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Jakarta Post

Draft bill on reconciliation commission not enough, say victims

  • The Jakarta Post

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Mon, May 11, 2015   /  10:57 pm

Families of the victims of the May 1998 riots deem a bill on the establishment of a Truth and Reconciliation Commission (KKR), which is slated to be deliberated this year by the government, to be insufficient in handling the 1998 tragedy.

'€œThere might not be any reconciliation as there has been no confessions from the perpetrators. We should just have ad hoc tribunals instead,'€ said Ruyati Darwin, 67, who lost her 32 year-old son in the riots, on Monday on the sidelines of a press conference on May 1998.

The bill was intended to give a nine-member commission four years to investigate the cases that the National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM) declared to be human rights violations.

Among the cases were the 1989 Talangsari massacre in Central Lampung, the anti-communist massacres of 1965 and the May 1998 riots.

The bill, which aims to restore the rights of the victims and bring about reconciliation, does not allow the establishment of ad hoc tribunals, which has lead to wide criticism from human rights activists.

'€œI want it to be resolved in tribunals, so people don'€™t just do these kinds of violations, to just kill people and get away with it. Reconciliation is important, but justice should be upheld as well,'€ said Ruminah, 58, who lost her 12-year-old son in 1998.

The victims also placed high hopes on President Joko '€œJokowi'€ Widodo, who promised to settle past human rights cases during his presidential campaign in 2014.

The 1998 riot saw almost 1,217 people killed, 91 people injured and 31 people missing, based on the data from the Volunteer Team for Humanity. (fsu/nvn)(+++)

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