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Police close down seminar on 1965 anti-communist purge after protests by nationalist groups

Media Indonesia - September 16, 2017

Selamat Saragih – Hundreds of activists who disagree with the banned Indonesian Communist Party (PKI) issue being raised again have taken part in a wave of protests at the Indonesian Legal Aid Foundation (YLBHI) offices on Jl. Diponegoro in Central Jakarta.

As a result, a seminar on the history of the 1965 affair [organised by the Forum 65] failed to go ahead and more than 100 police officers have been deployed to secure the situation.

Initially, a number of historians and people with knowledge of the September 30 Movement/PKI affair were to hold a seminar on the PKI on Saturday September 16.

Activist groups got wind of the event and since Thursday September 14, starting with small scale actions, activists from the Student Alliance of Legal Concern (AMPUH) began shouting that the PKI issue should not be brought up again.

Since early morning activists from AMPUH, the Jakarta Student Alliance (AMJ), the Nahdlatul Ulama affiliated youth organisation Ansor, the Indonesian Islamic Students Association (PMII) and the Red-and-White Militia (LMP) have been taking turns making speeches. The essence of which was one theme; don't raise the PKI issue again.

"Through this action, we from the Jakarta Student Alliance reject all forms of politicisation of the G30S PKI tragedy. The PKI issue has already been resolved, it doesn't need to keep being brought up again", shouted AMJ action coordinator Ulah through a megaphone.

The activists are aware that the G30S PKI affair is a dark stain on the nation's history. It is fitting therefore that it be a lesson for the nation, particularly for the nation's next generation, so that it does not happen again.

"Nevertheless, as a large and cultured nation, we must be astute in dealing with it. It's inappropriate to promote individual egos and interests, either because of group or factional interests, or even for the sake of certain ideological and political ambitions", he said.

Conversely, what is fitting is that all parties must have the highest respect for the mutually agreed goal of continuing to uphold and strengthen the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia (NKRI) and Pancasila as the state ideology.

"We should provide support and appreciation for what has already and will be done by the government in finding a solution for the future and comprehensively resolving this case. Of course all of this is being done simply for the sake of the national interest and the country that we love and for the sake of resolving this humanitarian and political tragedy in a way that is comprehensive, objective and just for all", he snarled.

As has been reported, in resolving the G30S PKI case and earlier incidents such as the 1948 Madiun [communist revolt], the government has formed a joint team made up of the Attorney General's Office, the National Human Rights Commission (Komnas HAM), the TNI (Indonesian military), the National Police, legal experts and social representatives to resolve alleged past human rights violations related to the G30S affair.

Meanwhile several elderly people who their spokesperson [International People's Tribunal (IPT '65) activist] Reza Muharam referred to as historians, could be seen sitting in a group on Jl. Mendut directly in front of the YLBHI offices.

They could be seen chatting together under the guard of several police office. "We just wanted to present new fact and findings [on the 1965 affair]. Only that", said Reza.

Police have confirmed that the seminar that was to discuss the issue of the PKI at the YLBHI offices in Jakarta has been canceled. (OL-6)

[Translated by James Balowski for the Indoleft News Service. The original title of the article was Didemo, Seminar Soal PKI di LBH Batal Digelar.]

Source: http://mediaindonesia.com/news/read/122740/didemo-seminar-soal-pki-di-lbh-batal-digelar/2017-09-16.

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