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Sukarno

Sukarno (June 6, 1901 - June 21, 1970) was the first President of independent Indonesia.

Sukarno has been also referred to as Ahmed Sukarno or Soekarno. Indonesians also refer to him as Bung Karno

Sukarno was born on June 6, 1901 in Surabaya, Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia). He was a son of Javanese noble and his Balinese wife. He was admitted into a Dutch-run school as a child. When his father sent him to Surabaya in 1916 to attend a secondary school, he met Tjokroaminoto[?], future nationalist. 1921 he begun to study at Technische Hoogeschool in Bandung[?].

Sukarno became a leader of a Indonesian independence movement party Partai Nasional Indonesia[?] when it was founded in 1927. He was arrested in 1929 by Dutch colonial authorities and sentenced for two years in prison. By the time he was released, he had become a popular hero. In the 1930?s he was still arrested several times.

During the World War Two, Sukarno cooperated with Japanese occupation forces but also continued to propagate for Indonesian independence. He accepted the role of a Indonesian head of state under Japanese military supervision in July 1942 and in 1943 became the head of Putera, a political auxiliary organization. He also became head of Badan Penyelidik Usaha Persiapan Kemerdekaan Indonesia (BPUPKI), a Japanese-organized committee for Indonesian Independence

After the Japanese defeat, Sukarno and Mohammed Hatta[?] declared the Republic of Indonesia in August 17 1945. In the ensuing chaos between various factions and Dutch attempt to re-establish colonial control, Dutch troops captured him in December 1948 but were forced to release him after the ceasefire. He returned to Jakarta in December 28 1949.

There were still attempts of military coups against Sukarno in 1956. Sukarno tried to establish ?guided democracy? with a multiparty parliament. In this he had a tacit support of the Indonesian Communist Party[?].

November 30 1957 there was a grenade attack against Sukarno when he was visiting Cikini School[?] in Jakarta. Six children were killed but Sukarno did not suffer any serious wounds. In December he ordered nationalization of 246 Dutch businesses. In February he began a breakdown of PRRI (Pemerintah Revolusioner Republik Indonesia[?]) rebels at Bukittingi[?].

Over the following years he established government control over media and book publishing and purge against Ethnic Chinese residents. In July 5 1959 he reestablished 1945 constitution, dissolved the parliament, molded it into his liking and assumed full personal power as a prime minister. He called the system as government-by-decree Manifesto Politik or Manipol. He sent his opponents to internal exile.

In the 1950?s he increased his ties to Communist China and admitted more communists to his government. Thus he also received Soviet military aid.

In 1962 Sukarno ordered raids to West Irian (Dutch New Guinea). There were more assassination attempts when he visited Sulawesi in 1962. West Irian was brought under Indonesian authority in May 1963 under the Bunker Plan[?]. In the same year in July Sukarno had himself proclaimed president-for-life.

Sukarno also opposed the British-supported Federation of Malaysia, claiming that it was a "neo-colonial plot" to advance British interests. Despite of his political overtures, Malaysia was proclaimed in September 1963. This lead to Indonesian Confrontation and the end of remaining US military aid to Indonesia. Sukarno withdrew Indonesia from the UN Security Council in 1965 and Malaysia took the seat. Sukarno also became increasingly ill and collapsed in public in August 9 1965 and was secretly diagnosed with a kidney disease.

The conflict was interrupted by apparent coup attempt by Indonesian Communist Party[?] in September 1965 (details are still unclear). It lead to military takeover, massacre of the communist and leadership of right-wing general Suharto who forced Sukarno to give him all the executive powers on March 11, 1966. Sukarto was stripped of his presidential title on March 12, 1967]] and he remained under house arrest until his death in Jakarta on June 21, 1970.

Megawati Sukarnoputri is his daughter.



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