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Jakarta Post

Silence leads to continued injustice and impunity

  • Soe Tjen Marching


London   /   Thu, May 14, 2020   /  10:25 am
Silence leads to continued injustice and impunity Never forget: A student walks past May 12 Reformation Park in Grogol, West Jakarta, on Wednesday. The park was built in memory of four students who were killed in a demonstration demanding reforms in May 1998, when riots also took place targeting those of Chinese descent. (JP/Dhoni Setiawan)

This year, it has been 22 years since the horrific mass violence against hundreds of women, mainly ethnic Chinese, in Jakarta, Medan in North Sumatra and Surakarta in Central Java in May 1998.

I wasn’t about to write anything about the 1998 mass rapes, simply because I felt tired; even if I had to say something, I would be repeating myself over and over again. And it would meet the same reaction: denial after denial by the sitting government. So, what is the point, if whatever we say is just going to be ignored?

However, later I realized the problem is with me. If we feel tired and no longer want to say anything, if we think that our efforts are in vain, if we turn mute, such apathy will allow people in power to do whatever they feel like; it is precisely this kind of reaction that those in power have been waiting for so that they can ignore any human ...

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