Jakarta – Institute for the Study of the 1965-1966 Massacres (YPKP 65) Chairperson Bedjo Untung believes that the move by TNI (Indonesian military) commander General Andika Perkasa to allow the descendants of former Indonesian Communist Party (PKI) members to register to join the TNI is a relief for the victims of the 1965 violence and the families of those labeled as PKI.
"In the name of YPKP 65, and I myself as a victim, I express many thanks for the statement by TNI commander Pak [Mr] Andika. I welcome this and it will bring great relief and happiness to the victims", Untung told CNN Indonesia on Thursday March 31.
Untung hopes that Perkasa can immediately instruct lower ranking TNI officers on the policy in order to ensure that the children and grandchildren of people accused of being affiliated with the PKI no longer face problems joining the TNI.
"Because the previous policy [that families affiliated with the PKI couldn't join the TNI] didn't make sense. But now this general is thinking like a statesman", he said.
On the other hand, Untung is also putting his hope in Perkasa and all other parties to being open with regard to Provisional People's Consultative Assembly Decree Number XXV/1966 (TAP MPRS) which is still in force to this day.
The TAP MPRS legalises the dissolution of the PKI, declares that the organisation is banned throughout Indonesia and prohibits activities that spread or develop the ideas and teachings of communism, Marxism and Leninism.
For Untung, this decree is ridden with controversy and has created injustice for the decedents and families of PKI members in Indonesia. He hopes that in the future the decedents of PKI members and the victims of the 1965 affair will no longer labeled as something which can endanger the country.
"I hope that we can fight together with the victims of 65 who want to build this country", he said.
As has been reported, Perkasa has abolished several requirements from the selection process for accepting new recruits, whether they be cadets, officers, privates or non-commissioned officers. One of these is that descendents of PKI members can register for the selection process to become TNI soldiers. (rzr/fra)
[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "Keturunan PKI Bisa Daftar TNI Melegakan Keluarga Korban 1965".]