What was Chinas role, if any, in the events of 1965? How did transnational ethnic ties and the daily practices of the ethnic Chinese influence state-to-state diplomacy at the time? Dr Charlotte Setijadi discusses these issues and more with Dr Taomo Zhou in Talking Indonesia.
Over recent weeks, supporters of both President Joko Widodo and his opponent, Prabowo Subianto, have attempted to frame the contest as an ideological battle between communism and a caliphate. This is far too simplistic, writes Dr Nadirsyah Hosen.
According to official government narratives, the military was forced to step in to save the nation from a coup on 1 October 1965. Drawing on her remarkable new book, Dr Jess Melvin explains how rather than reluctantly stepping in, Soeharto and the military used existing military chains of command to actively seize power.
Many Indonesians are concerned about the damage that hoaxes and so-called “fake news” are doing to social cohesion. Professor Ariel Heryanto writes that it is difficult to find a more powerful hoax than the story of the 30 September Movement, which has provided the basis for numerous other nonsensical and dangerous hoaxes.
On 17 October, dozens of declassified files confirmed that the United States had detailed knowledge of and actively supported Indonesian military efforts to destroy the Indonesian Communist Party (PKI) and its alleged sympathisers. Dr Jess Melvin, who was involved in the declassification project, looks at the most significant revelations.
President Joko Widodo has offered little support to the Legal Aid Foundation (LBH) since the shocking attack on its offices two weeks ago. Professor Tim Lindsey writes that civil society should not expect much from Jokowi, who is in the unenviable position of having to keep the oligarchs happy and Islamist agitators at bay.