Report from East Java

Mar 28th, 2011, in Featured, History, by

A particularly striking part of "Report from East Java", which was written by a military intelligence officer in November 1965, where he details the progress of the "crushing actions" against the Communist Party:

In Kediri some of the killings were "joint action"s [E] with the military (sometimes in civiele [D: civilian dress], sometimes officially as military). Killings of this kind may have a boomerang effect, in that they can also be utilized by the PKI itself. The effect upon economic life will also be felt. Small traders are now afraid to sell their wares. Peasant farmers are afraid to go to the rice fields. And many do not want to work on the Plantations, for example on the
tea and sugar plantations, because corpses are spread everywhere.

By way of clarification, several events are explained below: In the Paree (Kediri) area there is a village in which the lurah [village headman] and Ansor together took the initiative to protect the [PKI] peasant farmers—who were only taggers-on—by giving them badges as members of Ansor or NU. They were gathered together, and coincidentally, there happened to be an operation by the military and Ansor going on. Seeing many people gathered together, the soldiers and Ansor asked the lurah who all these people were. The lurah, nervous and panicked, responded that they were PKI.

Before he had finished speaking, every one of the approximately 300 people was killed, and their families were not permitted to remove their bodies so that they were buried where they lay. This shocked the people, and within Ansor itself mutual mistrust arose.

Another event occurred in Wates, where approximately 10,000 members of the PKI and its Mass Organizations gathered together. They were going to make a "long-march" [E] to Madiun, destroying factories along the way.

This was discovered by the military, which initiated a "joint-action" [E] together with Ansor. When they were sommeer [sic] [D: called upon] to surrender they refused, and so they were crushed. The victims totaled 1,200.

In an incident in Ponggok, a soldier who was disseminating information was killed by the Pemuda Rakyat [People's Youth]. In represaille [D: reprisal] the military attacked, killing about 300 people.

The wave of killings is still continuing, and many of those who are being killed are followers who did not know much. Many excesses have emerged, and it could happen that the PKI will join in so that they can attract "public opinion" [E] to their side.

The bolded bit I know off by heart now as it keeps coming into my head for some reason. The sting is in its tail, the last detail that they didn't allow the families to recover the bodies, in the cultural-religious context it strikes as the most astonishing vicious spite; the dead people don't know whether they get a proper burial or not, but it's a kind of twisting of the knife in the people who are left.

No doubt many have seen it already, for those who haven't the whole "Report", which is fascinating, can be read here.

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