Don't Make Sarwo Edhie a Hero
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In 1965-67, millions of alleged communists were murdered, imprisoned and tortured without trial. After their release, they and their families still had to live under a stigma during Suharto's governance. Even now, they are still stigmatised, live in fear and their gathering in Yogyakarta on 27/10/2013 was attacked by FAKI (the anti-communist organisation). The National Comission on Human Rights (Indonesia) has demanded SBY to issue a formal apology, followed by rehabilitation and reparation to the victims of 1965. But, is this SBY’s answer to that demand? Making Sarwo Edhie as a national hero?
Sarwo was the commander of the Army’s Para-Commando Regiment (RPKAD) from 1965-67. Several reports have alleged that he orchestrated and presided over the murder of hundreds of thousands of supporters of Sukarno, who were accused of being communist sympathisers. As Joshua Oppenheimer states in his press release: "Sarwo Edhie Wibowo was one the architects of this crime. Anointing him a national hero is a statement to the entire world that Indonesia will continue to be a place of fear and thuggery, corruption and violence." Making him a national hero will add more injustice to the victims and the families of the victims of 1965.
(Source: Douglas Kammen and Katharine McGregor, The Contours of Mass Violence in Indonesia, 1965-68. Singapore: NUS Press, 2012; John Roosa. Pretext for Mass Murder: The September 30th Movement and Suharto's Coup D'etat in Indonesia. University of Wisonsin, 2006.).
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