Thursday, October 20, 2011

Occupy Jakarta, Occupy Indonesia Stock Exchange!

Occupy BEI, Occupy Freeport Papua!
Day One, October 19, 2011

Saturday, October 08, 2011

"We need more people and persistence!" Patricia Isasa on her "success" in the fights for justice in Argentina

Patricia Isasa or Pato ( as I call her was in Indonesia few days ago. Arriving in midnight in Jakarta after a long trip from America, she had to leave for Denpasar, Bali on her way to her ultimate destination, Timor-Leste. During her short stay in Jakarta, I was able to organize two sharing sessions with some activists on her experiences in life and struggles. She of also shared about her "success" in bringing to courts of 6 high military officers which later sent them to life imprisonment. Some of them were a mayor, a federal judge, and high police officer. She share some "tips" for success (Thanks for them, Pato!). Most importantly, she is just "too" enthusiastic in working with us, to strengthen the efforts, to make possible our search for truth, justice and reparation. We all have same dream of the people of common concerns, experiences and hopes. So we will follow them up!

Pato was also able to meet and talk with survivors like hers, of the case of the 1965/1966 tragedy, who were having a meeting at Kontras. When told that the meeting of the survivors and victims with the President Staff of Human Hights, Law and Corruption Eradication was disappointing, Pato said to them, "at least they are willing to meet you". The Indonesian survivors totally agreed with Pato, although Denny Indrayana left them in the meeting!

Acting as a tourist, Pato also joined the Thursday Rally in front of President Palace with tens of families of victims.

The last meeting and discussion we had with Pato was the one at Tjikini 17. So serious, that Pato took two big cups of coffee. Many inspiring ideas were born, on tactics, of advocacy, of negotiation, of many things. But all need to be followed up with concrete things. So let's do it, Pato!

Discussion and sharing is not always interesting, unless if one really is committed to the issue; justice and human rights. Few people in the discussion.

Patricia Isasa joins in the weekly Thursday Rally in front of the Presidential Palace, Jakarta. It is like the one by Las Madres de Plaza de Mayo near the Casa Rosada. The same day, same time, different place.
Just a concrete symbol of solidarity.

Afternoon walks at the National Monument after the Thursday Rally. "Dangdut sounds great!" Pato said.

The conclusion of the meetings, discussions and Patricia's visit; a follow up with an Argentina-Indonesia people solidarity networks, an embryo to a south to south solidarity movement!

Saturday, October 01, 2011

Witnessing History in the Making!

I witnessed the history in the making, regardless of whether it will be the one written with golden mark or with the dark and dirty one.

Still, it was about the case of disappearances of pro democracy activists in 1997-1998. It was about the case I personally experienced. It is only that I survived that I am able to tell you the story now.

September 28, 2011 at the parliament building in Jakarta I accompanied families of victims for a joint press conference with several Members of the Parliaments who were the members of the Special Committee on the said case. Some other are now members of the Law and Human Rights Commission of the Parliament. They represent opposition party (PDI-P) and parties critical to the ruling Democratic Party (PPP and PKS). The day, by the way, was the 2nd anniversary of the adoption of the 4 recommendations of the Parliament to the President in order to resolve the said above case, to which the President is still denial.

The former Chair of the Special Committee, Efendi Simbolon from PDI-P said that President SBY is denial thus violating the Constitution by not implementing the recommendations! Another PDI-P MP Eva Kusuma Sundari said that her party's fraction will impeach the president! Both statements are very serious and strong, the ones long expected by the families of victims and human rights communities.

Another MPs from PPP and PKS took softer stance, but also said that the president can be impeach!

On the later day, September 28, again I accompanied the families of victims in a rally in front of Coordinating Minister for Politic, Law and Security (Menkopolhukam) and later with the lobby efforts by Usman Hamid, we were welcomed by the Coordinating Minister, Joko Suyanto to get in for a meeting. About 15 of us were there.

After listening to the families of victims, Joko Suyanto said some points:
1. That President SBY is committed to resolve our case and other cases of human rights violation in the past.
2. That his office is assigned by the President to formulate a comprehensive policy for dealing with the past.
3. That the team consisting of various relevant bodies in the government, including NHRI (Komnas HAM) was set up and started the initial works by visiting Lampung and Timor-Leste.

However, when asked by the families of victims on on the priorities and urgency to find out the fate and whereabouts of the disappeared (the status of the victims), the Coordinating Minister Joko Suyanto said he will do things in a comprehensive manner, as appointing one particular approach and case might be not fair to other cases. That the comprehensive policy still being formulated!

When asked to base the actions and approach in the principle of non discrimination, as there are masses of cases and victims, Joko Suyanto said that it will be there in the policy being formulated.

When I asked the timeframe, Joko Suyanto said that he will do as soon as possible, but it will take time.

So, while the families of the victims will keep the fight until the last breath like Utomo Raharjo, father of the disappeared Petrus Bimo Anugerah, keeps saying to me, let's see how the history will record what will be done by PDIP and other opposition politicians who will impeach President SBY if the later does not implement the recommendations.

Let's us also see how President SBY and his men like Joko Suyanto keep their words and implement their commitment to resolve the dark past legacy of the New Order authoritarian regimes.

History is in the making. It can still be the dark one, but be wishfully the bright one!