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Indonesia to check accuracy of secret US documents on army plans to overthrow Sukarno

CNN Indonesia - October 18, 2017

Riva Dessthania Suastha, Jakarta – The Indonesian government will check the validity and accuracy of scores of recently declassified US documents on the September 30 Movement affair in 1965 and the army's plan to overthrow then President Sukarno.

"What we need to do before drawing any conclusions is to check the accuracy and validity of these reports", said Indonesian Foreign Affairs spokesperson Arrmanatha Nasir at a press conference in Jakarta on Wednesday October 18.

Arrmanatha said that the documents need to be verified because they include reports from the ambassador and the US Consulate General in Jakarta at the time.

The documents he said contain explanations by US diplomatic representatives about the situation in Indonesia based on perceptions, information and the access that they had throughout 1964-1968.

According to Arrmanatha, the validity of all of the reports has to be verified against actual events and facts.

Arrmanatha made the statement following the release of as many as 39 documents totalling some 30,000 pages on the TNI AD (Indonesian Army) and the PKI (Indonesian Communist Party) which were published by the non-profit National Security Archive (NSA), the National Declassification Center (NDC) and the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) and posted on the website http://nsarchive.gwu.edu/ on October 17.

The documents, which are in the form of daily records between 1964 and 1968 cite, among other things, efforts by the AD to push Sukarno aside and destroy the left in Indonesia, executions of the PKI leadership and the involvement of US officials in supporting the AD.

The documents note that the overthrow of Sukarno needs to be understood from the approaches made by the AD to several Western embassies. This was done in order to look into the possibility that such a move would be successful.

"According to an official at the German Embassy, the AD Indonesia is currently considering the possibility of overthrowing Sukarno", read a telegram dated October 12, 1965 and sent by the US Embassy in Jakarta to the US Secretary of State.

Moves to garners support to overthrow of Sukarno were also made by former Finance Minister Sjarifuddin Prawiranegara who approached USAID official Edwin L. Fox. Sjarifuddin appreciated US efforts in dislodging communism and establishing democracy in Vietnam.

The US Embassy was also aware of the slaughter of PKI members by "Ansor" [the youth wing of the Islamic mass organisation Nahdlatul Ulama] in different parts of East Java. A missionary who had recently returned from Kediri in East Java on November 21, 1965 saw 25 bodies floating in a river. The Mojokerto Mission reported seeing 29 bodies in a river.

The release of these archive documents is a response to a growing interest in the remaining documents on the mass killings in 1965-1966 held by the US.

The documents also touch on the Indonesia-US relationship, British efforts to establish Malaysia and extensive secret US operations aimed at triggering a clash between the army and the PKI.

Up until now, stories surrounding the 1965 affair have been dominated by the sole narrative of Suharto's New Order regime. That the September 30 Movement was carried out by the PKI in order to seize power. The army generals were murdered. And Suharto, who later became president, emerged as the country's saviour.

CNN Indonesia attempted to contact the head of the TNI's information centre, Major Wuryanto and the head of the Army's information office, Colonel lfret Denny Tuejeh in relation to this report but neither have responded. (has)

[Translated by James Balowski for the Indoleft News Service. The original title of the article was RI Cek Akurasi Dokumen Rahasia AS soal Penggulingan Sukarno.]

Source: https://www.cnnindonesia.com/internasional/20171018175806-106-249278/ri-cek-akurasi-dokumen-rahasia-as-soal-penggulingan-sukarno/.

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