A worker sweeps the monument dedicated to the six military generals killed in a coup attempt blamed on the Indonesian Communist Party (PKI). The real coup was to follow, when another general, Suharto, went on to commandeer the armed forces and the government in a purge of PKI sympathizers that left up to three million people dead. (Antara Pho
The Indonesian government is adamant it will not issue a formal apology to the victims of a state-sponsored anti-communist purge 50 years ago that left up to three million people dead.
Speculation about an official apology for the 1965-66 military-led massacre of suspected members and sympathizers of the Indonesian Communist Party (PKI) has mounted since Joko’s inaugural state-of-the-nation address last month, in which he called for national reconciliation to put to rest past rights abuses.
Historians have since rubbished that narrative, saying the PKI was framed for the alleged coup attempt so that the military, led by Gen. Suharto, could justify seizing power from then-president Sukarno. In the purge of suspected PKI sympathizers that followed – led by the Army and abetted by militias including the youth wing of Nahdlatul Ulama, today the country’s biggest Islamic organization – an estimated one million to three million people, mostly ethnic Chinese, were murdered and millions more detained as political prisoners.
Indonesia’s second-biggest Islamic group, have denounced any attempt to apologize for the massacre, as have politicians from Suharto’s Golkar Party and officials from the PPAD, the military’s biggest veterans’ association.