Analysis of Responsibility

Defence speech of SUDISMAN General Secretary of the Indonesian Communist Party at his trial before the Special Military Tribunal, Jakarta, 21 July 1967.

Sudisman (1967)

Source: Analysis of responsibility : defence speech of Sudisman, General Secretary of the Indonesian Communist Party at his trial before the Special Military Tribunal, Jakarta, 21 July 1967. Melbourne : Works Co-operative, 1975. Scan PDF

Biographical Note

Sudisman was born in Surabaya; East Java in 1920 and from the age 13 on was politically active in the anti-Dutch nationalist movement. Soon after Japan occupied Indonesia, Sudisman joined the Indonesian Communist Party (PKI) which was working illegally against fascism. Because of anti-fascist courses he was conducting, he was arrested by the Japanese in September 1942. He was active in organizing fellow prisoners until 1945. After his release in 1945, he was again active in various organizations and from 1947 represented Pesindo (Pemuda Sosialis Indonesia—Indonesian Socialist Youth) of which he was secretary-general, in the leadership of the Sayap Kiri (Left Wing), a left united front, and the Front Demokrasi Rakyat (People’s Democratic Front). In 1948 he was elected to the Politbiro of the Central Committee of the PKI. During the second Dutch “Police Action” of the December 1948 he was a leader of nationalist guerilla resistance until arrested by the Dutch, after which he spent nine month in gaol. After March 1950, he headed the Secretariat of the Central Committee of the PKI in Yogyakarta, then moved to Jakarta and became associated with Aidit, Lukman and Njoto in the leadership of these four and Sakirman remained intact for 14 years. Sudisman himself occupied the post of General Secretary of the PKI throughout the Guided Democracy period, 1959-65.


Sudisman’s Analysis of Responsibility, his final address at the 1967 trial in which he was sentenced to death, is a major statement by the last of the main leaders of the Indonesian Communist Party of the 1950 – 1965 period. It is important for what it says about the past. For its analysis of why the strategies of this group of leaders ended in the terrible debacle of 1965 when the Indonesian Army was able to decimate the Party and massacre many hundreds of thousands of its members and supporters. It is equally important for the guidance it offers the Indonesian Party for the future. This speech, delivered on July 21, 1967, was only briefly reported in the Indonesian press and elsewhere. This is its first English language publication.

Sudisman was one of a group of young Communists, Aidit, Lukman and Njoto among them, who took over the leadership of the PKI (Indonesian Communist Party) in 1950 – 1951 and turned a small, defeated and demoralized Party into a large and dynamic force for the reconstruction of Indonesian society. At its height, the PKI had three million members and more than 20 million supporters in affiliated organizations.

But by the early 1960s its strategies had come to depend crucially on the ability of ageing President Sukarno to protect it against a CIA-connected coalition of rightist forces built around the central leadership of the Army; and after the abortive Untung coup of October 1, 1965 Sukarno’s ability to protect it was quickly undone. The unsuccessful attempt of Lt. Col. Untung and the group of middle-ranking officers for which he spoke, to oust the CIA-connected generals (an attempt which some PKI leaders supported, though the initiative had not come from them) provided the generals with the pretext for a devastating act of repression against the Party. Hundreds of thousands of Communists and others were killed in the following months and equally large numbers imprisoned without prospect of trial. Having achieved the physical destruction of the Left’s mass organizations, the Army leaders moved in early 1966 to oust President Sukarno. General Suharto replaced him.

Of the five leading figures of the PKI’s Politbiro, Aidit, Lukman, Njoto, Sakirman and Sudisman, Sudisman was the only one to be put on trial by the Suharto military government. The other four were shot in the months after the counter-revolution.

Sudisman was able to evade arrest longer than the other leaders. But he was betrayed and captured in December 1966.

He prepared his speech in his cell only after overcoming his reluctance to talk to his interrogators and to the court. He refused to plead for his life, saying that he would follow his colleagues to death by another route. He chose to use his trial to speak to the world, and especially to the scattered survivors of the Party he had helped build. He saw it as a chance to present the PKI’s interpretation of the politics of Guided Democracy, of the anticipated generals’ coup and the unsuccessful move to forestall this. Above all he saw it as an opportunity to present a reconsideration of the strategies which he and the other members of the Aidit leadership had pursued and to set forth the lessons to be learned from the calamitous defeat to which these strategies had contributed.  

It is now ten years since the atrocious Indonesian massacres. Many tens of thousands of untried persons arrested for their membership in left wing organizations before 1965 are still imprisoned. This publication expresses the strength and steadfastness of Sudisman’s personality, as well as demonstrating the clarity of his analysis and the subtlety with which he fused Marxist-Leninist theory and the best traditions of Javanese thought. It represents the ideas of a person whose last political act was to analyze that terrible defeat. His analysis of it is both moving and profound.


Analysis of Responsibility

Honorable Chairman of the Tribunal and other Judges,

Honorable Prosecutor and Deputy Prosecutor,

Honorable Counsel for the Defence,

At this session of the Extraordinary Military Tribunal, abbreviated as Mahmilub, allow me to state my gratitude for the opportunity being given me to express my thoughts and feelings, and to set forth my main points as follows:

Point I: Introduction

Honorable Chairman of the Tribunal

For completeness’ sake, the exposition of a problem is usually accompanied by an introduction. An introduction serves to open the door to clarity, and prevents one from stumbling in one’s search and groping in the darkness—prevents one from struikelen in het zoeken en tasten en het duister. I would like to use my introduction to explain the title of my analysis.

I pondered for a long time, trying to find an appropriate title for my analysis—after being confined in a cell measuring 2.20 by 3.60 meters for more than seven months, or, more precisely, 211 days starting from December 6, 1966; after being interrogated 14 times over a period of 18 days for no less than 70 hours and filling 152 pages of pre-trial statements; after undergoing no less than 40 preliminary interrogations; after receiving food and clothing from TEPERPU[1] (Central Interrogation Team) 18 times; and after being given nine separate medical check-ups. And finally, in the course of my reflections, I hit upon an appropriate title:

Analysis of Responsibility

Why did I not choose another title, as, for example, Defence Speech? I deliberately avoided calling my analysis a “defence”, since a “defence” should have at its disposal the full arsenal of weapons of Marxist-Leninist and other theory. And it was precisely this armory that I lacked; I had no library to consult, no books at hand. Therefore the whole of the following analysis is based solely on the memories still retained in my mind—a headquarters divided into three compartments: i) fantasy, imagination, and emotion; ii) the intellect which brings to light thoughts and ideas; iii) the faculty of memory and control of the body’s movements.

Because of my limited knowledge of Marxism-Leninism, I laid aside the title Defence Speech. I believe that an individual’s knowledge is inevitably limited. One can know a great deal, but one cannot know everything. If one dares to say “I know everything”, it only means that s/he refuses to listen to the opinion of others, even when they are based on convictions different from my own. It is from this point of departure then that I have prepared my Analysis of Responsibility.

Another question — did not some other title ever flash through my mind? It did indeed – and the title which occurred to me was The PKI Accuses! But I felt it impossible to use such a majestic title, isolated as I was in my cell, without a single comrade with whom to discuss it. Rather than sailing alone on the glory of such a title, I thought it would be better to run ashore with the simple title Analysis of Responsibility.

Responsibility to whom. Responsibility to the People, of course. Who do I mean by the People? The People are: the workers, the peasants, the urban petty bourgeoisie, including the revolutionary intelligentsia, and the anti-imperialist, anti-landlord and anti-feudal national bourgeoisie. The workers, the peasants, the urban petty bourgeoisie, including the revolutionary intelligentsia, are the laboring People. They form the dynamic force of the Revolution in the national and democratic stage, the anti-imperialist and anti-feudal stage of revolution. On the other hand, the national bourgeoisie is an additional ally. With its vacillating character, it can, within certain limits and for a certain period of time, be consistently anti-imperialist and anti-landlord. This then is my definition of the People.

Naturally, on the basis of this definition, I feel myself in no way bound to the enemies of the People. [Who are the] enemies of the People? The enemies of the People are the imperialists, the landlords, the compradore bourgeoisie and the bureaucratic capitalists, who are known to the People as Kabir[2] and Thieves of the Nation's Wealth, to use Bung Karno’s term.

My responsibility to the People is at the same time my responsibility to the Indonesian Communist Party. It is a great pity that the present sessions of the Mahmilub are not being broadcast by the RRI like the earlier sessions of the Mahmilub in the case of Dr. Subandrio. Yet, even though these sessions are not being broadcast over the RRI, I am certain that they will reach them [the People and the Party] by the grapevine, from person to person, since mon-blad [word of mouth] travels faster than staatsblad [state gazettes][3]. Major Suwarno, SH. Chief of the Mahmilub's Defence Assistance Team, has said that my arraignment before the Mahmilub is an important event, since it has both national and international significance. Flight Major Trenggono, SH. has stated that the Mahmilub sessions are a fair trial [Eng.][4]. This, of course, should mean a trial open to the public. And Lieutenant-Colonel Subari, SH. once told ex Brigadier-General Supardjo that General Suharto's purpose in making the Mahmilub sessions open to the public was to permit the people to evaluate the government's policy in trying the cases connected with the September 30th Movement. He also said that the People’s final evaluation would be a matter for the People to decide for themselves. In view of such statements by Major Suwarno, SH., Flight Major Trenggono, SH. and Lieutenant-Colonel Subari, SH., it would be only logical to broadcast all Mahmilub sessions over the RRI. But a ruling government always has the power to set logic aside, if logic appears to damage its political position. In a word, what is logical can be made illogical, and what is illogical can be made logical: thus the present sessions of the Mahmilub are open, yet closed and are “public", but only in the sense of being in line with RRI (Radio Republik Indonesia), the state broadcasting authority, public statements in the press, which are themselves the results of unpublished briefings to reporters by military spokesmen. In fact, this is what one could call fully public but not public at all, or what in the language of ordinary people, would be called dictated, in other words, undemocratic. If any of the reporters involved dares to deviate from the line laid down in the briefings, he runs the risk of being given a rest in a hotel pro deo [Ironic phrase for prison]. Indeed, if my personal sense of justice were put the question, it would not nod in approval, but would roundly declare that this whole affair is contrary to the just interests of the broad masses of the People. At least this is what my own sense of justice tells me. But I well understand that all this is really politics, and therefore need not be gone over at great length.

I have therefore done my best to ensure that the whole of my analysis is interwoven with the red thread of the rebuttal on the first day of these hearings, when l was given the opportunity to put forward my demurrer. There I stated that:

First: all of my actions have been political actions, performed on the basis of my Communist convictions.

Second: I understand the law to be the expression of the existing power structure.

Third: I do not agree with the policies of the present government.

I would like to thank the Honorable Prosecutor for his many citations of Marxist-Leninist theory which have refreshed my memory after my seven month enforced absence from the study of Marxism-Leninism. I would also like to thank the Honorable Prosecutor for stating in his indictment that my actions represent a politieke misdrijf — a felony covered by no specific ordinance in the body of Indonesian law or even treated in the Indonesian criminal code, which indeed is still without specific provisions on political offences. However, I do deeply regret that the Honorable Prosecutor, in supporting his arguments, cited the opinions not only of Drs. E. Utrecht, but also of Simons, Stanmish, Mr. Robert van Deputte, Van Bemmelen and Van Hattum, Mr. T. Noyon, Langcmeijer, etc., most of them legal scholars from Holland, the former colonial ruler of Indonesia. It would have been easier to stand proudly erect while listening to the reading of the indictment, had the arguments been based on the opinions of Indonesia’s own legal scholars, such as Wirjono Prodjodikoro, SH., Susanto, SH., the late Djokosoetono, SH., and others. This would have provided a firm basis of Indonesian identity, which I revere and defend. As a Communist and as a son of Indonesia, I feel ashamed that in the Dutch period before World War II I was arrested by the Dutch colonial government for persdelict [Offence against press laws] and was charged with violating articles in Engelbrecht [A well-known compendium of colonial law]; that in the Dutch period after World War II I was again arrested by the Dutch colonial government and charged with violating articles of Engelbrecht; and that after almost 22 years of Indonesian independence I as once again, being accused of violating articles of Engelbrecht.

Even the books are the same. This is one of the symptoms confirming the PKI analysis of Indonesia as a semi-colonial or half-independent country. Other symptoms are that imperialism and the remnants of feudalism still have not been erased from Indonesian soil. Frankly I cannot accept that the words des Konings be read as “of the President" since ‘we do not live in a Koninkrijk [Kingdom] in the Republic of Indonesia which I love. I also cannot agree with the words ministeriale verantwoordeirjkheid [ministerial responsibility], in this instance of the Dutchgovernment, being identified with the Cabinet of the Republic of Indonesia, because their spirit is utterly difference.On the other hand, if the Honorable Prosecutor is willing to equate the Staten-General [States-General] with the present MPRS[5], which is not elected by the People, that is up to him. I hope that on this point at least the HonorProsecutor and I understand each other.

To return to the question of responsibility, I believe no statement of responsibility can be firmly based unless it is cemented by a steadfast will. That is why I have chosen as:

Point II: Determination

Honorable Chairman of the Tribunal

From the moment that a squad of the Operasi Kalong[6] accompanied by comrade Sujono Pradigdo, Chairman of the Verification Commission of the PKI’s Central Committee raided the place where I was staying in the flooded kampung of Tomang[7], and there arrested me, I resolved to remain strong and unshaken in a steadfast determination, determination is based on Communist morality. I understand morality to be norms controlling the free activity of an individual in accordance with his class position. On the basis of this definition, Communist morality requires: i) honesty; ii) unity; iii) discipline; iv) solidarity; V) sacrifice. In the PKI the principle of honesty has always been stressed and cultivated, since honesty towards one another makes easy the attainment of unity through struggle. Unity itself grows and develops to the point where disunity emerges within unity, and further struggle is necessary to create unity once again, and so forth, in accordance with the law that unity is relative, but struggle is absolute for the attainment of unity.

The results of struggle within unity are the elimination of what is outworn and the growth of what is new and progressive; at the same time the growth of the progressive is invariably resisted by the outworn. This law operates also within the PKI — in concrete terms, struggle within unity gives birth to decisions which must be obeyed and carried out whole-heartedly. This, of course, is discipline: and dedication of life cannot possibly be put into practice without discipline. The word discipline, which derives from the word disciple or pupil, implies a teacher’s principles put into practice by his followers. The same is true of discipline within the Indonesian Armed Forces, as formulated in the Fifth Marga of the Sapta Marga[8], which runs: “I, a soldier of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Indonesia, will keep firm discipline, be loyal and obedient to my superiors, and respect the soldier's bearing and honour”. On the basis of this analysis, it is clear that the PKI’s discipline is not a cadaver discipline, not a lifeless discipline, and a Communist is not a human robot. A Communist is an ordinary human being whose world view is based on dialectical and historical materialism, and who carries out his work properly and with excellence. For the PKI, work can only be performed properly and with excellence if it is accompanied by loyalty or solidarity. For this solidarity one must be ready to make sacrifices, since without this readiness to make sacrifices, and to subordinate personal interest to the interest of all, solidarity cannot be achieved, union and unity between leaders and led cannot be attained, and union and unity between bapak and anak buah cannot be forged.[9] It is this basis of Communist morality that conditions the practice of democratic centralism — centralism based on democracy, and democracy with a centre — in which collective and individual responsibility are made one. It is on the basis of Communist morality that I have tried with all my heart, in suffering, in difficulty, in the midst of thunder and lightning, in the face of death, to put consistently into practice the Three Ones: One thought, One heart and One goal. One thought is Marxist-Leninist thought, One heart is a Communist heart, and One goal is a fundamental change in the People's lot, from living in poverty to living in comfort, from being always in the wrong to being always in the right. On the basis of the Three Ones, I have tried hard to carry out my tasks. I have always used as my motto the English saying Be mindful of your task and do it right, for a task is noble. And with the Three Ones I have marched forward in the determination that I formulated in a statement dated December 21, 1966, which I handed to my interrogators, Lieutenant-Colonel Ali Said SH, Lieutenant-Colonel Durmawel, SH. and Lieutenant-Colonel Subari, SH. In full, the statement runs as follows:

Statement of Sudisman

Honorable Interrogators,

I was arrested on December 6, 1966 in the isolated area of Tomang, in a ravine encircled by my adversaries, exactly one year to the day since Comrade Njoto [Njoto was second vice-chairperson of the PKI and third man in the Party hierarchy] was taken prisoner. For me this was a deeply moving event, the common date symbolizing a common fate and a common ordeal. My feeling have now been still more deeply moved and touched by the courtesy of my interrogators who have kindly given me a last opportunity to express my final words as a Communist pejuang [lit.: he who struggles][10], as the year 1966, comes to its close. Quite by chance, not to say by an extraordinary chance, the end of the year brings an end to the life of a Communist. How could one not be moved?

From this emotion, there stirred in the depths of my heart a desire to express my thanks for all the efforts expended by my interrogators, who with endless patience, at tempted to alter my determination to choose the path of death, and persuade me to take the path of the courts. I cannot pass over this statement of thanks without once again repeating, once again reiterating my gratitude to my interrogators for their understanding of the thoughts and feelings rooted deep in my heart: to share the fate and attitude of the mass of the PKI’s members who have been shot to death, to show the same courage in the face of death as the top leaders of the PKI, D. N. Aidit. M. H. Lukman, Njoto and Sakirman, and to shoulder responsibility for the hundreds of thousands of victims among the progressive masses who died because of the September 30th Movement failure. I fully understand, and respect, the weight of the arguments presented by my interrogators, who constantly urged me to take the “path of the courts”. However, the question automatically arises: why should I choose the “path of the courts", when my beloved comrades, my colleagues in the party leadership, D. N. Aidit. M. H. Lukman, Njoto and Sakirman have taken the short cut of the “path of death” for the honour, of the PKI?

All four are dead, shot down without taking “the path of the courts". The four of them are I, and I am the four of them. Communist solidarity demands that I unite my stance with theirs and choose the “path of death”. With the four of them, I have been five-in-one[11]. Together we five rebuilt the PKI after 1951: from a small group it became a large one; from following wrong policies it turned to correct policies: from being isolated it developed a wide front; from scarcely studying theory at all it began to study Marxist-Leninist theory; and then, because it had not concretely mastered Marxist-Leninist theory, it met its downfall in the failure of the September 30th Movement, which severely damaged the PKI. As an individual, I was involved the September 30th Movement which failed. This failure means also my own failure as a leader of the PKI, since it has led to the victory of the adversaries of the PKI, the victory of the right in the internal contradictions between the right, the centre and the left. Failure means defeat, and the punishment for every individual pejuang who fails and is defeated, falling into the hands of his adversaries, is death. Thus, for me, the “path of the courts" will end in death, while the “path of death” will end in not being alive. The two paths, then, have the same end. The difference lies only in their length: one path is long, and is called the "path of the courts", while the other is short and is called the “path of death". I choose this shorter path, the path of death, the path of five becoming one, the path which has already been travelled by Comrades D N. Aidit. M. H. Lukman. Njoto and Sakirman. If I take the path of death by making use of my right to refuse to answer any questions. 1) This does not mean that l am a diehard. If I were a diehard, I would have resisted the officers of the state who surrounded my house when l was being arrested. No. I do not want to die meaninglessly, with the reputation of a fool. 2) It does not mean that l have lost hope. If l had lost hope, I would have tried to kill myself in my prison cell. No, I do not want to die with the reputation of a coward. 3) It does not mean that I have ambitions to be a hero. He who fails in his struggle is no hero. If a hero is forced to give up his life, he does so on the field of battle. No. I am not one of them. 4) It does not mean that I do not love my family, especially my wife and children. My whole life-struggle as a Communist has been dedicated precisely to the People: that is to say, if the People are victorious, the People will be happy. The happiness of the People, of course, includes the happiness of my family, my wife and children whom I love. No, it does not mean that I do not love my family, my wife and children, but exactly the opposite, that I do love them deeply.

It should now be very clear that I am not a diehard, a man in despair, a man with ambitions to be a hero, nor a man who does not love his wife and children. I am simply a Communist who wishes in the spirit of solidarity to take the “path of death”, the path of Five Becoming One. The Five of us once before were brought before the interrogators, and defended the PKI’s critical statement on the Indonesian government’s policies of July 8, 1960. The five of us were interrogated together, and together the Five of us were released. We Five have always been together. But in any event, I am simply a Communist who has said only what it is essential to say, and beyond that has made use of his right not to answer questions, since many documents have already been confiscated by the present military regime. These documents speak for themselves about the PKI and its struggle to defend the interests of the masses of the People. Therefore, for all these reasons that l have mentioned, there seems to me nothing exaggerated in my assuming the right, now that all four of my comrades have been shot dead, to choose in all sincerity the same path, the “path of death". Nor, l think, does my choosing the “path of death" violate in any way the present military regime's Order of the Day, which ordered me taken “dead or alive“. What does this mean? It means, I believe, that I was declared vogelvrij [fair game]: taken alive, I would certainly be killed: taken dead, my death would never come to the attention of the courts. This strengthens my contention that the “path of the courts" ends in death and that the "path of death” also ends in death. It is, of course, true that there is death because there is life, and that every life is closed by death. But if I die this certainly does not mean that the PKI dies with me. No, not at all. Although the PKI is now shattered, I firmly believe that this is only for a time and that in the process of history the PKI will eventually rise again, because the PKI is a child of the times, given birth to by the times. The resurrection of the PKI does not depend on the five of us who failed in giving it leadership. Through many hardships and difficulties, the PKI will rediscover the means to rise again with people far fresher than the five of us. And they will certainly make to our failure the mother of their victory. The law of struggle is inexorable: struggle, failure, struggle once again, failure once again, struggle, failure … and ultimately victory. Victory only goes to those who have the courage to face difficulties and who dare to carry on the struggle. To be victorious one must have the fortitude to take the long road.

I am aware that failure in struggle is always the result of mistakes. This was the case with the failure of the September 30th Movement, a failure occasioned by the accumulated mistakes of the PKI over a long period of time:

First: In the field of ideology the mistake was subjectivism, originating socially from the ocean of the petty bourgeoisie and based on the narrow-minded working methods of the petty bourgeoisie. This means looking at something only from one point of view, one-sidedly, not as a whole, with the result that reality is faced not as a coherent totality but as a cluster of discrete fragments. Consequently, at the height of its power, the PKI forgot to be vigilant, forgot that the imperialists and the reactionaries here at home could become consumed by a rage to strike. What was required under such conditions was essentially the Marxist-Leninist skill to calculate scientifically the concrete balance of forces on each side, on the side of the PKI and on that of its adversaries. For organizing a movement requires more than just courage; it also requires revolutionary skill in determining the right moment and in leading the movement. These requirements were not fulfilled by the September 30th Movement, and thus were the causes of its failure. Moreover, the movement was totally isolated from any upsurge of the masses. This was true even though the aims of the September 30th Movement as announced by the Revolutionary Council were excellent: preventing military dictatorship, consistently implementing Nasakomisation [Nasakomisation: the implementation of President Sukarno's political formula for unifying the nationalist, religous and Communist pooping: in Indonesian society. The main practical thrust of the formula was to equal representation for each in every sector of government at both central and local levels] in all fields, and taking action against all abuses in the financial and economic fields. I am in Full agreement with the September 30th Movement because it aimed at defending and maintaining the left wing policy of the Indonesian Republic.

Aside from subjectivism. the PKI leaders were also infected with modern revisionism, which comes from the embourgeoisement caused by attaining official positions in the state. These ideological weaknesses were the origin theoretical conceptions of [co-operation] with the bourgeoisie. One example was the slogan “Manipol[12] is a common programme". This particular formulation was correct. But it became incorrect when it was expanded to run: “If Manipol as a common programme is carried out consistently, it will be identical with the programme of the PKI". As a common programme, Manipol also makes room for the interests of the capitalist class (the bourgeois), and therefore maintains the existence of exploitation of the class. On the other hand, the programme of the PKI is Socialism, which completely abolishes l'exploitation de l’homme par l'homme, abolishes the exploitation of man by man. Thus the Indonesian capitalists cannot possibly be brought along to Socialism — they will certainly resist Socialism. The proof of this is that after the failure of the September 30th Movement, they demanded the revocation of Manipol because Manipol declares that the future of the Indonesian Revolution is Socialism and not capitalism. So much for the question of the PKl’s ideological weaknesses, which have already been stated in the PKl's Self-Criticism.[13]

Second: in the field of politics, the PKI leadership correctly stressed the importance of unity and struggle in carrying out a popular front policy. But in practice the PKI sank deeply into the sea of unity and did not pay enough attention to struggle. Working in a front means [working] with other classes: consequently it is only proper to wage a class struggle in the interests of the driving forces of the revolution – in other words, the workers, working peasants and urban petty bourgeoisie. Without struggle, the work of the front is dead: with struggle, the work of the front comes alive. This has been demonstrated by the work of the old National Front, whose decisions were not reached through struggle. As a result the National Front never really tame to life.

Third: in the field of organization the PKI Leadership did not consistently put into practice the proper method of settling contradictions in the Party through criticism and self-criticism. On the one hand, this resulted in liberalism, on the other in commandism. Without criticism and self-criticism we became uncritical and criticism from below did not flourish. These mistakes of the PKI in the fields of ideology, politics and organization are all set out in the PKl's Self-Criticism which is in the hands of the present military regime. The positive aspect of the failure of September 30th Movement is that it has awakened the PKI to study its mistakes and to produce this self-criticism. I believe that in the course of history a new generation of the PKI will eventually draw the necessary lessons from this Self-Criticism. This new generation of the PKI will make the PKI a truly Marxist-Leninist Party, with a revolutionary agrarian programme. A PKI of this kind will be able to solve the fundamental problem of the Indonesian people: armed agrarian revolution by the peasants, supported by a broad national unity front, an alliance of the workers and peasants under the leadership of the working class. A PKI of this kind will certainly be able to integrate itself thoroughly, in word and deed, with the masses of the People, in accordance with the ideals expressed in two stanzas of poetry that I wrote while in the Jakarta Military Prison (RTM), which I have called:

The Ocean Adjoins Mount Krakatau

The Ocean adjoins Mount Krakatau

Mount Krakatau adjoins the Ocean

The Ocean may not run dry

Though the hurricane roars

Krakatau does not bend

Though the typhoon rages

The Ocean is the People

Krakatau is the Party

The two always close together

The two adjoining one another

The Ocean adjoins Mount Krakatau

Mount Krakatau adjoins the Ocean.

Only with a PKI which fulfills these preconditions is a general political and economic stabilization of Indonesia possible. That history will give this task to the present military regime is, in my view, impossible, for the following reasons:

First: because their lives grow every day more burdensome; the workers and peasants particularly do not support the present military regime. One day they will certainly rise up, struggle, and demand democratic freedoms and improvements in their lot. Second: inside the present regime, internal contradictions as to who shall have the most political and economic power grow every day more bitter. The masses of the People, together with the democratic political parties, will certainly demand the abolition of militarization for in the whole course of history there has never been a regime successfully maintained solely on the point of the bayonet. Third, economic stabilization based on so-called “aid” from the imperialists is no solution, much less inviting back the foreign monopoly capital which had already been liquidated by the revolution. Throughout history imperialists have never willingly agreed to the liberation of the People. On the contrary, they have imposed oppression, exploitation and extortion on the People. These are facts, whose reality is inescapable.

It is a great pity that the subjective condition of the PKI, which is still severely damaged, does not yet permit it to step to the fore. Hunted, in fear of enemy bullets, it is now compelled to lie low. But ultimately it will crawl back on hands and knees to take aim at the enemies of the People; the imperialists, the landlords and other reactionary groups within the country. In contrast to the still unfavorable subjective condition of the PKI, the objective situation is extremely good for the struggle of the People of Indonesia — especially in view of Indonesia's international position situated as it is in Southeast Asia, the pupil in the eye of present world contradictions, with Viet Nam as the iris. The special warfare waged by the American imperialist aggressors in Viet Nam, with the South Vietnamese Army providing its backbone, will eventually turn into a local war, where the backbone will be provided directly by the troops of the American imperialist aggressors themselves, now numbering more than 320,000 men. In my estimation, and on the basis of the aggressive character of the American imperialists, once local warfare in Viet Nam flares up, it will certainly spread to the whole of Southeast Asia. As a result the war will change its character once again and become a People’s war which gradually will come to rage without limits. Under such conditions Indonesia will be faced with a choice of whether to side with the People’s war or with the aggressive war waged by the United States, which will make Indonesia [part of] its rear lines. I am convinced that the Indonesian people will be found struggling on the side of the People's war. I believe a new balance of forces will then emerge in Indonesia; all the dynamic forces of the revolution will rise up and unite, marching towards a new Indonesia free from imperialism and feudalism. Such is the march of the historical process, a march which cannot be held up by any force whatever, certainly not by deceptive words about “repelling the enemy from the north”, and “containing Communism”. Indeed, in the last analysis, the world has already begun to change its shape, foreshadowing our victory. This is my conviction.

Forgive me if I have behaved improperly during my time in prison, and permit me to close this statement of mine, with my breast brimming with the glory of our national anthem Indonesia Raya; with my heart beating in time to the Internationale, the marching song of the workers of the world; with my eyes shining brightly, illuminating the slogan “Long live the PKI"; with a final cry from my heart “Workers of the whole world, Unite!"

Thank you.

Jakarta, December 21, I966.


My original determination, as previously stated a determination to make use of my right not to answer questions, in order to unite myself body and soul with Comrades Aidit, Lukman, Njoto and Ir. Sakirman, as they trod the “path of death”, has proved impossible to carry out, because the authorities would not permit it. I cannot clap with one hand alone. To avoid the possibility of being accused of wanting to drag out these proceedings, or of wanting to delay the trial, I finally yielded to the wishes of my interrogators and participated in the preliminary interrogations. I would like here to read out one answer that I gave to an important question put to me by my interrogators.


Point III: On the PKI and the September 30th Movement

Honorable Chairman of the Tribunal

On January 3, 1967, the interrogators posed me the following question:[14]

Question: What led the PKI to take action leading to the September 50th Movement at the end of September and the beginning of October 1965, in a regime under the authority of President Sukarno?

Answer: In answering this question, I hold firmly to the statement of the Politburo of the PKI Central Committee, dated October 6, 1965 which among other things explained that the PKI knew nothing about the September 30th Movement and that the affair was an internal Army matter. My reasons for this are:

1) In meetings of the Politburo of the PKI Central Committee. Comrade D. N. Aidit explained that there were progressive officers who wanted to take preventive action to forestall a coup d'etat by the Council of Generals. For this reason D. N. Aidit gave instructions for a number of cadres to be sent to the provinces a few days before the outbreak of the September 30th Movement, with the line "listen to the announcements over the Central RRI and support the Revolutionary Council". If the PKI as a whole had been involved in the September 30th Movement then: a) a matter of such importance would of necessity have been discussed in a plenary session of the PKI Central Committee, in view both of the broad national scope of the problem, and the concrete implementation of the theoretical proposition “once one takes up arms, one must carry the matter through to its conclusion; one must never play around with guns": b) it would not have been sufficient to assign a task of such importance to a few cadres sent to the provinces only a few days before the affair was to occur; it would have been essential to send large numbers of cadres to the provinces several months beforehand with the line “stir up the masses, create mass resistance and form Revolutionary Councils".

2) Once the September 30th Movement broke out, the facts show that the PKI was passive, made no resistance, and even became a ready victim of arrests – as a result of [Army] orders to “take action on the pretext of [the PKI] being directly or indirectly involved in the September 30th Movement". It became a victim, too, of mass murder (on the basis of orders to “destroy and eliminate them to their roots") and of “witch-hunting" (the third white terror — 1926, 1948, 1965). In my heart the question arises: what were the crimes of Mrs. Njoto and her children, who knew nothing about the political actions of their husband and father, Comrade Njoto? Why was she thrown into a cell at the [Fifth] Territorial Command Prison in Budikemuliaan Street? Now her child cannot suck at her breast any longer, since her milk has dried up. Even the authorities whispered “Don't take revenge!" But evidently this whisper has been paid no more attention than the wind that passes, since in fact a campaign has been launched to “de-Communise” members of the PKI together with their families. This passivity, this lack of resistance would have been impossible had the PKI prepared for and been prepared for the September 30th Movement.

3) The moving spirits of the September 30th Movement were mostly non-Communist officers, besides a few who were Communists. This was clearly in accordance with the statement of Comrade D.N. Aidit, that a group of progressive officers wished to take preventive action. This becomes still more obvious if one looks at the planned composition of the Revolutionary Council, which did not consist of the [top] Nasakom leaders, including the top leaders of the PKI, but which was composed, rather of lightweight Nasakom notables. Now if the PKI had really and truly taken action leading to the September 30th Movement the Revolutionary Council would have consisted of the top Nasakom leaders and would have been directly headed by Comrade D.N. Aidit himself.

In stressing these three points. I have no intention of denying that certain PKI leaders were directly involved in the September 30th Movement. Not at all. As I have already made Clear, there were prominent PKI figures, myself included, who were involved in the September 30th Movement. In stressing these three points, my main intention has been to draw comparisons with the rebellion engineered by the Masyumi and PSI[15]. Everyone, knows that Masyumi was set up during the period of Japanese militarism. Everyone knows that Masyumi was anti-Pancasila at the time of the Constituent Assembly.[16] Everyone knows the Masyumi is the legal form of the DI/TII, while the DI/TII is the illegal form of Masyumi.[17] Together with the PSI, Masyumi rebelled and set up a state within the state during the period of the PRRI, Permesta.[18] Top leaders of the Masyumi and PSI openly became Ministers in the PRRI/Permesta, but what action did the government take against them at that time? The government did not automatically dissolve Masyumi and the PSI much less dissolves their mass organizations. It did not confiscate the property of Masyumi and the PSI as organizations, nor did it sentence to death the leaders of these parties or ban the dissemination of their teachings. Quite the contrary, the government granted an amnesty. The Masyumi and PSI leaders have been released, and are now beginning to reactivate their parties. It is evident, for a start, that the GPII[19] has already proclaimed itself legal once more in an announcement in one of the newspapers.

Bearing in mind that a sense of justice and human decency are one of the five elements of the Pancasila, it is evident that the same treatment given to Masyumi and the PSI should have been meted out to the PKI. The actions of those leaders of the PKI who were involved in the September 30th Movement should have been kept strictly separate from the PKI as a party, which knew nothing about the September 30th Movement. But of course this did not happen. In my view it is perfectly obvious that the reason why it did not happen is because the regime has the same class character as Masyumi and the PSI. It is a general law that a class will never liquidate itself – thus the path actually taken was the path of compromise, the path of pardon and amnesty. But with respect to the PKI, the class adversary of the present military regime, a policy of liquidation has been carried out — which can continue for a temporary period, in the historical sense. Here one can clearly see the relative character of justice and truth, depending on which class holds power at a given time. Consequently it is also crystal clear that the class struggle not only has not been eliminated in Indonesia, but on the contrary, is growing increasingly sharp.

I would now like to set forth the actuality or het heden of the situation before the outbreak of the September 30th Movement. I feel it is necessary to explain this actuality, because I believe that “Het heden is onderhcvig aan het verleden en de toekomst" – that actuality is determined by the past and determines the future. What then was the actuality of that time? In my opinion, the actuality at that time consisted of a number of issues which I would like now to touch on, dividing them into several sections:

1. The Attitude of the PKI Towards the Government under the Authority of President Sukarno.

At that time the PKI’s established policy towards the government was to support its progressive policies, criticize its hesitant policies, and oppose those policies which harmed the People. The progressive aspects of government policy, which the PKI supported, were its generally anti-imperialist stance, and its limited anti-landlord position. The correct anti-imperialist policies of the government included the division of the world powers into two camps one the NEFO camp, consisting of the socialist countries, the newly independent countries, and the progressive peoples in the capitalist countries, opposed to the other, the OLDEFO camp, consisting of the imperialists.[20] On the basis of this NEFO politique, President Sukarno’s political line was perfectly correct, in his formulation of the Republic of Indonesia's foreign policy as follows: “not to make friends but to defend the revolution”, [Eng] and in his NEFO politique of including the Chinese People’s Republic as our “comrade in arms". This was a correct left wing policy, an anti-imperialist politique which concretely supported the struggle of the Algerian People against the French imperialists, supported the struggle of the Vietnamese People against the American imperialists, supported the struggle of the People of North Kalimantan against the British — through Confrontation with the joint British-American project “Malaysia" – and supported the struggle of the People of Pakistan against Indian aggression. This anti-imperialist and left wing politique has to all intents and purposes been annulled by the present military regime, which is no longer anti-imperialist in its acts, as is demonstrated by its inviting the return of foreign capital and

launching security operations against the “Communist peril" – In reality against the guerrilla fighters of North Kalimantan. So much for the anti-imperialist foreign policy of the former government.

The progressive aspects of the government's domestic policy were its definitely limited anti-landlord (feudal) programs: the five hectare limit on land-ownership by land-Iords, as stipulated in the Basic Agrarian Law, and the reduction in the setoran[21] [shares] paid by the working peasant from 5:5 to 6:4 in his favor, according to the provisions of the Law on Share-Cropping Agreements. These progressive policies, which to some degree favored the working peasant, have now to all intend and purposes been nullified by the present military regime. This is proved by the facts that a great deal of land which was formerly divided up has now been forcibly reoccupied by the land-lords, sharecropping [agreements] have returned to the maximum, and bawon[22] [harvesters’ wage] has in some cases deteriorated from 5:1 [1:5] up to 1:20, while additional heavy taxes have been levied on the working peasants.[23] In short the lot of the working peasant has once again become one of being always in the wrong. If he dares to speak out, he is marked as a sympathy of the September 30th Movement; if he keeps silent, he is accused of boycotting the policies of the present military regime.

Those aspects of government policy which were hesitant and criticized by the PKI included a lack of determination and consistency in the implementation of its anti-imperialist policies, and of the Basic Agrarian Law on Share-Cropping Agreements. For example, no resolute action was taken with regard to American imperialist investment in oil development, the major source of Indonesia’s foreign exchange. Another example was the half-hearted implementation of the Basic Agrarian Law and the Law on Share-Cropping Agreements. The result was that the working peasants took action to ensure the implementation of these two laws. But strangely enough it was the peasants trying to ensure the implementation of these laws who were dealt with by the government, while no action was taken against the landlords who refused to obey the law. In reality, then, “the right were called wrong, and the wrong right".

The policies which harmed the People and were opposed by the PKI were financial and economic policies deviating from the Economic Declaration [Dekon][24] making agriculture the foundation of the economy and industry its backbone, and the policy of raising prices and charges.[25] In fact, to tackle our economic difficulties is essential to effect genuine “social support, social control and social participation", in order to liquidate all forms of mismanagement and nepotism. The only way to do this is to put an end to sleurleven, to put an end to meaningless routine which only prolongs the People's sufferings, by instituting Nasakomisation in all fields. This will ensure that the state apparatus carries out the demands of Manipol and Dekon, in order to destroy the three basic causes of the misery of the People:

i) The imperialists, above all the American imperialists, the principal enemy of the progressive peoples the world over.

ii) In the villages, the Seven Village Devils – 1) evil land-lords who refuse to carry out the provisions of the Basic Agrarian Law and the Law on Sharecropping Agreements, 2) evil officials who defend the interests of the evil land-lords; 3) evil middlemen who squeeze the peasants; 4) bureaucratic capitalists who abuse their power to enrich themselves by exploiting the peasants; 5) village bandits who become the henchmen and bullies of the landlords; 6) moneylenders; 7) bloodsuckers who trap the peasants into life-long indebtedness.

iii) In the cities the Three City Devils, civilian and military: 1) bureaucratic capitalists; 2) swindler; 3) corrupt officials.

In our experience, taking action against military functionaries was always much more difficult, proving the old saying: “blood is thicker than water" [Eng], or "esprit de corps, is stronger than the law".

These factors were the essential conditions for implementing Dekon, not the May 26 regulations, which in effect crushed Dekon and were dependent for their realization on so-called “aid" from the imperialists, not the dissipation of the Indonesian economy in an export drive alone, which was turning Indonesia into a market of raw materials for the imperialists, precisely like the old colonial economy. Such policies will eventually make Indonesia a country completely dependent on the imperialists, not a nation standing on its own feet. So much then for the PKI’s attitude towards the government, an attitude aimed at eliminating the causes of the sleurleven (routinised malaise) which was and is prolonging the misery of the People.

II: Facing the Possibility of Imperialist Aggression.

I fully agree with President Sukarno’s reminder that the “death-line" of British imperialism stretches from the Gulf of Aden through the Andaman Islands and Malaysia as far as Hong Kong. In order to defend this “death-line” as the ultimate “lifeline” of their imperialism, it was only logical for the British to concentrate their navy, their army and their air force in Malaysia in the face of the correct policy of the Republic of Indonesia in helping North Kalimantan crush Malaysia. Thus the “Crush Malaysia” campaign was not set in motion because we were unwilling to live in neighbourly harmony with another nation of the Malay family, but because the British imperialists formed the federation of Malaysia in order to destroy North Kalimantan which had proclaimed itself independent of the chains of British imperialism. This, then, was the confrontation of the Republic of Indonesia which created an atmosphere of being “on the brink of war". A logical consequence of this policy was to make the territory of the Republic training and rest area for the freedom fighters of North Kalimantan, and for volunteers from the Republic of Indonesia who were helping the North Kalimantan freedom fighters against British imperialism. But gradually the “on the brink of war” atmosphere was likely to change its character, and develop into aggression by the British imperialist wishing to secure their rear. Furthermore, it was certain that the American imperialists would come to aid of their imperialist British allies, because the United States was afraid that the vigorous anti-imperialist spirit of the Indonesian People would spread to the Philippines, and thus disturb the rear of the Americans in their imperialist aggression in Viet Nam. I believe that at the time we were within inches of becoming the victims of imperialist aggression; accordingly, it was essential that the People be parsat [ready] and weerbaar [capable of defending themselves]. The correct method was obviously to arm the People with weapons from whatever source, including the Chinese People’s Republic. An armed population, forming a powerful instrument of national defence and survival would have to be organized within an organic institutional framework, a requirement closely approached, I felt, in the conception of the Fifth Force launched by President Sukarno.[26] In this way, the People in arms would be a strong body, with the Armed Forces a fist raised against imperialist aggression. In this way, too, the People and the Armed Forces would really and truly be like water and fish, inseparable from one another. This would be an indestructible condition of People’s weerbaarheid [ability to resist] and paraatheid [preparedness] in the face of possible imperialist operations. In an atmosphere of threatened imperialist aggression I donot think it was incorrect for AURI[27] to organize thetraining of volunteers, just as the other Armed Serviceshad already done. Nor was it wrong for the mass of thePKI's membership to join in the training of volunteers organized by AURI, just as the mass membership of otherparties joined in the training of volunteers by otherbranches of the Armed Services. If the Fifth Force hadbeen formed successfully, I am sure the training of volunteers on a separate basis would never have occurred. Allwould have been organized jointly as a single unit by all theArmed Forces working together. So much for Section II.

III. The increasing Gravity of the Financial and Economic Situation.

I believed at that time that financial and economic conditions were getting steadily worse. Prices were skyrocketing, and the purchasing power and standard of living of the People were steadily declining. The main reasons for this I have already mentioned above. The PKI never failed to offer its own ideas of the best way out of this situation; these included objections to the policy of raising prices, rejection of deferred payments, and death sentences for top level corrupt officials. Some of the PKl’s ideas were accepted by the government. But even though officially accepted, they remained decisions on paper. Funnily enough, such decisions were quite often followed by the formation of new institutions, which naturally meant an additional burden on the state budget, crisscrossing of lines of authority, functions and regulations, and obstruction of the work of the ministries concerned, since their powers were usurped by the new organs of state. This sort of thing occurred despite the fact that the structure of the organs of state should actually have been simplified and streamlined. Comrade Njoto once calculated that there were no less than

150 central organs of state, and that one official held no less than 32 positions simultaneously. Wasn't this sleur [lit. routine]? Yet whenever the People demanded that the ministers assume responsibility for this sleur, they always ran and hid behind the authority of President Sukarno, claiming that they were only his assistants. They forgot that even an ordinary servant can be brought to trial if valuables are missing from the house, let alone an assistant of the President. They forgot the pantun[28]:

The cigar is no ordinary cigar

It is a Capitan cigar, very expensive

The assistant is no ordinary assistant

He is an assistant to the President

His responsibility is very large.

Another danger lay in the ministers’ preference for private enterprise over nationalized industry, resulting in clear signs of wanting to turn the state enterprises over to private hands. Basically this was designed to demonstrate the superiority of capitalism over socialism, in spite of the fact that, according to Manipol, the future of the Indonesian revolution is not capitalism, but socialism. Thus their attitudes were actually hostile to the future. They deliberately maintained the situation of steur leven because they had become OKB [nouveaux riches] with vested interests, and deliberately closed their eyes to the existence of profit-making state enterprises such as several sugar mills, the Gresik cement plant, and the tin mines. The reasons why these enterprises worked well were: 1) The workers were willing to give “social support” because there were democratic freedom and some guarantee of improvement in their standard of living. 2) The workers were given the right of “social control” through representation on the Enterprise Councils which supervised the management and maintenance of the enterprises. 3) The worker were given “social participation”, by co-optation into the Boards of Directors to share in future “planning" and to develop a production surplus which could in part be used for the welfare of the workers themselves. It was these factors, then, which helped to create a certain arbeidsvreugde [happiness in their world] among the workers.

All this clearly shows that the road to socialism is not a road strewn with flowers, but a steep and rugged path, full of thorns. But one can go on all day long about the practical implementation of socialism. So much for Section III.

IV. The Right Wing Army Leadership's Policy of Isolating the PKI.

On the basis of the information given to us by Comrade D. N. Aidit, who was extremely meticulous in such matters, and who, in his position as Coordinating Minister, had many channels for checking his information, we were warned that the right wing Army leadership was pursuing a policy of isolating the PKI. I can confirm the truth of this analysis. I remember, for example, the storm that was raised over Comrade D. N. Aidit’s clarification of the PKI's support for the Pancasila. Whatever we did was wrong. If we said nothing about the Pancasila we were accused of being hostile to it. If we accepted it, we were branded as hypocrites, even though in the Constituent Assembly the PKI was one of the parties strongly defending the Pancasila. Then again, there was the forged document supposedly containing PKI plans for a coup d'etat.[29] In spite of the fact that D. N. Aidit denounced this document at the Bogor conference of the political parties, in Army circles the word continued to be spread that the document was genuine. Actually, the proper course of action would have been to launch a joint search for the author of the document and to take firm action against him. At the beginning of 1965, General Yani, speaking to the Yogyakarta Regiment, stated that if it was up to him, there would only be one Party, the Pancasila Party. He also stated that the one link with the masses which the Army could rely on was SOKSI[30], and that therefore SOKSI should be defended. In my view these remarks showed that Yani wished to see the existing parties, especially the PKI, liquidated and the PKI's mass organizations rivaled, for example SOBSI matched by SOKSI. After the success of the PKI’s 45th Anniversary Celebrations,[31] the story was spread in Army circles that the PKI was not just showing its strength, but rather showing its teeth in preparation for action — although in fact the PKI had no such intentions whatever. The policy of “Nasakom unite!” which the PKI supported was transformed into “Nasakom in my heart!” As I see it, this meant that if one had Nasakom in one’s heart, there would no longer be any need for Nasakom, or for the PKI. Yet actually Nasakom is the unity of the three living political aliran[32] in Indonesia. This was later followed by General Yani's statement on May 27 or 28 before the Conference of Territorial Commanders, that he himself had formed a Council of Generals whose function was to provide political evaluations. In other words, it was not a body to provide evaluations on promotions, since for this there already existed General Sudirman’s Committee, the successor to General Gatot’s Committee. According to Comrade D. N. Aidit, the policy of the Council of Generals centered round settling the issue of the Cabinet’s formation,[33] and executing a coup d'etat, which he believed would occur on Armed Forces Day. Preparations for a move in this direction were obvious in Army attempts to attract other political forces by inviting them to join in isolating the PKI. An example of this was the meeting of the Army leadership with the PNI [Indonesian Nationalist Party] on June 8, 1965, at the house of General Saleh.[34]

Any genuine effort to build unity would have required meetings of this kind with other parties as well, including the PKI. This never happened, demonstrating clearly that the intention was to change PNI policy completely — something which occurred after the failure of the September 30th Movement through the direct intervention of the Army leadership in the internal affairs of the PNI.[35] On the other hand, with regard to the other Marhaenist Party, Partindo,[36] the policy was evidently “let it die of its own accord". After the June 8 meetings, Section I of the Army General Staff [Intelligence] put out a circular on June 12 which declared that developments in the provinces, especially in east and central java, were not Nasakom consultation but Nasakom confrontation, and that the land question was becoming very heated. The conclusion drawn in the circular was that officials, both civilian and military, should avoid using terms like “integration with the People", since the use of such terms indicated political partiality, and that, in addition, close supervision of the implementation of land reform was necessary. In practice, of course, this meant supervision of the People’s actions, supervision of the PKI and its mass organizations, and opposition to the implementation of even limited land reform, as well as taking action against the BTI[37] [Indonesian Peasant League] and the PKI. The implications of this were clearly aimed at the ultimate "freezing" of the PKI and its mass organizations, as had previously occurred in the Three Souths Affair (South Sulawesi, South Kalimantan and South Sumatra).[38] Subsequently, at the beginning of August 1965, there was a KOTI[39] decision, if I am not mistaken Decision No. 86, which imposed even more restrictive limitations on democratic freedoms on the pretext of safeguarding KOTOE’s[40] colonial economic plan, solely based on an “export drive".

I fully accepted Comrade D. N. Aidit’s analysis, since I was convinced that for the military to maintain its power, it would have to impose further limitations on democratic freedoms, and to pursue a policy of isolating the PKI. Only then would it be able to liquidate the Party. The PKI has always struggled for democratic freedoms and rejected militarism. That is why the PKI always struggled for the elimination of the State of War and Siege (SOB), and after SOB was revoked, warned of the danger of “SOB without SOB". In reality, of course, ever since the imposition of SOB, essential power has lain in military hands. Even though SOB was later revoked[41] the military's position of power did not change, and with the failure of the September 30th Movement, has now been fully realized. Although it is not officially a political party, that is what the Army essentially is. It is a party whose overall policy is determined by the Army Seminar (a sort of Party Congress), and carried on between two Army Seminars by the Army Functional Group (a sort of Plenary Party Leadership Council), while practical day to day policy-decisions are taken by the Army Ministers in the Cabinet (a sort of Standing Committee Leadership of the Party). Moreover, the right wing Army leadership has now defined itself as a stabilizing factor – meaning that state power is wholly in their hands. "De overwinning is kompleet in hun handen.” Thus the military dictatorship which was opposed by the September 30th Movement and the Revolutionary Council is now a reality. And the policy of de-Communizing and isolating the PK], which was opposed by the PKI, has now also become a reality. The left wing policy of the Indonesian Republic has been turned completely round and has become a right wing policy. So much for Section IV.

V. The Progressive Officers under the Leadership of Former Lieutenant-Colonel Untung Take Preventive Action to Forestall a Coup by the Council of Generals.

Comrade D.N. Aidit clarified this and I was convinced of the truth of what he said. I understood the Council Of Generals to be those right wing political elements of the Army leadership whose goal was the attainment of a totally dominant position in the state — which again has now become a reality. And since all power is dictatorship, and military power is military dictatorship. This was what the progressive officers under the leadership of former Lieutenant Colonel Untung wished to forestall by taking preventive action. I agreed with this, since I have always struggled against militarism. Naturally my agreement was based on the assumption that everything had been carefully calculated. Again, militarily speaking, there is the well-known thesis that “aanval is de beste verdediging", or attack is the best form of defence. Furthermore, the atmosphere at the time was conditioned by the serious illness of President Sukarno. All the members of the PKI leadership were deeply concerned. Behind this concern, as political leaders we had also to think about how to safeguard or “safe-stellen" President Sukarno's left wing policies. I believed that action by the progressive officers would be the thing to safeguard President Sukarno's left wing policies, particularly as we regarded the political situation at that time as a revolutionary situation with the following characteristics:

i) The government was being forced to align its policies in accordance with the demands of the broad masses of the People;

ii) The policy of the government was being determined in the factories, the plantations and the villages by mass actions by the People; and

iii) The People’s actions were steadily developing into a revolutionary offensive.

I therefore believed that action by the progressive officers with their Nasakom Revolutionary Council, together with President Sukarno, would finally put an end to sleur-leven and ensure the consistent carrying out of the Five Talisman: 1) Nasakom (1925): 2) Pancasila (1945); 3) Manipol (1959); 4) Trisakti (1964); 5) Berdikari (1955).[42]

The action [of Untung] was not intended to illustrate the well-known English lines:

Man is a fool

When it's hot, he wants it cool,

When it's cool he wants it hot,

He always wants what he has not

but to express, however inadequately, the “rising demands" of the broad masses of the People.


These five central issues, and my judgement of the information and analysis provided by Comrade D. N. Aidit, who in my experience was always extremely careful and precise in estimating the balance of power were the background for my own personal agreement with the actions of the progressive officers which led to the September 30th Movement at the end of September and beginning of October, 1965, within the government under the authority of President Sukarno. Fundamentally, I was convinced that co-operation between the Revolutionary Council and President Sukarno would ensure that: 1) the anti-imperialist and limited anti-landlord policy of the Indonesian government could be implemented more consistently; 2) the People would be made more prepared [weerbaar] and capable of defending themselves [paraat] in the face of possible imperialist aggression; 3) the implementation of Dekon for a radical attack on our economic problems could be made more thoroughgoing by retooling and Nasakomising the financial and economic apparatus, and by taking action against the imperialists, the Seven Village Devils and the Three City Devils; 4) military dictatorship could be prevented, "SOB without SOB” could be eliminated, and Nasakomisation could be carried out in all fields; 5) the Five Talisman could be fully realized in practice.

I would like to close this reply of mine by stating that the statements I have so far given are sufficient, and that I am wholly resolved in spirit, mind and heart to stand firmly by my statement of December 21, 1966. Thank you.

Jakarta, January 3, 1967.


On the basis of this statement and after studying the plea of former Brigadier-General Supardjo, I must now firmly declare that:

FIRST: I believe that the Council of Generals existed, on the basis of the facts presented by Comrade Aidit, and the statement of the late General Yani on May 27 or 28, 1965, before the Conference of Territorial Commanders, that General Yani himself had formed a Council of Generals whose function was to provide political evaluations. If they have been carefully preserved, I am sure the minutes of the meeting must still be intact and could be examined. My conviction has been further strengthened by the statement of former Brigadier-General Supardjo in his plea (page 31)[43] which runs as follows: “I propose that a National Tribunal be set up to try both parties: that is to say, to try the September 30th Movement, as the Mahmilub is now doing, but also try the Council of Generals. The reason is that, as I have already explained, the September 30th Movement did not fight all by itself; obviously, it was fighting against something. According to the September 30th Movement, its adversary was the Council of Generals.

Up to now the ones who have been tried have been members of the September 30th Movement, those who have been accused of being in the September 30th Movement, and those who could possibly be accused of being in the September 30th Movement. What about the members of the Council of Generals or those who could be accused of being in the Council of Generals? If necessary, I have some materials to begin the prosecution: a) a statement that the Council of Generals existed; b) activities in the prologue period which tended in that direction; c) activities during the outbreak of the September 30th Movement; d) material for prosecution from the epilogue period, particularly with a view to demanding an accounting for the murder of so many of our people.

It is a pity, which I regret very much, that the court has not been able to bring here a man I requested as witness for the defence, former Brigadier-General Supardjo. If he had been allowed to appear, further information could have been revealed in the course of cross questioning before The Tribunal. This kind of ‘‘unilateral" justice deeply offends my sense of fairness. When the PKI carried out “unilateral" actions in the interests of the broad masses of the People, an enormous storm was raised, but now that “unilateral” justice is being practiced in these Mahmilub sessions[44], it is regarded as legitimate, the attitude is "never mind" [Eng.], not to say “who cares?". I know that the reasoning I have just put forward will be refuted with the argument that the Odang Committee[45], set up on the initiative of General Nasution, has already put together a sort of report to the effect that the Council of Generals never existed. But if this is to be taken seriously as evidence of rebuttal, then I have to laugh to myself, for who at that time would have dared to say that the Council of Generals actually existed? Even Dr. Subandrio, who refused to say anything at all about this matter, was harried before the Mahmilub, and as a result of his trial received the title M. T., an abbreviation of “Mati" [Death]. The People's wit is very sharp, and always comes up with something apt. For example, now they are saying that whether guilty or not, the Mahmilub always grants the accused one of two titles: MT — which does not mean "Master of Teaching” but Mati; or SH — which is not an abbreviation of Sarjana Hukum [LL.B] but "Seumur Hidup" [Life Imprisonment]. But all this is quite in keeping with the extraordinary military character of this court.

Coming back to the question of the Council of Generals, Comrade Aidit explained its right wing politique as being: a) not anti-imperialist; b) not anti-landlord; c) anti-Nasakom. Since the failure of the September 30th Movement, these typical features of a right wing politique have been systematically put into effect by the present military regime, which essentially is led by General Nasution and General Suharto. Gradually, stealthily, geruischloos [silently] they have “ivory-towered”, “safeguarded" Bung Karno — in other words they have imprisoned him. Thus power automatically makes the actions of its wielders legitimate and just – even though they are contrary to the sense of justice of the broad masses of the people. So much for the first issue — the existence of the Council of Generals. SECOND: Comrade Aidit explained to us quite convincingly that the existence of the Council of Generals had called into being the progressive officers and the September 30th Movement, which would carry out a military operation and form a Revolutionary Council. I am fully persuaded of the truth of Comrade Aidit’s information about the existence of the progressive officers, now that I have studied the plea of former Brigadier-General Supardjo.

On page 5 he says: “Does the witness [Omar Dhani][46] still recall my [Supardjo] suggesting to the witness [Omar Dhani] that the officers who were ontevreden [discontented] with the, Council of Generals should be brought before President Sukarno?" Omar Dhani answered: "Indeed I do and it happened long beforehand.” So much for Supardjo's plea. It was these ontevreden officers whom Aidit meant by the progressive officers who were maintaining and defending President Sukarno's person and left wing politique, which was characteristically: a) anti-imperialist; b) anti-Iandlord; c) pro-Nasakom. In the aftermath of the failure of the September 30th Movement, it is evident that certain officers tried to continue these left wing policies by resisting the toppling of President Sukarno — with the result that they are now confined in prison. These officers include Colonel Bambang Supeno, from the Brawijaya Corps,[47] the father of the Sapta Marga, and Brigadier-General Sukendro. They are not Communist nor even Communist sympathizers, but between them and the PKI there is this common political aim: the maintenance and defence of President Sukarno's person and left wing policies. It is really a historic irony, a joke of history that Indonesia, whose ideology is the Pancasila, has silenced the author of the Pancasila. Bung Karno, while the Armed Forces, whose ideology is the Sapta Marga, has muscled its father. Colonel Bambang Supeno. Because this has been done by those in power it is naturally "just" – even though contrary to any sense of justice, it is a great pity. it is something l deeply regret, that Comrades Aidit, Lukman and Njoto, whom I requested as witnesses for the defence, could not be brought before this court — on the "diplomatic" pretext that "they are still not in the hands of the authorities". Such diplomatic evasions are completely inappropriate to the military character of these sessions of the Mahmilub, which should be straightforward. If they have been shot dead, then say so frankly before the Mahmilub, say that they have been "shot dead" - on grounds that are convincing and on the basis of laws that are valid in the Republic of Indonesia. If, however, the ground; are not convincing, then of course I have the right. I am "gerechtigd", to ask, not, of course, to charge, whether or not there now reigns in Indonesia “terreur" and "schrikbewind" [reign of terror]? Comrade Lukman was shot with his courier, Comrade Dr. Saleh Djunaedi. Then in succession Comrade Aidit was eliminated on about November 25, 1965. Comrade Njoto on about December 6, 1965, and finally Comrade Lukman on about April 30, 1966. Such diplomatic evasions — usually branded as plin-plan[48][insincere] by the present military regime — are unworthy of the character of a ksatria [a Knight in Javanese] – a military man known as “faithful to his promises, honest in his words, and sincere in accepting the consequences of his actions”.

My thoughts go back to the Wayang world, to a fragment from the old story of Ramawidjaja.[49] It is the story of Ramawidjaja’s incorrect use of Guhya Wijaya, which I see as a parable of the arbitrary abuse of power. The Guhya Wijayawas indeed a matchless weapon, capable of destroying whatever it was aimed against, it was therefore all the more dangerous if the use of this weapon was not guided meditation and the conscious aim of serving justice.

Once upon a time, suffering the ordeal of the God with the disappearance of Sinta, who had been abducted by King Rahwana, Ramawidjaja grieved in his heart. His grief was witnessed by his younger brother Laksmana. His inward lamentations were addressed to the world around him. He reproached the winds, the clouds, and the shrubs and trees. He asked them why they kept silent, when it was impossible that the mountains and all the rest of nature did not know where Sinta had gone. His heart was so deeply grieved that for a moment he forgot his preeminent duty as the perfector of the universe. His ears grew red and tears trickled down from the corners of his eyes. Trembling he groped for his arrow of destruction. He longed to dissolve the clouds and the earth with the Guhya Wijaya. Laksmana saw and understood the signs of his brother's wrath. Immediately he fell on his knees, and kissed his brother's feet, sobbing uncontrollably: ‘Oh, brother Rama, what is My Lord now about to do? Your servant knows, indeed everything that My Lord has called upon knows that My Lord is bitter, grieved and angered. But from olden times have not the Kings, the Brahmanas and the Ksatrias, knowing that they have given service to the world, felt bitter and aggrieved at certain moments, even against their better judgement? My Lord is now boiling over with waves of anger. My Lord wishes to destroy all heaven and earth and everything within. Yet are we not simply temporary travelers on this earth? Any man [who did such a thing] would hate himself for it. But is not the essence of this life loyalty, compassion and hope. These three are the eternal keys, which make us gentle of spirit, long-suffering, willing to sacrifice ourselves wholeheartedly, and knowing gratitude? The ancient scholars have said that these are the keys for attacking our ideals, however high, and that these ideals will certainly be thus attained. Is this not the better course than to give way to the impulses of a vengeful heart, full of bitterness and grief — so that My Lord wishes to dissolve heaven and earth with his weapon of destruction, the Guhya Wijaya?’

When he heard the sobs of his younger brother, Rama's anger melted. He lowered the bow which he had stretched to shoot, and finely embraced his brother. The two then wept in each other's arms. And, watching, nature itself was moved. Due to the foresight, good sense and vigilance of Laksmana, the world was saved from catastrophe and the matchless weapon Guhya Wijaya was prevented from wreaking ruin and destruction.

This is merely a small fragment from the world of wayang. But from it I draw the lesson that simply because one has the power, one should not follow one's weight about at random, striking out blindly out of bitterness, grief and disappointment, and abandoning oneself to the waves of anger. Had it not been enraged, and convinced of its righteousness and strength, the present military regime need no have killed Comrades Aidit, Lukman and Njoto without any legal court procedure. For the sake of the Mahmilub's own motto, which is Pro Justitia, "For the sake of justice", not dumeh kuasa (just because having the power) I hope the Court will give me an answer: was this act [the shooting of my comrades] just and in accordance with the verdict of the broad masses of the People? To make us conscious of our limitations and keep our feet on the pound, we Javanese use the phrase Ojo dumeh — a phrase I find very hard to translate exactly into Indonesian.[50] If one analyses why this should be so, it is because people who dumeh kuasa or "let power go to their heads" are usually politely warned with the words ojo dumeh. I myself believe that the fundamental reasons why this problem has arisen are those detailed by M. J. Prajogo, if I am not mistaken an officer in the Military Police, writing in the magazine Tentara in 1964. He said then that “with increasing age, both in the individual and in the organization, there is a common tendency to reject change and renewal and a preference for instituting controls, with the idea of thereby achieving some stability of mind, of feeling and of condition, some stability of life". I am very much in agreement with these views of Mr. Prajogo. If one wishes to test Mr. Prajogo's thesis, its truth can be confirmed by the writings of Ds. P. T. S. Sarumpaet, Titular Colonel in the Protestant Section of the Army's Spiritual Centre, if I am not mistaken in his book The Personality of the Army. There he analyses this problem as follows: “A more meaningful duty for the Army is services to the Government, the State and the Society. Service in the good sense — devoting oneself to the common interest. One consequences of the overly long period of SOB has been that the soldier no longer thinks of himself as a guardian, but tends more to see himself as a wielder of power. Consciously or unconsciously his acts reveal this pattern of thought. We are fully aware, too, of the grave danger that threatens us should the defender of society become its master. It is quite possible that under such circumstances the prestige of the ‘green shirts',[51] once so high, in the eyes of the population, will gradually begin to fade, and the military themselves gain less and less sympathy from society. I therefore believe that this service aspect should not be allowed to disappear from the personality of the TNI[52]. And in line with this, the TNI must be the defender of the People, not their master. Everyone of course readily recognizes that the responsibilities of a soldier are very heavy. But a soldier must never, on this account alone. feels that it is permissible to act in ways which will cause moral damage to the soldier himself, or offence to the People and the government.

I have here deliberately cited the views of two men who are not Communists -- and have refrained from citing the views of scholars from the Netherlands, the former colonial ruler of the Indonesian People -- to bring to light view-points which come from the heart of Indonesian society itself. All the things that I have mentioned so far are facts, and the English saying goes that "facts are stronger than words". It would be extremely interesting to know what Ds. P. T. S. Sarumpaet would say now, when certain generals are declaring, in the wake of last year's Army Seminar, that the Army is a stabilizing, dynamising and determining factor. Supposing that the PKI had done the same thing, imagine the storm that would have raised — "Zie je nou wel [You see]! The PKI wants to take everything for itself!" On this concept of the Army as a stabilizing, dynamising and determining factor, my view is that: a) with the Army as a "determining factor" there is a strong possibility that the policy of the right wing Army generals will be carried out, and that the number of generals will be increased in order to hasten and develop political harmony at the top. In the old days, the ‘C’ Commission of the DPRGR[53] once calculated that the number of Army generals was no less than 150, in charge of an Army numbering about 350,000 men. This meant that each individual general had about 2,500 men under him: in other words, a single general had under him enough men to form a regiment, a unit usually commanded by a lieutenant-colonel. The consequences of this, of course, will be a considerable number of generals no longer directly active in military service. I am afraid that the end-result of this will be a military which runs everything except the military field itself.

I hope that it will not come to this. For in general, if the higher echelons are heavily preoccupied, they forget their subordinates. Twenty two years after Independence, to rise from private to senior NCO one still has to pass through the following ranks: PRADA (Private Second Class): 2. PRATU (Private First Class): 3. PRAKA (Chief Private); 4. KOPDA (Corporal Second Class); 5. KOPTU (Corporal First Class); 6. KOPKA (Chief Corporal); 7. SERDA (Sergeant Second Class); 8. SERTU (Sergeant First Class): 9. SERKA (Chief Sergeant); 10. SERMA (Sergeant Major): 11. PELDA (Sub-Lieutenant Second Class); 12. PELTU (Sub Lieutenant First Class). Thus to be promoted from private to senior NCO one has to climb 12 ranks on the ladder; and since each step usually takes two years, it takes more or less 20 years to complete the process — at which point the soldier is pensioned off! There are other things, of course, that we all know very well: if a low-ranking military man gets leave, it is often impossible for him to take advantage of it, even though he has moved heaven and earth to find a way to “ngobyek"[54] (make some money on the side) for it. And if he does take his leave, he is forced to answer "orba" to the conductor who asks for his ticket — orba here not in the sense of Orde Baru [New Order] but of "ora bayar” [not paying]. Furthermore, it is no secret any longer that all the lower ranks get beyond their basic rations, only a bit of soybean cake which has "had its face washed" — in plain language, a bit of under-boiled tempe or tahu.[55] I feel it necessary to point out all the facts to show that the lower ranks are really “up against it" and really live like soldiers in the sense of prasodjo, jujur lan irit [simple, honest and thrifty].

While I was a member of the ‘C’ Commission of the DPR-GR I could fully understand the dissatisfaction about political appointments and promotions — sometimes an officer would even get two promotions in one year. This dissatisfaction was clearly reflected in expressions like gak naik pangkat gak patheken [it won't kill me if I don't get a promotion], or one heard it cynically said that there are blawuken [mouldy] or lumuten [messy] colonels, or Colonels SH (seumur hidup - lifelong). In other words, there are colonels who remain colonels because they don't happen to be close to those senior officers who can give them political promotions. Such a state of affairs tends to breed apathy or cynicism among our officers, which in turn threatens to undermine their fighting "spirit" in performing their defence functions. I would not go so far as to say that under such conditions we shall have an infiltration of generals, not at all. But it is clear that there are a great many generals who are not directly active in military service, because they have been given assignments in non-military fields. Such developments have occurred because there is still no fundamental Defence Law as a basis for creating a body of organic regulations in the field of defence. The essential purpose of such a law would be to lay the foundations of the defence of the Indonesian Republic, and to rationalize and simplify the ladder of promotions, and so bring senior officers and their subordinates closer together. Indeed I made proposals to this effect when I was still a member of the ‘C’ Commission of the DPRGR and Vice-Chairman of the ‘C’ Sub-commission on Defence of the MPRS.

I feel it necessary to mention these points to prove that neither I nor the PKI are the slightest bit anti-ABRI (Armed Forces). In fact the PKI once even put forward the slogan "Two in One, the Armed Forces and the People", and “For Civil Order Help the Police!" The truth of the matter is that the PKI and I disagreed with the right wing policy of certain Army generals.

b) With the Army as “determining factor" there is a strong possibility of a trend towards the policy of the right wing Army generals in the field of Army budget allocations — sucking a large portion upwards, with unfavorable consequences for the lower ranks. As for the State Budget, President Sukarno hit the nail on the head in his August 17, 1966 speech, when he said that the Armed Forces took up the largest share of Budget -- about 66% -- and that the largest portion of the Armed Forces budget was taken by the Army.

The same is true of foreign loans: of a total of $2.3 billion, $1.3 billion came from the Soviet Union, and the bull of this was used for modernizing and equipping the Armed Forces. If we want to be really honest, it is inconceivable that General Nasution does not know that during the crushing of the PRRI/Permesta rebellion, we received about $28.8millions worth of arms from the Chinese People's Republic, a debt which was cancelled by the the Chinese People's Republic on the grounds that the arms were to destroy the counterrevolutionaries who were in league with American imperialism. Had it not been that President Sukarno was known for his left and anti-policies, I strongly doubt the Soviet Union and the Chinese People's Republic would have provided any aid. Without this aid the Armed Forces would never have been as effectively modernized as they now are. Whose heart does not rebel to see how President Sukarno, who did so much to modernize the Army, has now been toppled, while the traitor Dr. Sumitro, who ruined Indonesia‘s financial and economic position, and organized subversion against the Republic of Indonesia from abroad, has been honored by being enthroned as economic adviser to the government? The case of the traitor Dr. Sumitro, who openly helped lead a rebellion to form a state within the State of the Indonesian Republic, has been declared settled, "clear", and his treason is now regarded as non-existent. Yet the September 30th Movement, which clearly did not form a state within the State and was always loyal to the President/Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, has seen many of its members sentenced to death. The question therefore arises as to whether this can really be regarded as in accordance with the People‘s sense of justice. If the answer is in the affirmative, then I, as a son of Indonesia, have the right to state that since that time [the September 30th movement] the rule of law has been openly set aside by the rule of will [Eng], not to say "the rule of power". And if this is passed over in silence, I fear that the words of Ki Dalang in the wayang stories will come true, when he describes the injustices of Rahwana's exiling his younger brother Wibisono in the following words: Jaja bong mawingo-wingo, sopo siro sopo ingsun, kuntul denarani dandang, dandang denarani kuntul. Roughly translated this means: "I couldn't care less. I have the power. I can call white black, and black white.”[56] In view of the Court's motto of Pro Justitis I certainly hope this will not happen here. Before these sessions of the Mahmilub I declare my solidarity with the PKI cadres and their families who were burnt alive in Situjuh, West Sumatra, by the PRRl/Permesta; I declare my solidarity with the soldiers’ widows who declared their deep mortification at the permission granted the traitor Dr. Sumitro to live in Indonesia without undergoing any convincing form of trial.

To return for a moment to the question of the Army budget, my experience as a member of the ‘C’ Commission of the DPRGR was that it was extremely difficult to investigate this budget. We always ran up against pro memori and other "special" items. If we asked for further information, we were always told that it was a military secret. This effectively prevented any further investigation. This reached the point where the 'C' Commission of the DPRGR was forced to question the very meaning and limits of military secrecy. Of course, nothing that I am saying here will be new to General Nasution. Before I was arrested I read in one of the newspapers that General Nasution criticized the location of the major part of the state budget to the Armed Forces. General Nasution made these remarks after President Sukarno’s August 17th speech last year. Now it is extremely important to examine a state budget, thoroughly, to ensure the proper use of the nation's resources. It would be a good thing if the Operasi Budi[57]were reactivated honestly and impartially, since according to General Nasution the old Operasi Budi was deactivated by order of President Sukarno. I would emphasize again the need to reactivate the Operasi Budi sincerely. This would prevent the corruption prevalent among his own friends and acquaintances. Too often this has been covered up with various pretexts and rationalizations, "he came from a rich family", while in fact the truth of the matter is that "hij is bedelaar van huis uit en wordt rijk door te breken longs de huizen heen" – “he came from a beggar's family, and got rich by breaking into one house after another". Let me addthat all this has been said with the aim of improving theArmed Forces of which I myself was once a member.

c) With the Army as a determining factor, the right wing Army generals of course will have to take responsibility for determining the ideology and policy of the State. In this regard it would be well if they took a close look at themselves to see if they are not already doing many of the things mentioned by Ds. P. T. S. Sarumpaet in the book to which I referred earlier. Ds. Sarumpaet wrote: "To carry out a policy, let alone to ensure its viability, expertise is essential. This can only be attained by studying hard and mixing frequently with the People, to gain a real understanding of their difficulties and needs." Have these conditions so far been met? The right wing generals themselves are naturally in the best position to answer this question with precision. Do they mix frequently with the People, to gain a real understanding of their difficulties and needs? If democratic freedoms existed, the People would speak. If the PKI were legal, the PKI would be freer to step forward to speak with the People’s voice, for the PKI struggles for the interests of the People.

And now I would like to express my thanks to the Honorable Prosecutor for the following reasons:

First: the Honorable Prosecutor has branded the PKI as a creature of the devil. Yes indeed, the PKI is a devil which will finally annihilate the imperialists and feudalists;

Second: the Honorable Prosecutor has placed himself on the side of those opposed to the peasants and other working people, because he has said that the peasants and other working people lack vigilance. For the PKI and peasants and other working people are the source of all creativity. It is precisely they who are the most vigilant. If one wishes to speak of lack of vigilance, this is something of which the PKI can be accused at certain times. The PKI can be wrong, but the People can never be wrong:

Third: the Honorable Prosecutor has acknowledged the PKl's legislative and administrative creativity in the fields of agriculture and manpower. This acknowledgement alone proves that the PKI has not committed crimes against the broad masses of the People. If the Communists were really evil, their numbers could not possibly have grown, in the 119 years since the appearance of the Communist Manifesto in 1848, from a mere two people. Karl Marx and Friederich Engels, to more than 40 millions today throughout the world. They hold the reins of state leadership for more than one third of the world's population, or more than one billion human beings in various parts of Europe, Asia and Latin America:

Fourth: the Honorable Prosecutor has called the PKI "an invisible man" which I take to mean that the PKI is mergens maar overal, the PKI is nowhere but everywhere. With this statement, the present Mahmilub sessions have essentially recognized that ideological convictions cannot be silenced. For it is a general law that an ideology, which genuinely serves the broad masses of the People will certainly be victorious in the end; or, to use a folk saying, there is always a wolak-waliking jaman, the wheel of the universe keeps turning. I remain firm in my belief that though the PKI is now proscribed, history will inevitably free the PKI and Marxism-Leninism will not cease to remain enthroned in the heart of every Communist;

Fifth: the Honorable Prosecutor in his oral presentation added that “The PKI is poison". He was quite right: the PKI is indeed deadly poison for the germs which oppress, exploit and suck the blood of the People. But at the same time the PKI is also a poison which acts like a tonic refreshing the body of the People. For me, it is not always true that everything has only one aspect. Sometimes there are two, sometimes more. For example, the human body cannot grow without phosphorus – yet phosphorus is a poison which can kill bacteria as well as build bones.

Once again I would like to thank the Honorable Prosecutor for all that he has said above.

Now I would like to come back to another piece by M. J. Prajogo, in the same magazine I have already mentioned, where he notes that as a consequence of the tendency to reject change and renewal, "men attach more importance to rank and position than to task and duty, and find more value in a peaceful and luxurious life than in service that can be rendered". This is no Communist speaking, but Mr. Prajogo. "They prefer clinging tightly to codified experience to thinking creatively, and prefer the security of previous experience to opportunities for exploring to find new ways of thinking and new situations." Thus Mr. M. J. Prajogo, and in my view, the following are concrete examples of what he means:

a) Before being appointed Chairman of the MPRS. General Nasution agreed that general elections should be held immediately at the very latest by 1968. But after his appointment as Chairman of the MPRS and his success in toppling the President he announced that he would not object if the general elections were not held within the stated time. In other words, if the general elections were postponed, I would not want to say that in the light of these changes of viewpoint General Nasution is plin-plan [insincere] or hypocritical. Naturally, the person best acquainted with General Nasution's insincerity and hypocrisy is General Nasution himself. And I am aware that this attitude of his is simply politics.

b) General Nasution and I were once both members of the MPRS. That was before the MPRS had its teeth taken out.[58] Now the MPRS has more appointed members than members elected in the last general elections. General Nasution and I both joined the other members of the old MPRS in agreeing to bestow on President Sukarno the title of Great Leader of the Revolution. Our agreement was recorded respectively in the votes of the PKI Fraction in my case, and of the Armed Forces Functional Group Fraction in the ease of General Nasution. Yet once he became Chairman of the MPRS, General Nasution agreed with the decision to strip President Sukarno of this title. Again the consistency and principle would surely demand that if one agrees that President Sukarno should be stripped of this title, then one should also refuse to accept a title oneself, even if the title is merely one given by one's own village. Yet, if I am not mistaken, General Nasution has accepted the title of Raja Iskandar from his village. Everyone knows that one does not "climb up" from above — but on the contrary one “climbs up" from below, and “falls down" from above. Yet again, I would not say that General Nasution's lack of principle is General Nasution himself. And I am aware that all this is merely politics.

c) The September 30th Movement prisoners now in the Salemba gaol can report that — to borrow the terminology of the Honorable Prosecutor — on a date which can no longer be determined with precision, but at the very least in August 1966, thus before I was arrested. General Nasution's wife came to the gaol to see the prisoners involved in the attempt on General Nasution's life. The prisoners involved felt that Mrs. Nasution's visit was to say the least, highly irregular — that is to say it was not a regular besuk [prison visit] but a further period of intensified questioning by an interrogator. Bearing in mind the Honorable Prosecutor's parool or legal slogan that "every person is considered to know the law", ieder wordt geacht de wet tekennen — how can Mrs. Nasution's actions be justified under the existing and valid laws of the Republic of Indonesia? What clauses of the Penal Code, what other legal ordinances permit such behavior? I make no accusations. I only wish to express my concern if the "New order" has now made it a matter of policy that the wife of a prominent person is to be regarded as a prominent person herself, who can assume her husband functions, or that the husband can delegate his functions, can grant his mandat,

can turn over his powers to his wife. If this is true, then I can only shake my head and say "Extraordinary!"

I am consciously and deliberately pouring out all the feelings and thoughts that I think have relevance to my arraignment before these sessions of the Mahmilub, so that this court can have enough material for consideration so as to be able to form a judgements reasonably close to objectivity. I am trying hard, with open hands and open heart, to express my deep thanks for all the judgement made on me, whether of friend or foe, whether negative or positive. I would like especially to take off my hat to the Honorable Prosecutor, for saying, among other that in these Mahmilub hearings I have shown a polite attitude. I consider it extremely important to accept all these judgements, so that in the short period of life left for me to live, I can make use of them to: a) examine myself: b) know myself: e) improve myself. I do not believe that it is possible for anyone to improve themselves without knowing themselves. Anyone who says that s/he knows her/himself without first examining her/himself is a great liar. This indeed was the starting point for summoning up the courage to carry out self-criticism, as I have already endeavored to do. The title of that self-criticism is: Build up n Marxist-Leninist PKI to Lead the People’s Democratic Revolution. To allow the masses of the People to make a correct judgement, I propose that this Self-Criticism be made an appendix to my Analysis of Responsibility before this court, so that everything can be made open to the public. An open attitude to the masses of the People fully accords with the teaching of the PKI. Openness towards the masses of the People allows one to break out of one’s isolation and radiate tranquillity. In the last analysis, a person must learn to be ready at any moment to abandon the preliminary forms of her/his endeavors and the fruits of her/his labour; s/he must always be prepared to seek new forms. S/he can never stop and rest to enjoy the fruits of her/his labour, because to do so would be a betrayal of her/his own convictions and of the heavy burden of responsibility on the younger generation of Indonesians. People must constantly transcend, transcendeeren, themselves, abandon their selfhood and their personal interests, and leave behind the fruits of their labour so far achieved. It is on the basis of this philosophy that the PKI stresses that:

1) Personal interests must be subordinated to the common interest, to realize the slogans: a) The Party is me, but I am not the Party; b) The heart must be stronger than hunger; c) No-one wants to turn back, even though death lies ahead.

2) The working people are the creators of everything beautiful. Therefore the PKI educates its members to love work, with these three slogans: Work well – Study well – Behave well.

3) In giving leadership to the People's actions, the PKI bases itself on the Four Clears: Clear demands, Clear commitments, Clear allies, Clear targets.

4) In leading one's life. one should always hold firmly to the principle of the four Strongs: Strongly love the People, the PKI and the Revolution. Strongly hate the enemies of the People, the PKI and the Revolution. Be strong in bitterness — meaning have fortitude in suffering. Be strong in sweetness – meaning, stay simple when assuming an important social function.

5) In putting international solidarity into practice, one should unite patriotism with proletarian internationalism, and struggle against chauvinism and cosmopolitanism.

6) In performing criticism and self-criticism one should take a strong attitude towards oneself and an understanding attitude towards others. The aim should be that each Communist hold steadfastly to principle but be flexible in putting it into practice.

7) In facing obstacles, difficulties and troubles, one should behave and intelligent, and maintain revolutionary vigilance, holding high the slogan: Always hope for the best, but always prepare for the worst.

This Seven-fold Line of the PKI has guided me in devoting myself without reservation to the People, the Party and the Revolution. I have tried hard to put them into practice, in the Communist conviction that in revolutionary practice I have inevitably made many mistakes and shown many shortcomings. Work and struggle inevitably involve mistakes and shortcomings. Only someone who does not work and does not struggle never makes mistakes. Therefore I hope that the Court will be understanding of my thoughts and feelings, especially my feeling that it is extremely important to me personally that Comrades Aidit, Lukman and Njoto be present in this court with me today. For I have not struggled in order to deceive the broad masses of the People, and I have not struggled in order to be deceived by my Party comrades. During all the time that I have known Comrades Aidit, Lukman and Njoto in the struggle, they never once deceived me and I have complete faith that they never would or will deceive me. Remembering that all three of them are dead, het gaat tegen mijn geweten in, it goes against my conscience to question their actions now that they are dead, let alone blame them in this time of failure. It also gaat tegen mijn geweten in to give the names of my Party comrades and the places which gave me refuge while I was underground. Accordingly I have made up my mind to continue to refuse to mention the names or whereabouts of my comrades. But I would like to thank my interrogators for their willingness to understand my point of view. It also het gaat tegen mijn geweten in to argue with Party comrades who have been brought forward as witnesses. I do not wish to be set at odds with Party comrades before these hearings of the Mahmilub. I would therefore like to emphasize the statement of the Honorable Chairman of the Tribunal who declared that this hearing was a court of law and not a meeting. The reminder given by my interrogator, Flight Major Trenggono SH, that in these Mahmilub sessions I could be exposed, something which I should try to avoid as much as possible, is also quite appropriate.

On this basis, and precisely because the September 30th Movement failed. I feel bound to state quite clearly, for the sake of my own responsibility and Communist solidarity, that:

First: Because Comrades Aidit, Lukman, Njoto and Sakirman wapenbroeders [comrades-in-arms] and sedulur sendrawedi [most intimate friends] are dead, I take upon myself all responsibility for their political actions in connection with the September 30th Movement.

Second: Although I had no part in making the Decrees[59] nor in deciding the composition of the Revolutionary Council, and although I was never once at Halim, Lubang Buaya or Pondok Gede,[60] either around or at the time of the outbreak of the September 30th Movement, yet as all these actions were acts performed by comrades from the PKI. I assume full responsibility for them.

Third: With this affirmation it should be absolutely clear that the September 30th Movement is the responsibility of the accused Sudisman and not the responsibility of the PKI.

Because of this feeling of responsibility I have just mentioned, I should add that I find it very difficult to answer the question put to me by the Honorable Chairman of the Tribunal: Does the accused feel any regret for his deeds? The question itself is simple enough, but to answer it is very hard. But indeed it is often the case that it is precisely the simple thing that is most difficult. I cannot answer the question with a simple Yes or No, without some reflection and explanation. Finally, I have made up my mind, for the sake of my own Communist convictions, for the sake of my own responsibility, for the sake of Communist solidarity with my dead wapenbroeders, Comrades Aidit, Lukman, Njoto and Sakirman, to say that I have no regrets. Yet I am deeply aware of the victims that have fallen. and therefore as a Communist, I have no choice but to bow my head in silence for a moment.

Now to return again to my sense of responsibility, I would like here to put forward certain facts as material for the Mahmilub's consideration: namely that in both the sessions of the Standing Committee of the Politburo of the PKI Central Committee, and in the meetings of the Politburo itself, Comrade Aidit always said that the progressive officers wished to carry out a military operation, never once that the PKI wished to carry out such an operation.

Nor did Comrade Aidit ever state that the PKI wished to start a revolution at that time. Supposing that Comrade Aidit have said such a thing in the sessions of the Standing Committee of the Politburo of the PKI Central Committee and in the meetings of the Politburo itself, in spite of certain weaknesses in my understanding of Marxist-Leninist theory, I would have thought it foolish not to challenge him. For no Communist Party can ever start a revolution, not can a Communist Party be justified in supporting a military operation in the sense of a military adventure. The question then arises, can a Communist Party be justified in supporting a military operation of the type of the September 30th Movement? The answer is Yes and No. Yes if the military operation is revolutionary in character, like the September 30th Movement. For the September 30th Movement maintained and defended the anti-imperialist, anti-landlord and pro-Nasakom policies of President Sukarno, and clearly safeguarded the President's person. Has there been an example abroad of a revolutionary military operation? Yes, there has: one example was the anti-imperialist military operation conducted by Colonel Kasim which overthrew the pro-imperialist government of El Nuri. As a result of this operation, an Iraqi government allied with the American imperialists in the Baghdad Pact was replaced by an Iraqi government outside the Baghdad Pact, and without a military alliance with the American imperialists.

But now comes my second answer. The PKI should not support a military operation if the military operation is reactionary in character: for example 1) the coup d'etat attempted by former lieutenant-Colonel Zulkifli Lubis and former Major Djaelani. Oddly enough, former Lieutenant-Colonel Lubis has now been released without ever brought before a court of law.[61] 2) The abortive coup d'etat of October 17, 1952, when General Nasution pointed the muscles of his cannon against Freedom Palace, in other words, against President Sukarno. But thanks to the firmness of President Sukarno that coup attempt was foiled, with the result that the Defence Minister, Sultan Hamengkubuwono fell from power and General Nasution was de-activated. Things have now gone so far that although the facts show that the October 17 Affair clearly did take place General Nasution now denies that it ever occurred, on the grounds that everything was settled inside the Army by means of the Yogyakarta Oath, etc. ,etc.[62] This is essentially making an abstraction out of something concrete. Yet if the October 17 1952 Affair can be made “abstract" in this way, although it was clearly a rebellion, opstand, which carried out an armed attack, aanslag, and was preceded by a conspiracy, samenspanning, is this not emban cinde, emban siladan? On the other hand, as page of former Brigadier-General Supardjo's plea makes clear, the facts were as follows: "The accused [Supardjo] was asked to help compose the texg of an announcement that the President was safe and well. The text was needed to inform the People of the President's condition. It was subsequently broadcast from the place by Lieutenant-Colonel Marokeh.[63] The witness, Brigadier-General Moch Sabur, proposed that the President leave Halim immediately. But the President answered that he would stay in Halim for the time being, to hold a meeting with his Ministers. My comment [said Supardjo] on this statement of the witness is that it shows that the Head of State clearly voelt zich op zijn gemak — was under no physical or psychological pressure".

This statement from Supardjo's defence plea shows quite plainly that President Sukarno was in no way molested by the September 30th Movement, and remained in his function as President, which Article 4 of the 1945 Constitution describes as follows: The President of the Republic of Indonesia wields executive power according to the Constitution. On the basis of these facts it is obvious that: 1) concretely speaking, the September 30th Movement safeguarded the President; 2) the September 30th Movement was loyal to the President, as proved by former Lieutenant Colonel Untung's declared readiness to carry out any Presidential order whatever. (See page 18 of Supardjo's defence.) Indeed on the question of loyalty to President Sukarno, who was then both Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces and Great Leader of the Revolution, in accordance with the Soldiers’ Oath, there are no facts [to support the charge] of any attempt to overthrow the legal government of the Republic of Indonesia. Now if the September 30th Movement, which obeyed the orders of the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, President Sukarno, in accordance with the Soldiers Oath, is labeled a “rebellion”, what label should be given be a group of generals who did not obey the orders of the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, President Sukarno, but on October 1 gathered at Kostrad[64] (Army Strategic Command) and carried out a series of activities as follows (according to the defence of former Brigadier General Supardjo, pages 26 and 27):

1) General Pranoto,[65] who was ordered to present himself to Supreme Commander/President of the Republic of lndonesia/Great Leader of the Revolution, failed to do so, the order being transmitted to him via the President's Adjutant, Senior Police Commissioner Sumirat, acting as the President's personal courier.

2) General Umar Wirahadikusumah, the Commander of the Fifth (Djaya) Territorial Command was also summoned by the President of the Republic of Indonesia and also failed to appear, the order in this case being conveyed by the President’s personal courier, Colonel Bambang Widjanarko.

3) When Colonel Bambang Widjanarko entered Kostrad, he saw General Harto [Suharto] in conversation with a group of officers.

4) Later on, when Colonel Bambang Widjanarko conveyed President Sukarno's order summoning the Commander of the Fifth (Djaya) Territorial Command, Harto answered: “General Umar blijft hier", i.e. "General Umar stays here", adding that all orders from then on would have to go through Harto.

5) When the Minister/Commander of the Navy communicated the Decision of the President/Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces/Great Leader of the Revolution that: a) command of the Army would be assumed temporarily by the Supreme Commander; b) a “caretaker" Commander of the Army would be appointed on a provisional basis for routine administrative matters: c) the movement would stop (this decision was the product of an Ad Hoc Committee consisting of three Service Ministers and a [Deputy] Prime Minister, and was legalized by the signature of the President of the Republic of Indonesia).

6) General Nasution then said to the Minister/Commander of the Navy: “Why are you interfering in the affairs of another Service? Let’s not make a big thing of this, my problems are military problems, political problems are politics. Let us work out the technical military problems, and leave the political problems to the President.”

7) The following dialogue took place between Colonel Bambang [Widjanarko] and General Harto: "Where is the President?"

"At Halim."

“General Pranoto cannot go to see him."

General Harto then announced: "I am taking over leadership of the Army. All orders must go through me."[67]

8) If one compares the actions of the accused (former Brigadier-General Supardjo) who was unfailingly obedient to the orders of the [Head of] State, with even a small pan of the proven facts of the events at Kostrad, then who, or rather which Party, should really be charged with organizing a conspiracy?

So much for a small fragment of history that I have drawn from the defence plea of former Brigadier-General Supardjo, which essentially establishes the disloyalty and disobedience of a number of generals to the order of their superior, in this case the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, President Sukarno. Their actions were clear contraventions of the Soldiers Oath. What will happen to the TNI in the future if the lower ranks follow in the foot-steps of their generals? Unquestionably, if the lower ranks go so far as to violate the Soldiers‘ Oath, they will be mercilessly punished. But if a number of generals do the same thing, they can always be forgiven. Essentially, for the lower ranks there is no mercy, while for their superiors, mercy is always possible. Yet is this not discriminatory discipline? Is this not dangerous for the effective execution of the dagorder, the “Order of the Day"? Does this not tear to pieces the spirit of the Soldiers’ Oath, the crowning ideal of the Indonesian Armed Forces? I am of the opinion that the series of lectures given by General Nasution, on dates which I can no longer determine with certainty, but at the very least in the second half of 1966, to the officers of the Indonesian Air Force, in which he stated that it was quite usual for the orders of a superior officer not to be carried out, contain the seeds of a serious undermining of the discipline of the Indonesian Armed Forces. It is possible that General Nasution's actual formulation was not as explicit as the one I have just put forward, but the essence was the same. How can our sense of justice be reconciled to the fact that the executors of the September 30th Movement like Hargijono[68] and his friends, who simply obeyed the orders of their commanders and of President Sukarno, and whose actions are therefore the responsibility of their superiors, have been sentenced, while on the other hand General Nasution's abandonment, not to say subversion of the discipline of the Indonesian National Army is passed over in silence, not to say approved? I am well aware that the actions of General Nasution are political actions designed to achieve certain goals in order to obtain certain ultimate ends, einddoel. I do not say that General Nasution wishes to become President of the Republic of Indonesia. Not at all, since it is the right of every well-behaved citizen of the Republic of Indonesia to put himself up as a candidate for the Presidency. But is there no other way than by making a precedent of abandoning the discipline of the Indonesian National Army? Since this action was not taken by the PKI, naturally it has not been branded as het doel heiligt de middelen ("the end justifies the means"). How good it would be if all that I have just said could be examined carefully by the Court for the sake of justice, for the integrity of the Soldiers’ Oath and the Sapta Marga.

Now I would like to move on to:

POINT IV: From My Arrest to the Mahmilub

Honorable Chairman of the Tribunal,

To give you an exact description of my arrest, let me offer you a small poem of mine entitled "Ambushed".

The whole household lies sleeping peacefully.

Suddenly they are woken, startled and shaken.

By pounding at the door, the thud of boots.

The nickel-plated pistol points, accusing.


Squat down there in the corner

Just in your underpants,

How this scene stays in my memory,

Ambushed as dawn breaks.

From this poem you can imagine the nickel-plated pistol, cocked and twirled cowboy-style, and the abusive words. I feel such things need no longer occur. When I was arrested in the colonial Dutch and the Fascist Japanese periods, I was never once treated this way. I think it is right to mention here the urgent need for proper controls on methods of arresting people for the honour of the Pancasila Republic of Indonesia. Again, under the colonial Dutch and Fascist Japanese regimes, a careful inventory of property confiscated from the person arrested was always made on the spot to prevent later confusion. But experience has shown that when I was arrested, there were, aside from various documents which have been turned over to the Honorable Chairman of the Tribunal, various other effects, such as a Tudor wristwatch, about 300 Rupiah, a transistor radio, clothes, etc. Honestly and truly I have no idea where all these things have gone to — not to mention the effects of Comrades Sukadi and Tan Soei Liang who shared the house with me.[69] Until now I have deliberately refrained from raising this matter for I have no intention whatever of asking for the return of these effects. My intention has been to gauge the level of honesty of the military personnel in the Operasi Kalong who arrested me "for the sake of the Pancasila". I feel deeply ashamed that such think can still occur in Independent Indonesia, when under the Dutch colonial regime I never experienced irregularities of this kind. This of course does not mean that I wish to go back to “normal times"[70] — the colonial period — not at all. But I would like to see better rules and procedures, both in word and deed, than in the old colonial days. Don't let weapons become a normal part of an arrest; don't let arrest become another word for looting. I strongly hope that the Court will convey to the authorities concerned the need for greater discipline the manner of carrying out arrests, so that the People's freedom from fear is not disturbed. These are real, concrete practices which I have revealed to the Court without vernis [varnishing].

Turning now from my arrest to my interrogation, I should like to say that I, personally, was never beaten up during the course of my interrogation. In fact the relations between the verbalisant [person interrogated] and comparant [interrogator] were very good, based on mutual respect and understanding of each other's different political convictions. In other words, the point of departure was mutual respect in spite of political differences. But such was certainly not the experience of my comrades. Even Comrade Anwar Sanusi, candidate member of the Politburo of the PKI Central Committee and former deputy secretary-general of the Central National Front is still being beaten, let alone my other comrades. The type of beating closely resembles the tortures practiced under the Japanese Fascist regime – only hanging seems to have gone out of use. It is utterly horrifying to see the injuries suffered through the beatings administered to PKI cadres and to those accused of being involved in the September 30th Movement. Their crimes have still not been proved, not is it in the least certain that they have done anything wrong. Yet their bodies have been maimed by beatings, by burning cigarettes, by burning rubber sandals, and by electrocution.

I cannot bring myself to mention one by one the various types of beatings administered under the pretext of interrogating them about their understanding of the Pancasila. Once while I was still being held in the Territorial Command Military prison on Budikemuliaan Street, an individual who called himself Jimmy and introduced himself as an agent of the Intelligence Service (IS), offered to let me see my comrades sprawled on the floors of the cells. I refused in order to avoid further anguish. The results of torture during preliminary interrogations on my Party comrades could be observed immediately they appeared as witnesses before the Court. I don't of course deny the statement of the doctor who announced that Mr. Sardjono had an attack of the flu.

But this is only one aspect of the matter. I would like also to mention another aspect: the feelings of a civilian in the face of a high military officer. Usually there are feelings of deep anxiety, fear and terror, all the psychological signs of emotional conflict, as well as certain special symptoms like an abnormally rapid heartbeat, often experienced simultaneously with an intensified throbbing of the radial artery. These are the causes of cardiac neurosis, with its typical symptoms, such as the breath or chest becoming choked or half-constricted.

I think it is important for me to mention these matters, so that they can be used to weigh the reliability of the witnesses’ testimony, and also to state strongly that a civilian should be properly arraigned before an ordinary court, and not before a military tribunal. The moment they appeared before the Mahmilub, it was quite obvious that torture had been used against those witnesses who were cadre of the PKI. Therefore, for the sake of the Pancasila, l would suggest to the Court that:

1) These inhuman tortures have occurred because of the belief that there is nothing wrong with killing Communists, and this belief in turn has been generated because:

a. At one time a high military officer urged in a newspaper interview that Communist leaders should be captured "dead or alive” and that “if the Communists who have been released make any move, shoot them dead". Can such statements be justified by anything in the laws now valid in the Republic of Indonesia? Do not statements of this kind spread deep anxiety among broad strata of the community, especially among the families of PKI cadres and the millions of PKI sympathizers?

b.  Extremely broad instructions issued by General Nasution, more or less to the effect that the Communists must be eliminated root and branch, and that action should be taken against anyone suspected of being connected directly or indirectly with the September 30th Movement. On the basis of these instructions mass killings were carried out. Does the Court not agree with me that General Nasution should be brought to account for these mass killing?

2) An international Fact-Finding Commission should be invited through the good offices of the socialist countries’ embassies in Indonesia. Charged with investigating the real truth about:

a. The murder, without any process of law, of the following members of the PKI Central Committee and other important cadres of the Party: Comrade; Aidit, Lukman, Njoto, Sakirman; S. Samidikin, and Thayb Adamy (Aceh); Rachman, Ainuddin and Nursutind (West Sumatra); J. Suak (North Sulawesi); Rissi (Kupang), and many others.[71]

b. The methods employed in the mass murder of roughly 70.000 people in Central java. 60.000 in East Java and 50.000 in Bali, as well as thousands more in other places. These methods included: being sunk in a Navy ship (J. Suak with 30 comrades); being thrown down potholes in Wonosari, etc. [72]

c. The condition of the prisoners who remain alive. Do they get enough food and calories for survival? lf not, will this not lead to geleidelijk moord – murder in slow motion?

An objective study of these facts is extremely important, and the task can only be assigned to an unbiased International Fact-Finding Commission – that is, if one wants to find out the truth.

Now in these sessions of the Mahmilub it has been made clear that in the PKI there was and is complete freedom of religious belief: consequently there are some members who have no religion, some who have no religion but believe in God, and others who follow the Islamic, Christian (Protestant) and Confucian religions. The PKI believes that the faith of an individual cannot be administratively controlled, and that religious belief is a private matter for the individual. Thus each member of the PKI is given complete freedom to determine her/his religious beliefs, with the stress that all members sincerely respect, each other’s faith and honour each religion.[73] On this basis too, a Communist is not permitted to harbor personal hatreds. This can be demonstrated by my consent to the appointment of Moch. Dalijono SH as my legal advisor, in spite of the fact that I know very well that Moch. Dalijono SH is a former leader of Masyumi. I feel it necessary to mention these facts to clear up the false impression that Communists harbor personal feelings of revenge, and therefore want revolution — an idea which is interpreted to mean that all the Communists want to do is kill. The Communist conception of Revolution is in no sense identical with killing. Revolution is the transfer of power from the oppressing class to the class that is oppressed. And now I want to turn to.


If we are to be truly honest with one another, and analyze the situation in a calm dispassionate manner, then we must admit that in reality the Decision of March 11, 1966 was achieved by a geruischloos [silent] coup d’etat, since General Suharto then held the upper hand.[74] I am also of the opinion that the visit from three Army generals General Basuki Rachmat, General Amir Machmud and General Jusuf[75] — who had the strong support of the Army, and the action taken by these three generals cannot be divorced from the meeting that took place on February 20, or to borrow a phrase of the Honorable Prosecutor, at the very least towards the end of February 1966 in the Aula of Army GHQ. This meeting was attended by more than 20 officers. I will not mention their names one by one. But of course, if we are trying to discover the truth, free from partisan sentiment, those who are conscious of attending that meeting can certainly appear in court and explain frankly what occurred.

Furthermore, I should add that I believe that the "show of force" of March 12, 1966 actually had two potential aspects: 1) if President Sukarno refused to sign, a military operation would then be set in motion; 2) if President Sukarno signed, it would be used for a "show of force", or an exhibition of the victors‘ power.

Once the Decision of March 11, 1966 had been achieved, a campaign was started gradually to topple President Sukarno from his position. The overall tactical line was to strike at the PKI first, then aim at centrist forces like the PNI, Partindo and other supporters of President Sukarno, and then finally attack the "Centrum" himself, President Sukarno. The motivation for the right wing Army generals’ political attack on President Sukarno, who was known as a "troublemaker" for American imperialism, was to merry-go-round [sic], to join hands politically with the American imperialists. As a concrete illustration, Indonesia has distanceditself from any demonstrations of solidarity with the Asian-African bloc, and is making, for example, no gesture ofsolidarity with the United Arab Republic in its struggleagainst Israeli aggression. The simplest calculation revealsthat Israel could never have carried out such large-scale attack on the United Arab Republic if it did not have a backbone [sic] in the British and American imperialists, especially the American imperialists, the creators of the Zionist movement. Israel only attacked the United Arab Republic after the end of Indonesia's confrontation with Malaysia.This, of course, means that for the imperialists everything isnow "in order". They need no longer fear that their position in Indonesia and the countries around will be disturbed. On the other hand, if the government of the Republic of Indonesia were still revolutionary and anti-imperialists, in line with the first sentence of the Preamble ofthe 1945 Constitution, which reads:

"that independence is the basic right of all peoples, and therefore colonialism must wiped off the face of the earth because it does not accord with human dignity and justice",

it would have to take the lead in organizing Asian-African solidarity to help the Arab nations attack Israel. This, of course, would only occur if there were some real intention of carrying out the principles of the 1945 Constitution sincerely, both in word and deed. Any real revolutionary must strike a blow against imperialism, because one of the main characteristics of the world today is the bitter struggle between the imperialists and the worldwide movement for national liberation. I am sure that we all remember that General One-Eye. General Dayan from Israel was once nominated by the American imperialists to lead the fighting in South Viet Nam, but that the hopes of the American imperialists were gravely upset when the troops of General One-Eye were destroyed by units of the South Vietnamese National Liberation Front. Now General One-Eye has become the Israeli Minister of Defence.

Thus if the revolutionaries of the world really and truly struck out at the imperialists, the revolutionaries could make the imperialists run up and down, this way and that, till they are exhausted, wet their pants before reaching the WC, or, to put it another way, drop dead before reaching their graves. This, of course, would only happen if the revolutionaries were revolutionaries en weerd en daad [in word and deed], and not simply lamis-lamising lambe [giving "lip-service" to the Revolution].

As for the activities of the American imperialists, I feel t my duty to point out that:

1) American business is today completely international in character. American capital has interests and investments in almost every country in the world. America exports its industrial products, provides various types of credit and aid, as well as purchasing raw materials from these countries.

2) The newest form of penetration by American capital is the bank, particularly two banks, the Bank of America and the First National City Bank. The American strategy for expansion where the country concerned refuses to permit it, is to evade the prevailing regulations by buying up shares in private banks or other financial institutions. For example, in West Germany the American imperialists have succeeded in buying up $55,000 worth of shares in the Deutsche Bank Union Frankfurt. This covert method is employed by the United States to avoid popular hatred being roused against it, and this is the method which the United States calls the most workable [Eng.] and profitable [Eng.]

3) These methods are paralleled by the activities of the CIA, for example the setting up of organizations like the American Friends of the Middle East, which finances the anti-UAR newspaper Al Hiwar, with the result that Al Hiwar was banned from circulation in the United Arab Republic and that the Cairo press constantly denounces imperialist domination of the exploitation of Arab oil. As I remember it, since 1965 American investment in the production of Arab oil has made a 50% profit over its Investment in West European oil. The Egyptian Mail once called on the Arab people to make a determined struggle against the foreign American oil cartels, which obstinately insisted on squeezing out maximum profits. It is quite clear that every penetration of foreign capital results in squeezing out profits for repatriation abroad. Another example is the Inter-American Development Bank which in two years has issued $700.000.000 of credits to Latin America, but in reality:

a) has released only $60.000.000. Out of a S24.000.000 credit for Ecuador, only $240.000 has in fact been paid out:

b) has insisted that the residual S600.000.000 be used to buy American stocks.

4) Bearing these experiences in mind, I sincerely hope that Indonesian patriots who really love their country and the Indonesian People will be vigilant and carefully investigate the granting of a $295.000.000 credit to Indonesia. I hope they will prevent the unscrupulous intrigues that occurred in Latin America. These credits are not sufficient for any real development of the Indonesian economy, and paying for goods with credits is very expensive. Moreover, Indonesia's road to development cannot be travelled freely when there are increases in prices and charges deliberately designed to wipe our price imbalances and cut down government subsidies; when inflation is overcome by “cutting”[76] the money in circulation. This has resulted in a depression which in turn has lowered the overall rate of economic activity and increased unemployment. Since development is stagnating, industry has come to a halt, trade has become speculative, and finally taxes have been raised. All this has caused a steady increase in prices, while the People's purchasing power has declined and a week daily wages are only enough to cover a worker's expenses for one day. The People are increasingly alarmed by the government's inability to find correct solutions in the economic and financial fields which could benefit the broad masses of the People. The People remember that at the time when the PKI was in existence there was someone who fought to improve their lot, whereas now everything is increasingly difficult. If they complain about their lot, they are accused of siding with the September 30th Movement; if they keep silent, they live on the verge of starvation.[77] Finally, the People are now making jokes about ORLA [Orde Lama – the Old Order], saying that it means Ora Lali Bapak [We won't forget Bapak Sukarno]. That is the word in the kampung now.

With President Sukarno successfully toppled. Comrade Aidit’s forebodings in the period before the September 30th Movement have become a reality:

1) “The Council of Generals wants a coup d'etat" — this prediction has clearly come true; only the coup has been a silent one since the balance of forces has suddenly shifted heavily in favor of the right wing Army generals.

2) "The Council of Generals is not anti-imperialist" – this has also come true, as evidenced by the fact that foreign monopoly capital has been invited back. The nationalized enterprises have been returned to their former imperialist owners, such as Goodyear. The traitor Sumitro has been made economic advisor to the government. There are no longer any limits on the wet rice acreage which can be opened up by foreign capital, and Taiwan is processing 750.000 bales of cotton for Indonesia.

3) “The Council of Generals is not anti-landlord" – this has also been proven correct by the failure to attempt any implementation of either the Basic Law or the Law on Sharecropping Agreements. Moreover, the peasants are being burdened with more taxes, including the compulsory deposit of 10% of their paddy. The People are overwhelmed by these taxes; even a wayang golek show is taxed Rp. 1.000 and a lenong/tanjiidor Rp. 500.[78]

4) "The Council of Generals is anti-Nasakom" — this has come true too with the dissolution of the PKI, not by President Sukarno but by General Suharto.

Because they have won, the right wing power-group of the Council of Generals has not been charged with conspiracy, samenspanning, or carrying out an armed attack aanslag, or a rebellion, opstand. All this simply goes to show the truth of Marxist-Leninist theory, which says that the State is power-instrument or the dictatorship of one class to oppress another class. Speaking concretely, the power-instruments in Indonesia are the Armed Forces. In whose hands does the bureaucracy now lie? It lies now in the hands of the right wing Army generals and is under their political influence. Even other generals will be arrested if their politics are left wing. Bung Karno is forbidden to carry on any political activities. Is it democratic to forbid a politician to carry on political activities? And yet they dare not say frankly that Bung Karno has been imprisoned because they fear the People's wrath. If the present military regime were in favor of democracy, it would hold a plebiscite on either of these two questions:

1) Bung Karno, Yes or No?; 2) Choose Bung Karno or, say, General Nasution. The plebiscite could be held without cost, by holding elections for village chief simultaneously all over Indonesia, with either of the two themes that I have just mentioned. Till now, the People have always paid for the cost of village elections themselves, and the government budget has never contributed anything for this purpose. This, of course, could be done only if the generals seriously wished to take the road of democracy, not the road of silencing the People as at present. I am confident that in any plebiscite the People would re-elect Bung Karno back into power. It is truly a national tragedy that Bung Karno has been toppled by an MPRS, the majority of whose members have been appointed under conflicting authorities. Moreover, there is no legal arbiter of the resulting conflict within the MPRS, yet it is clear that conflict exists. The only correct way out is a plebiscite.

I remember how it was in the days of Dutch colonial rule. We demanded that both the Volkstaad and the Raad van Indie be replaced by a Parliament, since neither the Volkstaadnor the Raad van Indie were directly elected by the People and part of their membership consisted of the appointees of – whom? The Governor-General. Wherein does the tragedy lie? The tragedy lies in the fact that in the colonial period we struggled to move forward to an Indonesia with a Parliament, and yet now after independence, we have retreated to another sort of Raad van Indie. In Javanese we say. “yo, kebangetan" — it is too much!

Neither I nor the PKI ever bestowed any title on Bung Karno. We never made him the Great this or the Great that, because the only correct title for him is "Bung Karno" — for this means growing from Sukarno into Bung Karno.[79] As a fellow revolutionary I must now stand up to do feel and support Bung Karno in these times of difficulty. For the old saying goes that "in de nood men zijn vriendenkennen" – in adversity we know our real friends, and Bung Karno once said of the PKI "yo sanak, yo kadang, yen mati aku sing kelangan" [they are my family, my brothers, if they die, it is I that am bereaved].[80] As a son of Surabaya (arek Suroboyo)[81] I take the hand Bung Karno has stretched out to us with the old tag: "ali-ali gak ilang, gak iso lali ambek kancane" — meaning, "we can never forget a comrade."[82] Why do I defend and support Bung Karno? Because throughout his life Bung Karno has always been consistently anti-imperialist. He had the courage to cry “Go to Hell with your aid!" to the American imperialists. Bung Karno also agreed to the eradication of feudal remnants by a programme of limited land reform; and Bung Karno was always faithful to the unity of all revolutionary forces. This indeed was the basis for my instructions to the members of the PKI to join and help create the Sukarno Legion.[83] Under the present difficult conditions Pavlov's saying applies precisely to Bung Karno: "A discovery begins where an unsuccessful experiment ends". And now I come to my last point:


Honorable Judges

In the course of my life, I have come across many views of life. Some men hold to the German proverb "Ein leben ist ein Spiel", "Life is a game". For myself I cannot agree with such a view, because I feel that those who hold it see life as something frivolous, in a word, at something in which anything goes. To put it another way, it's all right to be this, it's all right to be that. Everything is done as if it were a game, without sincerity, without heartfelt commitment. No. I have no wish to play at life, and therefore I think the German saying should be changed to read: "Ein Leben ist nicht ein Spiel, aber ein Leben ist ein Streit", "Life is not a Game. Life is a Struggle". We live in order to struggle, and we struggle in order to live. We live not just for the sake of life alone; we live to defend that life with courage until our hearts cease to beat. From the moment a human being is born, from the first whimper as a baby to the last breath, life is a struggle. Sometimes s/he will face a struggle that is very difficult, sometimes s/he will face a hard-fought battle. Not every such contest is crowned with victory. But the aim of life is to have the courage to enter this hard-fought battle and at the same time win the victory. This is the dream of everyone who struggles, not excluding the Communists. This too is my dream of life. For without dreams, without ideals, life is barren and empty. “What a wonder of wonders in living is life?”[84] To live in order to struggle, to struggler in order to live, that is my communist ambition. And this ambition cannot possibly be conceived without responsibility. For me responsibility is a word that is like a jewel. And this jewel-word[85] was the inspiration of a short poem that I scribbled in my prison cell which runs as follows:

Jewel Word of Responsibility

I will face,

raid after raid

I will face,

interrogator after interrogator

I will face rorture chamber after torture chamber[86]


I will face,

prison after prison.

With mind and heart,

ready to die for the PKI

Such is the inner meaning

of the Jewel-word Responsibility.


How bright the glittering light

Of the Jewel-word Responsibility

It seems close at hand but cannot be captured.

It rings loud in the ear, but is hard to make into a melody

It is sweet on the lips, but it is difficult to sing.


If one denies it

One is like a traitor.

To flee and abandon it is accursed indeed

For the lesson of responsibility is that

Three must be One.

One in thought,

One in heart and One aim.


Though lightning strikes and death lies in wait

I will face

responsibility, again and again.

I will not grumble. I will not run

Let alone abandon it.

I will face responsibility, steadfast and calm

Without pretence and in humility

For the People, the PKI and the Revolution

For the proletariat of the whole world, and the PKI

That is the meaning

of the Jewel-word Responsibility

And now. having offered this small poem of mine. I will borrow a few words from the writer Andrew Garve, look my sentence in the face and say: "No tears for Disman". And to my guards I say: "You have done the world a service" [Eng.] . I am a Communist who was born in Java and therefore it is my duty, in accordance with the custom of the Javanese, to take my leave by saying:

First: matur nuwun, l thank all those who feel that they have helped me in the course of the struggle.

Second: nyuwun gunging pangaksomo, a thousand times I ask forgiveness, above all to the progressive and revolutionary masses who feel that I have harmed them in the course of the struggle.

Third: nyuwun pangestu, I ask for blessings, sspecially from my family, my wife and my children, as I leave to undergo the verdict of the law.

Long live the Republic of Indonesia!

Long live the PKI!

Jakarta, July 21, 1967.



[1] Teperpu (Team Pemeriksa Pusat, Central Investigative Team). Responsible for the interrogation of those suspected of being implicated in the September 30th Movement at the national level.

[2] Kabir (acronym for kapitalis birokrat – bureaucratic capitalist). Officials who take advantage of their key positions in the state-owned sector of economy to enrich themselves and their class allies. Because the Dutch enterprises nationalized in 1957 came to be dominated largely by army officers, it was the military who became the main target of this epithet in the years prior to 1965.

[3] Monblad literally means ‘oral newspaper’, thus ‘word of mouth’; staatsblad means ‘official gazette’. The Dutch play of words is not translatable into English.

[4] In his defence Sudisman made frequent use of quotations in English. To give the reader something of the flavour his speech thus acquired, all such quotations are put in italics.

[5] Staten-Generaal (States-General) – the bi-cameral Dutch Parliament. MPRS (Majelis Permusyaratan Rakyat Sementara – Provisional People’s Consultative Assembly): the highest political authority under the 1945 Constitution till the advent of the New Order.

[6] Operasi Kalong (Operation Bat). An anti-subversive operation conducted by the Fifth Military Territorial Command (Jakarta).

[7] A working class ward on the fringes of Jakarta.

[8] Sapta Marga (The Seven Principles) — the Indonesian Army: official ideology.

[9] Bapak and anak buah (literally, "father" and “children”),  are typical Indonesian terms for expressing an intimate relationship between leaders and led, most often in a military or quasi-military organizational context.

[10] Pedjuang – literally “one who struggles”. Commonly used by militant Indonesian nationalists to describe themselves, especially during the period of National Revolution (1954-1949).

[11] Here and below Sudisman was referring to the five Pandawa brothers, the main heroes of the Mahabharata, and thus of Javanese wajang (shadow play) lore, indirectly identifying the PKI leadership with them.

[12] Manipol – acronym for Manifes Politik (Political Manifesto). Official ideology of Indonesia under Guided Democracy (1959-1965), based on President Sukarno’s speech to the nation on August 17, 1959.

[13] Later published as “Build the PKI Along the Marxist-Leninist Like to Lead the People’s Democratic Revolution in Indonesia”, Indonesian Tribune, I:3 (January, 1967), pp. 6

[14] The text of this statement can be found in “Selected Documents Relating to the September 30th Movement and Its Epilogue”. Indonesia. (April, 1966). pp. 186-189

[15] Masjumi: a large Islamic Party banned by Sukarno in 1960 on grounds of being involved in the regional rebellion of 1958. The PSI (Partai Sosialis Indonesia, Indonesian Socialist Party), a small party of the urban elite, was banned at the same time for the same reason.

[16] During the sessions of the Constituent Assembly held in 1957 to establish a new permanent constitution for the Republic, Masjumi proposed making its ideological foundation explicitly Islamic. This stand was opposed by a wide coalition of Christians, nationalists and Communist groupings supporting the less theologically explicit formula of “belief in One Goad” as contained in Pancasila, a doctrine initially developed by President Sukarno in a speech on June 1, 1945.

[17] DI/TII – Darul Islam / Tentara Islam Indonesia. Abode of Islam / Islamic Army of Indonesia. A rebel Islamic organization operating in various parts of the archipelago, but with its main strength in West Java. It flourished from 1949 to 1962. Masjumi was widely suspected of maintaining informal links with this movement and was certainly the main public proponent of a lenient policy toward it.

[18] PRRI/Permesta (Pemerintahan Revolusioner Republik Indonesia/Piagam Perjuangan Semesta – Revolutionary Government of Republic of Indonesia/Charter of Total Struggle). The latter was a movement of regional protest in East Indonesia (especially in North Sulawesi) formed in 1957. In 1958 it joined with a similar movement in Central Sumatra to establish a former, a government in open rebellion against the government in Jakarta/

[19] GPII (Gerakan Pemuda Islam Indonesia – Indonesian Islamic Youth Movement) was generally regarded as the youth arm of the Masyumi.

[20] NEFO and OLDEFO, acronyms popularized by Sukarno during the Guided Democracy period, stands for New Emerging Forces and Old Established Forces, respectively.

[21] Normally this word refers to “insurance” payments made by villagers to the government, represented by the village head, to be used in case of natural disasters. Here, however, it is clear that Sudisman was referring to stipulations in the law of the proper division of crops between landlord and tenant.

[22] Bawon: the wage paid to harvesters reckoned as a percentage of the crop that they pick.

[23] Sudisman actually gave the first ratio as 5:1, but this is clearly an error, since in no case would harvesters receive 5/6th of the crop that they pick.

[24] Dekon (Economic Declaration). Sukarno’s proclamation of the economic aims of Guided Democracy in March, 1963.

[25] This refers to the government regulation of May 26, 1963, which ordered huge increases in the charges imposed by the state-owned railways, airlines and utilities.

[26] The Fifth Force, an armed volunteer militia to be organized as a separate institution outside the Indonesian Army, Navy Air Force and police, was a project formulated by President Sukarno in the spring of 1965, possibly as a result of a suggestion made by the Chinese Premier, Chou En-lai. The project’s official justification was the need to mobilize the population in the face of a possible British attack. Due mainly to the opposition of the Army General Staff, it never got off ground.

[27] AURI (Angkatan Udara Republik Indonesia) – Airforce of the Indonesian Republic.

[28] Pantun: the classical four-line verse form of traditional Malay (and later, Indonesian) poetry.

[29] A purported PKI document outlining plans for coming to power in Indonesia was circulating in certain elite circles from 1963 onwards. Though an obvious forgery, it obtained enough credence among some anti-Communist groups to seriously alarm the PKI leadership. At the Bogor Conference of political parties on December 10, 1964, referred in this speech, Aidit denounced the document and accused members of the Murba Party and the Army of having concocted it.

[30] SOKSI (Sentral Organisasi Karyawan Sosialis Indonesia – Central Organization of Indonesian Socialist Functionaries): an Army sponsored and supported rival of SOBSI, the Communist-led labour federation. Since the military controlled most of the larger enterprises, SOKSI had very much the character of a federation of company unions.

[31] These took place on May 23, 1965.

[32] Aliran – literally stream or current – refers to broad political-cultural segments of Indonesian society which provided the social bases of the major political parties.

[33] The issue referred to here was Sukarno’s expressed desire to include Communists in what would then be a genuinely Nasakom Cabinet.

[34] PNI (Indonesian Nationalist Party ) – one of the three major parties of the Guided Democracy period. Chaerul Saleh, a politician closely tied to the business interests, was then Third Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Oil and Natural Gas.

[35] The reference here is to the PNI congress held in April 1966, at which the Army leadership forced the party delegates, against their will, to elect a governing body sympathetic and subordinate to the military.

[36] Partindo (Partai Indonesia  - Indonesian Party) was a small nationalist splinter group which in the course of the 1960s came increasingly under Communist influence. Its small size was one of the reasons it escaped the formal ban imposed on the PKI on March 2, 1966.

[37] BTI (Barisan Tani Indonesia – Indonesian Peasant League) was far and away the largest Indonesian peasant association and was largely under the control of the PKI. It took a leading hand, particularly in 1964, in trying by unilateral action to force reluctant local officials to carry out the provisions of the land reform laws.

[38] The Term “Three South Affairs” refers to bans imposed on all Communist activity by the military commanders of the three above-mentioned provinces in 1960-1961. The bans were justified by the existing powers conferred on these commanders by the nation-wide state of martial law declared on March 14, 1957. It was only with great difficulty that the PKI leadership was able gradually to have these bans revoked by the central authorities.

[39] KOTI (Komando Operasi Tertinggi – Supreme Operations Command) was originally the central government body coordinating state activity in prosecuting the campaign against the Dutch in West Irian. It has extremely broad and ill-defined powers and came by the end of the Guided Democracy period to be in many respects the most powerful executive agency of all. General Yani was KOTI’s chief of staff until his death and the Army was the dominant influence within it.

[40] KOTOE (Komando Operasi Tertinggi Ekonomi – Supreme Economic Operations Command), for coordinate state economic activities, was a similar to, if less powerful centralized executive agency than KOTI. It was set up in 1964 in the course of Indonesia’s confrontation with Malaysia. Its chief administrator, General Sukendro, was a former Chief of Army Intelligence and one of those named participants in the September 30th Movement as a member of the Council Generals.

[41] The nationwide state of martial law, first promulgated on March 14, 1957, was finally revoked on May 1, 1963, after a considerable struggle on the part of Sukarno and the political parties.

[42] The first three of these terms has already been explained in preceding notes. Trisakti (Three Potent Principles) was a formula pronounced by President Sukarno in his August 17th speech of 1964. The three principles were political sovereignty, economic self-reliance, and cultural identity. Berdikari is an acronym for “standing on one’s own feet”. The slogan was launched by Sukarno at the March 1965 session of the Provisional People’s Consultative Assembly.

[43] Mahkamah Militer Luar Biasa: Perkara H.S. Supardjo, Brigdjen TNI, Djakarta 1967. (Extraordinary Military Tribunal: The Case of H.S. Supardjo, Brigadier General, Indonesian National Army, Djakarta 1967) Page 31.

[44] An ironical allusion to right wing complaints in the 1964-1965 period that the actions of the BTI and PKI in attempting to enforce the land reform and share-cropping laws were “unilateral”.

[45] A committee set up in late 1965 by the Army leadership to investigate “slanders” that there has really been a Council of Generals. Odang was a senior police official and brother-in-law of General (later President) Suharto.

[46] Air Marshall Omar Dhani was minister/Commander of the Indonesian Air Force at the time of the outbreak of the September 30th Movement. He was subsequently tried, like Supardjo, by the Extraordinary Military Tribunal on charges of being implicated in the affair, and was eventually sentenced to death.

[47] The Brawidjaja Corps refers to the members of the Territorial Division of East Java.

[48] Plin-plan is an abbreviation of plintat-plintut, a Javanese expression meaning half-hearted or insincere. It was frequently used in 1966 to attack elements in the PNI and other pro-Sukarno groups for what was felt to be their insincere support for the New Order.

[49] Ramawidjaja is the Javanese name for the eponymous hero of the Ramayana epic. Stories from this epic provide many of the themes for the Javanese wajang. In the section that follows many poetic Javanese words and phrases are used which are very difficult to render adequately in English.

[50] The phrase is no less hard to translate into English. Very roughly it means, “Don’t, just because...”.

[51] “Green shirts” is colloquial Indonesian for the military.

[52] TNI (Tentara Nasional Indonesia — Indonesian National Army) was the name for the Indonesian Armed Forces in the final stages of the National Revolution. It was often loosely used for ABRI (Armed Forces) in later periods.

[53] The ‘C’ Commission of the Gotong Royong Cabinet was a standing committee with responsibility for matters of defence and internal security.

[54] Ngobjek – to take advantage of an official assignment to make money on the side.

[55] Tempe and tahu are soy bean cakes prepared in two different ways.

[56] Sudisman’s translation is very free. The words literally mean “Your brother’s breast is burning with anger. Remember who you are, remember who I am. I can call a white heron a crow, and a crow a white heron.”

[57] The Operasi Budi (Operation Character) was launched early in 1963 at President Sukarno’s urging but under Army auspices. It was aimed at cleaning up corruption in the higher echelons of the government, especially the Armed Forces. The operation quickly ran into powerful, if anonymous, opposition and was quietly dropped.

[58] This refers to the fact that after the September 30th Movement failed all Communist and Communist-sympathizers were expelled from the MPRS.

[59] The Decrees referred to here are those promulgated by the September 30th Movement’s Revolutionary Council on October 1, 1965.

[60] Halim is the Air Force base just outside Jakarta from which the September 30th Movement was launched and where Sukarno and Aidit were situated for most of the October 1, 1965. Lubang Buaya is the training area in the environs of Halim where the bodies of the six murdered generals were buried. Pondok Gede is the district in which both Halim and Lubang Buaya are located.

[61] The reference is to an attempted coup on November 16. 1956, against the second Ali Cabinet and General Nasution, the Army Chief of Staff. Lubis has just been replaced as Deputy Chief of Staff: Major Djaelani was then commander of the Army paratroopers.

[62] The famous October 17, 1952, Affair. The Jogja Oath was an oath taken by 270 leading officers in the Army in Jogja in February 25, 1955. The essence of the oath was a promise on the part of each officer to forget the bitterness arising from the October 17, 1952 Affair and to reunite the Army.

[63] This broadcast was issued from Freedom Palace at noon, October 1, 1965, by Liutenant-Colonel Marokeh Santoso in the name of General Sabur.

[64] Kostrad (Komando Strategi Angkatan Darat – Army Strategic Command) is the Army’s central striking force. Its commander at that time mas Major-General Suharto, who subsquently became President. Its headquarters was located on the eastern side of Freedom Square, about one fourth of a mile from Freedom Palace.

[65] Major-General Pranoto, at that time Assistant-3 (Personnel) to the Minister/Commander of the Army, was appointed by President Sukarno as Caretaker Commander of the Army on October 1, 1965, to replace the murdered Yani. He was replaced on October 16 by General Suharto and subsequently vanished from sight.

[66] The three Service Ministers were Admiral Martadinata, Air Marshal Omar Dhani, and Police General Sutjipto Judodihardjo. The (Second) Deputy Prime Minister was Dr. Leimena.

[67] For General Suharto’s version of these events and his role in them, see “Selected Documents”, pp. 160-178, especially pp. 168-171.

[68] Corporal Second Class Hargijono was a member of squad which tried to arrest General Nasution on the morning of October 1. He is believed to have been the man who fatally shot Nasution’s daughter. He was subsequently sentenced to death along with other members of his squad.

[69] Sukadi and Tan Soei Liang both appeared as witnesses at Sudisman’s trial. Sukadi had been the right hand man of Njono in the Greater Jakarta PKI Provincial Committee, and he was active in reconstituting that Committee after Njono’s arrest. Tan Soei Liang was a young Chinese-Indonesian student from Central Java active in left wing politics. He was one of Sudisman’s main contact with the outside world while in hiding.

[70] ‘Normal times’ is a phrase commonly used in lower class Indonesian speech to refer to the Dutch colonial period. TO this class political change since Independence has meant less than their increasing impoverishment, particularly as a result of hyper-inflation. ‘Normal’ here simply means that prices were stable and household commodities readily available in local markets.

[71] Lukman was the second man in the PKI hierarchy, first vice-chairman of the Party and a member of its Politbiro. Ir. Sakirman was the fifth man in the PKI hierarchy, and also a member of the Politbiro. Samidikin and Thaib Adamy were the two top PKI cadres in Aceh. Adenan Rachman was Secretary of the PKI’s provincial committee in Jambi. Ainuddin was a prominent member of the West Sumatra Provincial Committee. The name next given in the text is Nursali, but probably the individual intended was Nursuhud, Secretary of the West Sumatra Provincial Committee. And J. Suak as Secretary of the North Sulawesi Provincial Committee. Th. P. Rissi was the Secretary of the East Nusatenggara Provincial Committee.

[72] The potholes are natural potholes in the limestone hills of the Gunung Kidul, usually leading to underground rivers. People thrown down these holes would either be killed in the course of their fall or drowned in the rivers below.

[73] The syntax of the sentence in the stenographic text is garbled to the point that only in a very broad sense does the translation reflect Sudisman’s meaning.

[74] This refers to the events by which Sukarno was compelled to sign over virtually all effective power to General Suharto by the Presidential Decision of March 11, 1966. This decision provided the legal basis for Suharto’s nationwide ban on the PKI the following day and the arrests of considerable number of cabinet ministers shortly after.

[75] Major-General Basuki Rachmat was then Minister for Veterans’ Affairs and Demobilization. Major-General Amir Machmud was Commander of the Fifth Territorial Command (Jakarta); and Major-General Andi Mohammad Jusuf was Minister of Basic Industry. These three generals were Suharto’s emissaries to Sukarno on March 11, and the men who persuaded the latter to yield his power on that day.

[76] This is a colloquial Indonesia expression referring to monetary purges whereby high denomination bank notes are statutorily reduced to a tiny percentage of their face value.

[77] The text of the sentence is extremely garbled. It is possible that the translation given does not accurately express Sudisman’s meaning.

[78] Wajang Golek: a puppet show performed with wooden dolls especially popular in the Sundanese areas of West Java. Lenong and tandjidor: two types of musical folk-drama of the poorer districts of Jakarta. All three of these shows are characteristically performed at key moments in the lifecycle, such as circumcision and marriage. This helps explain why taxes on this type of entertainement are felt to be so burdensome by peasants and the urban poor.

[79] A typically Javanese pun. The name Sukarno can be broken up into two words meaning “there are difficulties” or “things are difficult”; while Bung Karno can be broken up to read “eliminate difficulties”.

[80] An important transformation of the traditional Javanese phrase from wajong lore, which goes “dudu sanak, dudu kadang, jen mati melu kelangan” and means “though they are neither brothers nor of the same family, if they die I share the loss”. Sukarno’s version would go: “They are my brothers, they are of my family, if they die I share the loss.”

[81] The term arek Surobojo is typically used by speakers of the Surabaya dialect of Javanese to refer to themselves. The phrase acquired strongly emotional, nationalist connotations during the Revolution, owing to the heroic Surabayan resistance to the British forces in October and November 1945. While Sudisman was actually born in Surabaya, his use of the phrase arek Surobojo here is undoubtedly intended to remind his audience of the important role he played in that resistance.

[82] Literally this phrase means (again in Surabayan dialect): “the ring is not lost, we will never forget a comrade.” The first line has no specific meaning, but is simply there for purposes of assonance.

[83] The Sukarno Legion was an idea launched by President Sukarno in a speech to his cabinet on January 15, 1966. It was announced publicly by Dr. Subandrio in a nationwide broadcase the next day. It was supposed to mobilize all supporters of Sukarno against efforts to overthrow him in the wake of the Anti-Communist massacres. It never became a reality because it was blocked by the Army leaders.

[84] Sudisman adds an Indonesian translation which gives a rather different meaning to the English phrase. Literally translated back into English, it would read “the most wonderful thing in life is life itself.”

[85] Literally the phrase means “diamond word”. But the words can evidently also be used to mean a pledge or motto. In the poem that follows it has proved difficult to render this double meaning into English. For aesthetic reasons the literal meaning has been kept in the text, but the reader should bear the second meaning in mind throughout the poem.

[86] The original word is almost indecipherable. It appears to be selsika. The nearest identifiable Indonesian words are sel siksa (torture chamber), but there is no certainty that this identification is correct.