The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on May 22, 1998 · Page 7
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 7

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Salina, Kansas
Issue Date:
Friday, May 22, 1998
Page:
Page 7
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THE SALINA JOURNAL WORLD FRIDAY, MAY 22, 1998 A7 ""SaUna Journal MAURE WEIGH Auto - Home Insurance Phone 827-2906 115 East Iron Thinking Flowers? Artful Parties & Events ^ "The Uncommon Florist" 921 Shalimar Dr. (behind the Southeate Dairy Queen') The Associated Press Young newspaper vendors in Jakarta, Indonesia, show off the front page of Thursday's evening paper featuring President Suharto's resignation. Suharto resigns; future uncertain Opposition triumphant but divided over how to handle new leader By The Associated Press JAKARTA, Indonesia — After succeeding in its main goal of kicking out President Suharto, Indonesia's triumphant opposition is fraying over how to deal with his hand-picked successor. The most prominent opposition leader urges patience with the new president, while the activist whom the world most associates with Indonesia's pro- democracy movement remains silent. To many student protesters, President Bacharuddin Jusuf Habibie is Suharto clone who cannot be trusted to implement the corruption-free reforms he promises. "Bring down Habibie, put Suharto on trial," weary students shouted Thursday at parliament, which they occupied for days to pressure Suharto to end his 32-year rule. Opposition leader Amien Rais urged the students to give Habi- bie a break, allowing him up to six months to call parliamen- , tary elections that would pave the way for a new president. "I would ask the students who are still in the parliament building to be realistic. Expecting and demanding that Habibie must resign, it's too much," said Rais, who had enthusiastically thrown his support behind the daily student demonstrations that shook Suharto's hold on power. The rift over how to handle Habibie exposed the divergence of tactics and goals within In• donesia's opposition, which Suharto kept off balance for years by crushing dissenters or co-opting them. The students are the only ones who have proven themselves capable of bringing people into the streets time and again, and Rais has limited influence over them. A 54-year-old political science HABIBIE SUHARTO lecturer, Rais is the outspoken head of the country's second- largest Muslim group. Throughout the recent clamor for reform, one voice has been noticeably absent — that of Megawati Sukarnoputri, daughter of Indonesia's founding President Sukarno. Megawati, whose calls for democratic reform once made her an international sensation, appears to lack ambition and a coherent political platform to direct Indonesia's opposition. She lost influence two years ago when the government helped engineer her ouster as leader of an opposition party. She and Rais also have shown little aptitude for strategizing together. Another source of friction within the opposition comes from the military, which has urged students to tone down their rallies. If protests continue, splits over whether to confront the authorities could develop between moderate and more hard-line activists. Habibie has made no mention of holding elections and seems intent on serving out the remainder of Suharto's five-year term, which ends in 2003. If so, students are likely to keep up their protests, adding tension to Indonesia's fragile political climate. In his speech, Habibie made a vigorous bid to head off opposition, promising reform and even trotting out phrases familiar at anti-government rallies. Habibie has wooed dissidents in the past but defusing the student-led protests will be a far bigger challenge. Extra Large Capacity - ftj« 1C)* < UCSOSTM ' FREE 100 Loads of Wisk Capacity Washer Dryer Why The Peoples Choice? In Ten Years THIS Pair Saves Enough Time, Money, i Energy ToPayForltselll Glanl Capacity Laundry COPIES CHOlcg 25.5 Sq. Ft. Shelf Area Refrigerator Capacity Apartment Size Massive 30 Cu. Ft. Slde-By-Side • Massive 30 Cu. ' Fl. 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At stake in the referendum is a hard-won agreement among eight parties and the British and Irish governments — reached with a helping hand from the United States — that would create a custom-tailored Belfast government balancing Protestant and Catholic rights and obligations. In a frenzied finish to the campaign to end 30 years of bloodshed, British Prime Minister Tony Blair unexpectedly stayed a second day in Northern Ireland to urge a "yes" vote. "I don't pretend, and I don't guarantee that everything can be sorted out even if everything goes the way I want it to go tomorrow," he said during a visit Thursday to a hospital. "But it's just the first step." Outside, he got a taste of the deep resentment among many Protestants. "You sold Northern Ireland out!" one man shouted. Today is a day of decision for all the island of Ireland, divided by a border since 1920 and by competing religious and national allegiances for centuries. In the Republic of Ireland, residents must approve amending the constitution to give up a claim on the territory of the British-ruled north. Under the agreement, Northern Ireland would remain under the British crown so long as a majority of its people wish. The agreement calls for a 108-seat Assembly, to be elected June 25, which gradually would take over many government functions. Votes on important issues would require either a majority of both Catholic nationalist and Protestant unionist members, or a 60 percent overall majority. The Assembly also would cooperate with the Republic of Ireland on all-island issues of mutual interest, such as waterways and agriculture. 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