Former TNI general warns against government apology over 65 killings

Source – July 6, 2015
Former Kostrad Chief-of-Staf Kivlan Zen - Undated (
Former Kostrad Chief-of-Staf Kivlan Zen - Undated (

Surabaya – Retired TNI (Indonesian military) general Kivlan Zen says that a plan by the government of President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo and Vice President Jusuf Kalla to apologise to former Indonesian Communist Party (PKI) members in a speech next August 15 will give a green light to the reemergence of the PKI.

Zen also related how the group supporting the idea of a government apology argue that number of victims killed by the masses affiliated with the PKI reached the hundreds of thousands and are asking why was our party disbanded.

“Moreover in [the Central Java cities of] Solo and Semarang, they have been exhuming graves and erecting monuments to remember the victims, and they are also cooperating with the UN Human Rights [Commission] in Switzerland, [the group] which is chaired by Nur Syahbani Kanca Sgkana and [Albert] Hasibuan, have called for the people involved in the PKI killings to be brought before an international tribunal in the Den Haag, Netherlands, and tried”, said Zen at the Emi Hotel in the East Java provincial capital of Surabaya on July 4.

“Imagine if such a thing actually happened, this country would become the target of others, and we would break up like Yugoslavia and the Soviet Union, the people accused of involvement would be arrested”, he said.

PKI people would openly take revenge, against the military and figures who in the past were involved in putting down the PKI rebellion, because they would be deemed to have committed mass murder, moreover they have already sent the names there.

“Many generals were also involved, particularly the alumni of 1965, including [former TNI chief] Wiranto, because in 1968 he was still assigned to the 18th Infantry Brigade as the second section head of operations and Operation Trisula in Blitar [East Java]”, he added.

According to data he has obtained, Zen said that if the demand is for an apology, the rehabilitation of their names, and 2.4 billion rupiah compensation per person, then the state would have to pay how much, if multiplied by the total, perhaps around 2,000 trillion.

“So this is evidence that they (PKI) are rising up again, because in 2010 a new PKI leadership board was formed in [the village of] Grabag [in Central Java], and a structure has been established from level I down to the village”, he explained.

Zen also claimed that the government would trigger national disintegration if such an apology was made. “Because it is clear that they would seek revenge, in accordance with the 10th congress in Grabag which stated they would carry out agitation, propaganda, sabotage and revenge”, he said.

The former Army Strategic Reserves Command (Kostrad, Green Berets) Chief of Staff suspects there is pressure being put on the government to make the apology to former PKI members.

“It think that there has indeed been domestic pressure, namely from former PKI who have joined various [political] parties, including the PDI-P [the ruling Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle], this isn’t prejudice, but based on data, the clear example being [Dr Rifka] Ciptaning in the PDI-P who is well known for refuting the G30S-PKI [the alleged September 30 Movement-PKI coup in 1965], and several other ex-PKI who are pressuring the president to make an apology”, he asserted.

“Within [President Widodo’s] inner circle you can already start to see who is pro-PKI, and their way of thinking, because when the incident happened they were still infants, including the concepts from the foundation for the victims of 65 whose leadership board includes members of Gerwani [the PKI-affiliated Indonesian Women’s Movement]”, he said accusingly (GA/SPNews)

[Translated by James Balowski for the Indoleft News Service. The original title of the report was Pemerintah Jokowi Akan Minta Maaf Kepada Eks PKI, Waspadai Kebangkitan PKI.]