31 Mar 2011

Indonesia’s President Considers Wikileaks Attack to Be Character Assassination

American diplomatic cables realeased via Wikileaks that accused Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono of bribery, intimidation, and self-enrichment were picked up recently by several Australian newspapers.

Those newspapers, the Sydnew Morning Herald and The Age, both reported that it was President Obama who canceled the planned phone call and that the US envoy to Indonesia, Scot Marciel, was hauled in before the Foreign Minister, Marty Natalegawa, to receive a strong protest. However, President Yudhoyono was not the only one mentioned in the cables, as his wife was also told to have personally benefitted from her status as First Lady.

While an Indonesian spokesman for President Yudhoyono, Teuku Faizasyah, played down the significance of the cancelled phone call, US-Indonesian relations have not been exactly great as of late, seeing as President Obama’s last trip to Indonesia did not end in any tangible results.

Burhanudin Muhtadi, an analyst with the political consultancy LSI, said that SBY sees himself as an international darling,” he said. ”He is very upset that the US embassy in Indonesia was spying on him and reporting in such an improper and unhappy manner.”

The stories from the two Australian newspaper are linked above.