Rabul Sawal, Ternate – The Ternate Student Struggle Centre for National Liberation (Pembebasan) collective commemorated National Farmers Day (HTN) which falls on September 24 by organising activities at several higher education campuses in North Maluku.
At the Kieraha College of Education and Teaching (STIKIP) the activities included book stalls and handing out leaflets. At the North Maluku Muhammadiyah University students held public discussions and gave speeches. At the Ternate Campus II Kahairu University (Unkhair) meanwhile they handed out leaflets to new students taking part in information and orientation activities.
Ternate City Pembebasan collective chairperson Fandi Pomsa explained to Lentera that the campus activities held to mark HTN were intended to provide a political understanding to students who are reluctant to become involved in articulating the problems facing the nation, particularly problems related to farmers.
“Particularly farmers in North Maluku, at Galela for example they are fighting for their land rights over 2,000 hectares which has been grabbed by the company PT. KSO Capitol Casagro”, said Fandi at the book stall on the STIKIP Kieraha campus on Monday.
Fandi said that the problems facing farmers are extremely urgent so that the struggle to reinvigorate farmer’s fight against the tide of capitalism must continue so that Indonesian farmers, particularly in North Maluku, are conscious politically and economically.
According to Fandi, the oppression experienced by farmers is inhuman and what is being done by the government to its own people shows that the government’s agrarian reform program has failed.
He also said he hopes that through the activities organised on campuses in Ternate students will become more aware and involved in the ordinary people’s problems, including agrarian issues related to land conflicts between farmers and companies such as land evictions, intimidation and the violation of farmer’s human rights.
[Slightly abridged translation by James Balowski. The original title of the article was Peringati HTN, Mahasiswa Gelar Beragam Kreativitas di Kampus.]