB), which he founded after the fall of Suharto.

Born in Jombang, East Java, Wahid was educated in Indonesia, Egypt and Canada. He had long been a widely-respected and controversial Muslim cleric and leader of the Nahdatul Ulama before being elected President by the Indonesian parliament. He earned his controversy mostly from his sarcastic jokes and explicit talks. He is regarded as a very friendly and funny figure, as demonstrated by his affectionate nickname, "Gus Dur" ("Gus" is like brother or comrade, while "Dur" is taken from his name, Ab-'dur'-rahman). Back during Suharto's New Order era, although Gus Dur was seemingly moderate and non-confrontational in regards to the autocratic regime, he was in fact a slick and maverick opposition figure whose threat was taken seriously by President Suharto. (read more...)

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October 23 - 'November 5
TanMalaka DariPendjara ed3.jpg

Tan Malaka (1896/1897–c. February 19, 1949) was an Indonesian nationalist activist and communist leader. A staunch critic of both the colonial Dutch East Indies government and the republican Sukarno administration that governed the country after the Indonesian National Revolution, he was also frequently in conflict with the leadership of the Communist Party of Indonesia (PKI), Indonesia's primary radical political party in the 1920s and again in the 1940s.

A political outsider for most of his life, Tan Malaka spent a large part of his life in exile from Indonesia, and was constantly threatened with arrest by the Dutch authorities and their allies. Despite this apparent marginalization, however, he played a key intellectual role in linking the international communist movement to Southeast Asia's anti-colonial movements. He was declared a "hero of the national revolution" by act of Indonesia's parliament in 1963.

He travelled to Jakarta, then widely around Java. During this trip he became convinced that Sukarno and Mohammad Hatta, who had made the declaration of independence and were considered the leaders of Indonesia by the departing Japanese, were being too conciliatory toward Dutch attempts to regain control over the archipelago.(read more...)

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