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Suharto Guarded As He Visits Grave

January 22, 1999

SOLO, Indonesia (AP) _ Former President Suharto and his family visited the grave of his wife Friday under heavy security for fear of protests by students who want him tried for corruption.

But there were no demonstrations against the authoritarian leader, despite pledges by activists that they would protest the visit near Solo, on Indonesia’s main island of Java.

On Thursday, about 150 dispossessed villagers demonstrated in Solo against Suharto, saying his government seized their homes a decade ago and flooded their village so officials could build a dam.

Suharto, 77, quit in May after riots and protests against his 32-year rule and has been living at his Jakarta home.

Suharto and five of his six children traveled to Solo to spend the Muslim feast days of Eid al-Fitr this week near the grave of his wife, Siti Hartinah, who died in May 1996.

Siti Hartinah was a descendant of the royal family in Solo, 298 miles southeast of Jakarta.

Dressed in a traditional batik shirt, Suharto and his family went to the grave site in a convoy. Dozens of police and plainclothes security agents were on hand.

Since his resignation, Suharto has been the target of student protests demanding that he be put on trial. In recent months, hundreds of troops have been deployed daily to prevent activists from marching to his Jakarta home.

Suharto faces a corruption investigation and has been accused of enriching his family and associates at the expense of the state.

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