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A Two-part Presentation on Indonesia
From Repression to Reform?
Indonesia is a top-down society and changes initiated at the top have a fair chance of penetrating to those below. However, while Indonesia is nominally a democracy indeed the third largest democracy in the world it is still in the grip of forces of repression that will make the process of further far-ranging change very difficult. Certain factions of the Indonesian military demonstrated just how difficult change will be by their actions in supporting or directly participating in the destruction of the East Timor infrastructure. [FULL TEXT]
We as a people have been slow to see Indonesias global importance: now the third largest democracy in the world, and the only Muslim democracy besides Turkey. Because Indonesia envelops the sea lanes between the Indian Ocean and the Pacific, and is the largest geopolitical factor in Southeast Asia/Southwest Pacific, the destiny of its democracy is vitally important to the region, to American values, and to our interests. [FULL TEXT]