The recent anti-communist panic in Indonesia, stirred up largely by military officials and extremist groups in reaction to the symposium on the 1965 mass killings that took place last month, may be nearing a boiling point.
Today, one of the former heads of the Army Strategic Reserve Command (KOSTRAD), Major General Kivlan Zen, addressed a gathering of hundreds of members of the Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) extremist group in Bandung, where he told them that communism posed a greater threat to Indonesia than terrorism.
“Santoso is small, the Thamrin bomb was small. The real terrorist is communism,” Kivlan told the crowd, as quoted by Tempo. He was of course referring to the Santoso-led terrorist group East Indonesia Mujahidin (MIT) as well as the terrorist attack that took place in Thamrin, Central Jakarta in January in which four innocent people were killed.
Kivlan was invited by the West Java chapter of FPI to talk about the dangers posed by a resurgent Indonesian Communist Party (PKI) – despite the fact that there is no evidence that that is actually a thing.
The retired general whipped up the anger of the FPI mob by relating the history of the PKI and asserting (again without any evidence) that there were currently PKI operatives entrenched in the government.
Kivlan also called on the public to be wary about the threat of the PKI.
“Before they rise up, strike them first. War… war… war…!” he said (seriously).
The chairman of the West Java FPI, Abdul Qohar, said that the gathering was held in anticipation of the rise of communism in Indonesia and told the group’s members to help the army and police monitor the activities of people suspected of being communists. He said the gathering was also held in preparation for an FPI action in Jakarta this Friday.
In scarily related news, members of the military and other mass organizations are organizing a “counter symposium” to the 1965 symposium held last month, which they accused of being too sympathetic to the PKI (because it allowed the victims of the brutal anti-communist purge to voice their opinions). Their two-day symposium is called “Securing Pancasila From The Threat of the Re-awakened Indonesian Communist Party and Other Ideologies” and it starts tomorrow at Balai Kartini.