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September 30, 1965































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 Pancasilasakti Memorial Monument
In Memory of the Army Command Gestapu victims


General A. Yani
Army Commander-in-Chief




Lt. General M.T. Haryono
Deputy Commander
Fnance and Public Relations

Lt. General Suprapto
Deputy Commander




Lt. General S. Parman
First Assistant Intelligence

Maj. General D.I. Panjaitan
Fourth Assistant Logistics




Maj.General Sutoyo Siswomihardjo
Prosecutor General

Captain Pierre Tendean
Adjutant to General Nasution

Note: All officers received a honorary promotion



 The Coup and Its Aftermath

In the early hours of October 1 General Yani and five of his closest army associates, all general officers, were routed from their beds by units of the presidential security guard and told the president wished to see them immediately. Three resisted and were shot and killed on the spot; the other three were bundled into trucks and taken away, along with the bodies
of the three dead. The most senior general of all, Abdul Haris Nasution, the celebrated former army commander and now Minister of Defense, also was sought at his home that night but escaped, although an aide was killed and Nasution’s young daughter mortally wounded. (Nasution had gone over a garden wall to the grounds of the Iraqi ambassador’s neighboring residence, but broke his leg in the fall and remained hidden there until well after dawn.)


Lubang Buaya (Crocodile Hole)
Where victims were found



Cita2 perjuangan kami untuk menegakkan kemurnian Pantja Sila
tidak mungkin dipatahkan hanja dengan mengubur kami dalam sumur ini.

(Our struggle to uphold the sanctity of Panca Sila principles
will not end with our burial in this hole)



Funeral procession




September 30, 1965.

General Abdul Harris Nasution
gives the eulogy at the funeral
for the officers killed



The officers killed in the G30S events:

Gen. Ahmad Yani
Lt.-Gen. Haryono
Lt.-Gen. Parman
Lt.-Gen. Suprapto
Maj.-Gen. Panjaitan
Maj.-Gen. Siswamohardjo
Captain Tendean (aide to Nasution)

What really happened in 1965?
Nobody knows. There are a great many theories, reports and analyses. Many of the leadings participants are now dead. During Suharto’s regime the government has banned most books and publications about the 1965 events, which makes the situation even more difficult.

Minister of Defense General A.H. Nasution escaped capture
His adjutant Pierre Tendean became the victim instead.

Lubang Buaya

Troops watching the streets

General Nasution and General Suharto
Mourning at MABAD (Military Headquarters)

Funeral Procession

Procession arrives at Kalibata Hero Cemetery

Managing Indonesia

1. The Coup That Failed

During the last months of 1965 the Indonesian nation was gripped in a great and tragic madness. It was one of those times in human affairs when the assumptions on which civic life depends are swept away in a flood of hate and violence. In the capital city of Jakarta the children of the elite took to the streets, and public buildings were sacked. In the countryside of Java and Bali, villagers attacked their neighbors with knives and machetes. The dead were too numerous to count; estimates ran into the hundreds of thousands. By the time the killing came to an end, the third largest Communist party in the world lay destroyed.
It is in the nature of such events that controversy should surround the central questions they present. 1 Much of the controversy has concerned the role the Communist party of Indonesia played in the violent coup attempt that set so many other bloody events in motion. Another controversial subject has been the extent to which Sukarno himself might have known in advance about the attempted coup by dissident army officers. Still other questions have concerned the role of Soeharto, the army general who succeeded to power in the aftermath of the killings, and the role of the Chinese and the Americans in the affair. Yet, by far the most disturbing question has been how so many people could die, not anonymously as in modern warfare, but at the hands of their neighbors.
Wholly satisfactory answers to these questions will probably continue to elude us. Too many participants are dead, too many survivors silent. The trauma remains one from which the society can hardly be said to have recovered.
Nevertheless, it is important to search out as best one can the true nature of what happened. For these violent events, and the perceptions of those who survived them, contain the origins of much of what followed.
The Immediate Background to the Coup
The story begins in Jakarta in August 1965. It was a time of great discord in Indonesia’s national government. President Sukarno seemed nominally supreme in his command of state affairs, but this was far from the actual case. He had presided over the banishment from public life of a growing number of nationally prominent personalities and their parties, until his government no longer represented a large portion of the nation’s elite. As his political base narrowed, his role was increasingly reduced to that of balancing the interests and ambitions of the two powerful groups that remained, the Communist party and the army. The party leaders and the army had been deeply divided over a number of issues for many years. Neither side doubted that some kind of showdown would eventually occur between them. At the time, however, both had reason to feel unprepared for such a test of strength.
The Communist Party of Indonesia (Partai Komunis Indonesia, or PKI) had suffered a serious setback during the previous year. Breaking with its own long-term strategy of working in concert with other major groups in the national front, the party had struck out on its own in urging tenant farmers in Central and East Java to take “unilateral action” against their landlords, to make the land they tilled their own. But the campaign was disastrously ill conceived and considerable violence occurred; in the end the party’s rural forces were bested. Meanwhile, the party was progressing in its efforts to infiltrate the army officer corps, but the number of officers it could rely on in a physical showdown was small.
The leadership of the Indonesian National Army (Tentara Nasional Indonesia, or TNI) had meanwhile been shaken by evidence of significant disunity in its own senior ranks. A seminar that had been called earlier in the year to draw the army’s regional commanders together in a unified stand on matters of national policy had degenerated into polemics. It was the first such meeting since the regional rebellions of the late 1950s had been put down. In the political environment of 1965, army unity in ideological matters had become a high priority. According to participants, a significant minority of commanders held out in support of Sukarno’s increasingly leftist domestic and international priorities.
In the background lay Indonesia’s “confrontation” against neighboring Malaysia. The decision to “confront” the founding of Malaysia in late 1963 may well have been the result of happenstance as much as studied Indonesian intent. In any case, the time could not have been worse from the Indonesian point of view. The country was in the midst of a prolonged drought; rice production was down, and food was in short supply. In addition, the confrontation campaign disrupted Indonesia’s exports and this, in turn, reduced not only the country’s earnings of foreign exchange, but also the government’s revenues, the bulk of which came from taxes on foreign trade. Thus the government was increasingly obliged to finance its own operations by printing paper money. Inflation spiraled. Among the urban population, many of whom depended on civil servants’ incomes, the conditions of daily life became harsh indeed.
The campaign against Malaysia created serious problems for the Indonesian armed forces. The army was organized and trained for territorial defense; most of its units had no experience outside their native provinces. The air and naval arms necessary for invasion had proven hopelessly inadequate in the West Irian campaign. The army leadership also mistrusted both the air and naval services; they had been equipped and trained in recent years by the Russians, and their leaders were on good terms with the local Communist party leaders. Moreover, army intelligence had little knowledge of what awaited invading forces on their arrival on the Malayan peninsula; the first small units sent ashore on intelligence and sabotage missions had been quickly rounded up. But the balance of military forces on either side of the Straits of Malacca was not what weighed most heavily on the army commanders. Their main concern was the domestic political situation. From the outset they had to avoid the Communist party outflanking them on an issue of such strong nationalist appeal. As plans for the invasion of Malaysia advanced, they also had to avoid having their best and most loyal officers and their units removed from Java. The recent Communist party campaign in the countryside of Java left army commanders deeply concerned about their own rear defenses. From late 1964 on, Indonesian army intelligence officers were in secret communication with their opposite numbers in Kuala Lumpur, with a view to limiting the scale and costs of engagement. 2
The anti-Malaysia campaign presented the Communist party, on the other hand, with an opportunity to strengthen its standing with Sukarno and to isolate Indonesia still further from the Western powers. Sukarno was deeply committed personally to the anti-Malaysia policy but, after almost two years, little had happened beyond the war of propaganda; the army was obviously dragging its feet. By the beginning of 1965 the Communist party was pressing for a full role in the cabinet, and under the ground rules Sukarno himself had laid down, the party could not be denied indefinitely. In the early months of the year the party had further unnerved the generals by making two even more threatening proposals: (1) that the commanders of the armed forces, at every level, should be advised by a “troika” of political commissars, one of whom would represent the Communist party; and (2) that “workers and peasants” should be armed in a “fifth force” for the “safeguarding of the revolution.” By March 1965 Sukarno was receiving intelligence reports that some army commanders were making plans to overthrow him. In May he began to support the “troika” idea.
These developments thoroughly alarmed the army leadership, as well as many in the civilian elite. Lt. Gen. Achmad Yani, the army commander-in-chief, was now meeting regularly with a “brain trust” of his closest associates to discuss the army’s deteriorating political position. He protested the party proposals. He denied reports of an army plot against the president. But the party initiatives had placed him and his colleagues thoroughly on the defensive, and civilian friends wondered how long the army could stave off the PKI’s accession to formal power.
All this fed into the tension that was mounting in the background when, on August 3, Sukarno suddenly fell ill. The precise nature of his illness was never clear. He had had a long-term kidney condition and periodically sought treatment in Vienna. On this occasion, however, a team of Chinese doctors was flown in from Beijing, and Sukarno’s personal staff was totally mute about his condition. The impact this development had on both the party and army leaders is not difficult to imagine. Indeed, both were soon engaged in planning their moves should Sukarno suddenly die. Within a few days, Sukarno was said to be recovering; soon he was said to be preparing his annual address for Independence Day on August 17. But leaders of the party and the army were now receiving reports that the other was on the verge of a coup. By early September the Jakarta press was referring to rumors of a possible coup by either the army or the party. As things turned out, it was the army’s most senior officers who were caught unprepared.

Sukano, the Coup of 1965.

The Coup and the Aftermath

The British, Australian and rarely, the Americans treat war like a game of “cricket”, playing war by the rules. However as this collection of reports will show behind the scenes the story is far from “cricket”.
The coup that deposed President Sukano from power in Indonesia, contributed to the end of “Confrontation” however the cost in human lives was enormous; as many as two million people may have died with the full knowledge, assistance and gloating of Australia, Britain and the US!

Was the army behind it? Certainly not as an organization.
Rebel officers such as Untung probably acted without broad support.
What about Suharto? There is no direct evidence against him. However, rumors persist that Suharto may have heard of the coup plans before September 30th, and so was ready to take advantage of the disorder beforehand.

Was the PKI behind it? The PKI had made two hopeless attempts to take power before, in 1926 and again at Madiun in 1948. Is it possible that rebellious, undisciplined officers planned the coup, and then the PKI announced its support?
The coup plotters may have been motivated by President Sukarno’s illnesses–assuming that a weaker president meant that the government could be taken more easily. This sort of thinking may have led them to overestimate their own strength. It might also be possible that Sukarno’s worsening health caused the coup plotters to act too soon.

Were foreign powers involved? There was heavy involvement by China in Indonesian politics in 1965. The Chinese government in Beijing seemed to already know the names of the generals who had been targeted before the announcements on the middle of October 1–and the Chinese list of names included Nasution as a victim, even though he had escaped. Long after the coup in Jakarta was suppressed, on October 19, Chinese news stories expressed support for it.
Both the United States and the Soviet Union were supplying aid either directly to the government or to their friends in ABRI. Some official Soviet news stories were critical of the coup events, however. The West German goverment supplied secret aid to anti-communists. We know today, too, that the CIA gave lists of Indonesian communists to the Indonesian military during the purges that came after. But did foreign powers help plan G30S? Probably not, but again, we do not know.
It is perhaps most possible that whatever secret plans had been made did not go exactly as the planners intended beforehand.

By the end of 1965, a huge wave of popular violence against the PKI had started. In West and Central Java, the army began rounding up Communists, but in many villages, people took the law into their own hands. In some areas, such as East Java or Aceh, Islamic groups (such as the Nahdlatul Ulama youth group Ansor) fought to wipe out communists. However, there was a heavy anti-communist purge on Bali as well. Thousands were sent to prison, and over a year’s time, perhaps more than 250,000 were dead. ABRI did not commit all of the killings, but ABRI officers did arm and train the student groups that committed killings, and also did not act to stop the violence until the PKI had been wiped out.
Suharto’s main supporters in ABRI were Brig. Gen. Kemal Idris, Col. Sarwo Edhie Wibowo, and Maj. Gen. Dharsono.

Revised: April 14, 2004



The Coup and the Aftermath

By 1965 Indonesia had become a dangerous cockpit of social and political antagonisms. The PKIs rapid growth aroused the hostility of Islamic groups and the military. The ABRI-PKI balancing act, which supported Sukarnos Guided Democracy regime, was going awry. One of the most serious points of contention was the PKIs desire to establish a “fifth force” of armed peasants and workers in conjunction with the four branches of the regular armed forces (army, navy, air force, and police). Many officers were bitterly hostile, especially after Chinese premier Zhou Enlai offered to supply the “fifth force” with arms. By 1965 ABRIs highest ranks were divided into factions supporting Sukarno and the PKI and those opposed, the latter including ABRI chief of staff Nasution and Major General Suharto, commander of Kostrad. Sukarno collapsed during a speech and rumors that he was dying also added to the atmosphere of instability.
The circumstances surrounding the abortive coup of September 30, 1965; an event that led to Sukarnos displacement from power; a bloody purge of PKI members on Java, Bali, and elsewhere; and the rise of Suharto as architect of the New Order regime still remain shrouded in mystery and controversy. The official and generally accepted account is that procommunist military officers, calling themselves the September 30 Movement (Gestapu), attempted to seize power. Capturing the Indonesian state radio station on October 1, 1965, they announced that they had formed the Revolutionary Council and a cabinet in order to avert a coup by corrupt generals who were allegedly in the pay of the United States Central Intelligence Agency. The coup perpetrators murdered five generals on the night of September 30 and fatally wounded Nasutions daughter in an unsuccessful attempt to assassinate him. Contingents of the Diponegoro Division, based in Jawa Tengah Province, rallied in support of the September 30 Movement. Communist officials in various parts of Java also expressed their support.
The extent and nature of PKI involvement in the coup are unclear, however. Whereas the official accounts promulgated by the military describe the communists as having a “puppetmaster” role, some foreign scholars have suggested that PKI involvement was minimal and that the coup was the result of rivalry between military factions. Although evidence presented at trials of coup leaders by the military implicated the PKI, the testimony of witnesses may have been coerced. A pivotal figure seems to have been Syam, head of the PKIs secret operations, who was close to Aidit and allegedly had fostered close contacts with dissident elements within the military. But one scholar has suggested that Syam may have been an army agent provocateur who deceived the communist leadership into believing that sympathetic elements in the ranks were strong enough to conduct a successful bid for power. Another hypothesis is that Aidit and PKI leaders then in Beijing had seriously miscalculated Sukarnos medical problems and moved to consolidate their support in the military. Others believe that ironically Sukarno himself was responsible for masterminding the coup with the cooperation of the PKI.
In a series of papers written after the coup and published in 1971, Cornell University scholars Benedict Anderson and Ruth T. McVey argued that it was an “internal army affair” and that the PKI was not involved. There was, they argued, no reason for the PKI to attempt to overthrow the regime when it had been steadily gaining power on the local level. More radical scenarios allege significant United States involvement. United States military assistance programs to Indonesia were substantial even during the Guided Democracy period and allegedly were designed to establish a pro-United States, anticommunist constituency within the armed forces.
In the wake of the September 30 coups failure, there was a violent anticommunist reaction. By December 1965, mobs were engaged in large-scale killings, most notably in Jawa Timur Province and on Bali, but also in parts of Sumatra. Members of Ansor, the Nahdatul Ulamas youth branch, were particularly zealous in carrying out a “holy war” against the PKI on the village level. Chinese were also targets of mob violence. Estimates of the number killed (both Chinese and others) vary widely, from a low of 78,000 to 2 million; probably somewhere around 300,000 is most likely. Whichever figure is true, the elimination of the PKI was the bloodiest event in postwar Southeast Asia until the Khmer Rouge established its regime in Cambodia a decade later.
The period from October 1965 to March 1966 witnessed the eclipse of Sukarno and the rise of Suharto to a position of supreme power. Born in the Yogyakarta region in 1921, Suharto came from a lower priyayi family and received military training in Peta during the Japanese occupation. During the war for independence, he distinguished himself by leading a lightning attack on Yogyakarta, seizing it on March 1, 1949, after the Dutch had captured it in their second “police action.” Rising quickly through the ranks, he was placed in charge of the Diponegoro Division in 1962 and Kostrad the following year.
After the elimination of the PKI and purge of the armed forces of pro-Sukarno elements, the president was left in an isolated, defenseless position. By signing the executive order of March 11, 1966, Supersemar, he was obliged to transfer supreme authority to Suharto. On March 12, 1967, the MPRS stripped Sukarno of all political power and installed Suharto as acting president. Sukarno was kept under virtual house arrest, a lonely and tragic figure, until his death in June 1970.
The year 1966 marked the beginning of dramatic changes in Indonesian foreign policy. Friendly relations were restored with Western countries, Confrontation with Malaysia ended on August 11, and in September Indonesia rejoined the UN. In 1967 ties with Beijing were, in the words of Indonesian minister of foreign affairs Adam Malik, “frozen.” This meant that although relations with Beijing were suspended, Jakarta did not seek to establish relations with the Republic of China on Taiwan. That same year, Indonesia joined Malaysia, Thailand, the Philippines, and Singapore to form a new regional and officially nonaligned grouping, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), which was friendly to the West.
New evidence on how the October 1st. coup was triggered
Damning new evidence has come to light pointing to the extent of the involvement of the United States government, closely supported by the Australian and British administrations, in the military coup staged in Indonesia by General Suharto on October 1, 1965 and the subsequent massacre of up to one million workers, peasants, students and political activists.
The Sydney Morning Herald in 1999, published a three-part series that included interviews with former Indonesian political prisoners and extracts from documents obtained from US and Australian archives. The material shows that the Western powers urged the Indonesian military commanders to seize upon false claims of a coup attempt instigated by the Indonesian Communist Party (PKI), in order to carry out one of the greatest civilian massacres of the 20th century and establish a military dictatorship.
By most estimates, between 500,000 and a million PKI members and supporters, as well as people of ethnic Chinese origin, were murdered, and tens of thousands were detained in prisons and concentration camps, without any visible resistance. The documents show that throughout late 1965 and early 1966 US and Australian officials approvingly reported to their respective governments that army units and Muslim groups were working hand-in-hand to shoot, hack or club to death at least 1,500 suspected PKI sympathisers per day, sometimes parading their heads on sticks.
This enthusiasm in the Western embassies for the bloodbath reflected deep strategic and political interests. In the decade before the coup, the major powers had come into increasing conflict with the unstable nationalist regime of Indonesian President Sukarno. In late 1957 and again in 1964-65 he had barely contained mass movements of workers and peasants, whose strikes and occupations threatened first Dutch and then US and British banks, companies and plantations. By 1965 Sukarno was precariously balancing between the military commanders, the Muslim organisations and the PKI, which had some three million members and supporters, making it the third largest Communist Party in the world, after China and the Soviet Union.
The US had cut off foreign aid to Sukarno while building up relations with sections of the military. From the mid-1950s it began training and equipping Indonesian officers and troops, in preparation for a move to topple or sideline Sukarno. The first coup attempt came in November 1956 when Indonesian army Deputy Chief of Staff Colonel Zulkifli Lubis sought to take control of Jakarta and overthrow the government. Regional military takeovers followed the next month in Central and North Sumatra. Throughout 1957 and 1958 the CIA inspired a series of secessionist and right-wing revolts in the oil-rich regions of Sumatra and Sulawesi, where Caltex and other US oil firms had large investments. Then between 1959 and 1965, the US supplied $64 million in military aid to the Indonesian generals.
A huge amount was at stake for the US and its allies. Indonesia had immense natural resources, including some of the largest oil and rubber operations in the world, a teeming population and its 3,000 islands sat astride the sea routes from Asia to Europe. The US and the other capitalist powers regarded the archipelago as an absolutely crucial prize in the war against the anti-imperialist struggles that erupted across Asia after World War II. The 1949 victory of Mao Zedongs forces in China had been followed by that of Ho Chi Minhs in northern Vietnam. Insurgencies arose in Indochina, Malaya, Thailand and the Philippines from the late 1940s.
In the months prior to the Indonesian coup, the US administration of Democratic Party President Lyndon Johnson had dramatically escalated its intervention in Vietnam, sending in hundreds of thousands of troops and beginning its saturation bombing of the north. And the British and Australian governments were engaged in military conflict with Sukarnos regime over Indonesias opposition to the British-backed formation of Malaysia, which encompassed key portions of the large mainly Indonesian island of Borneo.
The September 30 affair
The first part of the Sydney Morning Heralds series is substantially based on an interview with former Sergeant Major Bungkus and earlier statements by former Lieutenant Colonel Abdul Latief. Both were jailed in 1965 for their involvement in a supposed military putsch instigated by the PKI on September 30, 1965. They were only released from prison in March this year (1999), apparently the only survivors of the participants in the September 30 affair. Hundreds of others were tortured and executed.
Their testimony completely undermines the official version of Suhartos coup; that he and his fellow generals were responding to a takeover bid instigated by the PKI through its supporters in the military. By this official account (presented in “documentary” form annually on all Indonesian TV stations until last year) PKI-inspired officers rounded up six of the Indonaias highest-ranking generals on the night of September 30 and brutally killed them, leaving their bodies horribly mutilated. The plot was only thwarted, the authorised story insists, and the nation saved from the “evil” of communism, when General Suharto heroically intervened and took control of Jakarta the next day.
According to the statements given by Bungkus and Latief, the alleged “PKI coup” was an internal military power struggle, engineered by Suharto as a pretext to destroy the PKI.
Bungkus, as a member of the Indonesian presidential guard, was ordered on the night of September 30 to participate in one of seven teams dispatched to kill or capture senior generals. At a briefing, Bungkus and other NCOs were told by their commanding officer, Lieutenant Dul Arief, that seven top generals had set up a ?Dewan Jenderal? or Council of Generals, and were planning to stage a coup against the then president, Sukarno.
By September 1965, the situation in Indonesia was extremely tense. Rumours abounded that the army was going to once more move against Sukarno and the PKI through the establishment of such a Council of Generals.
Yet, the operation against the generals on September 30 had two obvious flaws. In the first place, the squad sent to the home of the Indonesian Defence Minister General A. H. Nasution (the officer with the closest links to the US Embassy and the CIA) somehow failed its assignment, allowing Nasution to escape. Secondly, no-one was sent to deal with General Suharto, then the commander of the Army Strategic Reserve. On October 1, Suharto, backed by Nasution, was able to quickly mobilise the necessary units to take control of Jakarta and then extend his rule across the country.
Bungkus was only a junior figure in the events but he insists that the officers from whom he took his instructions were
not linked to the PKI. And he and other members of the presidential guard who took part in the assassinations were simply following orders. In his view, Suharto carefully orchestrated the September 30 affair as a means of moving against the entire left-wing movement in Indonesia.
This is corroborated by Latief, who revealed a number of critical facts upon his release from prison. He said that he
had personally reported the coup plan to Suharto before the killings. “Pak Harto [Suharto] knew for sure that on September 30, the seven generals were to be brought to Bung Karno [Sukarno],” Latief said.
Latief said he went to the military hospital where Suharto was with his ill baby Tommy, to alert him to the intended move against the seven generals, but Suharto took no action. “I think it is clear Pak Harto used the opportunity of the arrest of the generals to blame the PKI and reach power.”
Latief also referred to a document proving British and American involvement in a plot by the seven generals to effectively seize power from Sukarno. “The plan to arrest the generals was related to the existence of a “Council of Generals” which was first revealed through the leaking of a British Embassy document, which said the council was to supervise Sukarnos policies. The document, a letter from the British Ambassador, Sir Andrew Gilchrist, also revealed the British were working with the CIA.”
Unanswered questions remain about the events of September 30-October 1. It is not certain whether Suharto merely allowed the murder of the generals, or helped organise them. The involvement of the CIA and the British in Suhartos actions requires further investigation. Noticeably, none of the archives dealing with the lead up to the coup have yet been opened. But the speed with which Suharto moved on October 1 supports the conclusion that, acting in concert with the US agencies, he engineered the whole operation to eliminate his rivals and provide a pretext for moving against Sukarno and the PKI.
Finally, it is highly unlikely that the PKI planned to overthrow Sukarnos government, in which the party participated as coalition partners with the military and Muslim leaders. In line with the Stalinist doctrine of maintaining an alliance with Sukarno and the national capitalist class, the PKI leaders had repeatedly helped quell the struggles of workers and peasants. Under the “two-stage” theory, they had insisted that socialism would only arise peacefully and gradually after a prolonged capitalist stage of development in Indonesia. Even as signs grew of preparations for a generals coup, they had urged their followers to have faith in the so-called pro-peoples aspect of the military apparatus.
Moreover, there was no mobilisation of the vast membership of the PKI and its associated trade unions, student organisations, womens movements and peasant organisations. In the subsequent holocaust there was no sign of PKI-led resistance. In fact, even as the death squads were set loose, the surviving PKI leaders and their patrons in Moscow and Beijing urged PKI followers to offer no opposition but to continue to subordinate themselves to Sukarno, who collaborated with Suharto and was retained as titular president until 1967.
The new evidence of direct US, British and Australian involvement in triggering and exploiting the 1965-66 events provides a critical lesson in the so-called democratic and humanitarian concerns of the major capitalist powers. They stand ready to orchestrate and sanction mass killings and repression to pursue their economic and strategic requirements in Indonesia and elsewhere.

US orchestrated Suhartos 1965-66 slaughter in Indonesia
Who plotted the 1965 coup?
Suharto always said it was the communists. Yet from the start, says Colonel Latief, Suharto himself was involved.
Indonesian President BJ Habibie has refused to release Colonel Latief, whose arrest in 1965 for involvement in a military coup was followed by Major-General Suhartos rise to the presidency.
Habibie has granted amnesty to 73 other political prisoners, even to members of the Indonesian Communist Party (PKI) accused of involvement in the 1965 coup attempt. Refusing amnesty to Latief now shows how Suharto overshadows Habibie.
Interviewed in Cipinang Prison, Jakarta, three days after Suharto resigned, Latief told me that he expected never to be released. Despite various kidney operations and the stroke he suffered last year, Latief is still very alert. His explanation for his involvement in 1965 directly implicates Suharto.
By late 1965, President Sukarno was ailing and without a successor. Tension between the PKI and the armed forces was growing. Conspiracies rumours were rife. Who would make the first move?
On the night of 30th. September 1965, six hours before the military coup, Latief confirmed with Suharto that the plan to kidnap seven army generals would soon start. Latief was an officer attached to the Jakarta military command. As head of the Army Strategic Reserve Command (Kostrad), Suharto held the optimum position to crush the operation, so his name should have been at the top of the list. When troops who conducted the kidnappings asked why Suharto was not on the list, they were told: “Because he is one of us”
There was a rumour the seven generals were intending to seize power from Sukarno. Latief and two other army officers in the operation, Lieutenant-Colonel Untung (in charge of some of the troops guarding Sukarno’s palace) and General Supardjo (a commander from Kalimantan), planned to kidnap the generals and bring them before President Sukarno to explain themselves.
The 30th September Movement was thus a limited pre-emptive strike by pro-Sukarno officers against anti-Sukarno officers. They kidnapped the generals and occupied strategic centres in Jakarta’s main square, without touching Suharto’s headquarters. The plan involved no killing, but it went terribly wrong and six of the seven died.
Although Untung was assigned responsibility for collecting the generals, this crucial task was then taken over by a certain Kamaruzzaman alias Sjam, evidently a “double agent” with contacts in the Jakarta military command as well as the PKI. At his trial, Sjam admitted responsibility for killing the generals but blamed the PKI under Aidit. In 1965 when Suharto accused the PKI of responsibility for killing the generals, the Sjam-Aidit link gave Suharto enough leverage to convince his contemporaries.
Between Sjam and Suharto there was a twenty-year friendship going back to the fight against the Dutch in Central Java in 1948-49. This strengthened in the late 1950s when both attended the Bandung Staff College.
Suharto was also on close terms with Untung, who served under him during the campaign to reclaim Netherlands New Guinea in 1962 and who became a family friend.
During his trial in 1978, not only did Latief explain that he met Suharto on the night of the coup, but also that several days before he met both Suharto and his wife in the privacy of Suhartos home to discuss the overall plan. The court declared that this information was “not relevant”.
Suharto, more than anybody, described the events that night as “communist inspired”. Suhartos claim that he saw the slain generals bodies had been sexually mutilated was shown to be deliberately false by post-mortem documents, not revealed till decades later. This false claim provoked months of killings against communists, particularly in Bali and Central and East Java.
The PKI, numbering 20 million, were mostly rice farmers. Accused en masse they became victims in one of the worst massacres this century. In the opinion of the author, many writers underestimated the death toll, which may be as high as one million persons. Another 700,000 were imprisoned without trial. The most notorious general involved, Sarwo Edhie, claimed not one but two million were killed. “And we did a good job”, he added. Traumatised by violence, the nation became politically malleable.
Using Suhartos own categorisation of crimes related to 1965, his prior knowledge of the alleged coup places him in “Category A” involvement; the same as those who faced execution or life imprisonment.
The release of Colonel Latief is a litmus test of Habibies willingness to promote genuine reform. Fewer than ten long term prisoners remain. Latief has pleaded: “Most of them are already 70 years old and fragile. For the sake of humanity, please take notice of us.”

The Indonesian Massacres and the CIA
In a recent story in the San Francisco Examiner, researcher Kathy Kadane quotes CIA and State department officials who admit compiling lists of names of the Communist Party of Indonesia (PKI), making those lists available to the Indonesian military, and checking names off as people were “eliminated.” The killings were part of a massive bloodletting after an abortive coup attempt taking, according to various estimates, between 250,000 and 1,000,000 lives and ultimately led to the overthrow of President Sukarnos government.
Since then a debate has simmered over what happened. A recent study based on information from former Johnson administration officials, asserted that for months the U.S. “did their damnedest” through public pressure and more discreet methods, to prod the Indonesian army to move against Sukarno without success.
Debate continues over the origins of the coup attempt called Gestapu. Was it the result of CIA machinations, a takeover maneuver by General Suharto, a revolt by leftist officers under the control of the PKI, a power play by the Peoples Republic of China, a pre-emptive strike by Sukarno loyalists to prevent a move by officers friendly to the CIA, some combination of these factors, or others as yet unknown? I confess to no inside knowledge of the Gestapu.
Historical Background
It is well known that the CIA had long sought to unseat Sukarno: by funding an opposition political party in the mid-1950s, sponsoring a massive military
overthrow attempt in the mid-1958, planning his assassination in 1961, and by rigging intelligence to inflame official U.S. concerns in order to win approval for planned covert actions.
Before attempting to describe one aspect of the
CIAs role, it is essential to provide background on the scope and nature of its worldwide operations. Between 1961 and 1975 the Agency conducted 900 major or sensitive operations, and thousands of lesser covert actions. The majority of its operations were propaganda, election or paramilitary. Countries of major concern, such as Indonesia in the early 1960s, were usually subjected to the CIAs most concerted attention.
Critics of the CIA have aptly described the mainstays of such attention: “discrediting political groups… by forged documents that may be attributed to them. . . ,” faking “communist weapon shipments,” capturing communist documents and then inserting forgeries prepared by the Agency Technical Services Division. The CIAs “Mighty Wurlitzer” then emblazoned and disseminated the details of such “discoveries.”
The Mighty Wurlitzer was a worldwide propaganda mechanism consisting of hundreds or even thousands of media representatives and officials including, over a period of years, approximately 400 members of the American media. The CIA has used the Wurlitzer and its successors to plant stories and to suppress expository or critical reporting in order to manipulate domestic and international perceptions. From the early 1980s, many media operations formerly the responsibility of the CIA have been funded somewhat overtly by the National Endowment for Democracy (NED).
From the earliest days, the Agencys International Organizations Division (IOD) implemented and coordinated its extensive covert operations. The divisions activities created or assisted international organizations for youth, students, teachers, workers, veterans, journalists, and jurists. The CIA used, and continues to use, the various labor, student, and other suborned organizations not only for intelligence and propaganda purposes, but also to participate in elections and paramilitary operations and to assist in overthrowing governments. At the same time, the CIA manipulates their organizational publications for covert propaganda goals.
The labor unions the CIA creates and subsidizes, in their more virulent stages, provide strong-arm goon squads who burn buildings, threaten and beat up opponents, pose as groups of the opposition to discredit them, terrorize and control labor meetings, and participate in coups.
Use of “Subversive Control Watch Lists”
As a matter of course, the Agency develops close relationships with security services in friendly nations and exploits these in many ways-by recruiting unilateral sources to spy on the home government, by implementing pro-U.S. policies, and by gathering and exchanging intelligence. As one aspect of those liaisons, the CIA universally compiles local “Subversive Control Watch Lists” of leftists for attention by the local government. Frequently that attention is the charter of government death squads.
After the CIAs overthrow of Arbenzs government in Guatemala in 1954, the U.S. gave the new government lists of opponents to be eliminated. In Chile from 1971 through 1973, the CIA fomented a military coup through forgery and propaganda operations and compiled arrest lists of thousands, many of whom were later arrested and assassinated. In Bolivia in 1975, the CIA provided lists of progressive priests and nuns to the government which planned to harass, arrest and expel them. To curry the favor of Khomeini, in 1983 the CIA gave his government a list of KGB agents and collaborators operating in Iran. Khomeini then executed 200 suspects and closed down the communist Tudeh party. In Thailand, I provided the names of hundreds of leftists to Thai security services. The Phoenix program in Vietnam was a massive U.S. backed program to compile arrest and assassination lists of the Viet Cong for action by CIA created Provisional Reconnaissance Unit death squads. In fact, former Director of the CIA William Colby compared the Indonesian operation directly to the Vietnam Phoenix Program. Colby further admitted directing the CIA to concentrate on compiling lists of members of the PKI and other left groups.
In 1963, responding to Colbys direction, U.S. trained Indonesian trade unionists began gathering the names of workers who were members or sympathizers of unions affiliated with the national labor federation, SOBSI. These trade unionist spies laid the groundwork for many of the massacres of 1965-1966. The CIA also used elements in the 105,000 strong Indonesian national police force to penetrate and gather information on the PKI.
Providing “Watch Lists” based on technical and human penetration of targeted groups is a continuing program of CIA covert operators. Today, U.S.-advised security services in El Salvador, using the techniques of the Phoenix program, operate throughout El Salvador and have taken a heavy toll on peasants, activists and labor leaders in that country. In the late 1980s, the CIA began assisting the Philippine government in the conduct of “low-intensity” operations by, among other things, computerizing security service records of leftists and assisting in the development of a national identity card program. Wherever the CIA cooperates with other national security services it is safe to assume that it also compiles and passes “Subversive Control Watch Lists.”
Putting the Pieces Together
All of this is essential to understanding what happened in Indonesia in 1965 and 1966. In September and October of 1965, the murder of six top military officers during the Gestapu coup attempt provided a pretext for destroying the PKI and removing Sukarno. Surviving officers-principally General Suharto, who was not a target-rallied the army and defeated the coup, ultimately unseating Sukarno.
Two weeks before the coup, the army had been warned that the PKI was plotting to assassinate army leaders. The PKI, nominally backed by Sukarno, was a legal and formidable organization and was the third largest Communist Party in the world. It claimed three million members, and through affiliated organizations-such as labor and youth groups-it had the support of 17 million others. The Army’s anxiety had been fed by rumors throughout 1965 that mainland China was smuggling arms to the PKI for an imminent revolt. Such a story appeared in a Malaysian newspaper, citing Bangkok sources which relied in turn on Hong Kong sources. Such untraceability is a telltale mark of the Mighty Wurlitzer.
Less subtle propaganda claimed that the PKI was a tool of the Red Chinese and planned to infiltrate and divide the armed forces. To bolster these allegations, “communist weapons” were discovered inside Chinese crates labeled as construction material. Far more inflammatory news reporting prior to October 1965 claimed the PKI had a secret list of civilian and military leaders marked for beheading.
After the coup attempt the Indonesian Army in the main left the PKI alone, as there was no credible evidence to substantiate the horror stories in the press. [Eight sentences censored.] As noted, a favorite tactic is to arrange for the capture of communist documents and then insert forgeries prepared by the Agency’s Technical Services Division.
Suddenly documents were serendipitously discovered providing “proof” of PKI guilt. On October 23, 1965, the Suara Islam reported:
…millions of copies of the text of a proclamation of the counterrevolutionary Gestapu…have been recovered…. The text…was obviously printed in the CPR [People’s Republic of China]. Steel helmets and a large quantity of military equipment have also been found…. There is in controvertible evidence of the CPR’s involvement…. The arms sent by the CPR were shipped under cover of “diplomatic immunity.” …other important documents offer irrefutable evidence of the involvement of the CPR Embassy and the CPR ambassador….
On October 30,1965 Major General Suharto, in a speech before a military audience, angrily denounced the PKI saying that captured documents proved the PKI was behind Gestapu. Suharto demanded that the “Communists be completely uprooted.”
On November 2, the Indonesian Armed Forces Bulletin asserted that the PKI had a plan for revolution, and published supposed PKI directives for the period following the October coup attempt. The document stated that the PKI “is only supporting the revolutionary council” that the coup tried to establish. It added that if the council were crushed the PKI would “directly confront” the generals whom the coup leaders accused of planning to overthrow President Sukarno. The document also said, “when the revolution is directly led by the PKI, we can achieve victory because the command will be under the PKI-our hidden strength is in the armed forces.”
Military leaders [seven words censored] began a bloody extermination campaign. Civilians involved were either recruited and trained by the army on the spot, or were drawn from groups such as the army- and CIA-sponsored SOKSI trade unions [Central Organization of Indonesian Socialist Employees], and allied student organizations. Media fabrications had played a key role in preparing public opinion and mobilizing these groups for the massacre.
The documents, manufactured stories of communist plans and atrocities, and claims of communist arms shipments created an atmosphere of hysteria, resulting in the slaughter and the establishment of a dictatorship that still exists today.
The Agency wrote a secret study of what it did in Indonesia. [One sentence censored.] The CIA was extremely proud of its [one word censored] and recommended it as a model for future operations [one half sentence censored].
Yesterdays Fake News, Todays Fake History
The CIA desperately wants to conceal evidence of its role in the massacre, which it admits was one of the centuries worst. The U.S. media seem equally determined to protect the American image from consequences of covert operations.
Reaction to Kadanes new revelations was swift. An Op-Ed by columnist Stephen S. Rosenfeld in the July 20, 1990 Washington Post, and an article by correspondent Michael Wines in the July 12, 1990 New York Times, each deny any CIA role in the massacre. Rosenfeld, reversing his conclusions of a week before, ignores the new evidence, cites one of many academic studies, and concludes with certainty: “For me, the question of the American role in Indonesia is closed.”
New light on an active Australian involvement
Previously-secret documents at the Australian Archives in Canberra indicate that the Australian government; then led by Liberal Party Prime Minister Sir Robert Menzies, and the Australian military, intelligence and diplomatic services were closely involved in the 1965-66 Indonesian coup carried out by General Suharto.
In publishing some of the records on July 12, the Sydney Morning Herald chose the headline, “The silent watchers”. Its introduction said the documents showed that the federal government had “turned a blind eye” to the “indiscriminate slaughter of hundreds of thousands of Indonesians”.
But the documents themselves confirm that the Australian role was as active as that of the US government, if only on a smaller scale. Its military had trained some of the officers taking part in the massacre, and during 1965-66 the Menzies government and its officials shared intelligence sources, reports and assessments on the most intimate basis with their American, Canadian and British counterparts.
Moreover, the records demonstrate that the cables sent to and from the Australian Embassy in Jakarta mirrored, at times word for word, those from the US Embassy in their insistence that the Indonesian generals led by Suharto had to act ruthlessly to crush all support for the Indonesian Communist Party (PKI), especially among industrial workers.
Nor was this an “indiscriminate slaughter”. The documents point to a common view, shared by the American, British and Australian governments, that the establishment of a military dictatorship in Indonesia was an essential contribution toward the wider war against the anti-imperialist struggles that had erupted in Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand and Malaysia.
Earlier in 1965 the Menzies government had committed troops to both Borneo and South Vietnam. In January, it had agreed to the deployment of a combat battalion and a 100-strong SAS unit to Borneo to combat Indonesian forces mobilised by the Sukarno government as part of its campaign against the British-sponsored formation of Malaysia, which included the resource-rich former British colonies of Sabah and Sarawak. In April, the Menzies cabinet had committed the first battalion of infantry to the US intervention in Vietnam
The documents published by the Sydney Morning Herald relate to the period after Suhartos seizure of power on October 1, 1965. Thus, they only indirectly shed light on the Australian involvement in the US preparations for the coup. In addition, the present Howard government continues to block access to hundreds of pages of material held in the Archives on the 1965-66 events in Indonesia. No doubt, the documents that have been released are the least incriminating.
Yet they are damning enough. They show that on October 5, 1965; just four days after Suhartos takeover; the Australian Ambassador in Jakarta, K. C. O. “Mick” Shann used identical language to that of the US Ambassador, Marshall Green, in welcoming Suhartos coup. It was “now or never” for the Indonesian army to deal with the PKI, Shann advised Canberra. On the same day, Green had told Washington that: “Army now has opportunity to move against PKI if it acts quickly … In short, it’s now or never.”
If anything, Shann was more vitriolic than his American colleague in demanding decisive action by the Indonesian generals. “Change there will be”, he said in a dispatch to Canberra the next day. “We will never get back to the status quo ante. But if Sukarno and his greasy civilian cohorts get back into the saddle it will be a change for the worse.”
By October 12, External Affairs Department officials in Canberra were encouraged by the developments. Arrests, murders and executions had begun, and mobs had ransacked the houses of PKI members of Sukarnos cabinet.
In a memo to External Affairs Minister Paul Hasluck, a first assistant secretary in the department, Gordon Jockel, said: “Since our last note to you the army has been more vigorous and independent. Despite a presidental call for unity, the army and the Muslim groups are taking strong practical action to disarm the PKI and disrupt its organisation.” Jockel described these trends as “favourable,” although there were “still great uncertainties”.
Three days later, the Embassy informed Canberra that: “Almost daily, offices, houses and bookshops have been ransacked or burned and the momentum does not seem to be faltering.” On the same day, Shann sent a report in which he noted that mass killings of PKI supporters were underway. “At least a few (suspects) have been brutally murdered. We will never know how many people have lost their lives. We think it is a lot.”
Shann indicated that the Western powers were still not fully confident in the militarys role. There was likely to be no great joy for the West if the army came to power, he thought. It would remain “Implacably anti-imperialist and therefore … anti-American, anti-British and, to the extent that we bother them, anti-Australian.”
Two days later, on October 17, according to US documents, US and Australian officials met in Washington to discuss Indonesia and the armys strategy. A US State Department memo indicates that the US Assistant Secretary of State, McGeorge Bundy, met the head of Australias External Affairs Department, Sir James Plimsoll, and the Australian Ambassador to the US, Keith Waller and exchanged views on the armys intentions.
By October 22, Shann, like Marshall Green, was more optimistic. The Embassy reported that Indonesia was experiencing “a mounting wave of anti-communist demonstrations and sentiment and a general army-condoned, or perhaps army-inspired, blackening of the communist image.”
It referred to a “cleansing operation” that included “nocturnal army operations” at all levels of society. Shann himself had witnessed about 250 prisoners being “whisked off” by military police. “It is impossible to make any estimate of the number of people killed or detained,?” the Embassy said. “It cannot be small.”
The Embassy report concluded, enthusiastically: “He would be a very cautious man who did not derive some encouragement from events in Indonesia over the past week.”
American documents also show that when, at the end of October, the Johnson administration determined that Suharto should establish a military government, it consulted the Menzies government, together with the British.
Workers and Peasants massacred
The Australian authorities were aware that workers and villagers were among the main targets of the military repression.
In the month of November, the Australian Embassy noted that the wave of terror had been extended down to the factory floor. According to its report of November 17, it had apparently become the practice in factories and other workplaces “for the army to assemble the labour force and ask them whether they wish to continue work as usual. Those who decline are asked again and, unless they change their mind, summarily shot.”
Two days later, the Australian Embassy proudly reported on an “action”; a massacre, led by an Australian-trained officer. Colonel Sarwo Edhie was a 1964 graduate from an 18-month course at the Australian Army Staff College at Queenscliff, near Melbourne. On November 10, 1965, just a year after graduating, he commanded 400 soldiers of the feared RPKAD (Special Forces, now known as Kopassus) on a sweep through Central Java, hunting for opponents of the military junta.
At 6.30 am the troops approached a village at the foot of Mount Merapi, in the Boyolali district, 40 km north-east of Jogjakarta, firing “test shots” into the air. Between 100 and 200 people, many of them women and children, appeared at the side of the road. According to the report sent to Canberra, the villagers advanced on the troops with cries of “Nekolim,” meaning “neo-colonialists and imperialists” and were armed with bamboo spears, knives and “one or two guns”. “Shots fired over their heads by the patrol failed to deter them and the army was obliged to shoot at them, killing seven and wounding 17.”
That report was derived from a first-hand account supplied by an Indian journalist, B. K. Tiwari, who had spent 11 days in Central Java as Sarwo Edhies guest. Tiwaris account also confirmed that the military was training Muslim militia groups. In an interview with Tiwari, the Colonel had “spoken of the training he was giving Muslim groups (as yet no arms had been issued)”. Muslim youth were acting “as the ears and eyes of the army, guiding patrols and generally informing”.
Two days before Christmas 1965, the Australian Embassy estimated that, on average, 1,500 people had been murdered every day since September 30. “Estimates of the number of people killed vary between 100,000 and 200,000, the latter being the figure accepted by the American and West German embassies. The West Germans have heard that 70,000 people have been killed in East Java alone. Without having any firm basis for making an estimate we would if we had to name a figure put it at between 100,000 and 150,000. This works out at about 1,500 assassinations per day since September 30th.”
Up to one million workers and peasants were slaughtered in a CIA-organised army coup led by General Suharto which swept aside the shaky bourgeois regime of President Sukarno, crushed the rising movement of the Indonesian masses, and established a brutal military dictatorship.
Retired US diplomats and CIA officers, including the former American ambassador to Indonesia and Australia, Marshall Green, have admitted working with Suhartos butchers to massacre hundreds of thousands of workers and peasants suspected of supporting the Indonesian Communist Party (PKI). They personally provided the names of thousands of PKI members from the CIAs files for the armed forces death lists.
According to Howard Federspeil, who was an Indonesian expert working at the State Department at the time of the anti-communist program: “No one cared, so long as they were communists that they were being butchered.”
The coup was the culmination of a prolonged operation by the CIA, with the help of agents of the Australian Secret Intelligence Service, to build up and train the Indonesian armed forces in preparation for a military dictatorship to suppress the revolutionary strivings of the Indonesian masses.
At the time of the coup, the PKI was the largest Stalinist party in the world, outside China and the Soviet Union. It had 3.5 million members; its youth movement another 3 million. It controlled the trade union movement SOBSI which claimed 3.5 million members and the 9 million-strong peasants’ movement BTI. Together with the womens movement, the writers and artists organisation and the scholars movement, the PKI had more than 20 million members and active supporters.
Yet by the end of 1965, between 500,000 and a million PKI members and supporters had been slaughtered, and tens of thousands were detained in concentration camps, without any resistance being offered.
The killings were so widespread that the rivers were clogged with the corpses of workers and peasants. While the CIA-backed military death squads rounded up all known PKI members and sympathisers and carried out their grisly work, Time magazine reported:
“The killings have been on such a scale that the disposal of corpses has created a serious sanitation problem in northern Sumatra where the humid air bears the reek of decaying flesh. Travellers from these areas tell us small rivers and streams have been literally clogged with bodies. River transportation has become seriously impeded.”
Media manipulation
While the bloodbath was taking place in Indonesia, the Menzies government and the External Affairs Department sought to control and censor the news broadcast to Indonesia by Radio Australia. On October 10, 1965 Ambassador Shann advised Canberra that Radio Australia should “do nothing to engender sympathy for President Sukarno”.
Two days later, the External Affairs Departments public information officer, Richard Woolcott noted in a memo that he and a colleague had told contacts at Radio Australia that it should “by careful selection of its news items, not do anything which would be helpful to the PKI and should highlight reports tending to discredit the PKI and show its involvement in the losing cause of the September 30 movement.”
The Departments Gordon Jockel wrote to Shann on October 15, asking to be advised “whether there are any problems with the ABC representatives in Jakarta”. In a memo to his Minister, Paul Hasluck, on October 18, David Hay, another first assistant secretary, said: “Radio Australia should be on guard against giving information to the Indonesian people that would be withheld by the army-controlled internal media, e.g. disavowals [of coup involvement] by the PKI …”
On October 21, Woolcott reported that he had insisted that Radio Australia refer to Suharto and other key generals as “non-communist” rather than “anti-communist”and “rightist”. “I stressed again to [Radio Australia news editor John] Hall that the danger of inaccurate reporting could have an adverse effect on the army …”
By November 5, the Indonesian army was so confident that the Menzies government would do its bidding that it relayed a message to Canberra, via Shann, that news items critical of Indonesian Foreign Minister Subandrio “should be used” by Radio Australia.
It also said “reports should never imply that the army or its supporters” were in any way “pro-Western or right wing”. At that stage in the coup, given the strength of anti-colonial feeling among the Indonesian masses, it was still unwise for the generals to openly identify themselves with their Western patrons.
The events of 1965-66 reveal the essential outlook of the Australian political and military establishment. For public consumption, government leaders extol “democratic values,” but the actual record is one of demanding and supporting, whenever it is deemed necessary, military violence … and media manipulation.
This participation in the Indonesian holocaust was not a passing phase, nor an aberration. The figures who led the Australian involvement in the 1965-66 coup were all well rewarded for many years to come. Paul Hasluck, the Minister, was later knighted and became Governor-General of Australia. David Hay, a key official, was also knighted and then appointed Administrator of Papua New Guinea from 1967 to 1970. Gordon Jockel, also from External Affairs, went on to serve as Ambassador in Indonesia from 1969 to 1972. Richard Woolcott, another high-ranking official, became Ambassador to Indonesia too?from 1975 to 1978?then headed the Foreign Affairs Department.
As for the Labor Party, while it was not in office in 1965-66, its support for the Indonesian massacre was best summed up in the early 1990s by the then prime minister, Paul Keating. He referred to Suhartos coup as “the most important and beneficial event in Australian post-war strategic history”.


INDEPENDENT (London) October 5
Documents which would reveal Britains secret role in Indonesian politics in the Sixties that led to “one of the worst mass murders of the 20th century” and Jakartas eventual annexation of East Timor are being kept under lock and key.
They would uncover the Foreign Office and MI6s role in helping General Suharto seize power. His regime, backed by military hardware from Britain and the United States, occupied East Timor in 1975 and killed up to one third of the population.
The historian Mark Curtis believes Britain turned a blind eye to anti communist massacres of 500,000 people that followed an abortive coup against President Sukarno in 1965, and may have aided the action that led to Suharto taking over the following year.
The Cabinet Office, which is in charge of “open government” policy, refuses to declassify documents at the Public Record Office at Kew and Churchill College, Cambridge. They are being held beyond the 30-year period when files are normally released. Officials cite “sensitivity” in refusing to release them.
Key documents are those of the British ambassador to Indonesia in the mid-Sixties, the late Sir Andrew Gilchrist. They include some of his personal papers. Most are open except those dealing with Indonesia. Gilchrist was a key advocate of a policy of destabilising President Sukarno.

The Independent requested the release of the Gilchrist documents in 1997. They have been reviewed but no more papers have been released. Because the Indonesian Confrontation was never a “declared” war embassies of U.S, Britain, Australia and New Zealand remained open.
Backdoor Diplomacy
Gilchrist arrived in Indonesia in 1962 as it was pursuing a policy of “confrontation” with Britain’s former colony Malaya. By 1963, British, Malaysian, Australian and New Zealand forces were engaged in a low level conflict with Indonesia in which British special forces and MI6 became involved.
As a result of this and the increasing power of the Indonesian Communist Party (PKI), Britain supported the anti-communist Indonesian military and Suhartos seizure of power. British intelligence contacted him in 1965, when he sent messengers to reassure the British that the army would not step up operations against them and to explore the possibility of ending the “confrontation”.
These channels were put to good use after the abortive coup in October 1965 that triggered the rise of Suharto and the massacres.
Mr Curtis found in documents (some of which have since been reclassified by the Foreign Office) that when the Indonesian army set about eliminating the PKI, Gilchrist ensured that it (the Indonesian army) knew Britain (and Australia?) would suspend offensive operations so that it could concentrate on killing communists. ( A compelling reason to now believe that the “rules of engagement” that prevented Australian ships from shooting back in 1965/66 if engaged by Indonesian Forces was engineered to conform to the promise of Gilchrist. Australian service personnel were just pawns in this game of “war”; the abos have an appropriate saying: “Poor silly bugger me!”)

Carmel Budriardjo, a founder of the Indonesian Human Rights Organisation, said “the relationship became very close quickly” between Britain, America and the Indonesian military. Suharto was offered economic aid and the lifting of the embargo on sales of military aircraft by Britain.
Mr Curtis said that at the very least “Britain turned a blind eye to the bloody massacres and at most actively aided it. And I think there are still some question marks over the degree of that actively aiding”.

Among classified papers is a letter to Gilchrist from the Foreign Office official Norman Reddaway, political adviser to the commander-in-chief, Far East. Just after the apparent communist coup attempt he arrived in Singapore. His brief was
“to do whatever I could do to get rid of Sukarno”.
Suharto took power in 1966 after the coup attempt linked to the PKI, whose involvement was the pretext for Suhartos elimination of it and the massacres. Sukarnos alleged involvement was used by Suharto to discredit and replace him.
The British were not alone in supporting Suhartos coup. According to open documents, one of Gilchrists key contacts was Suhartos foreign minister, Adam Malik, later identified by the envoy as having given crucial advice to Suharto on how to “eliminate the PKI” and “undermine Sukarnos remaining power”.
Maliks aide received a hit list of 5,000 suspected communists from the Central Intelligence Agency. On 6 November 1965 the Americans fulfilled army requests for weapons “to arm Muslim and nationalist youth in central Java for use against the PKI”.
Although President Suharto resigned in May 1998 after Indonesias economic collapse and widespread civil unrest, the army still exerts enormous power in the country.

“How Did the Generals Die?”

1996 note from David Johnson of the Center for Defense Information
Ben Anderson (Cornell University),
Excerpts from: Dr. Ben Anderson (Cornell University), “How Did the Generals Die?,”
Originally published in the journal “Indonesia,” April 1987 issue.
Surprises often come to light when one rummages through dusty, crowded attics. In the course of casually rummaging through the hundreds of photocopies pages of the stenographic record of Air Force Lieutenant-Colonel Heru Atmodjo’s trial before the judges of the Extraordinary Military Tribunal (Mahmilub), I came across the documents translated below [not reproduced here], which in their original form were included as appendices to the trial record. They consist of the reports composed by the team of five experts in forensic medicine who examined the bodies of the six generals (Yani, Suprapto, Parman, Sutojo, Harjono, and Pandjaitan) and lone, young lieutenant (Tendean) killed on the early morning of October 1, 1965.
Their sober accounts offer the most exact, objective description of how these seven died that we will ever have. In view of the longstanding controversy on the matter, and the widely differing reports offered to the public in newspapers and magazines, it seemed to me worth translating them in full for the scholarly community.
The heading to each visum et repertum (autopsy) shows that the team was assembled on Monday, October 4, as a result of written order from the then Major General Suharto, as KOSTRAD Commander, to the head of the Central Army Hospital (RSPAD). The team was composed of two army doctors (including the well-known Brig. Gen. Dr. Roebiono Kertopati), and three civilian specialists in forensic medicine at the Medical Faculty of the University of Indonesia. The most senior of these civilians. Dr. Sutomo Tjokronegoro, was then the foremost expert in forensic medicine in the country. The team worked for 8 hours, i.e., from 4:30 p.m., October 4, to 12:30 a.m., October 5, in the Dissection Room of the Central Army Hospital. They clearly had to work fast, since we know from many press accounts that the bodies were only removed from the well at Lubang Buaja (into which they had been thrown by the killers) in the late morning of October 4, over 75 hours after the murders. By then, as was to be expected in a tropical climate, the corpses were already in an advanced state of putrefaction. And after daylight on Tuesday, October 5, the remains were ceremonially interred in the Garden of Heroes (Taman Pahlawan) at Kalibata. One final point is worth noting. Given the fact that the autopsies were ordered personally by Maj. Gen. Suharto, it is unlikely that the doctors’ reports were not immediately communicated to him upon their completion.
Each of the seven reports follows the same format:
a statement of Maj. Gen. Suharto’s instruction to the five experts;
identification of the corpse;
description of the body, including any clothing or body-ornaments;
a detailing of the wounds detected;
a conclusion with regard to time and cause of death; and
a statement by all five experts, on oath, that the examination had been fully and properly performed.
For public accounts of the seven deaths, we today, like Indonesian readers in 1965, must rely largely on the reporting of two military newspapers, Angkatan Bersendjata (The Armed Forces) and Berita Yudha (War News), and the ABRI information service that supplied them. Although several civilian newspapers continued to publish, the left-wing press had been suppressed by the evening of October 1, and the state-run radio and television were fully in military hands before October 1 was out. It is therefore instructive to compare the accounts provided by the military newspapers with the contents of the army-appointed medical experts’ reports, completed, we may infer from the appended documents, some time on Tuesday, October 5.
Given the fact that the two newspapers were morning newspapers, and thus their October 5 edition were probably “put to bed” while the doctors were still completing their examinations, it is not surprising that their reporting that day was perhaps hasty, without the benefit of detailed information. Angkatan Bersendjata, which featured some blurred photos of the decomposing bodies, described the deaths as “barbarous deeds in the form of tortures executed beyond the bounds of human feeling.” Berita Yudha, always more vivid, noted that the corpses were “covered with indications of torture. Traces of wounds all over the bodies, the results of tortures inflicted before they were shot, still covered our heroes’ remains.” Maj. Gen. Suharto himself was quoted as saying that “it was obvious for those of us who saw [the bodies] with our own eyes what savage tortures had been inflicted by the barbarous adventurers calling themselves ‘The September 30th Movement.'” The newspaper went on to describe the last moments of General Yani’s life, saying that after being gunned down in his own home, he had been thrown still alive into a truck, and was tortured from that moment until the “final torture at Lubang Buaja.” Proof of this torture was provided by wounds on his neck and face, and the fact that “his members were no longer complete.” What this somewhat obscure phrase meant became clearer in the following days. On Thursday, October 7, Angkatan Bersendjata observed that Yani’s “eyes had been gouged out,” a finding confirmed two days later by Berita Yudha, which added that the face of the corpse had been found wrapped in a piece of black cloth.
That same October 7 Angkatan Bersendjata went on to describe how Generals Harjono and Pandjaitan had died in hails of gunfire in their homes, with the corpses tossed onto a truck which vanished into the night with “its engine roaring like a tiger thirsting for blood.” Berita Yudha, however, noted torture scars on Harjono’s hands.
On October 9, Berita Yudha reported that, although General Suprapto’s face and skull had been smashed by savage terrorists (perterror2 biadah), his features were still recognizable. Lieutenant Tendean had knife wounds on his left chest and stomach, his neck had been mutilated, and both eyes had been gouged out (ditjungkil). The following day it quoted eyewitnesses of the October disinterment as saying that some of the victims had had their eyes torn out, while others had “had their genitals cut off as well as many other inhuman horrors.” On October 11, Angkatan Bersendjata elaborated on Tendean’s death by saying that he had undergone severe tortures at Lubang Buaja where he was handed over to members of Gerwani (Gerakan Wanita Indonesia–the Communist Party’s women’s affiliate). He was made a “vile plaything [permainan djahat]” by these women, who used him for target practice.
Where the army newspapers led, others quickly followed. On October 20, for example, Api Pantjasila, organ of the army- affiliated IPKI party, announced that the eye-gouges (alat pentjungkil) used on the generals had been discovered by anticommunist youths ransacking Communist Party buildings in the village of Harupanggang, outside Garut, without suggesting, however, why the Party had thought fit to preserve them there. On October 25, the same paper carried the confession of one Djamin, a member of the Communist Party’s youth organization Pemuda Rakjat, who said he had witnessed General Suprapto being tortured “obscenely [diluar batas kesusilaan]” by Gerwani members. Similar confessions followed, culminating in the remarkable story of Mrs. Djamilah, issued on November 6 to the whole press by the ABRI information service. Mrs. Djamilah, described as a three-month pregnant, fifteen-year-old Gerwani leaders from Patjitan, revealed that she and her associates at Lubang Buaja had been issued penknives and razors by armed members of the September 30th Movement. They then, all one hundred of them, following orders from the same men, proceeded to slash and slice the genitals of the captured generals. Evidently this was not all. For the Army- controlled Antara of November 30 described how Gerwani women had given themselves indiscriminately to Air Force personnel involved in the September 30th Movement; while Angkatan Bersendjata, on December 13, described them as dancing “The Dance of the Fragrant Flowers” naked under the direction of Communist Party leader D. N. Aidit, before plunging into mass orgies with members of Pemuda Rakjat.
In these accounts, which filled the newspapers during October, November, and December, while the massacres of those associated with the Communist Party were going on, two features are of particular interest here. The first is the insistence that the seven men were subjected to horrifying tortures–notably eye- gouging and castration; the second is an emphasis on civilians in organizations of Communist affiliation as the perpetrators.
What do the forensic experts’ reports of October 5 tell us? First, and most important, that none of the victims’ eyes had been gouged out, and that all of their penises were intact: we are even told that four of the latter were circumcized, and three uncircumcized.
Beyond that, it may be useful to divide the victims into two groups: those whom most of the nonforensic evidence indicates were killed by being shot dead in their own homes by the kidnappers, namely Generals Yani, Pandjaitan, and Harjono; and those who were killed after being taken to Lubang Buaja, namely Generals Parman, Soeprapto, and Sutojo, as well as Lieutenant Tendean.
Group I.
The fullest accounts of their deaths appeared long after they occurred: in the case of Yani in Berita Yudha Minggu, December 5; of Pandjaitan, in Kompas, October 25, Berita Yudha Minggu, November 21, and Berita Yudha, December 13; and of Harjono in Berita Yudha Minggu, November 28. All indicate that the generals were abruptly and immediately killed at home by heavy gunfire delivered by members of the Tjakrabirawa Presidential Guard Regiment under the operational command of First Lieutenant Doel Arief. The forensic reports confirm this picture only in part. The experts observed that the only wounds on Yani’s body were ten entering and three existing gunshot wounds. Pandjaitan suffered three gunshot wounds to the head, as well as a small slit-wound in the hand. On the other hand, the wounds suffered by Harjono are puzzling, since no mention is made of gunshots. The cause of death was apparently a long deep incision in the abdomen, of a type much more likely to be caused by a bayonet than a penknife or a razor. A similar, nonfatal wound appeared on the victim’s back. The only other damage was described as “on the left hand and wrist, wounds caused by a dull trauma.” There is no obvious way to interpret these wounds except to say that they seem unlikely to be the result of torture–torturers rarely pick left wrists to do their work–and may have been the result of the dead body being thrown down the 36- foot well at Lubang Buaja.
Group II.
The fullest accounts of the deaths of these victims appeared in the following newspaper reports: Parman, Berita Yudha, October 17, and both Berita Yudha and Angkatan Bersendjata, December 12; Soeprapto, Berita Yudha Minggu, December 5; Sutojo, Berita Yudha Minggu, November 21; and Tendean, Berita Yudha Minggu, October 25. It was these four men that most reports of savage and sexual torture concerned. What the forensic reports reveal is as follows:
S. Parman suffered five gunshot wounds, including two fatal ones to the head; and, in addition, “lacerations and bone- fractures to the head, the jaw, and the lower left leg, each the result of a heavy dull trauma.” We have no way of knowing what caused these dull traumas–rifle butts or the walls and floor of the well–but they are clearly not “torture” wounds, nor could they have been inflicted by razors or penknives.
Soeprapto died of eleven gunshot wounds in various parts of his body. Other wounds consisted of six lacerations and fractured bones caused by dull traumas around the head and face; one caused by a dull trauma on the right calf; wounds and fractured bones “resulting from a very severe, dull trauma in the lumbar region and on the upper right thigh”; and three cuts, which, to judge from their size and depth, may have been caused by bayonets. Again “dull trauma” indicates collision with large, irregularly shaped hard objects (rifle butts or well stones) rather than razors or knives.
Sutojo suffered three gunshot wounds (including a fatal one to the head), while “the right hand and the cranium were crushed as a result of a heavy dull trauma.” Once again, the odd combination of right hand, cranium, and heavy dull trauma suggests rifle butts or well stones.
Tendean died of four gunshot wounds. In addition, the experts found graze wound on the forehead and left hand, as well as “three gaping wounds resulting from dull traumas to the head.”
Nowhere in these reports is there any unmistakable sign of torture, and any trace of razors and penknives is absent. Not only are almost all the nongunshot wounds described as the result of heavy, dull traumas, but their physical distribution–ankles, shins, wrists, thighs, temples, and so on–seem generally random. It is particularly striking that the usual targets of torturers, i.e., the testicles, the anus, the eyes, the fingernails, the ears, and the tongue, are not mentioned. It can thus be said with reasonable certainty that six of the victims died by gunfire (the case of Harjono, who died in his own home, remains puzzling), and that if their bodies suffered other violence, it was the result of clubbing with the butts of the guns that fired the fatal bullets, or of the damage likely to occur from a 36-foot–i.e., roughly three-story–fall down a stone-lined well.
It only remains to be said that in his speech of December 12, 1965, to the Indonesian News Agency, Antara, President Sukarno chastised journalists for their exaggerations, insisting that the doctors who had inspected the bodies of the victims had stated there were no ghastly mutilations of eyes and genitals as had been reported in the press.


October 5, 1965,

U.S. Embassy officials led by Ambassador Marshall Green in 1965-66 collaborated in giving wide and vocal distribution to these false reports. For example, as early as October 5, 1965, Ambassador Green in a secret cable (now declassified) was recommending the following: “Spread story of PKI’s guilt, treachery and brutality (this priority effort is perhaps most
needed immediate assistance we can give Army if we can find way to do it without identifying
it as solely or largely U.S. effort.)”
Indonesian government accounts of the 1965 events still to this day give prominence to allegations of “Communist” mutilation. Exhibits about the 1965 events feature pictures of
alleged torturers.

In the absence of this falsified but effective propaganda campaign about “Communist” torturers it is quite possible that General Suharto and his collaborators might not have been able to launch their campaign of massive violence against the PKI in view of President Sukarno’s strenuous efforts to prevent such violence.
A full and frank accounting of what happened in Indonesia in 1965 has yet to take place in Indonesia or elsewhere. Indonesians themselves are beginning to call for such an honest exploration of the central event in their history. For example, an editorial in “The Jakarta Post,” on 2 October 1995 states: “After 30 years, we are also aware of the fact that the coup is still surrounded by plenty of mysteries. There are enough murky holes around it to fill several history books.

Despite an official white book and a dozen or more accounts on the coup written mostly by foreign writers, there are many controversies that need to be explained. Therefore, we support the idea of a thorough study on this national tragedy. Perhaps, when we have acquired a better understanding of the coup, we can finally shake the trauma of conscience. Otherwise we are sure to be haunted by this one specter indefinitely.”


On the American side, few officials have expressed concern or criticism of the massacres in Indonesia. One exception is Robert Kennedy who said in January 1966 while the killings were still going on: “We have spoken out against inhuman slaughters perpetrated by the Nazis and the Communists. But will we speak out also against the inhuman slaughter in Indonesia, where over 100,000 alleged Communists have been not perpetrators, but victims?”]

David Johnson
Research Director
Center for Defense Information
1500 Massachusetts Ave. NW
Washington DC 20005
phone: 202-862-0700
fax: 202-862-0708
email: djohnson@cdi.org
CDI web page





SEPTEMBER 30, 1965


Gestapu: The CIA’s “Track Two” in Indonesia

The events of October 1, 1965, in Indonesia and their origin
may truly be called “a riddle wrapped in an enigma.”
There is no consensus among students of Indonesia about the “correct” explanation.
All existing theories have their articulate and plausible critics. Probably the majority
of careful Indonesian scholars have abandoned the search for explanation.
GESTAPU is an enormously complicated puzzle in which the pieces never
fit together, their shape constantly changes, and new pieces keep appearing.

Semua gara gara gestok,..
Mbah yang sudah ambil posisi di seberang singapura akhirnya di tarik

Raid/Penyerangan besar-besaran sudah dipersiapkan untuk menusuk jantung kota Kuching, Sarawak. Tentara reguler maupun sukarelawan mengalir kedaerah perbatasan menunggu perintah serbu. Marinir di Tarakan dan Nunukan mempersiapkan pulau aju di Sebatik sebagai check point terakhir untuk menyerang Tawau, Sabah.
Pembuka serangan rencananya akan dimulai dengan penerjunan Kompi Tanjung dari RPKAD yang akan diterjunkan dipinggiran Kota Kuching, selanjutnya pasukan yang sudah siaga diperbatasan akan masuk mendobrak sebagai kekuatan utama. Jalur-jalur aman sudah dipersiapkan. Begitu juga dengan clandestine yang sudah menyiapkan sabotase di daerah perbatasan, terutama pos-pos tentara Commanwelth dan dalam kota.
Persiapan sudah berlangsung selama 2 minggu. Masing-masing pasukan diperbatasan sudah melakukan peran tempur, tetapi apa yang terjadi?
Perundingan damai ditandatangani. Pasukan yang peran tempur diperintahkan mundur ke basis-basis sementara. Sementara, 1 pasukan sudah terlanjur memasuki daerah sasaran di Kalabakan, terlambat mendapat info adanya perjanjian damai. Maka, terjadilah apa yang dikenal dinegara jiran dengan nama “Peristiwa Kalabakan/Kalabakan Raid”.
Apakah yang terjadi seandainya serangan ini diteruskan? Peristiwa seperti Kalabakan Raid terjadi di seantero wilayah Sabah/Sarawak? Kompi Tandjung menyerbu kota Kuching dari udara? Tawau dibombardir oleh ALRI dan pendaratan Marinir dilakukan? atau KRI Irian lego jangkar di lepas pantai Pulau Sebatik?
Akibat perjanjian damai, banyak personel yang merasa tidak puas. Menembakkan senjatanya ke udara. Kesel bukan main. Sudah peran tempur selama 2 minggu…..ehh..jadinya damai

Mungkin yang dimaksud adalah peristiwa perang yang terjadi di Kalabakan pada tanggal 30
Oktober 1966
Saat itu tentara kita menyerang posisi 3RMR. Hasil dari serangan itu dilaporkan dari pihak lawan 8 tewas dan 19 l

3 October 2011

Pembantaian yang tidak tercatat

Posted by iman under: ORDE BARU; SEJARAH .

Di Jawa kami harus menghasut penduduk untuk membantai orang orang Komunis. Di Bali kami harus menahan mereka, untuk memastikan bahwa mereka tidak bertindak terlalu jauh – Sarwo Edhie , Komandan RPKAD.

Ucapan mertua Presiden SBY, itu dalam sebuah konperensi pers awal tahun 1966 antara telah dilaporkan dalam beberapa bentuk. Ini menjelaskan, salah satu sejarah paling kelam dalam bangsa ini, yang tak pernah ditulis dalam buku buku sejarah anak anak kita di sekolah.
Pembantaian mereka yang dianggap komunis paska pemberontakan G 30 S PKI yang gagal.
Kita mestinya sepakat bahwa pengungkapan itu bukan untuk menorah luka lama. Tetapi untuk sebagai bahan pelajaran sehingga tak terulang.

Laporan The Econimist London, berdasarkan informasi ilmuwan ilmuwan Indonesia, mengemukakan bahwa 100.000 orang tewas hanya dalam hitungan bulan Desember 1965 hingg Februari 1966.
Menurut Komisi Pencari Fakta yang dibentuk setelah peristiwa berdarah itu, jumlah korban hanya 78.000 orang. Tapi, Oei Tjoe Tat – menteri negara jaman Bung Karno – yang menjadi ketua tim, justru meragukan penemuan itu. Dalam perjalanannya melakukan penyelidikan ia justru dihambat oleh aparat militer setempat. Ia menyebutkan angka itu terlalu dikecilkan. Dengan menyindir ia menyebut bukan 78.000 tapi 780.000.
Dalam memoarnya, Oei Tjoa Tat menceritakan perjalanannya ke Bali, justru tidak bisa mendapatkan akses kemana mana, karena dikarantina di hotel, akhirnya dia bisa diselundupkan suatu malam, dengan melewati dapur untk bertemu sumber sumber penyelidikan.
Dari situ ia bisa mengetahui pembunuhan yang terjadi terhadap I Gede Puger, Ketua PKI Bali yang bertubuh gemuk. Tubuhnya dipotong potong, sehingga daging lemaknya terburai sebelum akhirnya kepala di tembak. Tidak hanya dia yang dibunuh, juga seluruh anak istrinya.
Bahkan Gubernur Bali, Anak Agung Bagus Suteja yang berafiliasi pada PKI, hilang tanpa bekas.

Suatu saat setelah laporan Komisi Pencari Fakta selesai. Oei Tjoe Tat dipanggil Bung Karno secara sembunyi bunyi.
“ Sst..sini sebentar,. berapa angka yang sesungguhnya..” tanya Bung Karno.
“ Lho khan ada releasenya Pak, sekitar 78.000 “.
“ Sudahlah saya tidak percaya “ sergah Bung Karno
Oei Tjoe Tat lalu melihat sekelilingnya karena takut ada yang mendengar. Lalu ia membisiki Bung Karno,
“ Ya..dikalikan 5 kali lipat saja pak dari angka itu “.
Kelak Oei Tjoe Tat ditahan rezim orde baru karena dianggap sebagai orang Soekarno.

Anehnya Komkaptib, lembaga bentukan Orde baru yang sangat berkuasa dan dapat menentukan hidup matinya seseorang. Dalam laporannya, menyebutkan angka hampir sebesar 1 juta orang, dengan perincian 800,000 korban di Jawa dan 100.000 korban di Bali dan Sumatera.
Besarnya angka itu juga menunjukan adanya praktek genosida ( genocide ) yakni menghilangkan kelompok tertentu.
Jika Pol Pot melakukannya pembantaian untuk menghilangkan kelas borjuis dan intelektual dalam beberapa tahun. Di Indonesia mereka melakukan pembantaian dalam hitungan bulan.

Ada beberapa cara penghitungan selain sumber sumber resmi di atas, seperti menghitung jenasah yang menjadi korban pembantaian – termasuk membongkar kuburan kuburan – walau agak sulit, karena banyak kejadian dengan membuang korban di jurang, hutan, tempat tempat terpencil atau membuat kuburan gelap.
Ada cara lain, meminta kesaksian dari korban yang kebetulan selamat, orang yang menyaksikan atau pelakunya sendiri.

Maskun Iskandar & Jopie Lasut, pernah mempublikasikan “ Laporan dari daerah maut Purwodadi “ dalam Koran ‘ Indonesia Raya tanggal 17 Maret 1969. Mereka menemukan tentara pangkat rendah dan dijuluki James bond agen 007 oleh rekan rekan instansi militernya. Dijuluki demikian karena memiliki lisensi membunuh seperti agen rahasia Inggris itu, dan dalam suatu kendurian warga, ia berkoar koar telah membunuh ratusan orang komunis.

Cara lain adalah dengan teknik demografi, membandingkan jumlah penduduk suatu daerah sebelum dan sesudah kejadian. Walau cara ini kurang efektif.
Ada cara lain yakni dengan metode intuisi, yakni secara moderat tidak terlalu kecil dan tidak dibesar besarkan. Robert Gribb yang menulis ‘ The Indonesian Killings ‘ menyebut 500 ribu sebagai angka yang wajar.
Jumlah tersebut didukung teknik yang dibuat Iwan Gardono, dalam disertasinya ‘ The Destruction of the Indonesian Comunist Party ( a comparative analysis of Esat Java and Bali ) di Harvard University tahun 1992. Ia menjumlahkan semua angka pada 39 artikel / buku yang mengulas pembantaian 1965 / 1966 dan membagi dengan 39 sehingga diperoleh angka rata rata 430.590 orang.

Statistik itu tidak menunjukan perasaan sesungguhnya, tidak menggambarkan ketika orang dibunuh dengan dingin, diperkosa serta kengerian yang luar biasa terjadi. Selain itu sebuah tanda tanya kenapa aparat militer tidak mencegah kejadian itu, justru membiarkan pembantaian itu terjadi.
Ucapan komandan RPKAD diatas menjelaskan bagaimana keterlibatan militer secara tidak langsung dalam pembantaian ini.

Terutama di Jawa, angkatan darat dengan kesatuan RPKAD menyebarkan daftar nama nama anggota PKI yang harus dibunuh, serta melatih organisasi pemuda sipil untuk bisa menguasai teknik dasar pertempuran – baca pembantaian.

Dalam pidatonya di Bogor tgl 18 Desember 1965, di hadapan mahasiswa HMI. Bung Karno meminta agar HMI ‘turba’ – turun ke bawah untuk mencegah pembunuhan massal di Jawa Tengah dan Jawa Timur. Pembantaian sangat keji. Orang disembelih, dipotong dan dibunuh begitu saja.
Bahkan orang tidak berani menguburkan jenasah korban.

Lebih jauh Bung Karno menggambarkan , “ Awas kalau berani ngrumat jenasah. Engkau akan dibunuh. Jenasah diklelerkan begitu saja, dibawah pohon, dipinggir sungai. Dilempar bagai bangkai anjing yang sudah mati “.

Bahkan dalam iring iringan mobil Bung Karno di Jawa Timur. Salah satu mobil diberhentikan, dan penumpangnya diberi bungkusan berisi kepala pemuda rakyat.

Pembunuhan orang orang Komunis ini terjadi di Aceh, Sumatera Utara, Lampung, Sebagian Sulawesi, Pulau Jawa, Bali, Kalimantan Barat dan Nusa Tenggara Timur.



Di Jawa kerusuhan anti komunis menyebar di seluruh penjuru pulau, dengan konsentrasi di pedesaan. Di Surabaya, muslim Madura adalah kelompok terbesar yang melakukan pembantaian, sementara di daerah lain unit unit militer, kelompok warga sipil yang sebagian besar anggotanya adalah para pemuda yang bergabung dengan partai politik antikomunis.

Disini Ansor yang berafiliasi dengan NU memainkan peranan penting dalam pembantaian ini. Gus Dur dalam masa jabatan kepresidennnya pernah menyuarakan rekonsiliasi serta permintaan maaf atas pembunuhan yang dilakukan orang orang Ansor dan banser NU.

Di Jawa tengah dan Jawa Timur sebagai ladang pembantaian utama mulai dari wilayah Banyumas, Solo, Klaten, Boyolali, Purwodadi sampai Pati. Sementara di timur, mulai dari Kediri, Ponorogo dan yang paling parah daerah Probolinggo, Pasuruan, Situbondo sampai Banyuwangi.
Bahkan Ansor sampai harus menyebrangi selat Bali, membantu membantai orang orang komunis di daerah bali barat.

Awalnya memang orang orang Komunis sempat diatas angin, dengan menangkapi tokoh tokoh agama atau tokoh masyarakat yang berafiliasi dengan PNI. Beberapa pertempuran terjadi antara komunis dengan Ansor, kaum nasionalis dan pemuda Kristen.
Namun sejak RPKAD mengirim satu batalyon menuju Jawa Tengah pada tgl 17 Oktober 1965. Keadaaan berubah drastis. Pihak komunis menjadi terdesak, dan dibantai sampai keluarganya atau kerabatnya.
Banyak pembunuhan terjadi karena amuk massa atau fitnah dari orang orang yang tidak suka kepada mereka yang dicurigai simpatisan. Padahal bukan komunis.

Di daerah Klaten, pemuda nasionalis membentuk satuan khusus yang dinamakan ‘ Pasukan Banteng Serba Guna “ bekerja sama dengan pemuda pemuda Islam dan pemuda Kristen yang membentuk “ Barisan Pengawal Yesus “. Mereka mendapat latihan militer dari satuan RPKAD yang berbasis di Kandang Menjangan dan Kartasura.

Beberapa laporan tentang pembunuhan di daerah Jawa Timur :

  1. Lawang, Kabupaten Malang. Para anggota dan simpatisan PKI yang akan dibunuh dikat tangannya. Lalu segerombolan pemuda Ansor bersama satu unit tentara Zeni Tempur membawa ke tempat pembantaian. Para korban satu persatu digiring ke lubang. Mereka dipukuli dengan benda keras sampai tewas. Lalu kepala mereka di penggal. Ribuan orang dibunuh dengan cara ini. Lalu pohon pohon pisang ditanam diatas kuburan mereka.
  2. Singosari , Malang. Oerip Kalsum, seorang lurah wanita desa Dengkol, Singosari dibunuh dengan cara tubuh dan kemaluannya dibakar, lalu lehernya diikat sampai tewas.
  3. Tumpang, Kabupaten Malang. Sekitar ribuan orang dibunuh oleh tentara dari Artileri Medan ( Armed I ) bekerja sama dengan Ansor. Mayat korban dikuburkan didesa Kunci.
  4. Kabupaten Jember. Pembantaian dilakukan oleh Armed III. Tempat pembantaian perkebunan karet Wonowiri dan Glantangan serta kebun kelapa Ngalangan. Sementara di Desa Pontang pembantaian dilakukan oleh kepala Desa dan pensiunan tentara.
  5. Nglegok. Kabupaten Blitar. Japik seorang tokoh Gerwani cabang setempat dan seorang guru, dibunuh bersama suaminya. Ia diperkosa berkali kali sebelum tubuhnya dibelah mulai dari payudara dan kemaluannya. Nursamsu seorang guru juga dibunuh, dan potongan tubuhnya digantung di rumah kawan kawannya. Sucipto seorang bekas lurah Nglegok dikebiri lalu dibunuh. Semuanya dilakukan oleh pemuda Ansor.
  6. Garum, Kabupaten Blitar. Ny Djajus seorang lurah desa Tawangsari dan seorang anggota Gerwani. Hamil pada saat dibunuh. Tubuhnya dibelah sebelum dibunuh.
  7. Kecamatan Gurah, Kabupaten Kediri. Beberapa guru, kepala desa ditangkap oleh pemuda Ansor, lalu disembelih dan mayatnya dibuang ke sungai. Beberapa kepala guru dipenggal dan ditaruh diatas bamboo untuk diarak keliling desa.
  8. Kecamatan Pare, Kediri. Suranto, seorang kepala sekolah menengah di Pare. Ia bukan anggota PKI, tetapi anggota Partindo. Ia bersama istrinya yang sedang hamil 9 bulan di tangkap pemuda Ansor. Mereka dibunuh, perut istrinya dibelah dan janinnya dicincang. Selama seminggu setelah kejadian itu, kelima anak anak Suranto yang masih kecil kecil tidak punya siapa siapa yang akan menolong mereka, karena para pemuda Ansor memperingatkan tetangga, bahwa barang siapa menolong anak anak iti tidak dijamin keselamatannya.
  9. Kecamatan Keras, Kabuaten Kediri. Tahanan dibawa naik rakit oleh pemuda Ansor, dan disepanjang perjalanan mereka dipukui sampai mati, lalu mayatnya dibuang di bantaran sungai.
  10. Kabupaten Banyuwangi. Pembantaian dilakukan mulai tgl 20 November 1965 sampai 25 Desember 1965. Kemudian terjadi lagi 1 Oktober sampai 5 Oktober 1966 serta pembantaian terakhir sejak Mei 1967 sampai Oktober 1968. Pembantaian dilakukan oleh regu regu tembaj dari Kodim 08325, pemuda Ansor dan Pemuda Demokrat. Mayat mayat dikubur dilubang lubang yang sudah disiapkan. Umumnya satu lubang memuat 20 25 orang.
    Dengan menggunakan truk pinjaman dari pabrik kertas di Banyuwangi ratusan korban disiram minyak tanah dan dibakar lalu dilempar ke jurang di Curahtangis, antara jalan Banyuwangi dan Situbondo. Dalam banyak kasus, perempuan perrempuan dibunuh dengan cara ditusuk dengan pedang panjang melalui vagina sehingga perut mereka terbelah. Kepala dan payudara mereka dipotong potong lalu dipamerkan di pos pos jaga yang ada di sepanjang perjalanan.

Selain Curahtangis diatas, ada tempat seperti Merawan, Curahjati – sebuah hutan jati, Desa bulusan dan Ketapang di daerah pantai yang menjadi tempat pembantaian massal. Bahkan di daerah Tampuh, sebuah desa perkebunan terpencil, sejumlah anggota PKI ditembak yang dipimpin oleh komandan kodim setempat.

Sulit mengatakan jika militer dan petinggi organisasi massa tidak terlibat, jika contoh kasus pembantaian di Banyuwangi justru dipimpin oleh Kolonel Sumadi (Komandan Korem 083), Letkol Djoko Supaat Slamet (Komandan Kodim 18325) , Dja’far Maruf( Ketua PNI cab. Banyuwangi ) Kiai Haji Abdul Latief ( Ketua NU cab. Banyuwangi )
Ketika Tim pencarifakta yang dipimpin Oei Tjoe Tat turun disini pada tanggal 25 Desember 1965. Jumlah korban sedah mencapai 25.000 orang.

Banyak orang yang tidak tahu apa apa harus ikut membayar nyawanya karena amuk massa. Kerabat, tetangga, bayi bayi yang tak berdosa.
Bagaimana kita menjelaskan fenomena ribuan orang orang Bali yang pasrah, lalu berpakaian putih putih berjalan menuju tempat penjagalan, serta berdiam diri menunggu datangnya algojo.

Bagaimana kita menjelaskan puluhan ribu guru yang hilang dari sekolah sekolah dalam periode tersebut. Mereka tak tahu apa apa tentang politik, sehingga bergabung dengan gerakan sempalan PGRI non vaksentral, yang memberi semboyan jika Guru lapar mereka tak bisa mengajar. Sejumlah data menyebut angka 30.000 rib sampai 92,000 ribu guru dibunuh.
Dari 120 orang yang dibunuh di Desa Margosari Klaten, terdapat sejumlah 80 orang guru sekolah.
Juga para seniman yang memiliki minat khusus terhadao wayang, atau reog sehingga diasosiasikan terhadap Lekra.

Dengan belajar memahami sejarah, kita mengenal bangsa sendiri. Sejarah adalah cermin. Sehingga kita bisa bercermin tentang siapa diri kita sebenarnya. Tentu saja berharap kita bukan bangsa pendendam.

Sumber :
*Robert Cribb, The Indonesian Killings

*Memoar Oei Tjoa Tat
*Hermawan Sulistyo, Forgotten Years, Indonesia’s missing history of mass slaughter ( Jombang – Kediri 1965 -1966 )


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