• Short Summary

    The film shows soldiers (right) officers (left) drawn up in front of the army's headquarters in Djakarta for the flag-raising ceremony.

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    Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved

    Background: The film shows soldiers (right) officers (left) drawn up in front of the army's headquarters in Djakarta for the flag-raising ceremony. This is held twice monthly, on the 5th (Armed Forces Day) and the 17th (17.8.45, the proclamation of the republic). A soldier is shown reading the SAPTA MARGA, the armed forces' oath of allegiance to the republic. The ceremony is conducted by Brig. General Sungkono, in the unexpected absence of the Army Chief of Staff, Lt. Gen. Abdul Haris Nasution. A message was received just before the ceremony started that Nasution was detained on other business.

    Speculation is rife in Djakarta as to whether -- and when -- the army will invade Sumatra to crush the rebellion led by "the young colonels" -- Hussein, Simbolon, Bahlan Djambek and Lubis -- with a counter government headed by Mr. Sjafruddin Prawiranegara, former governor of the Bank of Indonesia.

    See latest cable news.

    Moderates in Djakarta hope that former vice-president Dr. Mohammed Hatta may compromise his anti-communist principles to the extent of agreeing that the National Council (pro-communist and part of Sukarno's guided democracy) should remain if he took over the premiership. The rebels have said that they will immediately dissolve their cabinet if Hatta is given a free hand in forming a central cabinet.

    Present premier Dr. Djuanda has said the government has no alternative left but to use force against the rebels or there is the danger that all Sumatra and the Celebes may unite against Djakarta.

    It is known that many of the army officers are opposed to using force against fellow Indonesians (although bombs have been dropped on radio stations and strategic bridges and ferries in Central Sumatra and North Celebes). There is also the possibility that the rebels may destroy or temporarily stop the flow of oil from Standard-Vacuum and Caltex installations in Central Sumatra if an armed invasion is imminent.

    Shortage of pilots and other personnel (since the Dutch were expelled) makes an army airlift more difficult. The jungle and mountain terrain of Sumatra lends itself to ambushes... nevertheless the belief here today (5.3.58) is that the army will soon attempt to invade the rebels' territory.

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    Reuters - Source to be Verified
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