International: Merdeka!

For three years, merdeka (freedom) was the battle cry, the greeting and the promise of the young Indonesian republic. Strangers saluted each other with the word, children chanted it in the street. Many of the republic's hotels were renamed "Merdeka." But when the Dutch seized Jogjakarta, they took black paint and blotted out the word on the fagade of the hotel in the capital's heart. They have put no other name in its place.

The incident symbolized the main question about Indonesia's future. As one Indonesian put it last week, "the republic was ours; we made something of it. What are the...

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