Apr 18, 2021 Last Updated 12:38 AM, Mar 24, 2021

1965, today: living with the Indonesian massacres

The year 1965 marked a turning point in Indonesian history.  A failed putsch on 1 October was followed swiftly by a violent backlash against the left. About half a million were killed, perhaps another million and a half detained without trial. The violence paved the way for the military regime of General Suharto, the New Order. Millions of survivors and their relatives lost their civil rights. The nation was changed forever. 

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A twist of fate

Indonesian novels about 1965 reach back to the Mahabharata to find hope and resignation 

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Citizenship restored

Communism continues to be a taboo in Indonesia but ‘former communists’ have finally regained their rights

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Documenting genocide

Newly discovered military documents detail culpability for the 1965 genocide. Why has it taken so long to find them?

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A selection of stories from the Indonesian classics and modern writers, periodically published free for Inside Indonesia readers, courtesy of Lontar