Physical attacks by right-wing groups on meetings of the Indonesian
National Liberation Party of Unity ( Papernas) continue to escalate.
Their objective seems to be to disrupt attempts by Papernas to get registered as an electoral party in time for the 2009 presidential elections. After the massacre of up to a million leftists and social activists in Indonesia 1965, the anti-communist hysteria being promoted by these right-wing groups is deeply menacing.
The left in Britain need to approach human rights and civil liberties groups to send messages supporting the democratic right of Papernas to organise, please send copies of them to Katarina Pujiastuti at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please spread this urgent appeal for solidarity to your friends and comrades.
Several articles from the Indonesian press have been translated by James Balowski from the INDOLEFT news service produced by the Institute of Liberation, Media and Social Studies (LPMIS) and Action in Solidarity with Asia and the Pacific.
Tempo Interactive (April 30, 2007) reports how the Papernas conference in Sukoharjo was forcibly broken up by dozens of members of Surakarta Islamic Community Militia (LUIS) in the Central Java city of Sukoharjo on Sunday March 29. Islamic groups in Jakarta have taken similar actions against Papernas.
“The LUIS members blockaded the entrance to the conference venue at the Gajah House on Jl. Yos Sudarso in the Tanjung Anom area of Sukoharjo. Members of the Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) even frisked a Police intelligence officer who they accused of being a provocateur.
“The head of the Papernas conference organising committee, Onang Tiyoso eventually gave in and agreed to halt the event but under the condition that all FPI members must leave the location before they disbanded. Regional governor, Riyanto admitted "In formal terms, Papernas does in fact actually have a permit for the activity, but in order that the local situation remains favorable, I have asked Papernas to cancel the event”
“Suparjo said that his organisation would continue to hunt down Papernas members that want to organise similar activities”
Radar Solo reported the same event on April 30, 2007, reporting how right wing thugs from the Sukoharjo Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) occupied the Gajah Tanjung Anom Building where the event was to be held. “The leader of the Islamists Ustad (Islamic teacher) Khoirul, said "We have come here to break up this event. We are asking that Papernas be disbanded and not be allowed to exist in Indonesia. Because Papernas is an embryo of the PKI (Indonesian Communist Party - Ed.).
“The Islamists even harrased a National Unity and Social Protection Agency (Kasbang Linmas) official who suffered a similar fate to the policeman they frisked. The FPI examined his identification papers, they also asked for the photographs on his cell phone to be erased. The FPI members even asked the man to take off his shirt and show them a tattoo on his body, claiming it was a PKI symbol”
Media Indonesia (April 30, 2007) reports Papernas flags being burnt by FPI in a different town, Bekasi.
“Around 30 members of the Bekasi Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) gave speeches and set fire to flags of the National Liberation Party of Unity (Papernas) in front of the Bekasi municipal government offices on Monday April 30. They also brought banners and posters with messages opposing Papernas.
“"Papernas, is a reincarnation of the Indonesian Communist Party (PKI). Papernas [says it] is populist democratic. This term is the camouflage that is usually used by communists or socialist in Indonesia like the PKI. It is because of this that we don't want the party to grow and develop", said action coordinator Ustad (title of Islamic teacher)Abdurrahman.”
Liputan (April 30, 2007) reports how “Papernas demonstrators clashed with the FPI in the Dukuh Atas area on Sudirman, Central Jakarta. Several people were injured including two children and a middle-ranking police officer from the Tanah Abang sectoral police “
The same paper reports how “right-wing thugs attempt to disrupt May Day in Yogyakarta, when protesters from the Yogyakarta People's and Worker Alliance (ARPY) were unexpectedly waylaid by members of the Anti-Communist Front (FAKI) and the Yogyakarta Islamic Defenders Front (FPI).
“The FAKI and FPI members accused the ARPY of being infiltrated by the National Liberation Party of Unity (Papernas) that they claim has a communist ideology.
“The incident occurred at intersection in front of the central post
office when a man climbed up onto an open pickup truck that ARPY was
using as a platform and dragged a person giving a speech off the
vehicle. Initially the ARPY activists were too shocked to react but
were eventually able to rescue their colleague.”
Antara News (April 14, 2007) reports that in Surabaya, a “prominent Nahdlatul Ulama (NU) cleric and the caretaker of the Langitan pesantren (traditional Islamic boarding school) in Tuban, East Java, KH Abdullah Faqih has been chosen to lead a group opposing the National Liberation Party of Unity (Papernas).
“The senior ulama (Islamic scholar) has been appointed to be the dvisor to the Friendship Forum to Safeguard Pancasila and the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia Against the Threat of Neo- Communism (Forum Silaturrahmi Mengawal NKRI dan Pancasila dari Ancaman Neo-Komunisme) that held a consolidation meeting in the East Java provincial capital of Surabaya on Saturday, which was attended by delegations from Sumatra, Java and West Nusa Tenggara.
“"The PKI [Indonesian Communist Party] has indeed been destroyed, but
communist ideas are resurfacing through various means and because of
this vigilance is needed", said Faqih who is also one of the founders
of the Ulama National Awakening Party (PKNU).
“Speaking separately with Antara News during a break in the event, Gus Solah explained that it would be best to invite Papernas to address the legal factors because Indonesia is a constitutional state. "But, the legal efforts shouldn't be juridical in character, rather a submission to the Constitutional Court in the form of an appeal or judicial review", explained the younger brother of former President Abdurrahman Wahid.
“Speaking in a similar vein, the deputy chairperson of the goodwill
committee, Arukat Djaswadi said that they are urging the government to act immediately against Papernas "it is time for the government to act firmly, because they are most clearly an embryo of a communist [party], because they use the principle of populist democracy, whereas if they [want to] live in Indonesia they must use Pancasila and the 1945 Constitution", he said.
“The head of the Center for Indonesian Community Studies (CICS) explained that Papernas cannot be dealt with of by juridical means because Papernas uses the ideology of logic, however Papernas has clearly violated the "rules of the game" in Indonesia and the government must be firm."
Sinar Indonesia Baru (April 11, 2007) reports how dozens of people from the Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) demonstrated at Regional House of Representatives (DPRD) in the North Sumatra regional capital of Medan on Tuesday April 10 against the National Liberation Party of Unity (Papernas). The protesters believe that Papernas is extremely dangerous because it only wants to legalise and provide legal guarantees to commercial sex workers and is hiding behind the mask of the state ideology of Pancasila and the 1945 Constitution.
“The demonstrators gave speeches and issued a statement against the
establishment of Papernas, which held its founding congress in
Kaliurang, Central Java in January. They said that this was extremely
dangerous because the denial of religious values is becoming ever more rampant and fate of the country will be to degenerate into an
“They also called on the national and North Sumatra General Election
Commission not to verify the registration of a party that has communism as its ideology. They are also asking the police as investigators and the enforcers of
the law to have the courage to take firm action against Papernas and
disband all of its regency and municipal offices throughout North