The authors of the report argue that national leaders

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Unformatted text preview: nored the sexual violence that occurred in the May 1998 riots, and find that ?there is still controversy about whether or not the sexual violence took place?. The report also concludes that these female victims of sexual violence were selected on the basis of their ethnicity, and therefore that the assaults were indeed against the Chinese community as a whole. Most of the victims, if they could be located at all, have since chosen to hide their trauma and move on with their lives. But most still continue to feel unsafe. Some have relocated within Indonesia or overseas, or have even changed their identities. Despite findings in late 1998 from the fact-finding team that President Habibie established suggesting further investigation into possible involvement of military and intelligence agents, nobody has yet been punished for any of this violence. The absence of justice for victims of May 1998 continues to cause disillusionment and an ongoing sense of vulnerability and mistrust in the authorities The Komnas Perempuan report serves as a reminder that, as its authors put it, the nation as a whole has ?a responsibility to ensure that the history of this nation is based on truth, not forgetting the May 1998 tragedy, and not forgetting the sexual violence which took place during the violence at that time?. Legal and human rights advocates, including Komnas Perempuan, the National Human Rights Commission (Komnas HAM), Commission for the Disappeared and Victims of Violence (Kontras) and the Institute for Policy Research and Advocacy (Elsam), working on behalf of victims of the New Order, continue to despair at the lack of political will to provide a genuine process for victims to seek truth and reconciliation, even ten years after reformasi. For many ethnic Chinese Indonesians this absence of justice for victims of May 1998 continues to cause disillusionment and to contribute to an ongoing sense of vulnerability and mistrust in the authorities. Post-reformasi improvements Notwithstanding these ongoing misgivings, the speed and extent to which the situation for the ethnic Chinese minority improved legally and politically in the wake of this violent transition is truly remarkable. For more than thirty years discriminatory policies and social conditioning had rendered Chinese outsiders. All of a sudden, the Chinese seemed to be welcomed into the Indonesian nation. The government repealed discriminatory legislation banning the practice of Chinese language and culture, lifting long-enforced taboos. This has had a profound effect on the way the minority has come to see itself as an ethnic group and as citizens of a multi-ethnic Indonesia. Not long ago it would have been unimaginable that the military would incorporate a Chinese cultural display into its sacred nationalist rituals For the first time in Indonesian history, presidents, ministers, governors and other senior officials regularly attend Chinese cultural events and watch traditional Chinese performances such as the such as barongsai (dragon dance). For example, the Indonesian Army?s 63rd anniversary was celebrated with a dragon dance performed by the Wirabuana Military Command, which oversees mi...
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This note was uploaded on 10/06/2009 for the course HIST 131405 taught by Professor Kate during the One '09 term at University of Melbourne.

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