27 July 2011

Activist urges reopening of probe into 'July 27' attack

Jakarta Globe - July 26, 2011

The statement by former general Slamet Singgih on Tuesday about a secret meeting to plan the infamous July 27, 1996, attack on the headquarters of the Indonesian Democratic Party (PDI) was applauded by local activists.

Mugiyanto Sipin, the head of the Indonesian Association of Families of the Disappeared, said that the National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM) should follow up on the revelation.

"I am pleasantly surprised that finally someone who was directly involved in the planning of the attack speaks up," Mugiyanto told the Jakarta Globe. "Singgih's statement shows that the attack was systematically done and it was a huge human rights violations therefore the Komnas HAM must act on it."

The July 27 attack was seen as the first step toward the reformation movement in Indonesia that peaked in the 1998 revolution. Five people died, 16 people were listed as missing and 143 were wounded during the attack, however, Mugiyanto said Komnas HAM was not persistent enough in digging deeper.

"What Singgih said was a confirmation of what we had all secretly suspected, that the attack was very well prepared. Now the ball is in Komnas HAM's court, they have to be brave in investigating the people whose names were mentioned by Singgih," he said.

"The attack was a criminal case and not a civil case. Human rights were violated that day but Komnas HAM as the institution with the authority to push the case to be tried in a public court didn't do that."

He also regretted Megawati's lack of enthusiasm in pushing for a thorough investigation. "If the government still fails to reveal the truth behind the July 27 attack, we will be failing as a democratic country."

Former general claims of secret meeting to plan deadly 1996 attack

Jakarta Globe - July 26, 2011

A retired military intelligence official said on Tuesday that he had been part of a group that planned a notorious and deadly attack against members of the main opposition party 15 years ago.

Retired Brig. Gen. Slamet Singgih said that a week before the July 27, 1996, attack, in which five people died, 143 were wounded and 16 went missing, he had taken part in a secret meeting with other high-ranking military officials to plan the ouster of Megawati Sukarnoputri as head of the Indonesian Democratic Party (PDI).

The PDI at that time was divided between those who supported Megawati as the party's leader and those who backed her main rival, Suryadi, who had been elected party chairman at a congress which the future president's supporters considered to be a sham.

In a defiant reaction to the congress' election results, Megawati's supporters occupied the party's headquarters at Jalan Diponegoro in Menteng, Central Jakarta.

Slamet said during a press conference on Tuesday that the attack had been planned as a way of supporting Suryadi while striking a blow against Megawati and her supporters.

Present at that secret meeting 15 years ago were military chief Gen. Feisal Tanjung, Army head Gen. R. Hartono, National Police Chief Dibyo Widodo, Jakarta Military Regional Commander Maj. Gen. Sutiyoso and the head of the Army's Strategic Reserve Command, Lt. Gen. Wiranto, according to Slamet.

Sutiyoso was asked to help Suryadi reclaim the office from the grasp of the pro-Megawati faction.

"I was once tasked to get rid of Megawati but I disagreed because it's not fair," Slamet was quoted as saying by newsportal MediaIndonesia.com adding that he recalled hearing Wiranto telling Sutiyoso to deal with the rival PDI faction. "Yos [Sutiyoso], don't delay anymore. What are you waiting for?" Slamet said, quoting Wiranto.

Slamet said the reason he was finally coming forward was so that the case investigation could be reopened. "The reason I speak about the secret meeting is because I want all facts to be revealed and the generals to be held responsible for what they did," he said.

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