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Jakarta Post

Sept. 30 affair, 52 years later and ahead of election year

  • Wimar Witoelar
    Wimar Witoelar

    Founder of Intermatrix Communications, which advises the civil society group Indigenous Peoples Alliance of the Archipelago (AMAN)

Jakarta   /   Tue, October 3, 2017   /  10:05 am
Sept. 30 affair, 52 years later and ahead of election year A dark time -- Then Maj. Gen. Soeharto briefs members of the Army’s Special Forces (RPKAD, now Kopassus) prior to the removal of the bodies of the Army generals who were murdered during an alleged coup attempt on Sept. 30, 1965, which was blamed on the now defunct Indonesian Communist Party (PKI). As the most senior military officer available at the time, Soeharto led all the operations to restore security and impose order in the aftermath of the alleged coup attempt. (JP/30 Tahun Indonesia Merdeka)

As we reminisce on experiences of Sept. 30, 1965, my friend of 56 years opened his remarks by an observation that resolved many questions. Who set off the drama? Who was to blame for the rural massacre? Was Gen. Soeharto the solution or the problem? Why are some people raising the Indonesian Communist Party (PKI) as a current issue? His perspective cut through the noise that has enveloped social media. Here is what I learned. In 1965, then-president Sukarno was seriously ill. The news leaked through the severely controlled media. In the present, this could be suspected as fake news. Anyway, a team of doctors from the People’s Republic of China examined the president and gave a grim prognosis, making a lot of people nervous, because should something happen, nobody knew who would be president of Indonesia. Sukarno had been made President for Life by the Interim People’...

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the official stance of The Jakarta Post.