Government does not need to acknowledge 1965 crimes: NU youth wing

Source – August 15, 2012
GP Ansor chairperson Nusron Wahid reads out Anti-PKI Declaration - August 15, 2012 (Detik)
GP Ansor chairperson Nusron Wahid reads out Anti-PKI Declaration - August 15, 2012 (Detik)

Aditya Revianur, Jakarta – The chairperson of the Anshor Youth Movement (the youth wing of the Islamic mass organisation Nahdlatul Ulama), Nusron Wahid, says that the government does not need to acknowledge past gross human rights violations, particularly the humanitarian tragedy in 1965-1966.

It is not appropriate for the National Human Rights Commission (Komnas HAM) to label the affair, which occurred during the Cold War era and took the lives of many victims, as a gross human rights violation, which according to Wahid, was just part of the spirit of the times.

“The government does not need to acknowledge human rights violations in the 1965 tragedy. Let alone try to uncover the masterminds behind the tragedy. It’s not possible, the affair was zeitgeist (the spirit of the times). We don’t need to dig up pass issues anymore”, said Wahid, who is also a member of the House of Representative’s (DPR) Commission XI, speaking at the Nahdlatul Ulama’s Central Board (PBNU) offices in Jakarta on Wednesday August 15.

Wahid said that the 1965-1966 tragedy was an ideological one. If the issue is revealed, he continued, then the situation in Indonesia’s will become unfavorable. It is improper for past issues to be revealed in the current period he said.

Anshor, he explained, is not trying to dispute history, but the historical [facts] of the 1965 affair should not be altered again just because of the results of the Komnas HAM investigation. “If it’s revealed, do we want to develop the nation or invite another war? I reiterate again, the 65 issue was only a result of friction between elements of the nation”, he added.

Wahid explained that the Indonesian Communist Party and Nahdlatul Ulama were victims of the Cold War between the Soviet Union and the United States. Law enforcement institutions, he insisted, through an ad hoc court, are not necessary to deal with cases of human rights violations in 1965-1966.

It is sufficient if the affair be viewed as a historical lesson, so the current government does not need to acknowledge the affair. “An ad hoc court is unnecessary. Those who have been accused of being the perpetrators are dead. It’s better for us to look to the future”, he asserted.


On the night of September 30, 1965 a group of middle-ranking military officers kidnapped six generals they accused of organising a coup against Indonesia’s leftist President Sukarno. For reasons that remain unclear, the six were killed and their bodies dumped in a well in South Jakarta. By blaming the incident on the PKI, this provided the pretext for sections of the military, led by a Major General Suharto, to mount a bloody counter-revolution in which as many as 1 million communists and left wing sympathisers were killed. Hundreds of thousands of others were imprisoned for years without trial.

[GP Anshor: Pemerintah Tidak Perlu Akui Kejahatan 1965-1966 – Rabu, 15 Agustus 2012. Translated by James Balowski.]