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!

No comments: