Indonesian Genocide 1965: Cold War and The United States Responsibility

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JEJU 4.3: The Chairperson of the Central 65 YPKP, Bedjo Untung, delivered an International Conference speech and lecture material at the "Jeju4.3 International Conference for the 70th Anniversary" event in the island city of Jeju, South Korea (4/10). [Photo: YPKP'65]
JEJU 4.3: The Chairperson of the Central 65 YPKP, Bedjo Untung, delivered an International Conference speech and lecture material at the "Jeju4.3 International Conference for the 70th Anniversary" event in the island city of Jeju, South Korea (4/10). [Photo: YPKP'65]
by: Bedjo Untung


Dear the participants of the International Symposium  for Truth and Justice Jeju 4.3, – towards the sustainable justice.

First of all, I thank you so much for the opportunity given to me so that I can stand up in front of you to deliver my speech concerning the topic above. This is a great honour  for myself and the  organization of  YPKP 65. It means  that our  struggle as the  victim is recognized  and respected.

Let me introduce myself. I am Bedjo Untung, a victim who is also a survivor and witness of the tragic events of the Indonesia’s  genocide/politicide in 1965 as well.

When the tragedy happened I was 17 years old, still sitting on the SPG School of Teacher Education in the final  year of study. I did not know  what was going on in Jakarta the capital city, and what’s wrong  with me, I was chased, tortured, persecuted, interrogated before being detained. I was detained at Salemba Jakarta Prison, Tangerang Forced Labor Concentration Camp for 9 years from October 24, 1970 to October 1979 without trial. This happened not only  for myself but also my schoolmates.

The tragic events of 1965 were a nightmare for most of the Indonesian people. A few days after the incident took place, precisely at the first week after September 30, 1965 my father had been detained together  with his  friends who had joined to the organization under the umbrella of the PKI (Indonesian Communist Party). My father is a teacher in the village school  and joined the Indonesian Teachers’ Association PGRI organization. He was tortured, then detained in bad condition of  detention camps, not enough food, water and worse sanitation. He was  finally exiled to Nusa Kambangan Island and then moved to Buru Island in Maluku. He was enforced  to work as if slavery by the military. He was detained for 14 years since 1965 without going through court proceedings. Houses belonging to people suspected of being PKI followers  and the sympathizers were burned, valuable things in the houses were  robbed. This happened in Pemalang Regency about 400 kilometers from Jakarta.

Similarly, occurred not only in my village, but also in neighboring villages in various cities throughout Indonesia.  In a short  time persecution, arrests and kidnappings and extra judicial killings happened everywhere. It is impossible to be done individually, it must be designed and coordinated  systematically  by a chain command of military operations.

More terrible incidents occurred in the village of Jetis Kragilan Mojosongo in Boyolali Regency, Central Java. The people accused of being members  and sympathizers of the Indonesian Communist Party (PKI) were arrested, tied in their hands, dragged and beaten along the road. The body of the victims were full of blood. The head is cut (sorry) and displayed on every street corner by plugging it in a pointed bamboo. [1]

Suali the  Mayor of  Boyolali Regency was dragged with  his hands were tied and publically exposed  around the city. It was consciously done by the military to terrorize the citizens. He was executed  and his body was buried in a mass grave on the edge of the Sonolayu Boyolali public cemetery with an estimated 200 people were buried there.


What Happened in 1965

In the early hours of 1 October 1965 a group of  Cakrabirawa Military Presidential Guard by Lieutenant Colonel Untung carried out a kidnapping operation against a group of right-wing  generals (6 High Officers and 1 Intermediate Officer). This operation was carried out in order to keep  safety of President Sukarno over the plan of a coup of the General Council that would  be held on October 5, 1965.

To  get  support of  the plan, a few hours before the kidnapping operation took place, Colonel Abdul Latief – who served as the representative of the operation of the movement – met Major General Suharto who was the Commander in Chief of KOSTRAD (Army Strategic Reserve Command) at the RSPAD Armed Forces Hospital who was visiting his son named Tommy Mandala Putra who was poured hot water from noodle soup.

Abdul  Latief’s meeting with Suharto was an  evidence of Suharto’s involvement in the kidnapping operation.

Meanwhile, a few days before the movement took place, General Suharto as the KOSTRAD Commander invited the  troops of two Army Battalions from East Java and Central Java (Battalions 530 and 434) in combat conditions with live ammunition equipment. Both of these Battalions were inspected by Suharto on September 30, 1965 at 08.00 at the National Monument Square in front of the Merdeka Palace in Jakarta just 17 hours before the kidnapping of the generals happened.

According to Lieutenant Colonel Untung  the Chief of the 30 September Movement  in a conversation with Colonel Aviator Heru Atmodjo in the Cimahi detention cell in Bandung, there was a scenario change over the abduction of the generals. Originally, the instructions is to arrest the generals alive, it was not planned to execute or  kill. This is out of the scenario. Allegedly, there was a special order that was deliberately given to the executor of the field operation to kill the generals. Who else would benefit from the generals’ murder if not Suharto as the KOSTRAD Commander. Because there is a kind of standard operational procedure if the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces  dies,  Suharto as the Chief Commander of KOSTRAD will replace him. [2]

There was a personal revenge  between Ahmad Yani as Minister of the Armed Forces  and Suharto. When Suharto served as commander of the Central Java  Provincial Military Commando (Kodam), Suharto was once shaken on his face  by A. Yani because Suharto was involved in corruption, involved in the smuggling of merchandises  with Malaysia. [3]


Unreasonable Alibi

In a short time, not until one day, on October 1, 1965, Colonel Yoga Soegomo as Assistant I of Kostrad  Intelligence Agency immediately announced, “This is the PKI’s action, prepare all safeguards, prepare weapons, unload warehouses. PKI rebelled “[4]

In fact, PKI did not know anything, what was happened  to the generals. It  was entirely an internal problem of the Armed Forces.

Indeed, the operation to destroy PKI members and their sympathizers has been planned carefully by the Army officials. As fast as lightning across Indonesia, a radiogram of the military was sent to military commandos in each city everywhere in Indonesia  to   crash down the PKI.

In the first week of October 1965 an arrest operation had begun for those accused of being members of the PKI. This happens in almost all cities in Indonesia. Military Operations using the support  of anti-Communist militia organizations such as  Banser, Muhamadyah, Pemuda Pancasila and various organizations created by the army. They are mobilized to killings operation against PKI.

PKI as the third largest Communist party after the Soviet Union and People’s Republic of  China which had 3 million members and its sympathizers almost reached 26 million, was destroyed in a short time, because indeed the PKI did not fight, there were no instructions to fight because the PKI was not designed to rebel,  but  it struggle to achieve and develop  socialism community based on Pancasila and the 1945 Constitution. PKI  struggles  for a democratic and peaceful   society  by using  non-violentce principles.

PKI members and sympathizers at that time obeyed the orders of the local military authorities and government offices to come, gather, report themselves. Because they feel innocent. But afterwards  the PKI people  together with their sympathizers were not allowed to go home, were detained, interrogated, and later at night were kidnapped  by a group of military-trained civilians. Under  military support  and assistance, the prisoners were executed without legal process. This happens every night from 1965 to 1968.

Operation of killings  in peace time not  in war has killed 500,000 to 3 million of the innocent people. Hundreds of thousands were held in concentration camps for forced labor, kidnapped and tortured. Thousands of women were abused of sexual violence. Hundreds of scholarships Students who studies abroad have to live in stateless condition because their passport are revoked by military government.

Property  seized by the army illegally. And, up  to this day the victims of the 1965 tragedy still get  persecution, stigmatize  and discrimination as well.

Not surprisingly, according to Bertrand Russell a British Liberal figure in 1966 said: “… in four months, five times as many people were killed   in Indonesia as in Vietnam  War  for  twelve years.” – Bertrand Russell, 1966.

The destruction of the PKI started from Aceh on the northern tip of North Sumatra since October 1, 1965 – reinforced by Jess Melvin’s research in his article entitled Mechanics of Mass Murder: A Case of Understanding the Indonesians Killings as Genocide. [5]

Killings of the people accused of the Communists continued to spread to Medan, North Sumatra with the same pattern. It can be seen from the documentary film The Act of Killing made by director Joshua Oppenheimer [6]. How sadistic and barbaric are civilians  recruited by the military to carry out arrests, torture and then murder. The operation of the destruction of the PKI was also carried out by burning villages which were suspected of being the basis of Communists.

In short, the killing of PKI followers and their sympathizers occurred throughout Indonesia: West Sumatra, Padang, Bukittinggi, Painan, Riau Palembang, Bengkulu, Jambi in South Sumatra and also Lampung, Tanjung Karang.

“Muslims with the knowledge and approval of the military looted communist houses in the city and closed their buildings in the regions. The military raided the houses of the PKI leadership and informed the leaders of the Caltex oil company on October 29, 19 65, a military plan, which would arrest the members and leaders of the communist workers of Perbum Organisation (Oil Labour Union), which became the backbone and strength of the PKI in Riau Province. “[7 ] (Mike Head / Marian Wilkinson, Sydney Morning Herald, July 20, 1999).

In the area of Java Island, starting from Jakarta,

West Java: Bandung, Tasikmalaya, Ciamis, Cirebon, Kuningan, Sukabumi, Purwakarta, Karawang, Cikampek.

Central Java: Tegal, Brebes, Pemalang, Pekalongan, Batang, Kendal, Semarang, Salatiga, Pati, Purwodadi, Grobogan, Blora, Boyolali, Klaten, Solo, Wonogiri, Magelang, Temanggung, Wonosobo, Purbalingga, Purwokerto, Banyumas, Cilacap.

Yogyakarta: Bantul, Sleman, Gunung Kidul, Kulon Progo

East Java: Surabaya, Pasuruan, Malang, Madiun, Banyuwangi, Mojokerto, Ponorogo, Pacitan, Ngawi, Tuban, Nganjuk, Banyuwangi, Jember.

Bali: Denpasar, Singaraja

West Nusa Tenggara, East Nusa Tenggara, Maluku, Papua, Sulawesi, Kalimantan.


Chain of Military Command

The Indonesian National Army / Armed Forces  used the command line for the destruction of alleged PKI members  and its  sympathizers, by utilizing the KOTI (Supreme Operations Command), KOLAGA (Komando Mandala Siaga) is a command that was originally intended for a confrontation with Malaysia. The command structure through KOLAGA in details was explained in Jess Melvin’s research on the PKI Chain of Destruction Command in in Aceh: [8]

………………… … The killings began a few days after the military succeeded in seizing state power. At that time, the phases of violence were clearly visible. After declaring its intention to “eradicate” the September 30 Movement at midnight October 1, the TNI ordered civilians to participate in military campaigns since October 4. The TNI also established “Ruang Yudha” (central coordination of the non-conventional war against the PKI) in Aceh on October 14 to facilitate a military extermination campaign. At all times, all military action is coordinated through a complex two-way communication system that extends to the village level. The military uses a lot of chain of command to hold this campaign nationally ……………………………

Suharto, who, after October 1, 1965, was in control of security operations was also strengthened by the establishment of KOPKAMTIB (Command for Operations on Security and Order) on October 10, 1965 where it was Suharto who became Commander of the Operations. Kopkamtib has the authority to arrest, detain, interrogate and execute without due process of law. Kopkamtib is also supported by the Laksus (Special Executor) command and the Laksusda (Regional Special Executor). The system works by using / coordinating the military command line: Kodam (Military Regional Command) for the Provincial level, KODIM (Military District Command) for the District level and Koramil (Military Rayon Command) for the District level. Up to the Village / City / District level.

The military used religious mass organizations – Banser / Ansor and Pemuda Muhamadyah as well as organizations created by the army such as Pemuda Pancasila. In Jakarta and the big cities formed KAMI  (Indonesian Student Action Unity) and KAPPI  Indonesian Student Youth Action Units).

The organization created by the army easily and freely carried out acts of destruction and pursuit of people accused of being PKI members and sympathizers. The army is behind the organization, it supports destructive actions such as: arresting people, torturing, burning houses / buildings and looting goods.

In various cities in Java and Sumatra, the arrest of the PKI people began on October 1, 1965. Public killings began on October 7, 1965 and continued to the stage of systematic mass murder which began on October 14, 1965.

In Java and Bali, the armed forces coordinated attacks through the command of Kostrad and RPKAD (Army Commando Regiment). They can operate without coordination with the local Kodam. The RPKAD was first deployed to crush the PKI in Central Java because this province was known as the PKI mass base. Mass killings in this area were inevitable, reaching hundreds of thousands victims. The cities most targeted for crackdown were Solo, Boyolali, Klaten, Purwodadi, Pati and  Yogyakarta.

Kostrad was first used to paralyze the September 30 Movement in Jakarta the capital city before finally spearheading attacks in Central Java since 18 October. In December, 1965 RPKAD moved to Bali. The RPKAD Commander was also tasked with coordinating a national network of killer teams consisting of civilians.

Regarding RPKAD’s involvement in recruiting civilian groups to be part of armed civilian forces assigned to assist in the killings  of the PKI, one of the RPKAD officers Sintong Panjaitan said in his testimony at the historical Symposium of the 1965 tragedy at the Aryaduta Hotel Jakarta in April 2016: RPKAD was forced to provide military training to groups of civil society organizations because of the limited number of RPKAD troops.

Meanwhile in Bali, which is also known as the base of PKI activity, was a priority for the second wave of military attacks.

In Bali massacre began when Sarwo Edhie Wibowo the RPKAD Commander assigned by Suharto to start a mass murder campaign in Bali. The assassination began against a PKI Chair in Bali named I Gede Puger, stabbed with bayonet, his intestines spilled out, then shot in the head and witnessed by mobs who packed the terrain where the massacre was carried out. Not only Puger who was killed but also all his children and wife. In fact, the Governor of Bali, who was highly respected by the Balinese people named Anak Agung Bagus Sutedja, also disappeared, he was killed  without a trace where his grave was. From that time on, a widespread massacre began on the island of Bali. [9]

Although the national military leadership chose to coordinate the coup and extermination campaign through a semi-autonomous and regional-based command network, it did not reduce the level of centralization of military coordination behind genocide. Similarly, this type of work does not only occur in Indonesia. The Nazi genocide of the Jews or the Holocaust in Germany was also coordinated through many regional-based command chains. [10]


PKI legal party to build up Indonesia a democratic and socialist country

Since the establishment of the PKI on May 23, 1920, this party has made an important contribution to build Indonesia that is anti-colonial and wants to build up Indonesia that is free from human exploitation by humans and the oppression of a nation by other nations. The PKI fought for the people from backwardness and ignorance. Therefore this party received widespread sympathy and support from the Indonesian people.

In 1926 the PKI organized resistance to Dutch colonizers. This resistance resulted in many members being arrested, sentenced to hang and some were exiled  to Digul West Papua.

When Japan invaded and occupied Indonesia in 1942-1945 the PKI carried out an underground struggle against Japanese fascism.

In short, the PKI has a revolutionary tradition, anti-imperialism, anti-colonialism and anti-feudalism. It was this spirit that continued to be developed until Indonesia became independent on August 17, 1945 and continued after the war of independence.

With the support of the broaden PKI members and  the party’s  programs that were in accordance with the wishes of the people, the PKI might win in the General Election – if the General Election was arranged -. So, it doesn’t make sense if the PKI will conduct a coup or rebellion. Moreover, the PKI received strong support from President Sukarno as stated in Bung Karno’s speech on the 45th Anniversary of the PKI at the Bung Karno Sports Stadium on May 23, 1965 which was attended by no less than 115 thousand PKI masses and sympathizers:

” PKI  is my family  and friend , If he/she dies, I will lose it)” [11]

The influence of the PKI which spread throughout Indonesia as well as the support of members and mass organizations under the PKI umbrella and the closeness with Soekarno, the President of the Republic of Indonesia, greatly worried  by the political opponents of the PKI and Soekarno. As for the political opponents of Sukarno and the PKI is a group that Bung Karno called them the counter-revolutionaries, groups that want to establish an Islamic state and groups that are secretly and openly work for  US imperialism, including the right-wing generals  of  military group.

Indonesia’s domestic political situation on December 19, 1961 – May 1, 1963 was dominated by the spirit of anti-imperialism, anti-colonialism and anti-capitalism. Indonesia was involved with the movement to return West Irian (West Papua) to the ownership of the Republic of Indonesia, President Sukarno even called on his people, if the attempt to seize West Irian by negotiations failed, then Indonesia was ready to seize with weapons. The spirit of confrontation against Dutch colonialism increased the spirit of patriotism among the Indonesian people including PKI members and sympathizers.


Hoax Spread, Black Propaganda and Hate Speech

Scenarios that were prepared in advance by the Army to discredit the PKI by spreading hoaxes as if Gerwani (Indonesian Women’s Movement) – a Left women’s organization that had a program for the advancement of women in Indonesia –  mutilated the bodies of the generals,  the genitals were cut, the eyes taken out. The Gerwani did  the cruel and sadistic behaviour,  had previously been carried out by fragrant flowers and sex parties, this was all false and untrue. It was proven later on October 4, 1965 after the body was removed from an old well where the bodies of the generals were thrown away, post mortem evidence from a doctor who examined the dead  bodies stated that there were no evidence of violence as propagated by the army. [12]

This very important  evidence was intentionally kept and not publicly announced by Suharto. Indeed, there is an element of deliberate action by the military so that the masses of the people are ignited by their emotions of hatred towards the PKI. With the spread of the news of lies that were continuously propagated by the military it seemed to be the truth and then sparked the anger of the people and there was an act of killing people accused of being Communists.

The strategy and tactics for spreading hoaxes are exactly like Hitler’s Paul Joseph Goebbels fascist regime propaganda strategy (1897 – 1945), a lie that is constantly disseminated to the public regularly  and as much as possible so that lies are considered as truth. [13] This is the strategy adopted by the military in order to destroy the PKI. Not only that, the spread of the propaganda as if the PKI was infidel, atheist, anti-religious, barbaric, a moral. It increased the anti-PKI mob’s desire to do more cruelly in destroying the PKI. [14]

The official military media that propagates lies are the Armed Forces Daily newspaper and Berita Yudha which later becomes the reference for radio and television news, all of which are controlled by the military.

Newspapers that voiced the Left and Nationalists as well as the Religion groups that supported Bung Karno were all banned: Harian Rakyat  (People’s Daily Newspaper an organ of PKI, Suluh Indonesia (PNI), Bintang Timur, etc. So that the military freely spread out false news that discredited the PKI and Bung Karno


Cold War and United States Involvement in Indonesia

After the dropping of atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan on August 6 and 9, 1945 the Second World War / Pacific War ended. Japan surrendered  to the Allied / United States Forces. However, there is no immediate threat of war. Instead the battlefield has now turned into a Cold War. The two world super  powers of the United States represented the Western Bloc which carried the ideology of Democracy (Western- Liberal Democratic) and the Soviet Union representing the Eastern Bloc that carried the ideology of Socialism / Communism.

Meanwhile, newly emerging forces, newly developing countries have just set themselves free from the colonialist system, building international solidarity and developing new group  named Non Blok (Non Alignment). Starting from the convening of the first Asian-African Conference in Bandung Indonesia on 18-24 April 1955. And, by 1965 Indonesia bravely  left the United Nations Organisation and initiated the arranging  of the New Emerging Forces Conference (Conefo) with a passion to build up a new world which is free from exploitation de l home par l’home and de nation par nation. Conefo began to be formed on January 7, 1965, which consisted of newly developing  and  independent countries of  Latin America, Asia and Africa.

Responding to the development of domestic politics of the Republic of Indonesia which shifted to the left with Bung Karno who was considered  as a “trouble maker” which was strongly supported by the PKI, the United States with its allies began to prepare options for counter-espionage which aimed to destroy the PKI as a preliminary step, and the main target is  overthrowing Soekarno himself.

The option of destruction of the PKI can be seen in the results of the CIA officials’ secret meeting in the city of Bagio City Manila, Philippines on March 23, 1965 attended by Averell Harriman (World War II veteran as a member of the OSS-Office of Strategy Study, Military Intelligence), William Bundy, Elsworth Bunker (negotiator in Indonesian-Dutch peace in the case of West Irian), and Howard P. Jones (American Ambassador in Indonesia for seven years). [15]

The meeting determined political attitudes towards Indonesia. They received direct orders from US President Johnson as Chair of the National Security Council (NSC). First they discuss whether American foreign policy can still be continued as it is now where we (read: the United States) face Vietnam and Indonesia whose escalation is getting worse.

The United States must encourage Soekarno to change the direction of his foreign policy. Answered by the US Ambassador at the time:

My mission was to approach Sukarno to change the direction of his foreign policy, but no one in the world was able to change Soekarno’s strong stance against the US Imperialism.

If so, the situation would have just ended Sukarno.

Answered by the American Ambassador:

The attempt to kill Soekarno was done and all failed. Even so the Army had conducted a coup attempt on  October 17, 1952 but the attempt failed.

The final solution is to take advantage of the last situation in Indonesia in 1965 which was marked by the sharp political attitude of the Armed Forces  and PKI, how to trap the PKI to fall into the hole and we (the United States) will destroy it. (Interview with Indonesian Air Force Lieutenant Colonel (Aviator) Heru Atmodjo). [16]


Madiun Affair the Realization of the Truman Doctrine

In the Cold War era, Truman the President of the United States launched a doctrine to prevent the spread of Communism ideology with the term of Containment Policy. The Madiun Affair  is the realization of the Truman Doctrine in Southeast Asia, especially in Indonesia.

Before the Madiun Affair took place there was a conspiracy, a secret meeting in Sarangan on the border of Central and East Java on July 21, 1948 which produced  to the Red Drive Proposal, the contents of which the Government of the United States would help 56 million dollars to the Government of Indonesia when issuing / eradicating the Communists from the government of  Republic of Indonesia. The meeting was attended by senior officials of both countries: Soekarno, Hatta, Soekiman, Natsir, Roem, and Chief of Police Soekanto, with the leadership of the United States delegation, Merle Cochran and Gerard Hopkins, adviser to President Truman. (Report of Roger Vailland, a French Communist Journalist quoted by Poeze). [17]

Former Governor General Madiun Soemarsono who is currently still alive and domiciles in Australia – I was fortunate to meet in the detention cell  at Salemba Jakarta from 1972-1974.  He said, the Madiun Affair  was not a rebellion, PKI  was in a force major dilema. PKI had to defence himself because of  so  many PKI cadres and figures were killed, kidnapped by the Siliwangi army. When announcing the change of government leadership in Madiun, the following day it was reported to the Central Government based in Yogya. Sumarsono also reported that there were no mass  killings as the news spread  by PKI opponents. As a matter of fact  that  there are so many  victims of the PKI members. This is not reported. Again, hoax is deliberately spread  out to provoke the emergence of an extermination movement against communists. [18]

Finally the Madiun Affair  is considered to be finished. Both sides has agreed to end the polemics of those matter. The attempt to eradicate the PKI failed. It was tremendous,  in the 1955 General Election the PKI came out as winners in the top 4 parties namely PNI, NU, Masyumi and PKI.

The action of insubordinance the government of the Republic of Indonesia was also carried out by the PRRI / Permesta which openly wanted to separate from the Republic of Indonesia. The  United States is behind this rebel. The US supplies weapons to PRRI soldiers through the waters of the Indonesian Ocean in West Sumatra.

Unfortunately, for CIA spies Allen Lawrence Pope who flew a B-52 bomber was shot down after an airplane duel with Air Force pilot Captain Dewanto on May 18, 1958 in Ambon Maluku. [19]

This series of events in Indonesia  are proof of US involvement in realizing the  containment policy, destroying the Left  revolutionary movement, in Indonesia. But failed. Only 17 years later after the Madiun Affair or 7 years after the shot down the CIA spy plane, the Communist could be crashed, the people who became members of the PKI and supporters of Bung Karno were successfully banned in 1965.

The PKI destruction operation was successfully carried out by designing the so-called G30S which was completely engineered by the military with the CIA behind it. With the killing of 6 high-ranking officers and one middle-ranking Army officer, it was used as a pretext  to destroy the PKI.

It is similar to the pretext of Hitler’s fascist regime in Germany that crushed the German Communist Party after the Reichstag was in  fire at the location of the German Parliament at 9:15 p.m  on the night of February 27, 1933, which was accused  to Communist agents. As a result 4000 Communists were arrested. [20]

Starting the day after the movement, on October 1, 1965 the Indonesian Army sent radiograms throughout the chain of military commands throughout Indonesia to crush the PKI to its roots. And this is interpreted as a command to mass killings of PKI followers and their families and sympathizers. [21]


De-Classification of CIA Secret Documents

A number of documents on American diplomatic cable conversations (telegram) about the 1965 tragedy as many as 39 files with  30,000-pages of  documents have been opened to the public by the National Security Archive (NSA), the National Declassification Center (NDC), and the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). )

In the declassified documents, the Government of the United States of America (US) knows in details that the Army (Armed Forces) part of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Indonesia (ABRI) involved to mass murder operation against the Indonesian Communist Party (PKI) since 1965. Those files also  showed further that diplomats at the US Embassy in Jakarta kept an identity of PKI leaders who were murdered, and US officials actively supported military  efforts to destroy the left-oriented labor movement in Indonesia. [22]

This published document comes from a collection of nearly 30,000 pages of the US Embassy’s daily archive in Jakarta, Indonesia, from 1964 to 1968. This collection, which was mostly classified, was processed by the National Declassification Center in response to growing public interest in knowing more about other US documents relating to the 1965-66 mass murder. Human rights activists and freedom of information from the US and Indonesia, filmmakers, and a group of US senators led by Tom Udall (Democrat, New Mexico), called for these archives to be declassified.

These documents relate to one of Indonesia’s periods of history and the most important and turbulent US-Indonesia relations. During this period, there were several political developments. Among other things, the gradual collapse of ties between Jakarta and Washington, the outbreak of a low-scale war with Britain due to the formation of Malaysia, the increasing tension between the Armed Forces and PKI, the increasingly radical Indonesian President Sukarno, and the strengthening of US covert operations aimed at provoking clashes between the PKI and Armed Forces

The document also clearly shows the close cooperation between Islamic mass organizations that were anti-PKI. The military then launched a campaign to eradicate the PKI and its mass organizations affiliated. In this extermination campaign, 500,000 people accused of PKI supporters were killed between October 1965 and March 1966 and up to one million people were arrested. Until finally  Sukarno was deposed and replaced by General Suharto who led Indonesia for 32 years. [22]

I quote some of the documents:

Dokumen 4

US Embassy in Jakarta, Telegram 971 to Secretary of State, Secret


The US Ambassador in Indonesia, Marshall Green, reported on a conversation with the West German ambassador. According to the West German ambassador, “the Indonesian army is now considering the possibility of overthrowing Sukarno himself and is approaching several embassies of Western countries to inform him that this action might occur.” An army representative approached the German ambassador after Sukarno seemed to ignore military  efforts to show him proof “of involvement PKI in the September 30 Movement. “


Dokumen 8

Letter from Norman Hannah, CINCPAC to Marshall Green, Secret


Source: RG 84, Entry P 339, Jakarta Embassy Files, Box 14, Folder 5 pol 23-9 Sept 30th Mvt Nov 10-19 1965

In this letter, Hannah, the political adviser to the commander of US forces in the Pacific (commander-in-chief for the Pacific, CINCPAC) questioned US Ambassador Green how CINCPAC and the US should respond “to a high probability that the Indonesian army would ask for our help against PKI rebellion. “Such a request, he speculates,” could cover anything from covert operations and assistance to transportation, funds, communications equipment, or weapons. “A week later, Green appealed for the Johnson administration” to explore the possibility of providing short-term assistance. only times, hidden and untraceable sources of aid “as a sign of US support, hereby begin to expand US hidden support for the AD which then includes funds, communication equipment and weapons.


Dokumen 14 

Telegram 1516 from American Embassy in Jakarta to Secretary of State, Secret


Source: RG 84, Entry P 339, Jakarta Embassy Files, Box 14, Folder 6 pol September 23-9 30th Mvt, November 20-30, 1965

This important telegram reports the conversation between Western observers and PKI activists in Jakarta and Central Java, including Jogjakarta. According to a “reliable Australian journalist” who had just returned from Central Java, “a PKI source who declared himself close to 50 of the PKI’s most important Jogjakarta figures said the PKI had received no prior notice of the September 30 Movement and that there was considerable confusion in the party about what they needed to do. “The Australian, fluent in Indonesian,” was the first Western journalist to visit Central Java on October 10 “and found that local PKI cadres” were completely confused and said they knew nothing about the September 30 Movement before occurrence of events. “ 

This telegram seems to indicate that US officials knew very well that those accused of being supporters and members of the PKI, who were being rounded up or killed in a campaign of repression and mass murder led by the Army, did not have a role, even knowledge, of the September 30 Movement, even at the time at the same time the US began offering hidden support that was significant enough for the cleaning campaign.

In the declassified CIA documents, it became clearer the role and involvement of the United States, United Kingdom and Australia which supplied weapons equipment, communication tools and financial to facilitate the efforts to destroy the PKI and overthrow President Soekarno.

It is very clear that the CIA was behind the engineering of the 1965 genocide. [23]


Recommendations of National Human Rights Commission and IPT 65

The National Human Rights Commission of the Republic of Indonesia (Commision), which conducted an investigation related to the violations  tragedy of 1965-66 by developing a team of investigation pro-justice. The Commision  announced on July 23, 2012 that the 1965 tragedy  was a crime against humanity. It consisted several  human rights violations, among others: murder, detention, torture, looting, rape, forced labor similar to slavery, discrimination and forced displacement. The Commision also recommended  that the Attorney General should  establis  an adhoc Human Rights Court to investigate those crimes and proceed legally according to the Human Rights Law Number 39/1999 and Law Number 26/2000 concerning Human Rights Courts. The Commision  also revealed that there was a chain of command by military officers in designing  the killings and violences  of the  tragedy 1965-66. [24]

The International People’s Tribunal for Human Rights Violations 65 (IPT 65) in The Hague which convened on 10-13 November 2015. It was to confirm the report of the Indonesian Human Rights Commision that  the tragedy of 1965 and the years after was the crimes against humanity. In addition, there  were not only Humanitarian Crimes but also Genocide because it contains elements of the elimination of certain races there is a purpose to eliminate a group of people based on differences in belief / religions.

IPT 65 concludes there are 10 Humanitarian Crimes, namely:

Mass murder, imprisonment, looting / robbery, slavery, torture, forced disappearance, sexual violence, exile, false propaganda, and genocide.

The Tribunal also clearly found the involvement of foreign countries, namely the United States of America, United Kingdom and Australia, which helped financial, communication and weapons tools, which led to the genocide in 1965 and the following  years.


Zaak Yacoob  the Judge of the Tribunal stated that the crimes against humanity were committed against “PKI leaders, their members or sympathizers, Sukarno loyalists, and members of the Indonesian National Party (PNI), trade unions, teacher unions, and especially the Chinese or mixed blood etnics, which is classified in genocide. ”

“Because this action is directed at certain groups, with the specific aim of destroying a group, in part or in whole. These actions involve a number of actions listed in the 1948 Genocide Convention.” [25]


Discovery of  Mass Graves Genocide 1965

The crashing down of PKI and its sympathizers that killed at least 500,000 – 3,000,000 people were not fiction or fantasy, but supported by evidence, facts and testimonies. YPKP 65 (Indonesian Institute for the Study of 1965/66 Massacre) in its research has found the location of 112 mass graves – reported to Human Rights Commision  and the Coordinating Minister for Politics, Law  and Security in 2016. And now (August 2018) has reached 230 places – only in Sumatra and Java. In the island of Bali is still not fully recorded. The number is still increasing because the  research is still going on. [26]

On the report of the discovery of the Mass Graves carried out by YPKP 65, the Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs promised to follow up, to verify, to keep and have no intention to destroy or eliminate the evidence. However, later the military represented by the Coordinating Minister for Politics, Law and Security denied it. As if there were no mass graves. Again this is a proof that the State / Government of the Republic of Indonesia is not serious and there is no intention to resolve the case of  humanitarian / genocide of 1965-66.


In December 1999 and early January 2000 YPKP 65 conducted exhumation in the forests of Situkup, Dempes, Kaliwiro, Wonosobo, Central Java. A total of 21 bodies  were found, and identified. They were victims of the 1965 genocide. [27] Unfortunately, the State / Government of the Republic of Indonesia up to this day has been no political will to resolve the cases of human rights violations, so that the exhumation and memorialization efforts have not been carried out as desired by the victims and their families. Efforts to open up  past history are considered as giving the opportunity  to Communism to arise, a reason that is absurd, perpetuating impunity, stigmatization and deception.


Urgent Demands and  Victims’ Voice

Dear friends, colleagues, Human Rights Activists, Victims, Survivors  and the Participants of the Symposium.

On this very special  occasion, on behalf of the Victims of Human Rights Violations Genocide of 1965  and  the organisation of  YPKP 65, I  invite all of you  the Victims, Survivors, Victim Organizations, Human Rights Activists in various parts of the world, especially in Asia to join hands, shoulder to shoulder to increase solidarity in urging the State / the Government to resolve cases of human rights violations.

What happened in Indonesia, Korea, Viet Nam, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, the Philippines, Thailand cannot be separated from the impact of the Cold War and the Policy of  Containment.

Here at Jeju Island 25,000 – 30,0000 people are killed.

In Indonesia 500,000 – 3,000,000 people are murdered.

The ruin of the Soviet Union and the reunification of Germany signaled the end of the Cold War. Although it was passed over, but  it still left the impact of the war. The conflict on the Korean peninsula, persecution, stigmatization and discrimination against the Victims of Genocide 1965 in Indonesia is still continueing.

I herewith appreciate  the intention of  Korean reunification. Congratulate for the Korean Asian Games Team that has one flag of Korea. Let each nation determines the fate of its people according to the willingness  of the nation itself, without intervention  of other countries.

We are Victims and Survivors in Indonesia herewith  urge the Indonesian government and also the countries involved in engineering  the genocide of 1965: United States of America, United Kingdom, Australia and Western countries that take advantages of acts of mass murder and immoral crimes of 1965 to take responsibility.

The Government of the Republic of Indonesia and the United States involved in the  Genocide must  apologize to the victims, acknowledge that there have been crimes against humanity facilitated by the State apparatus, conduct investigations and set an independent court  to give deterrent effect for the perpetrators. The Government  should rehabilitate and give reparation  for the victims.  The Government must ensure that there are no more persecution.

Truth must be opened

Justice should be erected

Reconcile will come afterwards 

Thank you very much.

Jakarta August 24, 2018


Bedjo Untung

Chairman of YPKP 65

This papers can be downloaded [Klik Here]



  1. Mass Murder Field in Boyolali Doc. YPKP65
  2. Harsutedjo “Secret Record of G30S”
  3. Dr. Subandrio “My testimony of the G30S”
  4. Harsutedjo, Ibid.
  5. Jess Melvin: A Case of Understanding the Indonesians Killings as Genocide
  6. The Act of Killing documentary film made by director Joshua Oppenheimer.
  7. YT. Taher: Mike Head / Marian Wilkinson, Sydney Morning Herald, July 20, 1999
  8. Jess Melvin, Ibid
  9. Robert Cribb, The Indonesian Killings Memoar Oei Tjoe Tat
  1. Jess Melvin: Ibid
  2. Bung Karno’s speech at the 45th PKI Anniversary at the Bung Karno Senayan on May 23, 1965
  3. Dr. Liauw Yan Siang: No Torture Against 6 Generals: Alfred D. Ticoalu Daily Indo PROGRESS

      September 21, 2015

  2. Ibid; Harsutedjo
  3. Heru Atmodjo: Red Frame Interview
  4. Heru Atmodjo: Ibid
  5. Suar Soeroso: 60 YEARS OF MADIUN EVENTS Implementation of the Truman Doctrine in Asia.
  6. Soemarsono: August Revolution
  8. Fire Reichstag:
  9. Jess Melvin: Ibid
  10. at-tahun-1965/
  11. Ibid
  12. Report of the Team of Pro-Judicial Investigators of the National Commission on Human Rights, Events 1965-66
  13. Final Report of IPT 65 Den Haag
  14. Doc. Investigation of YPKP Mass Grave 65
  15. Doc. YPKP 65 exhumation / massgraves exhumation / lexy
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JEJU 4.3: The Chairperson of the Central 65 YPKP, Bedjo Untung, delivered an International Conference speech and lecture material at the "Jeju4.3 International Conference for the 70th Anniversary" event in the island city of Jeju, South Korea (4/10). [Photo: YPKP'65]

Genosida Indonesia 1965: Perang Dingin dan Keterlibatan Amerika Serikat

JEJU 4.3: Ketua YPKP 65 Bedjo Untung menyampaikan ceramah pada event "Jeju4.3 International Conference for the 70th Anniversary", dalam rangka memperingati 70 tahun pembasmian massal (genosida) penduduk Pulau Jeju (4/10) di Semenanjung Korea [Foto: Humas Ypkp 65]

Kejahatan Genosida Asia Dibahas di Pulau Jeju

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