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Asian editorial excerpts.

TOKYO, Feb. 14 Kyodo

Selected editorial excerpts from the Asia-Pacific press:

DEMOCRACY IS COMING TO EGYPT (The Jakarta Post, Jakarta)

Hearty congratulations to our sisters and brothers in Egypt for their successful revolution a"- against all odds a"- to win their long lost freedom. The victory of people power shows that the desire for freedom and justice among Egyptians is far too strong to stop, even for the likes of Hosni Mubarak, one of the longest serving and ruthless rulers in the Arab world.

Indonesia shares the joy and celebration in the streets of Cairo and other cities in Egypt over the weekend following Mubarak's resignation Friday. The similarity with Indonesia's own people power that toppled Soeharto in 1998 makes it irresistible to draw parallels. From our own experience, we know that for Egypt, this marks the beginning of an exciting, and at times perilous journey, towards a more democratic, just and prosperous society.

Historically, not all people power movements have been successful. While Indonesia, Eastern European countries, the Philippines and more recently Tunisia provided examples and inspiration for other nations to liberate themselves from tyrannical rules, similar attempts failed in the streets of Beijing, Tehran and Yangon.

The uprising in Egypt could have gone either way. A stubborn Mubarak used everything he had to cling to power, including deploying his brutal thugs to harass and intimidate protesters. To the credit of the young women and men of Egypt, they single-handedly took on the challenge. No revolution is complete without its martyrs and many Egyptians gave their lives for this. They pulled it off peacefully even in the face of Mubarak's brutality. There was no outside power that influenced the course of events in the last three weeks. No one can take this away from them.

This will be a good time for other nations who really care about the future of Egypt to lend a hand. Apart from economic assistance, which is desperately needed to save it from bankruptcy, Egypt needs help in building a strong civil society and in creating democratic institutions to ensure that it does not fall back into another form of dictatorship. Indonesia is well positioned to help, at the very least to share its own experience, having taken the same path to freedom and democracy nearly 13 years ago.

The uprising in Egypt may have been inspired by events in Tunisia a month earlier, which forced the departure of its own dictator, but the impact of Egypt looms far larger in the rest of the Arab world. Given the size and centrality of Egypt in the Arab world, a force far more powerful than the ''Tunisami'' (as Egyptians liked to describe it), has been unleashed after Friday's successful revolution that will dramatically transform the entire Arab world, for the better. No Arab dictator or tyrannical regime is safe. Indonesia will pray for the safety and well-being of our Arab sisters and brothers.

(Feb. 14)
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Article Details
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Publication:Asian Political News
Article Type:Editorial
Geographic Code:7EGYP
Date:Feb 14, 2011
Words:490
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