Reflecting on Indonesia’s failed coup and mass murders of 1965-66.

In October 1965 an abortive coup took place in Jakarta, involving the murder of six army generals.

Suppressed by General Suharto and portrayed as a communist grab for power, these events triggered a dramatic transformation of Indonesia’s politics and Southeast Asia’s strategic configuration.

The Indonesian Communist Party was destroyed, a developmentalist military government came to power, and Indonesia aligned internationally with the West.

The killings left up to one million people dead.

In this video, Indonesia history and media experts Professor Robert Cribb, Professor Ariel Heryanto and Dr Ross Tapsell discuss the mass killings, its causes and consequences, and how the violence is remembered (or even forgotten) today.

With so much mystery still surrounding the event, the three examine what the killings meant then and now, how they are officially and popularly commemorated, and whether the nation has come to grips with the atrocity 50 years on.

Watch the full video in the player above.

Editor’s note: this video contains sensitive images.