Subject: State must not wash its hands of the 1965 tragedy

Kompas, 10 December 2009

State must not wash its hands of the 1965 tragedy

In addition to the workers and peasants, the victims of the 1965 human rights abuses took advantage of the occasion of the 61^st anniversary of Human Rights Day on 10 December to hold a demonstration, expressing their aspirations to the government. In an action coordinated by the Institute for the Study of the 1965-1966 Massacres (YPKP ?65), around 150 victims of the 1965 human rights abuses organised a demonstration at Monas, the National Monument in Jakarta on Thursday.

A number of demonstrators most of whom were elderly but nevertheless as full of spirits as the younger people, delivered speeches and unfurled banners calling on the SBY- Boediono Government to reveal the truth and resolve once and for all the gross human rights violations that were perpetrated at the time of the 1965 tragedy. One of the speakers who wanted to remain anonymous said that he and his colleagues who were also victims of the 1965 tragedy called on the SBY Government to show strong commitment and deal seriously with the case.

?This case has for far too long been clothed in secrecy. We cannot allow things to end like this. I myself experienced the brutality of that regime. Even though I knew nothing at all, I was banished to Buru Island. Not only that. In addition, we were subjected to discriminatory practices from society. Our civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights were all violated by the state,? said this elderly man.

During the demonstration, the YPKP ?65, speaking on behalf of all the victims of the 1965 tragedy, stressed that the SBY-Boediono Government should not wash its hands of that tragedy. It raised four key demands: the government should resolve the gross human rights violations of 1965, the discriminatory policy enacted under MPRS Decree XXV/1966 should be repealed, the citizenship rights of the victims should be restored, and the capitalist economic system should be replaced by a social system.

The demonstration did not last long because the participants soon became rather exhausted.


1965 victims commemorated [remembered?] on Human Rights Day (commemorate is better)

VIVAnews: 10 December 2009

"We ask for our names to be rehabilitated and for the 1965 tragedy to be investigated"

At least 50 members of the 1965 Murder Victims Research Association (Yayasan Penelitian Korban Pembunuhan 1965) gathered at the Bundaran Hotel Indonesia on 10 December to commemorate Human Rights Day.

The head of the Association, Bejo Untung, said that around 27 million Indonesians still suffered from discriminatory treatment because they had been considered by the New Order regime as supporters or relatives of supporters of the Indonesian Communist Party (Partai Komunis Indonesia - PKI).

Like Bejo himself who was imprisoned for nine years by the New Order regime because he had once been a member of the Indonesian Youth Group (Ikatan Pemuda Indonesia), regarded by the government as an organisation associated with the PKI.

After being released from prison, Bejo's identity card (Kartu Tanda Penduduk) was stamped ex-political prisoner (Eks Tahanan Politik). Bejo's everyday life became like a bad dream because it was difficult, for example, to apply for a job as a civil servant or to obtain a bank loan.

"We ask for our names to be rehabilitated and for the truth about the 1965 tragedy to be investigated until it is finally resolved," said Bejo.

Siswoyo, who was also branded as a PKI supporter, had a similar experience. He still suffers discrimination to this day, particularly when he interacts socially with people.

He also hopes that the government will investigate the 1965 tragedy because he believes that the many waves of arrests took place under the New Order without due legal process.

Simply because Margono, Siswoyo's father, had been a member of the Indonesian Peasants' Movement (BTI), he was arrested and was deemed to have been a member of the PKI.

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