Former Indonesian Foreign Minister Ali Alatas, 76, who had the delicate task of representing Indonesia during an often-brutal dictatorship and who was once considered for the top job at the United Nations, died yesterday in Singapore after suffering a stroke.
Mr. Alatas was the country's highest-ranking diplomat from 1988 until 1999, the year after President Suharto was swept from power following pro-democracy street demonstrations. He twice served as Indonesia's ambassador to the United Nations, chaired many international seminars, and, most recently, acted as an adviser to President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.
Though he was personally well-respected, Mr. Alatas' legacy also was tainted by atrocities carried out during Indonesia's 24-year occupation of East Timor, most notably a massacre by troops in Santa Cruz district that left hundreds dead. The occupation ended in 1999.