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Indonesian Dictator Suharto Leaves Mixed Legacy

Suharto, the former Indonesian leader, is credited with greatly improving the country's economy, literacy rates and public health in the first part of his 32-year rule.

But he is also blamed for massive human rights abuses in East Timor, Papua and Aceh, as well as an anti-communist purge in the mid-1960s that left half a million dead.

The U.S. government looked the other way because Indonesia was regarded as an anti-communist ally during the Cold War.

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Michael Sullivan is NPR's Senior Asia Correspondent. He moved to Hanoi to open NPR's Southeast Asia Bureau in 2003. Before that, he spent six years as NPR's South Asia correspondent based in but seldom seen in New Delhi.