Friday, November 13, 2015

(un)Fair Exposures. The case of 1965 Indonesian Massacre.

verdi adhanta

For any judgement to be considered fair, each party involved as opponents in an arbitration must be given the same quantity and quality of exposure. All must have equal chance of presenting their facts, arguments, and assessments of respective body of evidence without intimidation or attempts of subterfuge, while decision process suspends all out framed, out of context presumption and allegation. These are practices to make sure that particular points of dispute stayed squarely at the proposition at hand.

International People's Tribunal of 1965 Indonesian massacre is more of an Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR), not a conventional judicial system. An arbitration, one form of an ADR, is an alternative form of justice necessary when the conventional one isn't applicable because it either unable or failed to perform. In other words, International Tribunals are held when jurisdiction is not an instrument of justice, but instead, the enemy. It communicate a message, that no sovereignty allowed to be a sanctuary for mass murder.
What really are in dispute?

The world are a community of human being that took thousands of years to arrive at the current state of civilization; civilization with both written and unexpressed social contract, that the act of taking human live is not acceptable, at least not without a very strong reason or dire circumstances. It is not a thing to be taken lightly. This is, unfortunately, not set in stone. 

Any change in the state of matters in any part of the world could suddenly change the whole map of values of being a human. If somebody allowed to be murdered for no reason in one part of the globe, why shouldn't another? And if 500 thousands to 2.5 million people in Indonesia had lives so cheap that deserve a massacre, without consequences, why not other hundred thousands or millions in other jurisdiction? And that is why jurisdiction ceased being acceptable excuse when dealing with any crime that degree and extent are such of the 1965 Indonesian massacre. 

Human live and how it ought to be valued and regarded, are the first things in dispute. The continuing recognition of it, is at the stake. And this civilized world won't allow it to be undermined. The act of 1965 massacre, like any similar atrocities that unfortunately did happened, are an insult to the entire human race, and its negligence and omission, or even more, the attitude of dismissal and whitewashing, are grotesque, repulsive demonstration of what humanism must stay away from, as far as possible.  
Enemy of justice.

For 50 years since 1965 Indonesian government had the chance to deal with the massacre, yet, chose not to, and even suppressed attempts to disclose it. Anyone trying to did so immediately got the stigma of being a communist who are doing subversive act; implying that action to uncover the massacre are a threat to the nation. Indonesian government chose the side of the perpetrator and, by doing so, a position in favor of crime against humanity.
This is the position that put the government of Indonesia as enemy of justice in the war between humanity and the culture of crime that are against it. Culture which idea is that millions of life are fairly and conveniently expendable in the face of playing field of power and politics, which one single person in the modern history of Indonesia, had firmly declared that it isn't always so.

The shining example.  

Abdurrahman Wahid, known with familiar call name Gus Dur, was at the time the leader of Nahdlatul Ulama, or NU. For a leader of an organization that was a fierce political adversary to the PKI in the era of which the massacre happened, he faced really hard political communication dillema. 

Knowing that what he said will easily be used to undermine his position politically, he reaffirmed his apology for what happened to the victim of the 1965 massacre. Facing streams of political threat and criticism from enemy and colleague alike, he even gone stronger for it. He dismissed clarification attempt by his colleagues in the form of publication of "Buku Putih", and chose to stay at his position, for the victims that were, and still are, being demonized and without justice.
Gus Dur

His reason are exactly on the spot, as he hoped the apology will lift the burden of history from N.U and victims may begin to have everything what Soeharto New Order's social, political, cultural and economical prison sphere had wrongfully denied; the rights of living as a human being.  

This disregard of self political interest and honest goal of making his country more humane, was one thing that set him apart from other political characters that chose to opportunistically maintained the statusquo. He is regarded as hero by many Indonesian humanist and remembered as the one who, despite in a hard position, had brought a voice to the deafening silence of impunity.

 He understood very well that the case of 1965 massacre isn't about communist, santri, PKI, NU, or other labels that are the playing cards of the opportunists. It is solely about millions of human life being murdered with no reason, and responsibility of a government to taking care of its citizen.

What is "the government" really?
Is it about Jokowi? Megawati? SBY? Is it about political parties

A government is the entirety of governing body; a system that governs the livelihood, welfare and fate of its citizen. Its not just about a president with its vice and ministry. Its not about an assembly of political groups. It is a complete structure of social-political power, with its constitution, law, policies, regulation and administration and how they are function trough decision making, political processes, judicial system, monitoring, accountability, etc, as a bunch of working mechanism that must always be at its best performance to make sure that their citizen who relied on them could live the best life possible.

What it is not: a single personal with its personality that taking everything personally, and have feelings that can get insulted and feel miserable, when somebody points out what they are lacking or did wrong. And this is the "Indonesian government" that has failed millions of its citizen, which are the victims of 1965 massacre with all their families and descendants. This is the government that was brought to the International People's Tribunal of 1965 massacre. It never was personal.

This was what Gus Dur understand well. An understanding that apparently haven't yet achieved by the regime that instead of accepting with a graceful and dignified manner, have some individuals responded with vulgar, shallow and self-humiliating personal expression of butt-hurt while exclaiming payback and retaliation, for example, with an immature expression of threat to brought the Netherlands, the host country where this kind of trial usually taking place for a lot of international tribunal case, to the court.

(un)Fair Exposures.

The 2.5 millions massacred aside, this may just another bad light painted over those who managed to survive just to face 50 years of dehumanization and discrimination in the New Order's prison sphere called "bersih-sosial" (social cleanliness). Soeharto regime put the mark of ET, ex-Tapol (ex-political prisoner) on the ID card of each of those that were either imprisoned or exiled. After they finally got out, intense scrutiny on the full spectrum of their human life were everywhere and every time. For them, no political, cultural and social rights, and without any chance of jobs security as civil servant or military. Many have their wealth seized. And along with no social safety, came cultural repression.

Everyone in Indonesia, at least before the fall of Sueharto in 1998, already indoctrinated with a set of comprehensive demonization of the ex-PKI: They are fierce demon whose men killed generals, murdered Kyais and women cut the penis of those generals while dancing to the tune of genjer-genjer, a traditional Javanese song. Everything that just recently had evidences accessible by short-listed member of public, that finally understand the lies and  found instead the "creative" corrupted mind of the author behind those repulsive stories.

Ostracized and kept alone, the social gathering prohibition aren't helping. They were not able to freely met with other exTapol alike, since doing so means inviting some "guests" to visit for a nice threat and lecture event before an immediate disbandment, all because some suspicious neighbor get inspired to report just for a reward that consists of a tap in the back by an official, and a chance to bloat to other neighbors about their success in failing some communist plot.

These happened trough out their poor, constantly pressured, vulnerable life. And if that wasn't enough, the same experience shared by anyone affiliated: wive, husband, children, uncle, friends and acquaintance. Nobody wanted to get too close.
In the International People's Tribunal of 1965, they finally able to share. To officially be acknowledged. To be understood. Its just four days in a distant world where strange unknown people willing to sit and stand with them, against the overwhelming odds of 50 years of the New Order's unchallenged history of silence. 

Soon, in the court of real live opportunist-laden hypocritical stage of Indonesian politics, their four days of story will be pitted against the fifty years of government sanctioned "truths". (Un)Fair exposure indeed.