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Jakarta Post

Eleven years after the May riot: We have not forgotten

  • Maesy Angelina and Ricky Gunawan

JAKARTA   /   Tue, May 12 2009   /  10:11 am

On this day (May 12) eleven years ago, Indonesia witnessed the killing of four Trisakti University students in an incident known ever since as the Trisakti Tragedy. This horrific tragedy was soon followed by an appalling riot. A national and international audience watched the national tragedy on television, but the terror was much closer to Indonesian hearts. The killing triggered nationwide protests, which eventually forced Soeharto to step down from his 32-year dictatorial rule. As Indonesians of Chinese descent that lived in a Chinese neighbourhood, we witnessed our parents and neighbours attempt to defend us by raising barricades around the complex as we felt the panic rising as the riots moved closer to our area. The fear was not just that our houses would be raided and scorched, but that Chinese women and girls would be brutally raped and that the men would be violent...