Talk:May 1998 riots of Indonesia

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NPOV dispute[edit]

I am no expert on the subject, and do not feel qualified to assert whether the article is or is not biased, but i feel that it could at least use some improvement, and someone to verify the NPOV. I made one comment earlier (about one of the external links) which i felt was in fact very biased, and would be better replaced with something more neutral. I think they article would also benefit overall with some additional information and references. Any feedback or contribution would be greatly appreciated! --Keith 19:55, 10 April 2006 (UTC)

The third external link down "ColorQ World - The Indonesian Riots" seemed biased also, and i would say does not belong here. Overall article could use an unbiased expert to review.

Why do you use "Malay Muslims" instead of just "Malays"? I don't think it's a NPOV. Anyone?

Added POV flag to section False pictures circulated of the riots. The lack of reference to the bigger picture and context, use of words "hypocrisy" and "many"s, overexpansion/repeats on details on individual incidents and citations, all indicate original section author's intention to draw unbalanced attention to the specific issue in this section and to mislead. --73.10.51.249 (talk) 22:59, 18 September 2016 (UTC) -- OK I went in and made several edits in the ballpark. Further NPOV edits are likely still needed. --73.10.51.249 (talk) 23:25, 18 September 2016 (UTC) False pictures circulated of the riots should be removed along with all recent edits quoting "Charles A Koppel" (who is he ???). First of all why does this section deserve so much priority that it is placed in the original timeline of the riots ? In fact this section which talks fake rape photos precedes the section about the rapes itself. Secondly in addition to overexpansion, some of the references have been intentionally distorted. I checked the reference in relation to the account of one "Vivi" mentioned here : http://asia-pacific-solidarity.net/southeastasia/indonesia/netnews/1998/and33_v2.htm The part about Vivi in this article actually talks about the effort of Indonesian government to hide the mass rapes. There are accounts from various officials distorting and outright denying the incident. "Vivi"'s account over rapists shouting Allahu Akbar itself wasn't proven false in this article. If anything the edits here prove the continuation of some Indonesian elements to bury this incident. Notice that HRW also describes official obstruction on the rape investigation: https://www.hrw.org/news/1998/09/08/new-report-says-official-denials-indonesian-rapes-hinder-investigation I think the effort to obfuscate this incident is what should be brought up. Stepriverfifty (talk) 23:49, 25 October 2017 (UTC)

Who did it?[edit]

This wikipedia entry (per 30 sep 2005) is biased and lack further info. This wikipedia entry gives impression that the student activists are the one commiting the riot in 1998. Based on Romo Sandyawan report, the riot is committed deliberately by the indonesian military members (special task force) as way to intimidate people to suppress activism against government - and not malay muslim indonesians per se. Secondly, the wikipedia entry also gives impression that the victim of the riot is only chinese. It is not true. Non chinese are also victimised, a lot of them are burned trapped inside a burning shopping centre. Indonesians, both chinese and non chinese are victim in this riot.

responding to above statement[edit]

Where were you when the riots of May 1998 happend ???

I happend to be in Jakarta at the time of the riot, and it is a living hell for the next couple of days. The pribumi you mentioned that was also a "victim" which burned alive inside the mall are in fact the rioters who tried to loot the malls and stores.

Still they were victim. They know nothing but everyone gone to take want they want, and they trapped. Do you think they were planning to join (or make)the riot before it? Any way some of those who burned alive are not rioter.Aditthegrat 15:02, 14 May 2006 (UTC)

the students who were shot dead were in fact a chinese indonesian student, and by that incident the riots ensued between the police and the students, it is true that the sporadic riots in Jakarta is deliberatly caused by the military.

This is simply a well known fact among us Indonesians.

Elang Mulyana Lesmana (grandson of AH Nasution) and Hafidhin Royan are those students. Are they chinese-descendant? You mislead people here. Kunderemp 05:12, 12 September 2007 (UTC)

Kunderemp, the chinese there were all forced to change their names to Indonesian sounding ones in 1945. This law is considered as one of the most humiliating ones to those in the Chinese community in Indonesia since by doing so, they are forced to lose their family name. And as such, lost their proof to that they are chinese-descendant. Yet, they still are. Not misleading i think.Cleon 20:03, 14 August 2009 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by 60.54.5.19 (talk)

Is there is no Reliable Source?[edit]

Is there is no reliable source? I'm pretty confused hear and read about rivalry among General.Aditthegrat 15:02, 14 May 2006 (UTC)


Chinese leaving Indonesia[edit]

to what country(ies) did they go? Thanks Hmains 04:18, 15 August 2006 (UTC)

My guesses would be the neighbouring countries: Singapore, Australia, and Malaysia. I also heard some moved to Northern America. A good portion also decided to migrate locally to safer regions (ie. Bali). --LittleWhisky 09:03, 2 January 2007 (UTC)


they go singapure, china, usa (one of my relatif go there, and get the green card), hongkong, taiwan, canada.Daimond (talk) 07:57, 4 May 2008 (UTC)

Witness[edit]

I am one witness of the riot. I do not participate nor being a victim, although I am a Chinese Indonesian.

This is my own experience and should not be made as reference:

I remember that day as an event close to war. Barbed wires everywhere. The streets are completely empty, only tanks and military vehicles that were in the streets. Cars and other vehicles were left burned. Buildings are marked with "Milik Pribumi" (the properties of native people). From my office window (6th stories of a bulding), I can see smokes everywhere. My office were happened to be just accross the street from the DPR (Indonesian legislative assembly) bulding, were students climed on top of the roof and make their protest. And with a monocular (owned by one of my friends), I see from nearby bulidings, the rifles of snipers are targeted to them. After that day, my office was guarded by a group of marines for nearly 1 month.

A few days after the event, I made a little tour around the city with my friends and saw many buildings was burnt down to the ground. I also heard many stories of Chinese women being raped (this stories turned out to be just an exaggeration).

This day will always be remembered by me and most of Indonesian people.

--Agus elex 2005 16:26, 4 November 2006 (UTC)

silent witnes[edit]

after ten years, the china town jakarta pancoran kota are very good as example as silent witness cause they time now flow diffrently than the past before the tragedy. in the past they open the shop open 12 hours a day ( from 9:00 to 21:00)right now they close more early than the past (9:00 to 18:00, or 10:00 to 17:00). this not cause they lazy but some thing change them permanetly. Daimond (talk) 07:54, 4 May 2008 (UTC)


Photos of the riots[edit]

!!!WARNING: Very Violent Photos!! Very Disturbing!!! I found a lot of photos about the riots at the following website: http://www.cclv.cn/Exhibit/class.asp?ClassID=72 (!!!WARNING: Very Violent Photos!! Very Disturbing!!!) --Jinhuili (talk) 20:44, 19 June 2008 (UTC)

change title?[edit]

The lead paragraph mentions other cities, so why is this article titled "Jakarta Riots" instead of "Indonesia riots"?

Sure, most foreign media have correspondents who are reluctant to leave the capital, but I think users of WP are able to recognize that Jakarta is part of Indonesia and a more inclusive title would be more accurate. I lived in Central Java during those times, and saw damage on the Yogya-Solo road. I also heard Medan had riots and atrocities. Martindo (talk) 01:15, 27 June 2009 (UTC)

Yes, it's a fair point. I was in Medan and there were riots there. I have an Indonesian language reference that details events in other cities. However the riots in Jakarta (naturally) were on a much larger scale. Any thoughts anybody on the way ahead? I think perhaps a renaming to 1998 Indonesia Riots or something like that. Davidelit (talk) 16:45, 27 June 2009 (UTC)
There were riots across Indonesia. As I recall they started in Medan but were the worst in Jakarta - although Solo was also particularly bad. Semarang and Yogya were largely unaffected. A name change to 1998 Indonesia Riots would not hurt, but let's keep the main focus on Jakarta. Also, let's also keep in mind that there were demonstration and shootings of students later that year (november?).--Merbabu (talk) 23:24, 27 June 2009 (UTC)
The Semanggi shottings in November were linked with the Special Session of the People's Consultative Assembly and were separate from the widespread destruction. As such, they would be better inlcuded in the People's Consultative Assembly or Fall of Suharto. Davidelit (talk) 09:00, 28 June 2009 (UTC)
This article, I believe, should be discussing the 3 days of riots following the Trisakti incident. (I remember this quite well, even if I was only 10 at the time.) All other riots should go in the Fall of Suharto article because it would be better put in context that way. There's actually a lot of print material on the Jakarta riots alone, more so than the other riots. Arsonal (talk) 07:11, 1 July 2009 (UTC)
I would argue for the riots in Surakarta and Medan at least to be included in this article as it seems that a faction within the Military of Indonesia was responsible for all three, with Medan and Solo being "dry runs". Davidelit (talk) 04:01, 2 July 2009 (UTC)

OK - I'm going to be bold and rename to "May 1998 riots in Indonesia". The general consensus seems to be on increasing the scope to all of Indonesia, but focussing on Jakarta and sticking to May which was the climax month of the Fall of Suharto. Feel free to suggest less clumsy wording. --Merbabu (talk) 01:51, 12 September 2009 (UTC)

A few comments[edit]

Since Crisco mentioned some eds are trying to get this up to GA and asked me to look it over, a few comments:

  • This is great stuff that seems on its way not just to GA, but FA as well.
  • In the background section, "government thugs", even in quotes, seems a bit POV. Can this be more clearly sourced, and more neutrally described?
  • I also had trouble sorting out which party was currently in power in the first sentences of the Background section--ie, which party the "gov. thugs" were.
  • The article seemed a bit overlinked; the editors might take a quick look at WP:Link and remove a few more "low-value" links. It's hard to imagine a reader clicking through from here to drama, Egypt, or Taiwan (and the MOS discourages those types of links).
  • Similarly, the article should be checked for redundant links; I know the MOS has a clause for occurrences that are far apart, but I'm not sure that all of these qualify, especially big ones like Suharto.

That's all I got, except to say again, nice expansion.

Cheers, Khazar (talk) 04:12, 10 June 2011 (UTC)

Thanks Khazar. I'll try and deal with those issues. Crisco 1492 (talk) 05:01, 10 June 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for the constructive comments.I believe my methodology was to link something if it hasn't appeared in 2–3 subsections. It's a minor thing that can be fixed later when this goes to GA/FA. "Government thugs" is the way it's written in the source, and I had a difficult time finding an alternative way to write it. They really belonged to no party, though some will say it's the PDI faction who supported the other leader. "Government" also does not equal Golkar because the organization itself is a political machine devised by Suharto and his cronies to keep him in power. The incident itself probably warrants its own article as the circumstances around it are complicated. I tried not to delve into it because it doesn't really belong in this article. —Arsonal (talk + contribs)— 05:20, 10 June 2011 (UTC)
Perhaps you could take a look at my current phrasing? If "government thugs" is better, perhaps it should have a footnote right next to it to make it clearer. Crisco 1492 (talk) 05:30, 10 June 2011 (UTC)
I can't say for sure at this moment whether your writing is more correct. I have to check the literature to see what what scholars are saying about the incident. —Arsonal (talk + contribs)— 05:32, 10 June 2011 (UTC)
Okay, thanks. Crisco 1492 (talk) 05:35, 10 June 2011 (UTC)
Rewritten with the help of another source. Some details in the previous version turned out incorrect anyway. —Arsonal (talk + contribs)— 06:19, 10 June 2011 (UTC)
I think it reads better. Nice. Crisco 1492 (talk) 06:26, 10 June 2011 (UTC)

I suggest to delete all content relate to China because it's too sensitive, so better don't talk about it at all.76.199.99.239 (talk) 19:14, 26 June 2011 (UTC)

Sensitivity of material has no relation to its encyclopedic value. There are many sensitive topics that are covered comprehensively on Wikipedia. If you think the article itself has POV issues, provide specific examples and reasons so that they can be dealt with. Only one paragraph of this article focuses on China, and Chinese Indonesians, although an important part of the story, are not the only victims of the riots. —Arsonal (talk + contribs)— 19:29, 26 June 2011 (UTC)

A few suggestions[edit]

Thanks for the great work of editors. Nice articles and great readability. A few adds if possible:

1) any trails after the riot? some stories, examples, direct citation from renowned source such as New York times, Times, global & mail, post etc.

2) more reactions from global society, not only gov. but also common people in Indo-, China, Taiwan, HK, Singapore etc...

3) more pics reflecting lootings, rapes, killings, shopping malls etc.


Personal opinion: pretty mad at the reaction of China, if the same incident happens in USA, the president will declare a war since 1000+ people died for no reason. What a tradegy! All criminals should be bringed into justice... — Preceding unsigned comment added by 142.245.193.11 (talk) 16:50, 27 July 2011 (UTC)

Thanks for the comments. While we are always on the lookout for more sources and material for the article, we are also obliged to follow Wikipedia's policy on reliable sources, which would include the sources you mentioned in point 1. Unfortunately, because the topic has aged quite a bit, there are few available web sources due to Indonesia's limited accessibility in 1998. Furthermore, we are restricted to free content, so we can only make do with supporting material that we have until e acquire more of them. If you have additional suggestions, we will gladly take them. —Arsonal (talk + contribs)— 18:54, 27 July 2011 (UTC)


Thanks for replying. The article is well-balanced and sound in its reference. However it may not be able to outline the severity and cruelty since it is much too modest. Here is a link for some brutal pics reflecting the looting, burning, murdering, raping etc. Pics should be ok to redistribute and it is a public source. If you could choose a few and that will definitely add more color to the article. Thanks.

http://tuku.culture.china.com/culture/html/2011-08-12/180976_1871486.htm#pic — Preceding unsigned comment added by 142.245.59.11 (talk) 15:30, 15 August 2011 (UTC)

While I appreciate your enthusiasm, we unfortunately cannot use those pictures without knowing their original photographers. Unless there is a statement explicitly indicating a free license, the assumption is that these images are copyrighted. Indonesian copyright law states: "The Copyright on [...] photographic works [...] shall be valid for 50 (fifty) years as of the first publication." We will see what we can do about strengthening the indication of severity, but keep in mind that articles must be written in an encyclopedic tone because Wikipedia is not a memorial. —Arsonal (talk + contribs)— 17:27, 15 August 2011 (UTC)
Most of the pictures spread around the Chinese websites and forums labelled as May 1998 Chinese riot victims, are neither of Chinese nor from May 1998. They are from Maluku sectarian conflict, Banyuwangi witch hunt, Sanggauledo riots, Sambas riots and Sampit conflict, 2000 Walisongo school massacre. For example this wordpress blog shows graphic images of Madurese victims in the Sampit conflict, witches hunted down in Banyuwangi and East Timorese rape victims. The beheaded corpses are of Madurese or people from Banyuwangi and Sulawesi. I have actual links to the original images at Talk:Sambas_riots, Talk:Banyuwangi Regency, Talk:Sampit conflict which show the date and place they were taken. None of the people in the images are Chinese. There is not a single image of an actual Chinese victim being killed from the May 1998 riots on the internet. The only actual images of May 1998 are of the burning buildings and the Indonesians burning a portrait of a Chinese tycoon. So don't upload images from random blogs and internet forums.Rajmaan (talk) 03:52, 26 July 2015 (UTC)

I'm a witness[edit]

I was there in Jakarta on business during the riots. I still have the Jakarta newspaper accounts and photos. I left the city for Bali on May 15, 1998, and then left the country on May 16 for Hong Kong. I am not a Chinese Indonesian; I'm from the U.S.A. and I'm white. Mdoc7 (talk) 17:13, 22 August 2012 (UTC)

You can upload your photos to Wikimedia Commons and add them to this articles. Wo.luren (talk) 02:12, 12 October 2012 (UTC)

http://press.anu.edu.au/apps/bookworm/view/Anomie+and+Violence/5311/ch04.xhtml

Most people who died during the looting of Chinese supermarkets were the looters themselves, not Chinese[edit]

A fire started and burnt most of the Indonesian looters to death when they tried targeting Chinese owned businesses.

https://web.archive.org/web/20000920073842/http://www.serve.com/inside/digest/dig86.htm

http://www.library.ohiou.edu/indopubs/1998/05/31/0029.html

http://www.asia-pacific-solidarity.net/southeastasia/indonesia/netnews/1998/and20_v2.htm

Over 1,000 killed in Indonesia riots: rights body Reuters - June 3, 1998 Jim Della-Giacoma, Jakarta

The May riots DIGEST No.61 - May 29, 1998

http://books.google.com/books?id=bCsgAwAAQBAJ&pg=PA34#v=onepage&q&f=false

Mall fire

http://thejakartapost.com/news/2014/05/12/288-burned-alive-a-jakarta-mall-16-years-ago.html

http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=2519&dat=19980516&id=4DpdAAAAIBAJ&sjid=KlsNAAAAIBAJ&pg=1394,2629247

http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1893&dat=19980516&id=-_4wAAAAIBAJ&sjid=VN0FAAAAIBAJ&pg=1671,2789983

http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=2245&dat=19980516&id=zdc_AAAAIBAJ&sjid=ISEGAAAAIBAJ&pg=7083,2328595

http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1914&dat=19980516&id=D8k0AAAAIBAJ&sjid=LmsFAAAAIBAJ&pg=2771,2819357

http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=2457&dat=19980515&id=w6FJAAAAIBAJ&sjid=NA0NAAAAIBAJ&pg=4456,4746006

Rajmaan (talk) 02:57, 9 July 2014 (UTC)

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