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Skeletons from Baliís Past

Large Waves Uncover 1965 Killing Field Near Cucukan Village, Gianyar, Bali

(1/18/2013) The large waves that hit Bali’s eastern shore at Gianyar have wreaked havoc on parts of the shoreline and dredging up a dark page in Bali’s history. The Cucukan Beach front at Medahan Village, Blahbatuh yielded up a number of human skeletons when waves eroded the shoreline on Monday, January 14, 2013.

According to Bali Post, the strong wave hitting the shore reopened mass graves of those executed during the violence following the 30 September Movement (Gestapu) of 1965.

The bones scattered along the beach also yielded up a wristwatch, thought to belong to one of the dead.

Based on reports for local villagers, the area where the bones were found was used for the execution of suspected Communist Party Members in 1965.

Many of the graves are located in an area just west of a private villa owned by former president Megawati Soekarnoputri. One villager estimated there were some 200 unmarked graves located in this area.

Some 20 meters to east of the mass graves, another body wrapped in burial shroud was revealed by the waves. Ida Bagus Arka, the chief of the Cucukan Village, said that the area was also used for the burial of unidentified victims of crime. The body uncovered was buried in 1997 was that of a 19-year-old man brought there by police and hospital workers for burial.

The bones uncovered by the waves will now be gathered and burnt with the ashes to be eventually committed to the seas in accordance with Balinese tradition.

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