Senior Indonesian officials have taken part in an unprecedented meeting to discuss the killing of 500,000 communists and their supporters during an insurgency 50 years ago. Security Minister Luhut Panjaitan said the country must make peace with its past, but ruled out an official apology.

The meeting brought together victims and members of the security forces. The massacre began in 1965 after an apparent coup blamed on the communists. Conference organiser Agus Widjojo, a retired general, said at the meeting that the killings had “torn apart” Indonesia and called for the government to establish a commission for truth and reconciliation. Indonesia’s darkest hour

Mass killing commemorations cancelled Indonesia ‘not safe for documentary director’ “Let’s open this history together so we can all find out what has been wrong in our national system, why this nation could have the ability to commit mass killings,” he said. Mr Widjojo’s father was among six right-wing generals whose assassinations during the abortive coup were blamed on Indonesia’s Communist Party.

In the bloodshed that followed, researchers say the military and religious groups killed half a million people as the former dictator Suharto rose to power.
Suspected Communist Party members and sympathisers were hunted down, tortured and killed in one of the worst massacres of the 20th Century.