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The era of rule by the Suharto regime in Indonesia was characterised by a long series of gross human rights abuses. This book examines the politics of reconciliation and forgiveness in post-Suharto Indonesia since 1998, focusing in particular on the public debates over the establishment of a Human Rights Tribunal (Peradilan Hak Asasi Manusia) and later a Truth and Reconciliation Commission (Komisi Kebenaran dan Rekonsiliasi) as new institutions to deal with the past abuses. It considers the part played by key forces such as Indonesia's transition towards democracy, the balance of power, transitional justice, social memory, external factors, and the strengths and weaknesses of civil society, and applies these to analyzing how the post-Suharto era has attempted to come to terms with its own past. It includes various accounts, insights and reflections of the victims, and also provides case studies of particular human rights abuses to demonstrate the complexity of dealing with reconciliation in practice. It argues that there are no universal solutions for new democratic regimes such as Indonesia to deal with past abuses but nonetheless there are three main approaches - trials, truth commissions, and amnesties - that must be combined if reconciliation is to succeed.
Table of Contents
Introduction 1. Politics of Reconciliation and Forgiveness in Emerging Democracies 2. Regime Change, Justice and Reconciliation 3. Failure of Prosecution (the case of the East Timor tribunal) 4. Reconciliation through a Truth Commission (a critical examination) 5. Haunted by the Past (the case of the 1965/1966 Mass Killing) 6. Trials versus 'Islamic' Reconciliation (the case of Tanjung Priok Killings) 7. Reconciliation with Compensation (the Lampung/Talangsari Killings) 8. Searching for Justice and Reconciliation (the Trisakti/Semanggi Killings 9. Post-Suharto Indonesia in Comparative Perspective Conclusion