On the morning of 8th July,2016, the chief editor of Yinhua Daily Li Zhuohui delivered a speech on invitation about several important political events following the independence of Indonesia at 301(3), Nan’ an Building. Present at the speech were Professor Shi Xueqin, who was also the host, Liang Junxiang, the chairman of Hong Kong life culture foundation, a professor from Huaqiao University, officials from Xiamen Overseas Chinese Museum, teachers and students from School of International Relations, Xiamen University.
Li Zhuohui is the chief editor of Yinhua Daily, one of the most widely circulated Chinese newspapers in Indonesia. Mr. Li is over 70 years old now. After his career as a middle school teacher, he devoted himself to Chinese newspapers and became the editor of several newspaper, including Hong Kong Daily, Lianhe Zaobao, Sin Chew Daily and so on. Meanwhile he was also committed to the spread of Chinese culture and the study of Indonesian Chinese, making great contribution to Sino-Indonesian relationship.
The lecture began with the reaction and several wrong expressions of some media in China and western countries to the symposium on 1965 tragedy to be held by Joko government, unveiling what happened in Indonesia in the fall of 1965. On 30th September 1965, the head of the military, General Suharto, arrested the main members of the general committee, which was composed of the pro-British and pro-U.S. generals intending to stage a coup and overthrow President Sukarno, in the name of protecting President Sukarno. However, later Suharto placed Sukarno under house arrest, controlled the government and launched the massacre. Mr. Li clarified three points in his lecture. Firstly, it was not an anti-Chinese massacre, but a massacre aimed at Indonesian communists and their family. Secondly, Indonesian Chinese victims added up to 10,000 to 20,000, not 300,000 as rumored. Thirdly, overseas Chinese and Chinese government did not engage in the conspiration. Mr. Li said that these misunderstandings must be cleared to lead to a better Sino-Indonesian relationship.
After that, Mr. Li mentioned the riot in 1998, in which the number of victims was over 1000 according to an non-governmental statistical investigation and the death toll of Indonesian Chinese was less than 50. By referring to the reports indicating the limited understanding of history, he pointed out that Chinese current research was far from sufficient and more efforts of the professionals were required.
Mr. Li also made mention of the anti-Chinese event in 1976 and 1968 in West Kalimantan and a similar one in 1960 in Acheh, in which properties of Chinese were robbed and damaged. He told the audience that these events were all considered as human rights violations and Indonesia had established human rights committee to investigate. Indonesia’s Chinese community held the position that the government must compensate for the damage and apologize to the victims.
In the end of the report, Liang Junxiang made a brief speech. He illustrated the safe withdrawal of the staff of Xinhua News Agency and Bank of China to emphasize that the massacre did not aim at Chinese and that it was an urgent task to explore more about the sensitive events in Indonesian history, such as the 1965 tragedy. He conveyed a view that the truth of history would be exposed someday and we had to be fully prepared for that.
After the report, Mr. Li and Mr. Liang had interaction with the audience and donated precious book and periodical materials for Indonesian study to the library of CSEAS and some teachers and students. Mr. Li and Mr. Liang’s care for the Indonesia’s Chinese community and their dedication to Indonesian Chinese research left a great impression on the audience and we were supposed to learn their spirit.
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