JAKARTA-- The Commander of the Indonesia Defense Forces (TNI), General Gatot Nurmantyo, confirmed here that he had instructed the screening of film on communist insurgency in 1965.
"Yes, It is my order," he said, when asked for confirmation regarding the instruction to TNI members to watch the film on the Indonesian Communist Party (PKI) movement in 1965, locally known using its abbreviation as "G30S PKI."
When asked about the polemic on the screening of the film, Nurmantyo said "I do not care."
He explained that the instruction was produced to mobilize all TNI members to watch the film made during the New Order government of former president Soeharto.
He noted that he wished to spread facts on historical values to the younger generation with the instruction.
"Only the government could prohibit me. I do not care about the polemic or parties who are against the screening of the film," he explained.
Nurmantyo noted that his instruction for TNI members to watch the G30S film was part of TNI's efforts to straighten out historical facts.
"If putting history right by talking about history is not allowed, what would the nation become," he said, after paying respects at the tomb of independence proclaimer and first president Soekarno in Blitar, East Java.
He remarked that "Bung Karno (president Soekarno) had once said "never to forget history" (known in its abbreviation as "Jas Merah"). Never forget the services of heroes."
"Let it be. Our purpose is to not to make a polemic. I only wish to remind the younger generation and my soldiers who have not known about it," he reiterated.
He added that he only wished to remind that history may not be discredited with his instruction.
"This is a reminder to the nation to prevent such an incident from happening again. It is not for discrediting. It is to remind the people, especially the younger generation, to understand that we have had a black history, which involved a lot of victims," he explained.
He expressed hope that people could learn from the film, which highlighted treason and cruelty of PKI, so that such incident would not happen again.
"It is not impossible for such an incident to happen again, but we hope it will never, and that is what it is intended for. If some perceive it as others, let them do it. It is not a problem. To us or to me, it is only for reminding people that such an incident will never happen again. By watching the film, it is hoped that people will remember the incident again and not be easily provoked or influenced. Let us boost our unity and cohesiveness," he concluded.
The G30S PKI film was made in 1984. In Sept 1998, then information minister Yunus Yosfiah halted the distribution and screening of the film.
The film is expected to be shown on Sept 30, while the army has already sent a circular to all rank and files to inform the public about it.
Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK