Ethics Council to Probe Golkar Dismissal of 1965 Violence

By webadmin on 05:35 pm Jul 28, 2012
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Ezra Sihite

The House of Representatives Ethics Council says it will study a report filed by a human rights group objecting to Deputy Speaker Priyo Budi Santoso’s statement that the victims of 1965 anti-communist massacres should put the past behind them.

“Not yet [read it],” Ethics Council deputy chairman Siswono Yudohusodo said of the Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (Kontras) report.

“ I’ve just read about it in the newspapers because it’s still recess period now. We will look into it later,” he said at the parliament building in Jakarta on Friday.

Kontras, along with victims and families of victims of the 1965 massacre and other tragedies, reported Priyo on Thursday.

“He said it’s not important to bring up the past,” Kontras coordinator Haris Azhar said on Thursday. “This kind of statement is very inappropriate.”

Priyo violated the House Code of Ethics in several ways, including for failing to carry out the people’s mandate and not respecting democracy and human rights, Haris said.

“Under the law, the government has the responsibility to solve cases of human rights violations,” Haris said. “And it’s Priyo’s duty to supervise the solving of the human rights cases.”

Siswono said that the House oversight body will check whether Priyo violated the ethics code. “We will hold a meeting after recess,” Siswono said.

On Thursday, Priyo said that Kontras’s report to the Ethics Council was an exaggeration.

“I was just giving my opinion that we should look to the future,” said Priyo, a Golkar Party politician. “I never suggested we bury [the findings].”

He insisted that he sympathized with the victims and was merely offering an alternative solution.

Kontras asked the Ethics Council to investigate the political motives behind Priyo’s statement.

“Golkar, with its background as the party that benefited from the New Order regime, might be afraid that further details will be unveiled,” Haris said.

“In the future, we must think of punishing Golkar to prevent its members from issuing counterproductive statements.”

Pudjo Untung, 70, one of the victims of the violence of 1965, said Priyo did not understand that the historical scars had yet to heal.