Category Archives: asia pacific region

INDONESIA’S CRACKDOWN ON FREE SPEECH

The Indonesian Attorney General’s Office and Indonesian military (TNI) are planning a large-scale raid on books about communism and the 1965 purge, supposedly aimed at preventing revival of the Indonesian Communist Party (Jakarta Post, 26 Jan 2019). The raid would follow up similar raids last year in East Java, Sumatra and Kalimantan. The PKI is long dead but the RI government still touts it as a ‘latent danger’.

The Indonesian establishment’s fear of communism is perhaps genuine; nonetheless, it follows in the footsteps of former strong-man President Suharto in using the communist bogeyman as justification for repression of free speech and discomforting facts. Many in the TNI and other positions of power have self-serving reasons for suppressing the truth about the 1960s purge of suspected communists, which resulted in a million or more deaths across the country.

This is yet another disturbing anti free-speech move by the powers-that-be in recent times, running against what many had hoped would be a current of liberalization after Jokowi was elected President. But no – it seems the RI establishment is not yet ready to allow open inspection of the nation’s living past.

Here are some links may be of interest:

http://www.insideindonesia.org/the-killings-of-1965-66

End of Silence: the 1965 Genocide in Indonesia

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/oct/17/indonesia-anti-communist-killings-us-declassified-files

Asia Pacific Youth Exchange 2019

Applications are now open for the 7th Asia Pacific Youth Exchange. The program will run 8 – 19 January 2019. According to the organisers, participants will:

“EXPERIENCE the Filipino culture
GROW in an engaging learning environment
EMPOWER and be empowered”

and take an active role in the achievement of sustainable development goals.