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Jakarta Post

1965 activists to hold discussion to straighten out history

  • Marguerite Afra Sapiie
    Marguerite Afra Sapiie

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Thu, October 13, 2016   /  11:20 am
1965 activists to hold discussion to straighten out history A dark history -- 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 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 attempt. (JP/30 Tahun Indonesia Merdeka/File)

Activists seeking justice for the 1965 anti-communist purge victims are planning to hold a discussion about Indonesian history to verify events that led up to the failed coup, which is blamed on defunct Indonesian Communist Party (PKI).

The 1965 Murder Victims Research Foundation (YPKP 65) chairman Bedjo Untung said the discussion, which would involve prominent historians, experts and 1965 tragedy survivors, aimed to collect evidence and facts that could uncover the truth on the country’s history. He said that all this time, Indonesia’s history, especially on the 1965 tragedy, had been distorted by the government's version of events.

While the exact date of the discussion has not been set, Bedjo said activists would also invite representatives from Indonesian Military (TNI) and related state officials to participate in the event.

“There is still deep confusion [among the public] concerning events that led up to the 1965 communist purge. We just want to make everything clear," Bedjo said on Wednesday.

Among distorted historical events, the activists also criticized Coordinating Political, Legal and Security Affairs official Wiranto, who said the military offense in the 1965 could be justified by law since there was “treason” that endangered the national security, Bedjo said.

“We, as victims who experienced the events in 1965, know that the statement is wrong. If there was treason, then who is at fault?” Bedjo said.

Meanwhile, activist Bonnie Setiawan said the discussion aimed to push the government to reveal information behind the 1965 communist purge, as part of the government's commitments to achieve national reconciliation. (ebf)

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