Sep 19, 2018 Last Updated 3:08 AM, Sep 19, 2018

A hero passes on

Published: Apr 01, 1999

In Yogyakarta where he was buried, and in the Jakarta Cathedral beforehand, thousands came to mourn, among them President Habibie and Sri Sultan Hamengkubowono X. There were street kids, politicians, military officers, students, and East Timor activists.

Mangun was known as an architect, novelist, artist, social worker, parish priest, but above all as someone who always sided with the poor. In 1989 he took up the cause of farmers displaced by the giant Kedung Ombo dam. In 1984 he went on a hunger strike on behalf of squatters living under the bridge at Yogyakarta’s Code River.

He always wanted Catholics to do the best for the downtrodden, but never in order to catholicise them. He once told a Muslim friend: ‘Be a pious Muslim’. Most of all he was a teacher. His Basic Education Institute (DED) focused on primary age children. He had many friends among the young. Damairia Pakpahan, one of the young people who often accompanied him, wrote: ‘I feel he gave me an inner toughness with the stories of his own life as we traveled around Central Java, or in our work at Code River. Amidst our often depressing struggles he opened a critical dimension’.

(Inside Indonesia interviewed him in edition no.24, October 1990).


Inside Indonesia 58: Apr-Jun 1999


Latest Articles

Essay: Harmony versus hate

Sep 19, 2018 - DUNCAN GRAHAM

Masykuri Bakri doesn’t fit the stereotype for a moderate Muslim leader

Islam-inspired renewable energy

Sep 04, 2018 - KRISTINA GROßMANN & ARAHMAIANI FEISAL

Muhammad Djawis Masruri with Arahmaiani Feisal/ Source Kristina Großmann

A collaboration between a teacher and farmers in Central Java is unlocking the potential of an indigenous biofuel source

Forbidden smoke

Aug 28, 2018 - RIZANNA ROSEMARY

Source/ Flickr Creative Commons/ d_mcplum

Banda Aceh’s anti-tobacco efforts are unfairly focused on women smokers

The red thread

Aug 19, 2018 - MATTHEW WOOLGAR

Kontras

A recently uncovered report reveals how anti-communist paranoia stoked abductions of pro-democracy activists in the last days of the New Order

Obituary: The Danarto I knew

Jul 19, 2018 - SENO GUMIRA AJIDARMA

Subscribe to Inside Indonesia

Receive Inside Indonesia's latest articles and quarterly editions in your inbox.

 


Lontar Modern Indonesia

Lontar-Logo-Ok

 

A selection of stories from the Indonesian classics and modern writers, periodically published free for Inside Indonesia readers, courtesy of Lontar