7.1 - McGregor Katharine E ‘Confronting the Past in...

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Unformatted text preview: McGregor, Katharine E. ‘Confronting the Past in Contemporary Indonesia: The Anti-Communist Killings of 1965—66 and the role of the Nahcllatul Ulama’, Critical Asian Studies (June 2009), pp. 195—224. COM MONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA Copyright Regulations 1 969 Warning This material has been reproduced and communicated to you by or on behalf of the University of Melbourne pursuant to Part VB of the Copyright Act 1968 (the Act). The material in this communication may be subject to copyright under the Act. Any further copying or communication of this material by you may be the subject of copyright protection under the Act. Do not remove this notice Contributors Elena \i Barabantseva, a British Inter-University China Centre research fellow, teaches and does research on contemporary China at the University of Manchester where she completed her PhD in politics in 2006. Her research interests include the Chinese na- tion-state, links between development and nationalism, Chinese ethnic politics, and the role of marginal groups in the Chinese national idea. Email: E.\[email protected] chester.ac.uk. Jamie 5. Davidson is assistant professor of political science at the National University of Singapore. He has researched on the politics of ethnic violence, corruption, and infra- structure development in indonesia. He is author of From Rebellion to Riots: Collective Violence on Indonesian Borneo (University of Wisconsin Press, 2008). Email: poldjs@ nus.edu.sg. Critical Asian Studies E Roufledge 41:2 (2909). 195—224 Taylor 6- Francis Group CONFRONTING THE PAST IN CONTEMPORARY INDONESIA I The Anticommunist Killings of 1965—66 and the Role of the Nahdlatul UIama Channapha Khamvongsa is the projectdirector of Legacies of War (Wlegaciesofwar. org), an organization working to resolve the problem of unexploded cluster bombs in Laos. to provide space for healing the wounds ofwar, and to create greater hope for a fu- ture of peace. The organization uses art, culture, education, and community organizing to bring people together to create healing and transformation out of the wreckage of war. Previously she worked at the Ford Foundation in its Peace and SocialJustice Unit. She was born in Vientiane, Laos, and has lived in the United States for over thirty years She received her master‘s degree in public policy from Georgetown University. Email: [email protected] Katharine E. McGregor is a senior lecturer in Southeast Asian history at the University ofMelbourne, Australia. Her research to date has centered on the themes oflndonesian hisroriography, history memory, and violence. She published her first book,Histr)ry in (Inform.- Militarjr Ideology and the Construction of the Indonesian Past in 2007' with Singapore: Asian Studies Association ofAustralia, in conjunction with National Univer- sity of Singapore Press, lClTLVI and University of Hawai‘i Press. Email: k.mcgregor@ unimclbcduau. Katharine E. McGregor Stig Toft Madsen earned his doctorate (Flinn) in sociology from Lund University. He has worked at the Center for International Development Studies, Roskilde University, in the Department ofAnthrOpology, Copenhagen University; and with the NLAS—Nordic in- stitute ofAsian Studies, He is currently assistant director, SASNET—Swedish South Asian Studies Network, and guest teacher in Centre for East and South-East Asian Studies, Lund University. Email: [email protected] ABSTRACT: The collapse of authoritarian regimes and the emergence of new demo- cratic Spaces hold the promise of an opportunity to redress instances of past vio- lence. Confronting violent pasts is never an easy task, however. especially when dif- ferent interest groups stand to lose from such a process. This article explores the role of Indonesia's largest lslamic organizatiOH1 Nahdlatul Ulama (NU) in the 1965 killings and shifting views about this past within the NU today. It examines the dra- matic move in 2000 ofyoung members of the NU to confront this past and to try to improve relations between members of the NU and former leftists. The article fo- cuses on the reasons for the emergence of Syarikat (Masyarakat Santri untuk Advokasi Rakyat, Muslim Community for Social Advocacy), the nongovernmental organization behind this reconciliation effort. and on respOnses to its work. As Syarikat's experience shows, combining the dual goals of societal peace and histori- cal revision has not been an easy task. In its efforts to reinterpret the past, Syarikat is trying to accomplish two somewhat antagonistic objectives: (1) rebutting dominant versions ofhistory and raising awareness about the suffering offormer political pris- oiiers, and (2) producing a version of the past that senior members of the NU can live with. Its decision to confront one ofthe most delicate topics in the history ofthc NU has had a mixed reception and these responses help us measure the extent of the NU’s commitment to reform and tolerance. Kenneth Bo Nielsen is a social anthropologist and research fellow at the Centre for De’ velopmcnt and the Environment, University of Oslo. He has worked on urban youth in Kolkata, and is currentiy completing his doctoral thesis on contemporary social m0ve- merits in ruralWest Bengal. His latest publication is "Not on Our Land! Peasants’ Struggie against Forced Land Acquisition in India’s West Bengal," in Dan Banik, ed, Rightsandi'.e— gal Empowerment in. Eradicming Poverty (Ashgate, 2008). Email: [email protected] mono. Elaine Russell is the author ol‘ nonfiction and fiction {or adults and children. She has a degree in history and an MA in economics, and has worked as an energy and environ- mental consultant for many years She traveled to Laos in 2005 for research on a nevel about a Hmong immigrant family. She is a member ofthe steering committee of Legacies ofWar, an organization workng to resolve the problem of unexploded 0rd nance in Laos. Email: [email protected] ' unto-Man. {AM J elin O’Hara slavick is a distinguished professor of art at the Universitny North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She received her M FA in photography from the School of the Art Institute ofChicago and her BA in poetry. photography, and art history from Sarah Lawrence Col- lege. Slavick has exhibited her work in Hong Kong. Canada. France, Italy, Scotland, Eng- land, Cuba. the Netherlands, and across the United States. She is the author of Bomb after Bomb: A Violent Cartography (Charm. 2007'), with a foreword by Howard 211111. Email: [email protected] Following the 50 September Movement against the top army leadership in 1965. the Indonesian military directed the killings of members of the Indone- sian Communist Party (PKI) and its affiliated organizations, of military men sym- lSSN7l4fi7-2715 printi‘l472-6033 oniine 102/000195—30 ©2l‘ri‘ifi5nc 1301: 10.1030914672710902809351 CriticaiAsian Studies 41 :2 (2009) .7 s- 9\11,¢gg~s' Sulchan, a former member of Banser (pictured here in front of his mosque in Bangil, Indor nesia, on 12 September 2003), said that the order to kill communists came through Is- lamic clerics within the NU. In a series of interviews with The Associated Press, Sulchan revealed details of his participation in some of the worst atrocities of the twentieth centUry, with up to half a million people killed in a U.S.-backed communist purge that swept dicta- tor Suharto into power in 1965. See Deutsch 2008, {AP Photofl'risnadil pathetic to the PK], and of Sukarno supporters. The violence spanned the archipelago, but was particularly intense injava, Bali, and Sumatra, and resulted in approximately halfa million deaths. The largest Islamic organization in Indo- nesia and the world, the Nahdlatul Ulama (NU, meaning awakening of the ulama, or religious scholars), supported this violence and some of its members also participated in the killings. For the duration of the military-dominated New Order regime (196598), there was little public expression of sympathy for the victims of this violence including hundreds of thousands of people who were imprisoned following the incident. Instead, in a tightly controlled political envi- ronrnent, the Indonesian government continued to warn of the dangers of com- munism. Members of the NU represented. and sometimes celebrated, their participation in this violence as service to the nation. Together with the Indone- sian military theyhad a joint interest in defending the killings and sustaining the cornerstone of New Order ideology, anticornmunism. A major reform and democratization movement driven by students, intellec- tuals, and activists — known as reformsi — began in the late 19905 and cli- maxed with the resignation of President Suharto in 1998. It was in this new era ofdemocratic transition that some young members ofthe NU formed an organi- zation named Syarikat (Masyarakat Santri untuk Advokasi Rakyat, Santri Society for People’s Advocacy) aimed specifically at reexamining the NU’s role in the vi‘ olence of 1965—66 and improving relations between members of the NU and former leftists. Syarikat launched a cemmunity-based program called “Reconcil- iation and Rehabilitation for Victims of 1965." but its efforts were not universally 1 96 Critical Asian Studies 41:2 (2009) ;:u;x.-;Hsm~sn-.u-u- n-.. J welcomed. The dramatic difference in opinions within the NU on how to deal with this past in a new more democratic era makes the 1965—66 killings an inter- esting case study for examining how societies and more specifically religious communities deal with the legacies ofviolence in postauthoritarian contexts.1 This article begins by examining the NU’s support for and participation in the 1965—66 killings and the commemoration of this role in NU publications in the " New Order period. 1 then turn to analyzing the significant reform movement within the NU that spurred the formation of Syarikat. One of the most difficult issues Syarikat has had to negotiate is how to marry the goals of societal peace and historical revision. Through an analysis of Syarikat’s history projects I probe the limits of historical revision as an aspect of reconciliation projects. Finally 1 reflect on responses to Syarikat’s decision to confront one of the most delicate topics in the history of the NU. Syarikat‘s activities parallel those of nongov- ernmental organizations (NGOs) and social movements in other countries to confront past injustices in the spirit of democratic reform and a new commit- ment to human rights. At the same time, however, they have faced specific chal- lenges due to their institutional links and growing trend toward conservatism within Indonesian Islam and a backlash against liberal lslam, interpretations of islam that seek to counter literalist versions of Islam. Background to the Violence and the Role of the Nahdlatul Ulama Early in the hours of 1 October 1965, members ofan armed group calling itself the 30 September Movement (0303) kidnapped and killed six anny generals and one lieutenant general, dumping their corpses in an unused well at Lubang Buaya in liastjakarta. In the latest scholarly interpretation of the coup attempt, John Roosa argues that sections ofthe PK] (Partai Kornunis Indonesia, Commw nist Party oflndonesia), such as the Special Bureau led by Sjam Kamaruzzaman and directed by PK] chairman D.N . Aidit played a role in the coup plot, but insti- tu tionally the party was not involved.2 Some members of affiliated PKI these or- ganizations such as the Pemuda Rakyat (People‘s Youth) were reportedly on standby to mobilize for some kind of action, but they were unaware of the planned action against the military.’ Roosa titles his work PrerexrforMass Mur- der; arguing that the military, with Western backing, were looking for a pretext to Crush the PM. In the context of fears of the spread of communist influence worldwide and competition with the Soviet Union for spheres ofinfluence, the United States was particularly concerned about President Sukarno’s increasing accommodation of the PKI. In the 19605 the Nahdlatul Ulama was an active political party and it was wary ofthc PK]. By 1964, President Sukarno sided with the PICI on all major domestic 1. There is very little research on the topic of Islamic communities and related projects ofrecon- ciliation. Abu-Nimcr attribules this to an emphasis in Western scholarship in particular on Ihe connections between Islam and violence. Abu-Nimer 2003, 185. 2. Roosa 2006‘ 205. 3. ll)id., 220. McGregor I Confronting the Past 19 7 issues including, for example, a decision against a merger of all political parties into one (which would have severely hurt the PKI) and support for the acceler- ated enforcement of the land reform programs.4 More militant members of the NU became increasingly discontented with the PKI and expressed alarm at the growth in party membership to an estimated 5 million in the early 19605. In 1962, members of the NU‘s youth wing, Ansor, responded by fOunding Banser (Barisan Serbaguna, Multipurpose Brigade), an armed wing, in preparation for confrontation with the PKI.‘ Prior to the 1965 coup attempt, members of Banser had already clashed with membersof the PIG-affiliated Indonesian Peasants’ Front (Barisan Tani Indone— sia, BTI) in land reform actions especially in Eastjava.6 Following lags in govern- - ment implementation of land reform based on the 1959 Crop Sharing Law and the 1960\Basic Agrarian Law, the PKI called for peasants to begin to implement their own land reforms.7 In addition to antagonism over land reform, NU mem- bers who lived through the 19605 and some of their children continue to claim in interviews that they were mocked by the PKI in references to the hiai (Islamic religious leaders) as one of the seven village devils due to their land holdings. "Seven village devils” was a term the PKI used in its propaganda to denote forces deemed to be detrimental to the people‘s interests. In addition NU members re- call that members of LEICRA (Lembaga Kebudayaan Rakyat, People‘s Cultural In- stitute). the cultural wing of the PKI, frequently performed an insulting Java- nese folk theater performance entitled Matinya Gustaf Allah (The Death of God).8 These NU members also cite several larger incidents preceding the 1965 coup attempt as cases of PK] provocation. One example they offer is the Kanigoro episode of January 1965 in which members of the communist-affili— ated youth group Pemuda Rakyat (People’s Youth) and the indonesian Peas- ants' Front attacked an Islamic service held in a pesarztren (Islamic boarding school) in Kanigoro in the Blitar regency of East java. Members of the People’s YOuth disrupted the service led by a member of the banned Islamic parry Masyumi and defiled the Qu‘ran.9 When the 30 September 1965 coup attempt occurred, young NU militants urged the leadership to quickly back the Indonesian army in blaming the com— munists for the coup attempt and calling for a ban on the party.” The NU was one of the first organizations after the coup attempt to stand Openly against the communists, despite President Sukarno‘s refusal to condemn those behind the 50 September Movement. In their official statement on 5 October 1965, the leaders of the NU Party inJakarta stated that those involved in the coup attempt must be “quicklyeliminated down to the roots to safeguard the path ofthc revo- liauswcdell 1973, 129. Fealy 1998, 512—15. hid.. 320—25. See Mortimer 1972, 26-53. 48—55. Author interviews with Kiai Abdullah Faqih. I'ubun, 2”- February 2005: GUS MiikSilmi Kalliri- 29 February 2008; and Yusuftlzisyim‘s family. Jumbang, 29 February 2008. 9. Sulistyo 2000, 159—43. 10. Fealy 1998, 528—32. 198 Critical Asian Studies 41:2 (2009) r1 as" ex .00 lution.”ll In the statement they requested that President Sukarno and leaders of the military ban the PIG, the People’s Youth, Gerwani (Indonesian Women’s Movement), Sobsi (Indonesian Workers‘ Union), and others who planned or participated in the 30 September Movement.12 From around Indonesia, branches of the NU and its affiliated organizations, Petanu (NU Farmers’ Unio'h), Sarbumusi (Workers Union), Muslimat (NU‘S wom en's wing), and Fatayat (the young women's wing of the NU), all produced let- ters of support for the campaign to ban the Communist Party. On 50 October, Ansor instructed all members to heighten their vigilance and “help ABRI {the military] in any way they could to restore order, guard the unity of the nation and save the revolution."13 The instruction also stated that in efforts to crush the 30 September Movement, members of Ansor should wait and only carry out the instructions from the NU coordinators who had already been assigned at the na- tional level and who would be selected in the regions by leaders of the party.“ This last instruction alludes to the intention of the central Ansor leadership to coordinate this campaign closely. It is difficult to find direct instructions from the NU calling upon its members to assist the military by killing communists. The instructions were probably carefully worded, given that Sukarno, who was unwilling to blame the PKI for the coup attempt, was still president at the time. Yet there were some signs of di- rect endorsement from the NU for the violence. In correspondence with the Pekalongan branch of Ansor, for example, the NU Central Board thanked the Pekalongan branch for their report on efforts to crush the 30 September Move- ment.” They also urged that ifany NU men became victims of abduction or were “killed in the battle,” a report should be filed with their name, address, position in the organization, family details, and an explanation of how they died, such that appropriate merit would be bestowed upon them as a syabid (Islamic mar- tyr).16 In January 1966 the NU leadership endorsed a booklet entitled Guide- book for Indoctrination to Eliminate the Thinking ofPKI/Gesmpit, in which the editor claimed it was a form ofworship (ibadala) to cmsh the PKI and that "the PIG must be wiped out from the face of Indonesia and never given the chance to exist again.”'7 In the months after the coup attempt, members of Banser mobilized, with varying degrees of military assistance and direction, and rounded up and killed members of leftist organizations. Several primary accounts detail the roles of NU members in this violence.m Secondary analyses of the violence include the work of liealy, who focuses on the N U’s role in backing and coordinating the vio- 11. PEI'HJ-‘flffiali' perigurns besar Parmi Nabn'n'mn.’ Uiama berserat segcnap armaS-arnmsry‘a 1965. 12. lbid. 15. Insirtiksi No 1/!)21pp1'1965puguk pimping” (LE Ansor 1965. 14. ibid. 15. Ansor Tiabang Kopm Pekalongan 1965. 16. lbid. 17. Hamha 1966, ll. 18. Primary accounts include Anonymous 1986. 135—49; Anonymous 1990, 169-76: Deutsch 2008: and Rochijat 1985, 43. McGregor i Confronting the Fast 199 lence,'9. Young, who studies the combination of local and national influences, including N U—PKI tensions in the killings in Kediri, Eastjava," and Sulistyo and Sudjatmoko, who describe the degree of military or civilian direction in the kill- ings in Jombang, Kediri, and Magetan in East Java, and in Bali (concluding that local vigilantes instigated much of the killing in East Java):1 Hefner details the role of Banser in the Tengger Highlands in East Java, where Banser members came from the iowlands and worked together with the army to carry out purges of FIG members.22 Robinson also mentions in passing a minor role Banser played in Bali, where the majority of the population are Hindus.“ The NU was not the only civilian organization that supported killings. The second largest Islamic organization, Muhammadiyah, also provided rapid sup- port for crushing the PIG, with some leaders declaring this a religious duty.“ The Secretary general of the Catholic Party, Harry Tjan Silahi was a key founder of KAP-Gestapu (the Action From to Crush the 30 September Movement). He helped mobilize youths from PMKRI (Persatuan Mahasiswa Katolik Republik In- donesia) to join together with Ansor in the Action Front to attack the PIG head- quarters in Jakarta.25 In the Eastern islands of Indonesia where communities were overwhelmingly Christian and Catholic, the army — with varying degrees of support from the local populations — killed many.26 Commenting on Bali, Robinson importantly notes that although religion was often used as justifica- tion for the killing, the military “actively shaped and encouraged a popular dis- course ofanti-communism based on exacting religious ideas and cultural analo— gies"? He claims that those who directed their members to participate in the violence were driven primarily by political, rather than religious, consider- ations. Organizations aligned to political parties that were not religiously aligned, such as the PNI (Partai Nasional Indonesia, Indonesian Nationalist Parry), also participated in the violence.18 Cribb argues the primary causes of the violence were military agency, focal and social tensions, and extreme political and economic tension that encouraged scapegoating of the PKI and affiliated organizations. He stresses that military agency alone does not account for the scale of the violence.29 As the most intense period of killing was underway, General Suharto. who led the suppression of the 50 September Movement in the capital city ofJai-(arta, 19. Fcaly 1998. 526—40. 20A Young 1990, 72—84 21. For details on the killings inJombang and Kediri, see Sulisryo 2000, 159-20 L For details ofihc killings in Kediri, Magician, and Bali, see Sudjatmiko I992. 22. Hefner 1990, 212. 23. Robinson 1995, 300- 24. On Muhammadiyah, sec Boiand 1982, {45—46. 25. Mudatslr 1985, 65-68. 26. On the killings in West Timor. see Farram 2002. 39-45. On the killings in Flores. Sumha, and Timur, sec W'Cbb 1986, 94—112. 27. Robinson 1995, 279. On uses nfirlcas nflslam in this memory war, sce McGregnr (forthcom- ing}. 28. On the role of PM vigilantes in the violence, see Robinson 1995, 300. and, in contrast. how in some instances PNI members also bucamethe victimsofltillings byAnsor, see Hefner 199i). 211, 29. Cribb 2002, SSl—SSi 200 Critical 4sian Studies 41:2 {2009) The Trisula monument in South Blitar, pictured here, "celebrates through statuary and in— scriptions on the monument, the combined role of the people and the military in crushing the communists." (Credil: Vannessa Hearman, Februrary2t108) began a slow process of taking over power from President Sukarno. He repre- Sented his role in crushing the communists as heroic and was quick to claim the military had saved the nation from communism. Together with a team of ideologues he began to depoliticize Indonesian politics commencing with the freezing of all parties. the consolidation of the government electoral vehicle. Gollcar, and the formation of two alternative parties that the regime also con, trolled: the PDI (Panai Dcmokrasi Indonesia, Indonesian Democratic Party) and the PP? (Partai Persaruan Pembangunan, United Development Party) formed out of the forced merger ofpreexisting political parties. Some NU miii~ rants who had moved quickly to back the army in crushing the communists ex- pected to be rewarded in the new regime. Instead, NU members, who represent traditional Islam, were forced to merge with modernist Muslims in the sole is— lamic party, the PPP. (Previously, the traditionalists and modernists had their own parties.) The NU party. ll'lC strongest islamic party, was based largely on ru- ral support from the heavily populated areas of East and Central Java. The Masyumi party, representing modernist Islam, drew its support from urban ar- eas and was banned in 1960 due to involvement in the Permesta 1'ebel1ion.’°Thc New Order regime created the l’l’P in 1975 to provide a facade of democracy. The regime was also aware lhat based on historical clashes, the involvement of 30. The Fern-resin (Charter for Unn'ersai Struggle) rebellion was a regional rebellion led by military commanders demanding greater rights and autonomy for regional areas. McGregor I Confronling the Fast 201 tau-v traditionai and modernist Muslims in a single party would likely be a barrier to unity and thus reduce the prospect for a political challenge to the regime. Al- though elections were held every four years, through the “floating mass” doc- trine,31 the government prohibited the establishment of political branches of ei- ther the PPP or the FBI at the village level. The NU was further marginalized by discrimination against those with NU backgrounds for military and civil service positions and the discontinuation of the practice of awarding the position of Minister of Religion to an NU man.’2 Thus, space for political Islam for the first two and half decades of the regime was very limited. For the duration of the New Order regime, the 1965 killings were to some de- gree celebrated both by the military and also bysome within the NU. The Trisula monument in South Biitar, for example, celebrates, through statuary and in- scriptions on the monument, the combined role of the people and the military in crushing the communists (see photo above). NU official histories from as early as 1971 also eulogized the role of the NU in defeating the communists. One 1971 publication noted the NU's quick support for banning the PK] and also detailed the death of an NU “martyr” on 6 October in Banyuwangi. The in- dividual was allegedly killed by a PKI member. Abattle with the PKI ensued and an estimated forty Ansor members died, The same publication claimed that Pertanu and even Fatayat were ready to oppose the communists.” In the context of the regime‘s central ideology of anticommunism, the NU continued to cele- brate this history to remind the regime of the NU’s past service and thus of the debt owed to this community. In the 19905, several former Ansor members published works that either showcased NU‘s role in the violence of 1965—66 or reminded Indonesians ofvi- olence committed against ulama (Islamic religious scholars) by the Left prior to the coup attempt, dating back to the 1948 Madiun Affair, when Pesindo (Indo- nesian Socialist Youth) troops attacked Islamic religious leaders (kiai) following Pesindo's failed attempt to seize local government and as their troops fled Re- publican forces. in 1990. Choirui Anam, a former Ansor member, wrote a com— memorative history of Ansor that celebrated their role in crushing the commu- nists. It refers to the jasa (merit or service) of Ansor as the backbone of the East Java operations. Anarn states that "the communists were enemies of religion. they had to be wiped out [dibemntas]."q That same year, Agus Sunyoto, histo- rian and former head of Ansor in Eastjava, published Lubang—Lubmtgl’embmzv mum PetualanganPKI (it Madizm (The pits of slaughter: The PKI’s schemes in Madiun)?’ Written together with Maksum and A. Zainuddin, the book focuses on the events of the Madiun Affair of 18 September 1948, in which lower echo lon Communist Party leaders, who were aggravated by Muhammad I-Iatta‘s ra— 31. The floating mass doctrine refers to the 1975 law that restricted the activity of political patties in rural areas on the basis that the rut'ai population. a “floating mass,“ should not be distraried from the task of development. See Cribb and Brown 1995, 130—1, 52. Fe:in 1998, 3:58. 35. Letnbaga Pendidikan Maziruf NU. I97]. 34. Anam 1990, 92. 55. Sunyoto, Maksuni. and Kitinutldin 1990. 202 Critical Asian Studies 41 :2 (amen tionalization of leftist troOps from the military, attempted to seize control of the local government. The Pits of Slaughter highlights “communist” brutality in the Madiun Affair.36 George Kai-tin has written that members of the Islamic party Masyumi, which had the support of NU members at this time, were singled out for cruel treatment, including torture and execution}7 In the clashes between communists and santri (devout Muslims) around eight thousand people, mostly communists, diech3 The publications by Anarn and Sunyoto appeared shortly after the end of the cold war and paralleled military efforts to revive the communist threat with a new emphasis on the links between anticommu nism and religious piety.’9 This effort was in part a response to waning belief in the communist threat, which created the possibility for greater sympathy toward members of the Left, but it also involved concerns about the increased emphasis in society on human rights. In 1996, for example, Sunyoto wrote another publication, Banser Uri- dertalees Jihad to Crush the PIG,” which is devoted entirely to clarifying Banser’s role in crushing the communists. In the foreword to the book the au- thor acknowledges that he wrote the book in response to military objections to accuSations that only the military were responsible for the killings.“ The mili- tary and the NU were thus already anticipating a reopening of this past in the late New Order period and borh had begun to moderate the previously celebra- tOry tone in publications canvassing their respective roles in the killings. Changing Ideas and Approaches in the NU 1984-1998 The New Order regime was authoritarian in its control of information and in its willingness to use force to suppress dissent, but not all avenues ofexpression or acrivism were closed. The government, for example, allowed NGOs to organize and operate within certain limits from the early 19803 onwards on the basis of their potential contribution to developmental goals.“ The regime also adopted a two-pronged approach to Islam, constraining political Islam and at the same time encouraging the development of cultural Islam (meaning the private prac- tice of Isiam) by means of support for religious institutions and places of woo ship. One direc: result of the regime‘s policy was NU’s decision in 1984 to withdraw from politics}3 In the early 19805 leaders within the NU decided to “return to the khbitab" (the original NU strategy). In 1926 when the NU was first formed it was a reli- gious organization focusing on culture and educational tasks. In 1984 some N ti leaders urged that the NU should return to this original mission because they felt that there was no more room to move within the political sphere, especially 56. [bid 5". Kaliin 1952. 500. 38. Fe:in W98. :51}. ni 24. 39. See McGregor 2002, 50755. 40. Sunyoto, i996 41. lbid.. ii. 42. Eldridge 2005, 150. 43. \‘an Bruincsscn (1996, 163439) has covered these developments most comprehensively McGregor I Confronting lhe Pas! 203 in’ the=only Islamic party, the PPP, within which, they felt, the NU leaders had beenmarginalized. Abdurrahman Wahid, the grandson of Kiai Hasyim Asy’ari (NU’s founder) and son of Kiai Wahid Hasyim (a prominent NU leader and for- mer minister of religious affairs), claimed that in effect the NU “left politics to play better politics?“ meaning that given tight conStraints overtheir political activities their political impact would be greater if they concentrated on internal reform and participated in politics from the sidelines. Although political inter- ests drove the decision to return to the khittah, this reorientation brought about a shift within the NU and created new spaces for younger members of the orga- nization. In his 1979 work, Kbitrbab Nabdlzjiab, KiaiAchmad Siddiq identified the two core NU values as tawassmb (moderation, keeping to the middle road) and rabmctrcm iii alamz'n (compassion and kindness toward the entire world, ex- cept for the “implacable enemies of Islam"). He also emphasized education, charity, and economic activities.“ Reformists like Wahid tried to formulate more specific recommendations concerning the path the NU should take and empha- sized charitable work and social solidarity as another form of worship (ibadab), thus widening the definition of worship from personal observance.“ Waliid was elected NU chairman-general in 1984 and reelected again in 1989 and 1994. During this time he oversaw and encouraged many new initiatives in the NU, with varied responses from more conservative ulama. Young members within the NU welcomed the return to the khittah, because they felt the emphasis on elite political struggle during the past decades had led to neglect ofthe NU‘s educational role and its responsibility for the welfare ofits followers}7 While N US older members were more focused on the pesantren w0rld, the organization‘s new generation —who had been exposed to modern education due to the introduction of more diverse curricula in the pesantren and at secular Schools and universities -— favored a return to the khittah. They were also more receptive to new ideas and social theories.“ This was especially true of those active in NGOs. Young people who became followers of the re- formers were mostly from educational institutions, especially pesantren and madrasah (Islamic schools), but also from the State Institutes of Islamic Studies (IAIN) and other higher education organizations. In their student years, these young intellectuals were the leaders and activists in organizations that were af- filiated with the NU. like the PM]! (Pergerakan Mahasiswa Islam Indonesia, In- donesian Islamic Student‘s Movement), the Women's Corps of PMII, Fatayat, and Ansor. in the 1980s they became active in study groups within and outside of the N1}. These groups were important venues for the discussion ofsocial and political issues in the context of limited formal poiitical roles. '9 ~I-i. Quoted in Fenly 20:17, 158. 4'5, van Iiniinessen 1996. 177—7 . 1'6. lbid., [83. 47'. lhid., I74. 48. Prasclyo er a]. 2002. :09. 49. Ibid.. 12-4. 204 Critical/Isiah Studies 41 :2 (2009] In addition to being inspired by the thoughts and writings of Abdurrahman Wahid, with their emphasis on humanitarianism and civil society, young mem- bers of the NU were also influenced by wider sources of thought including the prolific writer and Egyptian philosopher Hassan i-Ianafl and Fatima Mernissi who offered newliberal perspectives on Islam. In the 19905 their discussions fo— cused on the backwardness of the Third World, economic justice, and human rights, including the rights of women in Islam.“ The emergence of discourses on democracy, human rights, and gender equality also reflected an effort to cri- tique the New Order. In the 19903 there was also a boom in Islamic literature canvassing these ideas, which were generally classified as liberal versions of Is- lam. Chief among the publishers of such literature was LKiS (Lembaga Kaiian Is- lam dan Sosial, the Institute for Islamic and Social Studies), a Yogyakarta-based group founded by NU members with the aim of Spreading tolerant and transformative Islam. Thousands of students received LKiS training as social ac- tivists and went on to form their own organizations.51 To spread these new ideas, young members of the NU held training programs in big cities as well as with students and teachers in village-based pesantren. Ulil Abshar Abdalla, a prominent representative of liberal Islam, notes, however, that his generation encountered widespread resistance in spreading some of these ideas in pesantren circles.52 For example, young NU members frequently had to ask Wahid to intervene to convince the kiai to allow the training to take place in their pesantren.55 It seems that there were already significant differ— ences about how far reform should be taken. The Founding of Syarika’t When the Suharto regimerflnally ended in May 1998 there was a sense of eupho- ria in particular amongst members of the younger generation. Some NU activ- ists were already involved with the NU-linked organizations such as PSM (Perhimpunan Pesantren dan Masyarakat, Association for the Development of Pesantren and Society), LKiS, and Lakpesdam NU (Iembaga Kaiian dan Pen- gcmbangan Sumber Daya Manusia, NU Institute for Research and Development of Human Resources), all of which addressed human rights concerns less di» rectly through the promotion of the discourse of human rights, but the fall of Suharto presented new possibilities for actively addressing past abuses. With the end of press censorship and interest in new studies about the 1965 coup at— tempt among the public, there was also intense media coverage from late 1998 through 2000 in die long-banned topics of the events of the 1965 coup attempt and the kiilings. Information about the coup attempt and theories that diverged from the government’s view had been tightly controlled for over thirty years. In 50. van Bruinessen 199-1. 234. 51. Miichi 2003. 22. 52. UlilAbsharAbdalla was a foundcroflhe NU Institute for Research and Development ofl-Iuman Resources (Lakspesdam NU). He is now head of the Islamu' Liberal Network (laringan Islam Liberal). 55. Prasetyo Cl 21. 2002, 195—96, 200—1 McGregori' Confronting the Past 205 a-climate-of strong anticommunism, coverage of the plight of victims of anti- communist violence had been minimal. Because of this newly created space for the discussion of history and in- creased public attentiOn to human rights abuses during the Suharto period, some members of Ansor who had been active in the reform movement of 1997—98 began to grapple with the issue of how to deal with the stigma associ- ated with Ansor’s past. Martin van Bruinessen notes that this stigma was not confined to groups outside of the NU; even the NU-hased student group PMII was somewhat dismissive of AnSor and Ansor’s paramilitary wing, Banser, be- cause of the legacy of 1965—66.“ One Syarikat researcher, Taufiqurrahman, spoke of the burden he felt he bore as a member of the younger generation of Ansor.’5 He said, "The young generation feel a burden. . .we want this to end. In my family some participated in the killing and then my grandfather helped the PKI by‘hiding them. We did not know what was happening.”3 Another re- searcher commented to me that after the fall of Suharto, perhaps as more infor- mation became public about the killings, this stigma became stronger, espe- cially in activist circles. A key question for Ansor members was how they could join in the democratization process if their organization in the past was respon- sible for such crimes." In the 1999 NU Congress in Kediri members of the NU decided that in the new climate of reform they should engage in repentance (taubat) and utter- ances for God’s forgiveness (isngfltr).5E This call was not made specifically with reference to 1965, but in the same year NU activists from eighteen towns met to discuss the effects of the 1965 tragedy on Ansor and Banser.“ Their aim was to try [0 challenge the stigma of the NU and the PIG as enemies by undertaking re- search into the role of NU members in the killings. They were further encour- aged when in 2000 Wahid, who was then president of Indonesia, proposed that the 1966 ban on communism be lifted and offered a personal apology to victims of the violence of 1965. Some Islamic groups expressed outrage,‘m but Wahid’s proposal inspired some activists in the NU, mostly young people, to do some- thing about this past. The Yogyakarta branch ofAnsor followed Wahid’s lead and offered an apology to victims of the violence of 1965."I At the same time as they made an apology to victims of 1965—66, the Yogyakarta branch ofAnsor, headed by Nuruddin Amin, stated a long-term commitment to investigate Ansor's role in the killings and also to demilitarize the armed wing of Ansor, which had for decades used military symbols and ideology": The Central Board ofAnsor had 54. van Bruinessen 2002. 15. ‘6. Author interview with Taufiqurrahman, Syarikar, ‘iugyakarm, 25 May 2005. 6. Ibid. 7 Author interview with Rumeltso Setiyadi. Syariknl. Yogyakartn, 25 May 2005. 8‘ Mnstlar 2003. 4. ‘19, Author interview with Munih, Lakpesdzlm NU. Blimr, 29 February 2008. 60. For analysis of these re5ponses, sce Ptlnvudi 2003'. 59—6". 61. Said 2000, available at hirpmwwharnlineedufapuliabanbasisdata/‘ZOGOH1/29/(1006html (ac- cessed 22 May 2007). 62. PW .-\nsor DIY hentuk rim pelurusun scjarah 65 [Ansor ‘rbm'akarta branch forms :1 team to in vestigate 19651.1(0mpas, 21 November 2000. 206 Critical Asian Studies 41 :2 (2009) entrusted its Yogyakarta branch with formulating a new concept and profile for Banset. Then, in December 2000, on International Human Rights Day, NU activ- ists from eighteen towns inJava founded Syarikat. With its central headquarters in Yogyakarta, Syarikat now has a network of partner organizations acrossJava, with one partner in Bali. Members of the network meet several times a year to discuss future programs and report on activities? Most researchers in Syarikat today are in their thirties or forties and were thus born after the violence of 1965. In addition to the desire to reform the image of Ansor and the NU, those ioining Syarikat from the beginning of its work until now are also motivated by compassion for survivors of the violence, including many people who were imprisoned without trial for long periods following the coup attempt. This is consistent with the organization’s prescribed focus on charitable work and vulnerable groups, as set out during the 1984 reform pro- cess. The background of Syariltat founder and director Imam Aziz highlights the links between Syarikat and the generation within the N U that was most strongly shaped by the process of reform and the emergence of new thinking following the return to the NU’s original mission. Aziz is not an Ansor member, but he is a former PMII activist. This suggests that Syarikat represents a broader network of pe0ple including those within Ansor who are supportive of change as well as wider circles of NU activists. A graduate from the State Islamic Institute Sunim Kalijaga in Yogyakarta, Aziz was involved in setting up LKiS together with other Yogyakarta IAIN students.54 Before working at Syarikat, be worked for Lakpesv dam NU. ln 1997 Lakpesdam commenced grassroots human rights training in several pesantren, which inspired Aziz's focus on 1965.65 In the first few years ofoperation Syarikat adopted a cautious and calculated approach to their work. The first step that researchers in the Syarikat network took was to conduct interviews with a number ofsu rvivors of the violence, typi- cally former political prisoners. Many researchers were surprised to learn of l he extent of the suffering and the violence that occurred.“ These new narratives about 1965 conflicted dramatically with what they had been told in New Order history classes. The next steps they took were to promote their ideas in local communities and to consider what kinds olectivities or projects would be SLlii- able in each location. Syariltat describes its activities, which now range OVL‘l‘ twenty-six towns acrosslava, as grassroots based, because it draws on the wide existing network ofNU followers. pesantrens, and organizations. Recognizing the sensitivity of their work. they aim for slow and gradual change and small-scale initiatives {15. The current member organizations include Syarikal Yogukarra: Salaiiga and Prubulinggci; Lakpesdam branches in Jakarta, Circbnn. (,lilacap, Blitar, Klatcn. Pasuruan and Banyuwzmgi; [‘Eyl'iivlakarta; lncres Bandung; Indipt Kebumen: Kolmaster \‘i’onosoho: LKiS fibgyakunmll-CFS Boyolali; Gapurzi Blora; FSAS jcpam: Alur Batting. Lepim chiri; and SD lnpers Jcmlntr. (hi. Milchi 2003, 22. (I3. ()lliver 2004. no. Authorinrcn‘iews with SariEminghayu. Kediri, 29 February 2008: Khusnul W’idtiri,\’og}flk:trta. 22 May 2007-, and Lutfhfi, Lakpesdam NU, Blimr. 29 February 2008. McGrt-gor 1‘ Confronting the Past 207 withourbe'ing confrontational. Until 2008, Cordaid, a Catholic relief organiza— tion based in the Netherlands provided funding for Syarikat’s activities. In its promotional literature, Cordaid stresses its support for civil society organiza- tions that “include vulnerable groups, strengthen social cohesion and produce social caption?“7 One tension in Syarikat's work is that by forging links with for- mer political prisoners Syarikat has prioritized the accumulation of bridging capital, meaning intragroup cohesion, over bonding capital, meaning internal group cohesion across the NU commu nity.68 At the same time Syarikat has experienced resistance from within the NU; making contact with former political prisoners was not an easy process. One ac— tivist in Lakpesdam Blitar, part of the Syarikat network, reflected that it took some time to build bonds of trust between them as young members of the NU and victims. When they first tried to meet former PK] members and people from formerly associated PIG organizations, they were politely rejected.“9 On the other hand, the families of some activists within Syarikat also continue to feel it is dangerous to mix with, let alone advocate for, former leftists.70 As a result some researchers have chosen to conceal their involvement from their families. This gives some indication of the continuing sensitivity of the issue of 1965 in NU circles, which I will return to later. Syarikat’s Mission and Activities Syarikat uses the word reconciliation to describe the aim of its work, its guiding slogan is “building a peaceful and democratic Indonesia” by means of a grass- roots community reconciliation movement. The term “grassroots” refers to the use of existing NU networks, as well as a community-specific approach to this is- sue. paying careful attention to local attitudes in each area for which an initia- tive is planned. The term “reconciliation” is very popular in discourses of democracy in post-authoritarian contexts, but it has multiple and sometimes conflicting meanings. Based on a survey of uses of the term, Daly and Sarphin explain that “reconciliation describes coming together; it is the antithesis of fall- ing or growing apart. Reconciliation has a normative — almost moral — aspect as well. It is the coming together (or rcvcoming together) of things that should he together."Tl They also claim that politically the term reconciliation is used to refer to personal healing, interpersonal relationships, community rebuilding, national stability. and international peace. At a conceptual level the term is used [Ll refer to justice. with truth, and with forgiveness, but many questions remain in each specific case about how much ofa focus there should be on the past, or ihrgiveness or justicefz (Vi, Corciaid 2006, 14. 68. ran Bruinessen 2004. 53—55. The terms “bonding” and "bridging capital ' draw upon Putnam 2000. (i9. Masrukin 2007, Li. ‘li. Authorintcrviews with Khuan[ Widuri, Yogyakarta, 22 May2007, and Sari Eminghayu, Kediti. 20 February 2008. ‘ 1. Daily and Sarkin 200". S. ‘2. ll)id., xiv. 208 Critical Asian Studies 41 :2 {2009) i 'r I 5 i l These complexities behind the almost generic term ofreconciliation are mir- rored in Syarikat‘s multiple aims. Primarily motivated to strengthen society’s social fabric and prevent future conflict,75 Syarikat engages in activities that in- clude organizing meetings and collaborative projects involving former mem- bers of the Left and their families and the NU community, creating associations for women victims, and undertaking efforts to lobby members of the parliament to address the past and in particular to end discrimination against former politi- cal prisoners and their families. Syarikat members have worked together with victims’ organizations to advocate for restoration ofvictims’ rights, and a reinte— gration of former leftists into society." They also seek to promote truth telling, using their publications, films, and photographic and artifact-based exhibitions. Syarikat seeks to enhance the bonds between two groups that have been delib- erately isolated from one another for almost fortyyears, due, on the one side, to the risks of being labeled sympathetic to former communists and on the side of former leftists, a lingering fear of the NU. Yet their goals of victims’ rights advo- cacy and alternative truth telling imply potential clashes with the aim of achiev- ing societal harmony. Syarikat has tried to foster cooperation, in multiple ways, between members of the NU and victims. In the Blitar area in 2002, Lakpesdam NU arranged a joint celebration of the Islamic holiday Syuro accompanied by a cultural perfor— mance involving former political prisoners, prominent NU figures, and commu- nity leaders. Syarikat followed this event with a joint community proiect to in~ stall clean water pipes in South Blitar, an area that had missed out on much development because it was a former PKI area.75 In 2006 they helped facilitate a meeting between women survivors in Yogyakarta and the Bantul branch of Fatayat.76 Lakpesdam NUV Biitar and partner organizations in the Syarikar net- work have also arranged silatm'abmi (goodwill) gatherings between members ofthe NU and victims such as the one held in Batang and Pekalongan on the oc- casion of Bid on 2.8 October 2007'.17 With the exception of the 2002 Blitar meet- ing, most of these efforts involved joint activities or cooperative efforts between the NU and former leftists Without any direct discussion of the past._‘3 In their analysis of multiple modes of reconciliation, Daly and Sarphin note that some of the most effective community reconciliation programs promote reconciliation only indirectly by means of engagement in ioint projects.”9 Syarikat‘s approach in the case of these initiatives is similarly nonconfrontational. Syarikat has also assisted survivors in the task of economic development. In 2005, for example, Syarikat worked together with the Yogyakarta N60 Popper- ham (Forum Penriidikan dart Perjuangan Hal-t Asasi Manusia, Education Forum 73. Author interview with Rumckso Setyacli. Syarikat, Yogyakarta, 2: May 2007', 7-4. Ibid. 75. Masrukin 2007. :4. 7'6. Ambarmirah 201“, 7. 77. Saiful 2007, 12. 78. On the Blimr meeting. see Farid \V'ajicli's detailed description oftcstinmnies [mm both mem. bers of the NU and former political prisoners. W'aiids' 2003. 7'9. Daly and Sarkin 3007. 8‘). McGregor i' Confronting the Pasl 2'09 I 'g’rap ,from Plan-. . on that _at Has Been For- eld in Yogyakarta. =5 redlt: Image reproduced from ' _ __an exhibition brochure} g for Human Rights Defense) to help women from the women's survivor organi- zation Kiprah Perempuan (Women’s Progress) form a savings and loan coopera- tive.” When an earthquake hit Yogyakarta in May 2006, damaging the homes of several victims of 1965, Syarikat launched a program together with local promi- nent individuals, architects, and volunteers from Syarikat to rebuild the houses of the poor.Bl In other cases it has helped victims’ groups set up small health clinics for their members. In 2006 Syarikat, the National Commission on Women‘s Rights, and the Ja— karta-based Women’s Discussion Circle (Lingkar Tutur Perempuan) used Wom- en‘s Day (Hari lbu) as a way of bringing survivors from the violence of 1965 to- gether with other women in a wider project aimed at addressing violence against women.“‘2 For the duration ofthe New Order regime state-produced ver- sions of official history claimed (jenvani women were involved in the torture, genital mutilation, and murder of the military men killed in the 1965 coup at- tempt. After realizing the impact of this stigma on these women and their subse- quent reluctance to join in activities,53 Syarikat turned its attention to projects that focused specifically on women survivors from 1965 and debunking myths about Gerwani. In December 2006 it held an exhibition in ‘t’ogyakarta, entitled Remembering “What Has Been Forgotten, based on photographs collected from survivors of their experiences in l’lantungan women's prison (see photo above). To promote histoncal revision Syarikat relies on personal accounts from sur- Vivors. Syarikat has facilitated discussions in which university students hear di- rectly from survivors about their experiences. One sociology program at Atmajaya University in Yogyakarta, for example, focuses on marginalized com- munity members by asking them to talk to students about their views. in No— vember 2007, Syarikat facilitated several victims ofthe violence of 1965 to meet 80. Ambarrnirah 2007. T. 81. Nusantara, Wulandri. and Ambarmirah 2006. 7. 82. Author intcn'iews with Sudjinah and Leslnri, Depok, 21 February 3007: l’utmainah, Bliinr, 1 Match 2008. See also McGrcgor and Henrman 20(17, 579r80. 85. Author interview with ira Febrianti, ‘u’ngyakarta, 2| May 200'}. 21 0 Critical Asian Studies 41:2 (2009) Students in this program. By sharing their experiences the victims gave the students perspectives on history that they had never heard he- forc'fli u Syarikat also publishes the stories of former politi- cal prisoners in the Syarikat magazine RUAS. RUAS is a bi- monthly magazine, which commenced in September 2001. The print run for RUAS is usually around lif— teen hundred; it is read pri— marily by people inJava, the heartland of the NU. Copies are also sent to NU Islamic boarding schools, survivors and survivor organizations and libraries, and to mem— bers of the parliament as part of a lobbying exercise to garner support for the re- habilitation of former political prisoners. Each edition of the magazine includes stories of SUWlVOIS from 1965, mostly those who were imprisoned for some time. RUAS has profiled the stories of many from Genvani, the People’s Youth, the lndoncsian Peasants‘ Front and also members of various leftist organiza- tions such as teacher and trade unions and student organizations, whose mem- bers were accused by default of involvement in the coup attempt because of their organizational links to the PK]. The reliance on accounts in the form oflive testimonies and published inter- views in RIMS approximates the globalized practice and discourse of truth tell- ing prevalent in truth commissions that foeus on allowing victims to tell their stories and formally acknowledging the crimes committed against them. This focus, h0wcver, raises questions about the compatibility between truth telling and reconciliation in the sense of bringing members of a community together David Mendeloff challenges the popular and scholarly View that truth telling and truth seeking are necessary determinants for peace building. We know very little about the relationship between truth telling or truth seeking on peace, he points out. and he argues, therefore, that all assumptions about the links be- tween truth telling and social healing, the promotion of justice, the establish- ment of an official historical record, public education, institutional reform. de— The cover ofa 2006 edition of RUAS focusing on artists, writers, and performers who had been imprisoned. 84. Saifu12l|D7, 12. McGregor I Confronting the i‘ast 211 ' A colossal diorama depicting the alleged torture of a general during " the 1965 coup attempt. The diorama is located at the Sacred Pancasiia Monument complex. (Image reprinted item Fusat Sejarah dan Tradisi ABRi. Buitu Panduan quumen Pancasfla Saidi Lubang Buaya. lakarta: Pusat Sejamh dart Tradisi AHRI, 1997. 36] mocracy and the preemption and deterrence of future violence need to be examined carefully.” In some countries, such as South Africa, truth commis- sions have been promoted because of an assumed linlt between telling the truth and "national healing.”66 Syarikat's history projects are less formal than such na- tional truth commissions and they are not premised on the idea of truth telling as a. form of healing. Instead Syarikat has prioritized historical revision because of the perceived need to rebut dominant views of history that hinder the accep- tance of former political prisoners in society.” Wajidi also explains that Syariltat investigates the past for the purposes of "freeing people from it, rather than for academic reasons. They want to conduct oral history for a practical purpose. They want to break down stereotypes on both sides of this conflict."RS The stereotypes to which Wajidi refers have arisen due to widespread circula- tion of the New Order version of the coup attempt that describes members of the PK]. the People‘s Youth, and Gerwani as not only having murdered the army leadership but also having mutilated their bodies. This version, which is not supported by forensic evidence, is reflected in the state memorialization of these events and can be seen in the life—size diorama at the Sacred Pancasila Monument (see photo above), in the adjacent museum, in reports of the annual commemorative day of 1 October, in the state-produced film TbeBetr-ayai tgfrbe 30 September Movemerzt/PKL and in school history textbooks.” This narrative of the coup attempt, combined with bans on former political prisoners and their children from working in the civil service as teachers and journalists and restrictions on their movement has enduringly stigmatized members ofthe Left. Annual screening of the film The Betrayal of the 30 September Movement/PK} ceased in 1998, but the 1 October date continues to be commemorated. The government‘s attempted revision of portrayals of 1965 in history textbooks came to a dramatic halt when the Attorney General‘s Office banned the revised textbooks because they failed to name the PKI as being responsible for the 1965 85. Mendelol'f ZOO-i. 558—65. 86. Wilson 2001. Hi 87. Author inierviewwith Rumeksn Seriyadi, Yogyakarta, 21 May 2007. 88. \Vafidi 2005. 7i. 89. MCGregor 2007. 68404. 90. Pelainran seiarah kembzlii kc kurikulum 1994 [History teaching returns in the 199:: curricula]. Republika, 24 june 2005. 212 Critical Asian Studies 41 :2 12009) coup attempt.” In this climate, Syariltat has decided to focus on the long-ne- glected stories of survivors because they realize that these versions of history are still marginalized. Syarikat‘s goal is to challenge the propaganda that portrays all leftists as barbaric and untrustworthy. Syarikat has also sponsored three films dealing with the violence of 1965. Sinengker: Sam yang Dimbasiakan (That which was concealed) is aJavanese- language, dramatized fictional account of one family's experiences of the vio- lence of 1965. The film focuses on one young woman, Asih, who lives in a village and whose brother's association with leftist cultural politics results in his disap- pearance. Asih loses the rest of her family one by one and goes on to live a tor- mented life. Despite a willing suitor, she never marries because of her grief and her unwillingness to trust anyone. The two other films are documentary-style films focusing on women and their experiences. The first film, directed by Rumekso Setyadi, sztforMotber (2006), focuses on women’s stories through interviews. The second documentary, White and Grey: Women '3 Parts (2007), consists of six short films made by high schools students from Bandung and Yogyakarta.” Two common patterns in the accounts from former political prisoners in RUAS and in these films are an emphasis on the suffering of survivors and a lack of historicization of the wider political landscape of the 19605. The interviews with former political prisoners in RIMS are very short and focus on the lives of victims just before they were captured, while theywere in prison, or after their release. In some cases, like that of land reform, some attempt is made to explain what happened before 1965,;2 but in most cases little context is provided. RUAS provides no broader discussion of the role oftbe Left in the 1960s or, for exam- ple, of land reform initiatives or other efforts to mediate class differences. Syarikat emphasizes the suffering of the survivors and hence their experiences after being arrested in order to humanize these individuals in the eyes of What they hope is a wide readership across the NU. Yet focusing solely on imprison- ment obfuscates any sense of agency on the part of survivors. The absence of historical context in Sinengker leaves it unclear, for example, who the violence targeted and why. The film, for instance, offers only vague allu- sions to the associations ofthe main protagonist’s brother with the PK]: one clip shows him handing Asih a sickle made out of coconut leaves. Many women in the documentaries Gift for Mot/oer and White and Grey: Women ‘s Pasts ac- knowledge that they were members of Gerwani, but the films do not discuss Gerwani’s ideology or activities. Why is this? It may be that Syarikat avoids def scriptions ofthe events so audiences can decide for themselves, but more likely this was a calculated decision based on the contemporary political climate and the lack of any formal measures to recognize or address this violence. in the ten years since the end ofthe Suharto regime, some state-level initia- tives have addressed selective cases of past human rights abuses, including the 91. Author interview with liumekso Sctijmdi, Syarikat. Yogyakana, 21 May 2007. 92. See for example, Syamsir 20%. 3—9. McGregor I Confronting the ?ast o "rig-of fact-finding teams in the case of the May 1998 riots and lim- 7 _ _'Cbmmission on Human Rights investigations into the political im- p sonmentat Buru Island of those with suspected links to the PKI and into the cases of. East Timor, Aceh, and the deaths of Muslim protesters in the Tanjung Fri-oi: incident in 1984.” In addition, the Indonesian parliament passed a law on human rightsuin 1999 and a law on human rights courts in 2001. Both laws paved the way forAd Hoc Human Rights Courts to deal with both. Taniung Priok and‘the 1999 atrocities in East Timor.”1 In 2004 the parliament passed a law en- abling the formation of a Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) and President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono began to consider a list of potential commissioners. The commission was abandoned in 2006, however, after the Constitutional Court declared the TRC law to be unconstitutional The Court was responding to objections human rights groups had raised against proposed amnesty provisions that would have allowed impunity for those who confessed crimes.”5 Particular cases of human rights abuses in Indonesia have shown more trac- tion than others. Some progress was made in the East Timor case, largely in re- sponse to external pressure, and in the Tanjung Priok case, due to the lobbying power of Islamic parties in the post-Suharto period. In the case of the 1965 kill- ings, there are no equivalent powerful or significant lobby groups either inside or outside Indonesia pushing for justice on this case. In addition the case has less traction because there is no shared consensus that the New Order, espe- cially in its origins, was a shameful period in Indonesian history. Each time NGOs or surviving victims have attempted to open this past to public scrutiny or stake claims for justice, protests, instances of direct intimidation, and Violence have followed, Although human rights are now receiving more attention and some investigations of human rights abuses have been launched, the continu- ing influence of the Indonesian military, despite its formal withdrawal from pol- itics, and the limited capacity of Indonesian courts to uphold the rule of law have stifled significant progress, perpetuating a continuing culture ofimpunity for human rights violators. The failure of the state to recognize this violence in a formal manner and the deeply rooted culture ofimpunity in Indonesia encourages NGOs to represent survivors ofviolence in a one~dimcnsional fashion or primarily as victims. In the case ofArgentina, as Inés Izaguierre has shown, even after the Commission on Disappeared People was established and subsequent military trials by the Alfonsin government took place in 1985, human rights organizations continued their efforts to represent those who had suffered under the previous regime as victims, in the face ofongoing military efforts to claim impunity. She notes that it 95. For a discussion of the National Human Rights Commission and tribunais between I998 and 200i. see Eldridge 2002, 1—35-‘19. 94. Sulisriyanto 2007, 8&85. 93 A second request for review was filed by intercsr groups who stood [0 lost: from investigations into past human rights abuses. but this request was denied. These interest groups did lobby the court heavily to cast out the 'I'RC law, hence ending any immediate prospects for the forma- tion Ufa 'I‘RC. 214 CriticaIAsian Srudies 41-2 (2mm t 2 1 f s 3 was only after the military confessions of 199435 ~ in which the military ad- mitted to the atrocities ~— rhat family members started to portray their disap- peared relatives as social and political activists instead of categorizing them in singular fashion as “victim.”6 Syarikat‘s position on this issue is thus connected to the Wider political context of debates about 1965 and a strategy of first achiev- ing societal acknowledgment of the suffering of those on the Left in 1965~66. Syarikat may also be less comfortable about exposing this past because their primary motivation is to show compassion for these longumarginalized people rather than neceSsarily sharing the political ideas of the survivors. Their aim is not to recover the diverse lives of those who suffered or to emphasize their in- volvement in social change efforts. Oglcsby has observed a similar pattern in Guatemala in the circulation ofnarratives about the genocide against Mayans in the early 19805, in the wake ofthc 1999 Guatemalan Commission for Historical Clarification?7 Although the Guatemalan Commission detailed cases of social activism by Mayan labor activists and by land reform activists who were subse- quently targeted in the violence, Oglesby noted that liberal human rights dis- course tended to frame the violence in an individualized fashion. She attributed this bias to the agendas ofinternational funding agencies, which are more con— cerned about peace and stability than reviving histories of past political activ- ism.‘Ja Similarly focused on the goal of peace, Syarikat tries to avoid commenting on the past political goals of organizations such as Gerwani, the Indonesian Peasants’ Front, or the People's Youth. Elizabeth Jelin extends this argument concerning the representation of victims further by arguing that there is a fun- damental clash between the language ofhuman rights and the project ofhistory writing. In her view, a human rights framework “demands a polarity” between victim and perpetrator and as a result a victim is depicted only as “a passive be- ing harmed by the actions ofothers. The victim is never an active agent. "99 She at- tributes the decontextualizarion of historical memory in postauthoritarian re- gimes in Latin America to the concurrent rise of discourses of human rights. Syat‘ikat’s tendency towards historical decontextualization is similarly driven by the original influence of discourses of human rights on these young activists. Because they are primarily motivated to rehabilitate former political prisoners and make peace they prioritize the identification of these people as victims, ahead of conveying historical complexity, ReSponses to Syarikat and Efforts to Reexamine 1965 Syarikat has tried to canvass broader support for their work and they have also featured interviews in ELIAS with influential lndonesians about 1965 and how it should be addressed. In their inten-iews three prominent Muslim women‘s rights activists u Kamala Chandrakirana (head ofthe Women‘s Rights Commis- sion). l-laji Sinla Nuriyah Abdurrahman \V’ahid (wife oi'Abdurrahman \Vahid}, 96. Izzzguierre I998. 28—31. 97’. Oglesby 2007. 93‘ lbid.. 77—81, 90—92. 99. Jelin 2003. 54—55, as quoted in Olgesby. 1007. SI). McGregor i Confronting the Past 215 and Nut‘syahbani Katjasungkama (lawyer) — expressed strong sympathy for vic- tims of the violence, especially members ofGerwani and other women who suf- fered. m In their comments they also expressed support for Syariltat‘s work, especially its efforts to challenge New Order historiography and the stigmas this history had created towards survivors of the violence. ._ The views expressed inRUAS by two male NU leaders are no doubt indicative of wider views of Syarikat within the NU. Writing inRUAS in 2005 as a member of NU's National Religious Council (Syuriah), Kiai Masdar F. Mas‘udi commends Syarikat for its work, but notes it will not easily be accepted by the mainstream of the NU.”1 He also tries to justify the NU’s involvement in the violence of 1965 based on the violence carried out by Pesindo troops against Islamic leaders fol- lowing the Madiun Affair of 1948. He claims that from the NU's perspective “1948 will be raised because they say there were many victims from the Islamic side. 1948 could be seen as the cause of 1965, so it is not fair to lust accuse the NU of being involved in 1965.”2 He acknowledges the scale of 1948 was more limited (several villages were targeted versus halfa million killed in 1965), but claims it will always be brought up alongside the topic of 1965-. "People often say they had already killed us [in 1948]. So it is not surprising in 1965 people said it was a matter of kill or be killed.""” Said Aqiel, who is more sympathetic to Syarikat, makes the same paral- lelwith 1948."M Both men are correct in stating that 1948 is a common reference point amongst members of the NU who defend the violence of 1965, but the fre- quently touted idea that in 1965 people acted only because it was a case of “kill or be killed," or out of fears ofa repeat of Madiun must be seriously examined. As the documents and literature surveyed ab0ve show, support for the violence from within the NU was systematic and organized. Some NU members 1 have interviewed adopt the more comfortable narrative that “we were all victims,” arguing that members of the NU were completely ma- nipulated by the military. This is also true for members of the Syarikat network. At the first Yogyakarta Ansor “goodwill gathering" in 2002 on the 1965 killings and imprisonments, an understanding emerged between victims and older members of the NU “that the two sides had been made into enemies for the pur- poses ofthose in power?“ Even after researching the NU’s role in the violence members of Syarikat continued to argue that the violence of 1965 was vertical and not horizontal in origin, concluding that therefore the violence was Stzlte di- rected."16 This is of course a more palatable narrative for members of the NU. Again Syarikat seems to have been influenced by the primary goal of bringing 100. Kittjasungkzma 2004, 43—6; Chandraldrana leO-l'. 34:51nta Nuriyah 2004, 5—6. 101. Masdarwas once hailed as a leading reformer in the NU. From this perspective his comments in 120145 are disappointing. See van Bruincssen 1994.221—22. 102. Masdar 2003, 5, 103. lbitl. 104. Said 2003. 6. 105. This is according to Masrukin, from Lakpesr‘lam NU in Blitar. Masrukin 2007. 1d. 106. Author interview with Rumekso Setyadi. ‘t’ogyakarta, 25 May 2005. 21 6 Critical Asian Studies 41:2 (2009) .vu-‘In. ....» In people together rather than fully interrogating the role of the NU in this vio- lence. It is critical to understand the military‘s role in directing the violence of 1965—66 and to recognize cases of coercion, but suggesting that both those who killed and were killed were “all victims" again obscures historical reality. Unlike members of the Left, members of the NU were not the subject of mass purges; they and their families were not terrorized -—- whether during the period of vio- lence, while in prison, or throughout most of the New Order regime. They did not have their property destroyed or taken, and most did not lose members of their family, unless they were members of the Left. They have not had their rights restricted for the last four decades. Hasyim Muzadi, the current general chairman of the NU, was born in Tuban EastJava in 1949 and was sixteen years old at the time of the coup attempt. Mu- zadi declined to talk at length about the violence of 1965 and tried to deflect at— tention from the killings, pointing to many other cases worldwide of mass vio- lence including white Australian violence against indigenous Australians: a deliberate reference to my own background as a white Australian. m In our inter- view he also claimed that the PK! had been “planning a genocide?” This speaks to another idea circulated frequently in NU circles, namely, that communists had dug holes in many places as mass graves in preparation for further killings after the 1965 coup attempt. 'WWhen pressed Muzadi said he supported cultural reconciliation, which he interprets to mean informal reconciliation and he also stated that the full rigth of former political prisoners should be restored and that the children of victims should not suffer discrimination, but he seemed to be wary of Syarikat as an organization stating that “their aims were not clear. "1'" The meaning of this last statement is made clearer by the more candid com- ments Muzadi made in his opening speech to participants in an internal NU 2004 dialogue concerning “victims of the PKI." Here Muzadi openly addressed the revival and rehabilitation of "the extreme left wing” during the reform era. He expressed concerns about organizations “right down to the village level” agi- tating to investigate the past, arguing that this would only reopen old wounds'” His reference, presumably. was to victim groups such as YPKP 1965/1966 (Yaya- san Penelitian Korban Pembunuhan 1965/1966, The Foundation for the Re- search into Victims of the 1965-66 Killings) that are researching the past and dc- manding various forms of redress. Syarikat has fostered links with these organizations. In more closed discussions such as this internal NU dialogue Muzadi has thus expressed fears of former political prisoners gaining too much 10?, Authorinlcn’iewwith Hasyim Muzadi, PBNU,Jakarta, 19 May 2007. An interesting parallel be- tween the two cases ofdie NU and white Australians is that both groups are as Morris-Suzuki (2005) argues in the case of Australia "implicated" in past violence in the sense that both groups and their descendants benefited, and continue to benefit, from the violence indirectly 108. Author interview with Hasyirn Muzadi, PBNU, Jakarta, 19 May 2007, 109 Author interview with Abdullah Faqih, Tuban, 2.7 February 2008. 110‘ Author interview with Hasyim Muzadi. PBNU. Jakarta. 19 May 2007. 1 l L Dialog [llama NU Dengan Kel'uarga Korbrm PK! 43 di Madiun and 65 diJrIkarIa 2004. McGregor i‘ Confronting the Fast 21 7 No. as Tahull xmx influenCC- UndeflYing this Mai 20” concern is possiny a deeper worry about mem- bers of the NU being pros- ecuted for their.‘ roles in 1965. In 2006 one of the most prominent anticommu- nist-s in the NU, Yusuf Has- yim, who was a key leader in Ansorin 1965,“2 invited members of SyariI-cat to a seminar at Tebuireng pe- - santren to discuss the 2004 law that established the Truth and Reconcilia- tion Commission. When they arrived they were made to listen to argu- ments about why a com- mission was unneces sary."3 In 2007, the year af- ter the Constitutional Court rejected the Truth and Reconciiiation Com- mission. Syarikat faced more direct and open crit— icism no doubt in an attempt to end further exploration of the N role in the events of1965—66. In 2007. for example, the East Java NU magazine AUM de- voted most of its May edition to warnings about the revival of the PKI (see cover above). The magazine included attacks on both Abdurrahman Wahid and on or— ganizations viewed as products ofhis liberalism, implying a link between liberal lSSI».I 02157959? P The front cover of the May 2007 East JIava regional NU magazine AUiA, reading "Beware of the PK!." Islam and a communist revival. L“ AULA‘S editor, Abdul Wahid Asa, is deputy head of the NU in Eastjava and a member of Commission C in the regional Eastjava parliament. in the May issue he rectmnted his experience of the aggressiveness of the PKI in the iand seizures of 1964. recalling how in these situations Ansor naturally defended the bafli (those who had made the pilgrimage, a mark of being a smztrz‘) and bow NU later crushed the PKI. Writing more than forty years after the events of 1965. Asa observed that NU youth who had never witnessed these events blame their parents and defend the PKI. Their excuse is for the sake ofhu- man rights. These kids are just the victims arising from the failure to 112. Hasyim 2005. 113. Email communication with Runiekso Setyadi, Syzlrikat. Yogyaknrta, 2 May 2007. 114. AULA: M(y'a!ab .-\’U. May 2007. 28. 218 Critical Asian Studies 41:2 (2009) firms tum—.th - w“. .. 1 fi 1. .5 absorb the meaning of biri'ulrwalidin [Arabic forbinl it he’s t - . I pmests]ga:d:eflofgr the . - Resusupan... propaganda of the com- munists for‘the sake of a few bank notes and pretending to defend human rights.‘'5 Senior NU memberAb- dul Muchith Muzadi ech- oes this direct slight at young members of the NU involved with Syarikat, saying he cannot under— stand the attitude of the young “because Islam — particularly the NU —— was Fara kiai- kecolongan’l‘ the PKI’s foremost enemy fiffifiéflfififihb - . I,m; . . [embaga NU ang r: in the 19605. For 1nd1- Pig-m “kin-Mgr“ Ada - - _ yang bash-abamb tie a r v1duals like Asa and Mu dmgan gerakan bemuansa mRHM-Apdfiflwl l pesdelmai.vansiusasalah l PW NU Jawa'Iirnur l EBERAPA penng -' menguku huge: kettka l i zadi, Syarikat represents .komunls- 9“? 3‘13er Tamrataseorsnswkahlak- = menye nukiran a betrayal of the NU el— Baratvansllberal- seemnsmkehpenmgdtms derfi- : AULAMeiZDO‘I‘ 19 Responses such as ' mmmmmnw 7 77 ‘ these demonstrate the An articie in the May 2007 edition of AULA entitled "NU hardened attitudes of Cadre Infiltrated." Covers of Syarikat's RUAS magazine are ‘ I iresented as evidence. some within the NU to for- i met members of the Left and indicate an unwillingness to let go of their griev- ances against leftists. There is a strong perception amongst some in the NU that there is only one valid interpretation of the early to mid 19605 in Indonesia. Ac- cording to this version ofevents, members ofthe NU acted only to protect them- selves and the Islamic faith in the face of an aggressive PK] and based on their ex- periences of 1948. They committed no crimes and if anything they were victims of the communists. On this basis they perceive activists within Syariitat to be be- traying their roots. This critique is inseparable from a broader critique of liberal Islam that has intensified in the last decade both within and outside the NU. Since the fall of Suharto, Islamists such as Majelis Muiahidin Indonesia (Indonesian Muiaha— deen Council) and Dewan Dakwah Islamiyah indonesia (Indonesian Islamic Missionary Council). who have been able to express their views more freely in the new democratic era, have criticized liberal Islam, charging that ii is a West- 115. Abdul 2007, 9. I 16. Subhan 2007, 22. 117. Al Qurtuby 2004, 250752. McGregor .l' Confronting the Past 219 ecularized version of Islam.117 In 2002, for example, Ulil Abshar a th head of the Islamic Liberal Network Uaringan Islam Liberal, JIL} 'e ofthe founders of Lakpesdam NU, wrote an article in Indonesia’s lead— n wsp'aper [(0um suggesting that there is no "Law of God," only general His article resulted in calls for a death fatwa against Ulil.”a 1 s of liberal Islam have also gained ground within the NU and are linked to the internal politics of the NU. In 2005 the NU hosted a conference on Islamic thinking in which some religious scholars attacked liberal Islam on the basis it had already crossed the limits offittingness by rejecting the views of clas— sical ulama. In arguments similar to those of Islamists, these scholars recom- mended that libe’ral Islamic ideas amongst young NU should be halted so that theywould‘not disturb the stability of Islam.” The criticisms of liberal Islam ex- pressed in this conference are inseparable from critiques of Abdurrahman Wahid because of his central role in driving reformist thinking within the NU, but they also relate to a wider rejection of Wahid's influence following his im- peachment as president in 2001. Growing critiques of liberal Islam within the NU are indicative of a broader trend identified by Feaiy of the abandonment of the reform agendamns I have demonstrated above Syarikat was a product of this reform agenda and the new thinking that this produced and for this reasOn it is vulnerable. Conclusions The Syarikat network of activists shows that some within the NU continue to support reform and want to help marginalized members of society. Although Syarikat was founded partly in reaction to the negative stigma attached to Ansor, members of the Syarikat network continue to advocate forvictims eightyears af- ter the founding of Syarikat, indicating they are genuinely concerned about the plight of survivors. Given the limited means of many survivors Syarikat strives to address the economic needs of survivors by establishing cooperatives. Through their hisrory projects and publications Syariltat members have focused on achieving societal acknowledgment of the suffering of those affected by the vio- lence of 1965—66. Due to a broader ambiguity about this past, the particular de- mands of a human rights discourSe and Syarikat’s primary goal of bringing together these peeple and members of the NU it has, however, carefully avoided direct discussion of the political lives of those affected by the violence and cho- sen the more comfortable narrative that bom the NU and members of the Left were victims in the violence of 1965—66. In his research on Syarikat, compieted in 2002, Budiawan argued that de- spite continuing contestation over which parts of the past should be empha- 118. Fealy 2006. 119. A] Qurtuby 2004, 250. :20, Fealy 2007, 156. 121. I’urwadi 2003. 252754. 220 Critical Asian Studies 41:2 (2009} a set of Islamic laws, that Islamists have increasingly emphasized in ' :i t....-_ni...~tw-_.s.qmommmi ‘- sized, Syarikat’s work had the potential to shatter deeply entrenched anticom- munism in Indonesia‘“ This may hold true for the younger generations in Indonesia who Syarikat and survivors iointly report show the most interest in their work and stories. The younger generation have not invested in a mono-fo- cused version of 1965, but there are still those who wish to keep anticom— munism alive and to continue to marginalize survivors of 1965 because of the potential ramifications of admitting to involvement in human rights abuses. The responses to Syarikat provide further insight into the effects of “truth telling“ and the complex process of promoting new versions of the past. They also con- firm the assertions of Mendeloff that opening the past does not lead in any straightforward fashion to “national healing" or reconciliation, particularly when revising versions of the past has implications for long—standing claims for legitimacy Ironically in the new democratic era of post-Suharto Indonesia —with hu— man rights issues being given greater attention u Syarikat has encountered op- position because of the links between this organization and liberal Islam. In the broader picture of human rights advocacy, the case of Syarikat highlights a new challenge that NGOs face, the growing influence of lslamists and an increasing tendency to police the limits of acceptable Islam. 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Weller, Robert 32, ed. 2005, Civil ii 9, globalisation and political change in Asia. London: 'Routled'ge. Wilson, Richard. 2001. Tine politics of truth and reconciliation in South Afi-ica: Legitimiztng the post-apartheid state. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Young. Kenneth. 1990. Local and national influences in the violence of 1965. [n Cribb 1990. 63—100. CI 224 Critical Asian Studies 41 :2 (2009) Criticai Asian Studies a Roufledge 41:2 (2009), 225_254 Tayior&Franr.is Group DEVELOPMENT AS LOCALIZATION Ethnic Minorities in China’s Official Discourse on the Western DeveIOpment Project Elena V. Barabantseva ABSTRACT: Since China initiated a series of post-socialist transformations in the iate 19705, it has presented itself as a developing country that is pursuing a challenging and ambitious project of socioeconomic construction. It adopted ec0nomic devel- opment as its primary ideological orientation to complement Marxist thought. China‘s recent attempts to develop its western region — specifically in the form of the Western Development Project (WDP) — give the ideology of developmentalism a new meaning. This article’s close examination of the WDP reveals an interesting in- terdependence between the issues ofdeveIOpment and ethnicity: in addition to ad- dressing problems of unequal regional development, solving increasing security concerns, and tackling poverty, official and scholarly writings in China repeatedly ascribe the WDP with minority features The author exposes and analyzes the ethnic minority label that China‘s dominant discourse on development attaches to the WDP and argues that this discourse prevents ethnic minorities from becoming fully recognized participants in the economic transformations taking place in China. It does so by localizing ethnic minorities in one region, China’s West, and by character- izing them in a derogatory fashion. Since the inception of the reforms in the late 1970s, modernization and eco- nomic deveIOpment have not only become the Chinese government’s primary ideological guiding line, but essentially the new nation-shaping principles of China. While modernization has been China’s goal since the late nineteenth century, it gained a new meaning and significance when China’s leaders, under. Deng Xiaoping, set new national economic and political objectives in 1278. All ISSN 1467-2715 ptintt'1472-6033 oniinet'OZ {000225-80 ©2009 BCAS, "to DD}: 1010801146727109021309393 ...
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7.1 - McGregor Katharine E ‘Confronting the Past in...

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