Indonesia's alternative Olympics
Monday 27 April 2020
Ernie's piece on the 1964 Tokyo Olympics reminds me of an attempt by Indonesia to establish an alternative Olympics - Games of the New Emerging Forces or Ganefo.
I interviewed President Sukarno for Reuters in a hotel toilet in 1962. It took all of about two minutes - but time enough for me to ask him about Taiwan's participation in the 1962 Asian Games and the establishment of Ganefo.
The interview happened just after midnight during a meeting in the Hotel Indonesia’s grand ballroom of Asian leaders discussing the Tokyo Olympics and other issues. Sukarno suddenly left the meeting to go to the rest room and I followed him. He knew me from his Hong Kong stopovers and nodded to his bodyguards to let me in.
I went to the urinal next to his and started asking questions. He said that he was not keen for Taiwan to take part in the forthcoming Asian Games in Djakarta and that plans were afoot to organise Ganefo.
Reuters had a good story but a few nights later, I was arrested at the airport. But that is another story.
The first Ganefo games were held in Djakarta in 1963. A second Ganefo scheduled for Cairo in 1967 was cancelled and an Asian Ganefo was held in Phnom Penh in 1966. ■