Remembering Indonesia’s bloody October
The Indonesian government should apologise and acknowledge the military’s mass killings during the New Order era. Last Modified: 07 Oct 2013
Jess Melvin is a PhD student with the School of Historical and Philosophical Studies at the University of Melbourne.
Forty-eight years ago, on October 1, 1965, the Indonesian military under the leadership of Major General Suharto launched an attack against the Indonesian Communist Party, or PKI. The attack was aimed at seizing state power and sparked one of the 20th century’s worst mass killings. To this day, the perpetrators of this violence continue to enjoy complete impunity for their actions.
This, however, is not the story that has been told for the last 48 years. We are told the story of the 30 September Movement’s abortive coup attempt and a people driven wild by bloodlust. We are not told the story of Suharto’s own effective seizure of state power and the manner in which the military meticulously orchestrated and implemented the killings that followed. Continue reading