Suharto's Dilemma

He must move toward democracy--or risk massive social unrest

So desperate is President Suharto to keep a firm grip on the May 29 elections that Indonesians are literally killing each other over the issue of green vs. yellow paint. In the province of Central Java earlier this year, the officially sanctioned Islamic opposition party put up its signature green flags. But workers for Golkar, Suharto's party, tore down the flags and painted the town yellow, the Golkar party color--slathering yellow paint over government offices, tree trunks, curbstones, and other public property. The Islamic party ripped down the yellow flags and covered the yellow paint with neutral white. Then, rampaging mobs trashed freshly painted yellow buildings. An Islamic party leader was hospitalized, at least one Golkar member was killed, and hundreds went to jail.

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