Two heroes, no Soeharto this year

Two heroes, no Soeharto this year

, 11 November 2010

By: Erwida Maulia

After much debate, two relatively low-profile figures have been nominated as this year’s recipients of national hero titles: the late Johannes Leimena and Johannes Abraham Dimara.

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono on Thursday granted the titles at a ceremony to commemorate Indonesian Heroes’ Day, which falls every Nov. 10, at the State Palace in Jakarta.

The late former president Soeharto, whose nomination as a hero candidate has been subject to nationwide controversy, appeared not to be among title recipients.
The late former president Abdurrahman “Gus Dur” Wahid also missed out.

Leimena, from Maluku, was an active participant in the 1928 Youth Congress that produced the famous Youth Pledge. He served as health minister in several different Cabinets from 1946 to 1956, before being appointed deputy prime minister of Indonesia in 1966.

Meanwhile, Dimara, of Papuan origin, played an active role in leading the struggle to free the youngest region of Indonesia from the Dutch colonial powers.

Dimara was also involved in the battle against South Maluku Republic activists in the 1950s.