Most of us meet some dilemmas in life. By the way he or she deals with them a person reveals his or her true colours.
The life of someone at the top, for instance a president’s life, to me appears to be abundant with that kind of inconvenient, awkward, painful choices between two evils. One good reason for me to be happy for not having been born to lead a country. Take president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono. I for one would be embarrassed as Indonesia’s head of state if I had the choice of passionately defending freedom of speech amidst people’s indignation because of a slanderous foreign movie and become unpopular or take the easier way of being just another petty pleasing populist politician craving to be idolized by his electorate and demand a world wide UN anti blasphemy “law”. SBY choose the latter.
The president has been getting used to be on the horns of a dilemma.
Two years ago he was set to pay an official visit to the Netherlands on invitation by the Dutch head of state, Queen Beatrix. Unexpectedly he had to face the choice between the tiny chance of public humiliation and injuring relations with the head of state of a befriended nation. In extremis he cancelled that state visit because chairman ( ‘president’) Wattilete of the pro independent Maluku RMS called on Dutch prosecutors to have the president arrested for breaches of human rights. Dutch government made it clear Wattilete’s charge did at worst stand a next to negligible chance in court and it afterwards actually rejected the organization’s claim, but by then SBY had decided to stay at home already.
Now the President is due to visit Great Britain on invitation of Queen Elisabeth II starting October the 31th. And once again there is this dilemma: ‘shall we proceed and run the risk of humiliation or should we cancel the state visit and injure good relations with the head of state of a befriended country?”. What’s happening these days bears conspicuous similarities to the Dutch Maluku affair. This time around the London based Free West Papua organization offers a considerable reward or bounty of $ 81.000 for a citizen’s arrest of SBY while visiting the United Kingdom. Once again the motives given imply human rights’ crimes. And just like the Dutch government the British hosts immediately tried to reassure the President by telling him he will not be harmed while being their guest as chances for such an arrest are practically zero.
I wonder whether president SBY will solve his new dilemma by injuring relations with the British Queen ( if he decides to stay away) or by adding insult to injury to the Dutch Queen (by keeping his British appointments in conditions which made him abandon his previous state visit to the Netherlands). But in any case we’ve got some interesting glimpses of SBY’s leadership’s personality.