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No state apology for massacre of 500,000
Official reacts defiantly to human rights reportHaris Azhar, KontraS coordinator
- Ryan Dagur, Jakarta
- October 2, 2012
Komnas HAM released the report in July, calling for a reconciliation and truth committee and a presidential apology to the survivors and the families of victims.
The investigation of the conflict between between PKI - the Indonesian Communist Party - and the militaryÂ began in 2008 and included interviews with hundreds of witnesses. The commission uncovered evidence of murder, enslavement, expulsion and forcible transfer of population, incarceration, torture, rape and enforced disappearances.
â€śLook at the incident from a wider perspective. Donâ€™t ask for an apology without looking at what really happened,â€ť Djoko Suyanto, coordinating minister for political and security affairs, told media yesterday in Jakarta.
The incident should be seen as a defensive move by the state, since the PKI threatened national stability, he said. â€śIf it didnâ€™t happen, our country wonâ€™t be what it is today.â€ť
He also questioned the commissionâ€™s findings. â€śDefine 'gross violation of human rights'," he said. "Against whom? What if it had happened the other way around?â€ť
Speaking for the commission, Nur Kholis said the ministerâ€™s statements show that the government still holds a reactionary view of the purge.
Haris Azhar from KontraS - the Commission for the Disappeared and Victims of Violence - also critized the ministerâ€™s remarks.
â€śHe should not say that. His remarks only support impunity against perpetrators of crimes happening in the past,â€ť he said.
â€śIn the context of human rights, the stateâ€™s recognition is an important pillar of any attempt to deal with past human rights violations,â€ť Azhar said.
President wants action on Soeharto massacre
Priest calls for reconciliation