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59: Elections: For the people , or the parties?

July - Sep 1999 Politics and human rights Escape from the past? The June national elections - Gerry van Klinken Will Indonesia break up? The regions are revolting - Anne Booth The Russian road Indonesia and Russia compared - Anders Uhlin Mobilise or perish Not a good year for student demonstrators - Dave McRae The mayor who fell down the well Reformasi in a country town - Anton Lucas Romo Mangun, activist Tribute to an Indonesian prophet - Nico Schulte Nordholt Indonesians for East Timor Solidarity for self-determination - James Goodman Horta bears the torch The end of a long struggle is in sight - Conan Elphicke Society and economy Forgotten refugees of Buton Muslim refugees from Ambon - Elizabeth Fuller Collins Flesh trade of Sumatra Trafficking in young girls - Ahmad Sofian Wheels for awareness Fiona and Mia's big bikeride - Helena Spyrou Blacksmith boom The crisis is not all bad news - Lea Jellinek Culture Trepang The Aborigine-Indonesia trepang link - Alan Whykes Travel Hiking Timor's tops Mountain climbing in East Timor - Mike Davis Regulars Editorial Newsbriefs On the net Bookshop Inside Indonesia 59: Jul-Sep 1999

Tapol troubles

when will they end? Tapol is short for tahanan politik, or political detainee. It refers most often to the 1.5 million alleged communist sympathisers who were detained after the coup attempt of 30 September 1965 (there are lesser numbers of tapol from later pogroms). These were the survivors - between 200,000 and 500,000 were massacred. Only a handful were ever sentenced and are referred to as napol, narapidana politik or political criminals. About 10,000 tapol and napol were shipped to Buru Island after 1969 and not released until 1979, when international pressure grew too strong. Even those detained only briefly were stigmatised by the letters ET, ex-tapol, on their identity card. There are still 13 in gaols in Indonesia, some still with pending death sentences. Before being freed, tapol and napol had to sign a declaration that they would not demand compensation. Despite a government order to return their possessions, in reality nobody has successfully reclaimed their books, land and homes. As late as December 1998, a Jakarta court ruled that Indonesia’s most famous tapol, novelist Pramudya Ananta Toer, could not have the house back that was taken off him by the military in 1965. Tapol/ napol were not permitted: To work in any form of government service, nor in any state-owned corporation, strategic industry, political party, or news media. They were not permitted to become a minister in any religion, a teacher, village head, lawyer, or puppeteer (dalang); To vote or be elected; To obtain a passport and travel overseas, even for medical treatment (some allowance was made for those going to Mecca on pilgrimage); To choose where to live or to move house freely. Ignorant officials made life difficult, and all the procedures cost money; To obtain credit from the bank, even when they fulfill other requirements; To receive the pensions to which they are entitled from their former employers when they were sacked in 1965. They are still required to report regularly and are then given paternalistic ‘guidance’ - the frequency often depending on the whim of the local official. The government greatly feared the moral influence tapol/ napol might have on their family and even friends. For anyone to qualify for employment in the job categories mentioned in 1 above, all candidates had to establish they had a ‘clean environment’ (bersih lingkungan), ie. they were not related to a tapol/ napol. Regulation No.6 of 1976 established the screening process. All close relatives were affected, as well as anyone who may have paid for the education of the tapol/ napol. It was a system of collective punishment. As part of ‘reformasi’, some of these regulations have been lifted - including the ‘clean environment’ rule and the ban on voting. The ET label on identity cards has been officially removed since August 1995. But the communist party remains banned. And there has still been no wholesale amnesty for the 1965 tapol/ napol. Inside Indonesia 58: Apr-Jun 1999

Women's Congress

The Women’s Congress was held in Yogyakarta 14-18 December 1998, to coincide with the 70th anniversary of the first All-Indonesia Women’s Congress (Kongres Perempuan Indonesia), which was also held in Yogya in 1928. A committee of five from Jakarta were the main organisers. Among them were Nursyahbani Katjasungkana, Indonesia’s foremost feminist lawyer, and Australian-trained political scientist Chusnul Mar’iyah. The congress was replete with historical resonances. The organisers wanted to hark back to the Kongres Perempuan of 1928, seeing a particular strength in the term perempuan (woman) over wanita (lady, the common New Order term for women). They also wanted to distinguish themselves from Kowani (Kongres Wanita Indonesia), which replaced the original Kongres Perempuan and which was later so thoroughly co-opted by the New Order. Among the historically important figures in attendance was the octogenarian S K Trimurti, a nationalist, the first woman to hold a ministerial position in Indonesia (1947-48), and a national treasure. More remarkably, the first speaker at the seminar was Sulami – a former leader of Gerwani, incarcerated for almost two decades and speaking publicly for the first time since 1965. Chusnul Mar’iyah in her opening speech stressed that the issues of most concern to women should be placed on the political agenda of all the parties that will contest Indonesia’s first real election since 1955 this year. Nursyahbani Katjasungkana spoke of the need to recognise differences between the various groups of women. Three particularly divisive issues surfaced on the second and third days of the congress. These were the inclusion of Gerwani and thus the legitimisation of communism, the inclusion of lesbians, and finally and most contentiously the centralism of Jakarta. There were strident debates and several disruptive tactics. A walk-out aimed to register a protest against what some saw as the Jakarta feminists’ overly radical and ‘fashionable’ agenda. It became so difficult for the Jakarta committee that an alternative committee of three non-Jakarta delegates had to be elected to chair the congress proceedings. At one point in the proceedings a labourer, baby at her breast, took the microphone demanding to be heard, despite question time being over. Very eloquently she drew attention to the struggle of workers to find a voice in such a forum. This was not to be just a talk-fest for the Jakarta elite. Many felt disappointed that the congress was unable to fully express the feeling of solidarity with which it had been originally conceived. But most felt it was an achievement to have come together as women from all over Indonesia and from all walks of life. For the first time in a generation they were able to express their views without constraints. The networking that went on was probably of far greater importance than the congress itself. A presidium consisting of 14 representatives was elected with Nursyahbani as the Secretary General. This presidium, responsible for implementing decisions of the congress, comprises all groups represented at the congress, including farmers, labourers, lesbians and prostitutes. This is the first time that the claims of some of these groups as women have been recognised. Inside Indonesia 58: Apr-Jun 1999

A hero passes on

Y B Mangunwijaya (always known as Romo Mangun) died of a heart attack on 10 February 1999, moments after presenting a paper at a Jakarta symposium. On 6 May 1999 he would have turned 70. 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

The electoral reforms

Parliament on 28 January approved the legal foundation that will govern the new political party system and the ‘99 election. A complete draft of the law had not yet emerged by mid-February. Here we note some points crucial for the outcome and credibility of the election. Jim Schiller Political Parties With over 140 parties there will be clashes over who has the right to use similar names and symbols. To be eligible to participate, parties must have executive boards in 9 (out of 27) provinces, and in half the towns and districts in each of those provinces. New parties will need at least 10 seats in the national assembly to stand at the 2004 election. An advisory team of 11 reputable individuals headed by Dr Nurcholish Madjid has been appointed to consider applications by the 140+ political parties to compete. Candidates will be elected proportionally by province (thus not on a district basis as initially envisaged), but a party's winning candidates will be chosen on the basis of district results. Managing the election Election committees (KPU) at various levels will manage the campaign and election. All parties are represented, but government retains 50% of the votes. This is an improvement. However, some party seats will go to Golkar, so the government is likely to have a majority. Independent Indonesian and international observers will be permitted to monitor the election. Management of the election will be more transparent than ever before. The risk of getting caught for those tempted to intimidate voters will be far greater. The armed forces The number of unelected Abri seats in the People’s Consultative Assembly MPR (super-parliament) has been reduced from 75 to 38. But this could still make the armed forces the 5th or 6th biggest faction in the MPR! In provincial and local assemblies they have been reduced to 10% of the seats. Civil service Parliament could not agree on whether civil servants should be politically neutral. The government then issued a compromise regulation, one it modified two days later. The regulation allows civil servants to vote and, provided they take leave from office, to join political parties. The revised regulation allows for one year of leave on basic pay. However, the ‘neutrality’ of the civil service can still be easily circumvented. Local civil servants could have their spouses or children run for office, or just take leave and accept payment from Golkar or other parties to make up for salary loss. Electing the president The new MPR will have 700 seats (old MPR 1000). 238 Seats will be appointed (old MPR 575), including 38 military, 135 regional and 65 group representatives. Two big questions remain. Who will choose the 65 group representatives - newly elected national and local assemblies, or the present Golkar and army controlled assemblies? The law says they will be decided by the groups themselves! By what procedure will the new MPR elect the president? For example, if there are many candidates, will the candidate with the most votes win, or will a 50% + 1 majority be required? Provincial and local elections Local politics has the best prospects for empowering ordinary Indonesians and for giving the election credibility. Provincial and local assemblies will be elected at the same time as national assemblies, but there has been almost no public debate on how this will happen. Inside Indonesia 58: Apr-Jun 1999

58: Off to the polls

April - June 1999 Politics and human rights Off to the polls The June Election - Jim Schiller box - The electoral reforms - Jim Schiller New Order old school Opposition leaders are afraid - Arief Budiman Blood in the streets Demos reek of melodrama - Chris Brown Not reformasi, transformasi Student demands are too timid - Y B Mangunwijaya Box - A hero passes on Habibie's fling The President wants a TV station - Ishadi S K Tommorrow, in Timor Lorosae Suddenly, freedom in East Timor is no longer a distant dream. - Richard Tanter Women on the move Conference report - Krishna Sen Box - Women's Congress Coming out For 32 years (ex)political prisoners were condemned to a life of misery - Helene van Klinken Box - Tapol troubles - When will they end? Tragedy in Sumba Analysis of a massacre - David Mitchell Back on the beat? Reforming the police - Adrianus Meliala Society and economy The price of rice The role of Bulog - Jeremy Mulholland and Ken Thomas Environment Palm oil Bad news for forests and people - Eric Wakker Culture Lightning! Witty political theatre - Barbara Hatley Travel Climb a mountain Eco-tourism in Sulawesi - Allyson Lankester Regulars Editorial Your say Newsbriefs Reviews 1 - Kingsbury Reviews 2 - Berman On the net Indonesian democracy on the net - Waruno Mahdi Inside Indonesia 58: Apr-Jun 1999

57: No turning back

January - March 1999 Helping a neighbour The new poor Upwardly immobilised by the crisis - Lea Jellinek Shelter from the rain The crisis closes a shelter for steet kids - Jane Eaton Tough, poor, unbeaten On Atauro, drought is the real crisis - Gabrielle Samson Help that helps Targetting small business and farming - Vanessa Johanson Globalisation challenge Western economic control is the issue - Wim Wertheim Pak Wertheim Obituary - Herb Feith No turning back NGOs consider their responsibilities - INFID Australia's response Aid must address governance and rights - Philip Eldridge Politics and human rights Megamania! Megawati's PDI triumph - Stefan Eklof No shortcut to democracy It's all about good policies and good institutions - Olle Tornquist Islamic conversations Four Islamic leaders talk - Hisanori Kato Who plotted the 1965 coup? Colonel Lafief says he knows - Greg Poulgrain Aceh exposed A legacy of abuse and hurt - IRIP News Service In the tiger's den Marwan Yatim's story of torture - Marwan Yatim Culture Flower in the grass Interview with Nyi Supadmi - Jody Diamond Cockroach Not a pest but an award winning comic - Laine Berman Reviews Beyond the horizon - Ron Witton Saman - Marshall Clark Travel A river runs through it Journey to a Sumatran village - Jim Della-Giacoma Regulars Editorial Your say Newsbriefs Bookshop The net Inside Indonesia 57: Jan-Mar 1999

56: 15th Anniversary Edition

Oct-Dec 1998 15th Anniversary Learning to talk Habibie's weakness is a plus - Gerry van Klinken Ballot ballet The May 1999 elections - Kevin Evans Raising the West Papua flag Eyewitness account of demonstrations - Andrew Kilvert Remembering May Day of no laws An Australian amid the Jakarta riots - Vanessa Johanson Cleansing the earth How the arts community took part - Marshall Clark Jakarta's May Revolution A comparison with other movements - Aboeprijadi Santoso The morning after... Habibie: those for and against - Loren Ryter Rape is rape Shocking report of Jakarta rapes - Sandyawan Sumardi Orphans no more Yogya had the biggest demo - Dwi Marianto Economy and society Who murdered the rupiah? Expert comment on the fiscal crash - Sritua Arief Tommy's toys trashed The car industry and Suharto's son - Ian Chalmers Women do it tough How the crisis is affecting women - Charlene Darmadi Worshipping cancer sticks Cigarette consumption in Indonesia - Catherine Reynolds Environment 'They just want love...' Saving the orangutans - Willie Smits Regulars Editorial Your say Newsbriefs Bookshop On the net Ed Colijn Inside Indonesia 55: Oct-Dec 1998

Box - The Togian Islands

KATE NAPTHALI falls in love with the Togians, and discovers that health and education are major needs

West Kalimantan at a glance

West Kalimantan at a glance

The election: what is at stake?

The election: what is at stake?

History, horror and homelands

History with the right and left brain

Despised delight

The Suharto Government's political prisoners have only very rarely been allowed to speak. Here, for the first time, we have an autobiographical story written by a woman, the wife of an ex-tapol, the mother of his child.

Christmas in a prison camp

The following excerpts are taken from a diary of letters kept by an Australian woman who lived in Java, Kalimantan and Bali for nine years. In this letter, written in January 1978, the author describes her visit to a detention camp for women political prisoners Just after Christmas 1977. The prisoners have since been released. The letter begins with a description of the long drive from Semarang west to Pelantungan where the camp was located up in the mountains. The visit was arranged by a Dutch pastor, 'Co'. Fenton-Huie was accompanied by the pastor's wife, Phia, and a Dutch nursing sister, Truus. After abandoning their car which could not travel the last stretch of the rough rocky road, the women had to walk the final kilometres to the camp, which also held 40 delinquent boys. The visitors shared a simple Indonesian meal in the house of one of the guards before entering 'a large barracks-type hall' to witness the camp's Christmas concert.

Not that I don't love

This short story, written by an ex-political prisoner, has never been published in its original Indonesian version. We cannot disclose the author's real name or the various pseudonyms under which she has been publishing since her release. A member ofGerwani, a women's organisation with alleged connections with the Indonesian Communist Party, banned since the so-­called coup of September 1965, the author seems to have started writing fiction only after her detention. The experience colours much of her writing. Most of her short stories are about the down and out, the women whom poverty has driven to theft, begging and prostitution, the 'criminals' (or were they the victims?) with whom the author shared her prison cells.

Keeping your head

Memoir of detention in Indonesia

Workers – go politics!

The workers of Bekasi get a political education as union activists make history in a coordinated campaign

Colonial industrial heritage and memory

A UNESCO-listed colonial mining town in West Sumatra raises complex questions about framing Indonesia’s industrial heritage

Falling through the cracks

Inequities in service availability affect access and use of HIV-related health care among transgender people

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