Kornelius Purba (The Jakarta Post)
Tue, January 24 2023
“’Sing wis yo wis’ [let bygones be bygones] is the only way to make peace with peerless barbarism in the past.” I read that phrase on page 10 of a newly released book about the mass killings that occurred in our beloved Indonesia more than 50 years ago. The victims of the atrocities still have to endure the brutal acts perpetrated by the military and militia groups even decades after the bloodbath.
Amid President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s determination to resolve the dark past, in the end, the victims and the families of the atrocities eventually will likely have to recite the heading of this column. “Let bygones be bygones.”
Martin Aleida, the author of the book, Tuhan menangis, terluka (God cries, hurt), quotes the “Sing wis yo wis” bitter sentence from a poem by a former political prisoner. Martin sensed a betrayal by the former detainee, that the poet might no longer suffer the unimaginable acts of savagery, and eventually compromise himself with his torturers.
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