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.


164 Comments on “Report from East Java”

  1. Arie Brand says:

    I think Arie was suggesting an investigation or call to trial, it will never happen

    Oigal, I am afraid that in the middle long term that will indeed be the case, and of course in the long term every one concerned will be dead.

    So the best we can hope for is that ultimately there will be some Indonesian recognition of what has actually happened here.

    Time works wonders in that regard. If you will allow me I would like to mention a local example I am often confronted with on my daily walks.The main lane in our local park is called the “Transvaal lane”. It was laid out at the relief of Ladysmith and embellished with more than one hundred trees, each one named after a British victory (only thirteen remain). At the entrance of the lane there is a large magnified photograph of the local open air gathering at the news of that relief when people rejoiced throughout the Empire. Twenty thousand people came together then – the largest open air meeting that had until then ever taken place here.

    But look, a bit further down there is another monument for this war- constructed in the 1990s.It mentions the number of local men killed in action but it also makes a point of mentioning the number of Boer women and children that died in the Britishconcentration camps. According to the monument: 56,000 ( it looks as if in people’s eagerness to make up for the jingoism of the past this number has been a bit inflated). The monument is flanked by two pillars with on one of them “Lest we forget”and on the other the same motto in Afrikaans.

    I find this somehow encouraging.

  2. ET says:

    Appalling as the act of killing unarmed people in itself may be, not all of these atrocities can be lumped together without investigating the backgrounds. In some cases revenge for the death or suffering of loved ones at the hands of consecutive regimes – I’m thinking here specifically about what happened in Cambodia in the sixties and seventies – plays an important role in triggering a response of blind hate and setting the wheels of retaliation in motion.
    However the aftermath of G30S cannot be blamed on retaliation for unbearable injustice undergone on a massive scale, only relative minor cases of what was perceived as land theft and disturbance of established interests. In Indonesia the ideological factor – communism equals atheism, the horror, the horror – must have played an important role, especially on the village level, and had probably been brooding already for a long time. The speed and swiftness with which the executions were initiated and carried out don’t seem to have needed much preliminary pondering and deliberation.

    I recently bought a book Kesaksian Air Mata, Kisah-kisah Memecah Senyap consisting of evidence given by survivors of the mass slaughter in Bali. The book is a compilation of 3 manuscripts written by I Ngurah Suryawan, an anthropologist from the Universitas Udayana as a basis for his doctoral thesis. Not having read it yet I cannot testify whether it delivers groundbreaking insights into that dreadful period.

  3. Odinius says:

    Have you read Geoff Robinson’s work on Bali, ET?

  4. ET says:

    Odinius

    No, I can’t find it here. It will have to wait till I return because I don’t trust deliveries of parcels here.

  5. Arie Brand says:

    Appalling as the act of killing unarmed people in itself may be, not all of these atrocities can be lumped together without investigating the backgrounds

    True, they all have different backgrounds but the common element is gratuitous killing and human readiness to engage in that.

  6. Stevo says:

    You should all stop and contemplate what Indonesia would look like today had the communists prevailed. I doubt there would be any bleeding heart ex pats living there and crying crocodile tears over a few dead commies. Even if forums such as this were allowed (which they would not be). How about some of you piss off to North Korea and start a forum over there?

    It’s hard to quantify suffering, but I suggest that Indonesia got off lightly from the cancer of communism. Other countries in Asia were not so lucky. The horrors that were visited on them are well documented. This in no way minimizes the deaths and injustices inflicted by those opposing communists. I suspect many who died were not ideologically communist; they were probably just hungry or desperate. They did not deserve that.

    In recent years the ideology of socialism has eclipsed even religion in the suffering and damage is has wrought on the human race and that my friends is quite a feat!

    Sure it’s a shame we can’t all be friends and hold hands. But at some point you need to draw a line in the sand and stand for something.

  7. Arie Brand says:

    I have been reading the online parts of the State Department Archives and found an interesting document that seems to suggest that my hypothesis that the army brass was not out to save Indonesia from communism but themselves from the PKI is correct.

    The document concerned is no.178 in that particular file and entitled “Intelligence memorandum Oct.no 2943/65 Washington November 22 1965”.

    Under no.3 it says:

    A well placed army source recently told the US Embassy that the army was anti-Chinese and anti-PKI, but not anti-Communist.This is a good capsule summary of the military’s position, for clearly a large segment of the army is by no means opposed to Marxism per se. Indeed, officially the army gives full assent to the frequently stated proposition that the Indonesian revolution is a socialist revolution. Probably few army leaders would oppose some sort of state-controlled Marxist party, even one calling itself communist, if this party were clearly nationalistic, that is wholly oriented toward Indonesian narional interests. The Yugoslav model is instructive in this regard.

    Under point 4 it then lists the reasons for the antagonism towards the PKI:

    * the murder of the generals- their own survival seemed to be at stake

    * the fact that the PKI had developed its own power structure

    * the PKI’s ties with Peking which made it the organ of a foreign government.

  8. Stevo says:

    Arie, you clearly do your homework and know your stuff, but people acting out of self interest is unsurprising. Just look at how the top brass of communist regimes lived, while the people suffered.

  9. Oigal says:

    Stevo or is it Rossy

    You simply seem to unable to comprehend the difference between an armed uprising and rampaging, blood seeking communists and the literally tens of thousands (if not hundreds of) of innocent villagers that were slaughtered.

    I know it doesn’t meet the “Green Beret” script but we were not talking about the hordes coming over the hill here. If we were then there would not be such a need for the complete and utter fabrication of history regarding this period.

  10. Arie Brand says:

    Reading through those documents one gets the impression that the role of the US.Embassy in Jakarta in this whole affair was far less pro-active than is often supposed. The folk there had to operate extremely cautiously. For one thing because of the then still strong anti U.S. sentiments any help to one party or another could have more the character of a kiss of death than useful assistance. For another, for quite a while they didn’t know who was going to be the winner in this. Even when it became clear that it wasn’t going to be the PKI in its then form they didn’t know how the army top would fare versus the Sukarno/Subandrio axis.

    In a telegram to the State Department dated 1st Nov. (document 165) the Embassy mentioned for the first time that it had been approached by an army figure, a General Sukendro, with a request for help. The Ambassador, Marshall Green, was at a bit of a loss there. He obviously didn’t know this Sukendro and wondered whether he represented Nasution/Suharto in this and also whether he had the approval of “friendly civilian authorities”. He also wondered how damaging any assistance would be, to the Army and to US interests, if it would become public.

    Sukendro asked for communication equipment, medical supplies and small arms. At a later stage there was also a request for rice.

    Of course the most notorious aid that the Embassy is supposed to have given concerns the lists of top PKI figures supplied to the Army. I have always wondered about that. Why would the Army need this from the American Embassy? Didn’t it have its own intelligence? As we shall see Ambassador Green wondered about this too.

    One possible answer is that the Army did for a long time not regard the PKI as an enemy it would get into a life or death struggle with.

    I understand from an editorial comment that the whole affair came to light in 1990 when a journalist interviewed a certain Robert Martens who was a political officer at the Embassy at the time of the coup. This led to an article in the Washington Post of June 2 1990 with the headline “U.S. officials’ lists aided Indonesia bloodbath in 60s”.

    Martens subsequently declared that he had done nothing more than supplying names that were freely available from the communist press and that they only concerned senior cadre. Marshall Green reacted to all of this with an airgrtam A.74 dated August 10 1966 to the State Dept. which said :

    A sanitized (i.e. Embassy attribution removed) version of the lists in A.398 has been made available to the Indonesian government last December (1965) and is apparently being used by Indonesian security authorities who seem to lack even the simplest overt information on PKI leadership at the time.

    Curiously the list seemed to also contain names of people of whom it said that they were already dead. Did the Army not keep a complete tally of the people it had liquidated or were these the names of people who had been murdered by other parties? It could of course also be the case that the lists were partly redundant.

  11. ET says:

    Arie Brand

    Obedience to authority is apparently on occasion a fatal trait in our species.

    I think there’s even more behind it than obedience, viz. the idolatrous, obsequious and trance-like looking up to charismatic figures, especially when they are on a stage in an elevated position. They seems to have an almost absolute power over the minds of those who are attending to the point of blocking all capacity of independent reasoning. Look at the uniformed and disciplined masses during Hitler’s speeches, the emotional reactions of many people during Obama’s inaugural speech or go to a rock concert and look what’s happening in the ‘snake pit’.
    Scary and difficult to empathize with, but very real and dangerous.

  12. Odinius says:

    ET said:

    No, I can’t find it here. It will have to wait till I return because I don’t trust deliveries of parcels here.

    Not sure if you’re ever in Jakarta, but I’ve seen it at Kinokuniya. There’s also an extensive preview on google books, but omits the chapters on 1965-7. Still the best thing written on Bali during that period. Pretty horrifying.

  13. Oigal says:

    Have you read Geoff Robinson’s work on Bali, ET?

    Do we have an actual title here guys?

  14. Berlian Biru says:

    “there seems to have been some kind of slippage in BB’s position over the course of the thread”

    There isn’t the slightest “slippage”, I maintain that the scale of the killings in East and Central Java and Bali at the end of 1965 and the beginning of 1966, though “appalling” (a word I used in my first post on the subject, so much for “crowing”) were in no way in the same scale as is alleged by hyperbolic westerners and pro-leftist commentators. I stand over the fact that unlike Rwanda, Cambodia or Hitler’s Germany very little hard evidence exists to prove the Holocaust scale death toll alleged by opponents of Suharto’s regime (I am no admirer of Suharto).

    Even in Ukraine where millions perished under Stalinist persecution over seven decades ago and where to breathe a word of such events could have seen your whole family shipped to a Siberian gulag if they were lucky, there still exists a wealth of personal, official and anecdotal evidence of what happened. Killings on the scale alleged in such a confined area over such a short period would have left an indelible mark on Balinese and Javanese society for generations, no such mark exists beyond a very small number of activists and foreign commentators.

    Indeed foreigners seem to be the only people concerned about the issue as 98% of Indonesians are blissfully uninterested in the matter.

    But to address the spurious point that Indonesian communists were merely poor ignorant farmers who had no idea what they were involved in. It is a fact that the PKI were the biggest, best mobilised political force in Indonesia in 1965, they had the ear of the president, were in close collaboration with Mao Tse Tung and Kim Il Sung (such charming and exalted company these “peasants” kept).

    The communists had heavily infiltrated the media, civil service, arts community (leading “peasant” Pramoedya Ananta Toer was calling for artistic censorship on behalf of the communists). They were in the higher ranks of the armed services having almost taken control of the most advanced branch; the air force (technically astute “peasants”). The academic community from universities right down to the primary schools were brainwashing Indonesian youths in communist propaganda, so can we drop this nonsense that the PKI amounted to little more than illiterate peasants?

    The Khmer Rouge make an interesting example (I know they came after the PKI but do you think they were an overnight creation?) if one wishes to adopt the “ignorant peasant” defence. If one had killed all the Khmer Rouge in 1973 who would you have killed? Ignorant, illiterate, dark skinned peasants who had no idea what they were doing but understood from their cadre leaders that the enemy was intellectuals, fair skinned Cambodians, city dwellers and ethnic minorities, especially the Chinese. When the time came these ignorant peasants swung their clubs and machetes like the best of them.

    Indonesia would have been no different.

    Don’t like the emphasis on the communists? What about the Nazis, if you could turn the clock back to 1930 to stop the march of the Nazis who would you fight? The Nazis hadn’t really killed many people yet, they weren’t even in power but amelioration, appeasement, rational debate couldn’t stop them so what to do? Many people looking back would say it was a pity a strong figure in the German military didn’t wipe out the Nazis then and there, give them “ a taste of their own medicine” (to coin a brutal but accurate phrase). But who would you kill? Why ignorant rural types, small farmers, unemployed workers, lower middle class town dwellers, every oddball and headcase with a chip on his shoulders about his life. If you had the choice would you have wiped them out knowing what you know now?

    Would anyone shed a tear over the Nazis’ demise?

  15. Berlian Biru says:

    We have often discussed Indonesia’s negative image abroad, especially in the western liberal mindset, why is this so compared with Thailand, the Philippines, Malaysia or even Vietnam? Why is Indonesia so often portrayed in a dark even sinister way? I maintain it is because of the obsession many people have in the west about the events of 1965 (in as much as anyone actually knows anything about Indonesia).

    Indonesia had the temerity to choose not to play the role laid out for it by leftists in the west and succumb to the charms of communism and it has never been forgiven for this, it will forever be tainted with the mark of Cain whether it be in modern literature, travel writing, political analysis or blogging.

    Chinese communists inflicted untold horrors on their people but are seen now as a welcome rising counterbalance to US power.

    Look at Vietnam, can you imagine the terror that was inflicted on the Vietnamese people who chose to resist communism? The murder and torture, the gulags and re-education camps?

    So hellish had life become in Vietnam under the communists that over a million people chose to flee their homes and loved ones, all that they held dear and take their families on rickety boats, braving sharks, typhoons and pirates into the South China Sea just to escape, to escape anywhere away from communist Vietnam. We actually have evidence of this, we saw it with our own eyes, the survivors speak of it to this day, compare that with what is alleged about Indonesia.

    Poor old Indonesia will never get a decent break in the eyes of the world and it is the professional shroud waving and breast beating of western liberals about 1965 such as is displayed here that will ensure it never will.

  16. ET says:

    The Nazis, the communists, the Khmer Rouge… what the f*ck. This categorizing leads to nowhere. In the end it’s the one who pulls the trigger or wields the machete who should be examined and stand trial. All the rest is academic fodder.

  17. Arie Brand says:

    Berlian Biru – you still don’t seem to get it.

    Nobody here is arguing that a communist set up would have been preferable for Indonesia.

    What has been argued is :

    1 that the generals were not trying to save Indonesia for communism but to save their own skin by eliminating their rivals for power.

    2. that in doing so they murdered at least half a million people who without their leaders and without a political organisation would not have been a threat to them – just as those ‘dark skinned’ Cambodians (they partook of the colour of the devil, did they) would have got nowhere without their leaders.

    Reading you one almost gets the impression that the murderous Sarwo Edhie and his pre-Kopassus gang were leading Indonesia to Western democracy instead of to an odious kleptocratic tyranny with a number of political prisoners rivalling that of quite a few communist countries.

    And what about those 98% of Indonesians who allegedly are not interested in what happened then? I would have thought that the thin air from which you plucked that number of 80,000 victims had no other goodies in store for you.

  18. Stevo says:

    Oigal, I get the difference.

    What you fail to acknowledge is the actual reality of communist regimes and how they come to power. They only flourish in troubled societies with massive social and economic problems. They promise social justice and a fair economic system. These are very attractive concepts to the poor and dispossessed (well actually to us all).

    Nothing about rampaging, blood thirsty hordes at the point.

    Where it all goes horribly wrong is when the communist regime is established. What they actually deliver is far removed from the socialist utopia they promised. This is simply a matter of fact observation based on empirical evidence. Your free to have an ideology, just be careful not to confuse it with evidence.

    As an aside; I find it laughable that the Nazi are held up as the greatest evil in modern times, in particular the killing of 6 million (?) Jews. While the world claimed such a thing would never be allowed to happen again, over a 100 million have died under socialist regimes. Its even more ironic when the claim is made by left wing apologists. They are careful never to give the translation National SOCIALIST German workers party (NAZI)

  19. Lairedion says:

    BB,

    I have traveled throughout Java and Bali, I have many friends and colleagues from those areas and none of them, not one of them, has any personal or family recollections of those events.

    Doesn’t mean anything. Even in my own family they stay silent on this, also on the horrors from WW II and post WWII independence struggle stories.

  20. timdog says:

    Oigal:

    Have you read Geoff Robinson’s work on Bali, ET?
    Do we have an actual title here guys?

    It’s called The Dark Side of Paradise: Political Violence in Bali. It’s written in fairly turgid academic style, and is by no means a easy a read as Adrian Vickers Bali: A Paradise Created, but it is a very fine, very serious bit of work, and it roundly demolishes the “Bali construct”…

    Others have successfully dealt with BB’s latest, so not much more to add, other than that he’s in bloke-down-the-pub mode again.
    So the reason that Indonesia has an unenviable international image is because of “left-wing shroud waving” over 65-66? Oh c’mon!

    And as for the 98% of Indonesians couldn’t care less about it…
    It’s remarkable the way you allow what you’d like to believe because of your political predilections to railroad things that you must know about Indonesia – not least that there is a remarkable, disturbing ability not to talk about the bad stuff. And that without considering how thoroughly toxic the idea of association with the PKI very quickly became. And given that there has been absolutely no kind of “truth and reconciliation”, you’d hardly expect a man you met in a warung while driving across Java – or even your in-laws – ever to talk about it.

    The issue is still kept toxic today through education. A voluble 9-year-old girl I know well and who likes to go on and on and on (and always finishes her stories with two words of incongruous English – “is dead!”) asked me not so long ago, between précising the plot of the last Shrek movie and giving me the comic book version of the founding of Majapahit, if I knew what the PKI was.. I didn’t quite hear her right. The what? The PKI; they were, she explained, people who didn’t believe in god (the girl in question is Catholic). They killed some men in Jakarta and threw them down a hole and they were going to kill the president because they didn’t believe in god but then the army had a fight with them because the army does believe in god and now the PKI “is dead…”

  21. Stevo says:

    Timdog, the little girl may have a better grip on things that a shrill left wing apologist like yourself. Maybe she can teach you a thing or to.

  22. Odinius says:

    timdog said:

    It’s called The Dark Side of Paradise: Political Violence in Bali. It’s written in fairly turgid academic style, and is by no means a easy a read as Adrian Vickers Bali: A Paradise Created, but it is a very fine, very serious bit of work, and it roundly demolishes the “Bali construct”…

    Maybe I’m just used to it, but I found the writing clear, concise and very easy to follow. The content, particularly related to 1965, makes for compelling, it thoroughly disturbing reading. And yes, it does demolish that myth with extreme prejudice.

  23. Odinius says:

    ET said:

    The Nazis, the communists, the Khmer Rouge… what the f*ck. This categorizing leads to nowhere. In the end it’s the one who pulls the trigger or wields the machete who should be examined and stand trial. All the rest is academic fodder.

    I agree on the dangers of essentialization. The problem is that many of these movements were mass participatory. There’s been a lot of academic work in the past two decades exploding the myth that Hitler’s and Stalin’s mass murders were simply top down. A lot of people got involved…a lot of otherwise normal people. We’ve now seen this again in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and elsewhere.

    The reasons are complex, and much of it comes down to coercion. In a peaceful situation, few would consider murder. But what about a situation in which not participating signals “disloyalty?” When one’s own life appears to be at stake, or potentially at stake? These are the social psychological mechanisms behind genocide, and unfortunately, it’s not as uncommon or anathema as we might like to think…

  24. Oigal says:

    Ok Ross, sorry Steve..Sorry Barrie

    but I suggest that Indonesia got off lightly from the cancer of communism.

    I suspect many who died were not ideologically communist; they were probably just hungry or desperate.

    they did not deserve that.

    This in no way minimizes the deaths and injustices inflicted by those opposing communists

    Well actually just about everything you have said does minimize those deaths. Lets be honest here, your point is too bad, so sad ha.ha. we won and what’s a few hundred thousand peasants anyway. Its at this point, its difficult to tell the difference between you and those you claim to despise. Of course, with East Timor losing 20% of its population to save it from the socialist hordes one has to ask at what price the cure.

    In typical Ross confused rhetoric, you argue both for and against your own position in the same post.

    Nothing about rampaging, blood thirsty hordes at the point.

    If there was nothing like rampaging hordes then why was it deemed necessary by people of your ilk then and now to slaughter hundreds of thousands of peasants?

  25. Oigal says:

    the Nazi are held up as the greatest evil in modern times, in particular the killing of 6 million (?) Jews.

    What’s with the question mark?? Are you a holocaust denier as well, that would be too good to be true.
    By the way Ross, spewing forth old pieces of nonsense you have said before under other names really gives the game away 🙂

  26. Odinius says:

    Stevo’s Scalene Angle?

  27. Stevo says:

    Oigal you are unable to respond well to any dissenting point of view. You also seem to have problems with following simple themes that don’t correspond to your own ideology. This is classic of the liberal left, who have never had to endure the very thing they defend.

    The so called for/against thing, is called balance. (look it up)

    I would have thought its crystal clear that I am not minimizing the deaths of anyone. The entire thrust of my comments is that I am opposed to people being murdered for an ideology.

    “people of my ilk” would offend me, if you knew what my ‘ilk’ actually was. Please try harder………

  28. Oigal says:

    Why is Indonesia so often portrayed in a dark even sinister way? I maintain it is because of the obsession many people have in the west about the events of 1965 (in as much as anyone actually knows anything about Indonesia).

    Well no, in fact very few people give a stuff about 1965 it was just another Asian uprising of which there was no shortage of at the time (and no not all part of the discredited domino theory).

    Of far greater impact was the the 1998 riots and the detailed reporting of the rapes and murders of Chinese Indonesians to which exactly no one has been held to account yet everyone knows who who the key players. The on going abuse, murders, torture that occurred after the invasion of East Timor (once again of little importance as although they died they died non communist). The systematic and on going brutalization in Aceh and Papua. The continual drip feeding of sinister acts of oppression towards minority groups up to and including the beating to death of three people live on you tube with seemingly government approval.

    One could could actually trace all of these events back to 1965 when the powers that be realised that you could conduct mass murder and never be held to account, setting up a culture of barbaric free for all for those holding the reins.

  29. Stevo says:

    “One could could actually trace all of these events back to 1965”

    Yeah you could if you were a half-wit. How about tracing it to 1949 when the likes of Mao really got warmed up with the greatest mass murder in history, of a government of its own people, in peace time.

    Otherwise I agree with that post.

  30. Oigal says:

    I would have thought its crystal clear that I am not minimizing the deaths of anyone.

    I suggest that Indonesia got off lightly from the cancer of communism.

    Your quotes not mine Rossy….I am sure the thousands who lost family members and the generations who have been discriminated against ever since would agree just how lightly they got off.

    ‘This is classic of the liberal left, who have never had to endure the very thing they defend.”

    Bit like the armchair hero who has never heeded the call to arms, dismissing the blood of others as well..unfortunate.

    Indonesia had the temerity to choose not to play the role laid out for it by leftists in the west and succumb to the charms of communism and it has never been forgiven for this

    I would have said that Indonesia played its role for the West very much the way the West wanted it (to the West’s shame) in true McCarthist style, no regard to justice, honour or human dignity.

    As for “no one talks about it” Surprise, Surprise..As someone who spent considerable time both before and after the “troubles”, its virtually impossible to find anyone that will admit to taking part in the violence there as well. Locally we have the “spirit knife” that is responsible for the majority of deaths in Sampit.

    Just as a matter of interest and a difficult concept I know, just because someone does not subscribe to mass murder does not automatically make him/her a leftist.

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