Lifting of ban on PKI decedents joining TNI momentum for reconciliation

CNN Indonesia – March 31, 2022
Imparsial Deputy Director Ardi Manto Adiputra at press conference in Jakarta – January 18, 2018 (Istimewa)

Jakarta – Indonesian Human Rights Watch (Imparsial) Deputy Director Ardi Manto Adiputra hopes that the decision by TNI (Indonesian military) commander General Andika Perkasa which allows decedents of former Indonesian Communist Party (PKI) members to join the TNI will become a momentum for national reconciliation.

"This must be used as a momentum for national political reconciliation so that the PKI issue not just become a seasonal political issue which never goes away", Adiputra told CNN Indonesia on Thursday March 31.

Adiputra believes that Perkasa's policy is correct because it is appropriate that discrimination no longer be allowed towards decedents from anywhere, to join and serve in the TNI.

In addition to this, said Adiputra, many of those who have been labeled decedents of the PKI have never been tried in a court of law.

"So the stigma against those who are being labeled PKI today could be erroneous or wrong because they or their parents were never actually involved in the PKI", 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.

Perkasa believes that if the TNI prohibits something it must have a legal basis for doing so. He also questioned the legal basis for the prohibition on decedents of PKI members taking part in the TNI selection process.

"This is a legal basis, it's legal, but before these prohibitions were on the PKI. Second is communist, Marxist and Leninist teachings. These are written. What is the legal basis for [prohibiting] these decedents? What is it that they have violated?", asked Perkasa. (rzr/fra)

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "Imparsial: Keturunan PKI Bisa Daftar TNI Jadi Momen Rekonsiliasi".]