Truth & reconciliation in Southeast Asia & the Melanesian Pacific: a project summary

Can historians be peacemakers? Recent experiences with truth and reconciliation processes in Southeast Asia and the Southwest Pacific suggest that they can be. There is a role for historical research and memory in helping to build sustainable peace and stability in new nations. On the other hand, ignoring violent pasts undermines peacebuilding efforts. In the… More Truth & reconciliation in Southeast Asia & the Melanesian Pacific: a project summary

The Touchy Historiography of Indonesia’s 1965 Mass Killings: Intractable Blockades?

By Bernd Schaefer The violence of 1965–66 is both a domestic and an international issue. It cannot just be reduced to the fact that Indonesians were killing Indonesians, and therefore labelled an Indonesian affair and an Indonesian tragedy. That is only part of the story. It is also an international story: many countries bear responsibility,… More The Touchy Historiography of Indonesia’s 1965 Mass Killings: Intractable Blockades?

New Book: The Killing Season A History of the Indonesian Massacres, 1965-66

The Killing Season: A History of the Indonesian Massacres, 1965-66 By Geoffrey Robinson The Killing Season explores one of the largest and swiftest, yet least examined, instances of mass killing and incarceration in the twentieth century—the shocking antileftist purge that gripped Indonesia in 1965–66, leaving some five hundred thousand people dead and more than a… More New Book: The Killing Season A History of the Indonesian Massacres, 1965-66

Cracks in the Wall: Indonesia and Narratives of the 1965 Mass Violence

30 September and 1 October mark the anniversary of the Indonesian military’s seizure of power in Indonesia in 1965, which began an organized wave of killings by the Indonesian military and their supporters. To mark the anniversary of the killings and the ongoing campaign to tell the true story of what happened in 1965-66, we… More Cracks in the Wall: Indonesia and Narratives of the 1965 Mass Violence

Student-written Wikipedia articles compiled in textbook for future classmates

By Cassidy Villeneuve, originally published on the Wiki Education blog This term, Dr. David Webster is trying something new. “This year’s textbook [is] written by previous years’ students,” he announced over Twitter, much to the excitement of his followers. Dr. Webster has taught his students at Bishop University how to contribute to Wikipedia as a classroom assignment… More Student-written Wikipedia articles compiled in textbook for future classmates

Canadian cabinet minister on the 1999 Timor-Leste referendum

Like most observers, Raymond Chan, Secretary of State (Asia Pacific), government of Canada, was impressed by the courage and determination of the Timorese people as they lined up to vote. The following transcript contains his remarks on observing the 1999 Timor-Leste referendum, republished for the 19th anniversary of the vote. Raymond Chan: East Timor press… More Canadian cabinet minister on the 1999 Timor-Leste referendum

Tragedy or Betrayal? The United Nations Consultation in East Timor

Nineteen years after the 1999 referendum in Timor-Leste, in which people voted more than 78% for Independence, on a voter turnout of over 98%, we reprint observer reports of the ballot and what followed. This account by Randall Garrison, now a member of Canada’s parliament, is reprinted from Tok Blong Pasifik, December 1999, published by… More Tragedy or Betrayal? The United Nations Consultation in East Timor

“Grandfather Crocodile is my inspiration: Abé Barreto Soares, poetry and nation-building in Timor-Leste

Poetry can help build nations. It is doing so today in Timor-Leste (East Timor), where themes of resistance to foreign rule, Indigenous re-assertion, language and the shape of the new nation intertwine. One of the country’s leading poets, Abé Barreto Soares, embodies the way these themes come together. Although it declared its independence from Portugal… More “Grandfather Crocodile is my inspiration: Abé Barreto Soares, poetry and nation-building in Timor-Leste

Ten years since the Indonesia/ Timor-Leste Commission on Truth and Friendship III: the CTF’s ambiguous legacy

By Pat Walsh This post excerpts a portion of “Shining Chega’s Lights in the Cracks,” published in the book Flowers in the Wall (University of Calgary Press, 2018). Since 2009, when the CTF report, Per Memoriam Ad Spem (Through Memory to Hope), was released, I have argued that it should be embraced because, although it… More Ten years since the Indonesia/ Timor-Leste Commission on Truth and Friendship III: the CTF’s ambiguous legacy

Ten years since the Indonesia/ Timor-Leste Commission on Truth and Friendship II: Asia Justice and Rights

Asia Justice and Rights (AJAR), based in Indonesia, is one of the key organizations carrying forward the work of “socializing” truth commission reports and recommendations. Part of a network of groups linked to the International Center for Transitional Justice, it works to disseminate, popularize and push for implementation of truth and reconciliation. Its infographic marking… More Ten years since the Indonesia/ Timor-Leste Commission on Truth and Friendship II: Asia Justice and Rights