Suharto was second President of the Republic of Indonesia. He was born in 1921 in a village west of Yogyakarta. He served in the Japanese created self defence force (PETA) and then after the Japanese were defeated he joined the People’s Security Body, the first incarnation of the Indonesian Army. In 1959 he was appointed Commander of the campaign to reclaim West Papua. In 1963 he was appointed Commander of the Army Strategic Reserve Command. Suharto moved very quickly to crush the 30 September Movement. He then set about taking over the presidency, slowly but surely by reducing the influence of President Sukarno until Sukarno was placed under house arrest. He ruled Indonesia from his effective take over of power in 1966 until 1998 emphasising economic development and an open economy. He frequently commanded the army to use violence against opponents of the regime whether communists, criminals, students, separatists or religious extremists. He was forced to step down in 1998 and died in 2008.
ELSON, Robert, 2001, Suharto: A Political Biography , Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.