Subject: State must not wash its hands of the 1965 tragedy
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repealed, the citizenship rights of the victims should be restored, and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
1965 victims commemorated [remembered?] on Human Rights Day (commemorate
VIVAnews: 10 December 2009
"We ask for our names to be rehabilitated and for the 1965 tragedy to be
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
"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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