Hammer and sickle T-shirts circulating in Central Java

Detik.com – October 5, 2006
Plain clothed police officers display confiscated hammer-and-sickle T-shirts (Berita Jatim)
Plain clothed police officers display confiscated hammer-and-sickle T-shirts (Berita Jatim)

Try, Jakarta – Who knows if it’s just for fun or has a political purpose, but T-shirts with a picture of the hammer and sickle (the symbol of the Indonesian Communist Party or PKI) are circulating in several parts of East Java. The T-shirts are even being sold in public.

The commander of the Diponegoro Regional Military Command (Kodam), Major General Agus Soeyitno says that they are prepared for appearance of the T-shirts in other parts of Central Java. Based on reports, the T-shirts are already circulating in the regencies of Pati, Boyolali, Klaten and Kudus.

“If indeed they do continue to appear (the hammer and sickle T-shirts), we will cooperate with the national police to deal with it”, said Soeyitno following the 61st commemoration of the Indonesian military at the Watugong Diponegoro Kodam parade ground on Jl. Perintis Kemerdekaan in the Central Java provincial capital of Semarang on Thursday October 5.

Meanwhile the Diponegoro Kodam assistant for intelligence, Colonel Anjar Pramono, explained that they have not recorded in detail how many T-shirts are already circulating, although he is certain that the T-shirts are being sold at markets.

Pramono, who claimed to have one of the “illegal” T-shirts, added that if someone is found wearing one, they will not hesitate to question them, although each time people have been questioned it has been unclear where the T-shirt originated from. “So far we do not yet know where they originate from or who is distributing them”, he said briefly.

The T-shirts with the picture of the hammer and sickle on the front right-hand side and back appeared around six months ago, then became widespread in September and as of this month are still being found in various parts of Central Java. After the existence of the T-shirts became public knowledge, the distribution of the shirts appears to have become clandestine. (try/asy)

[Translated by James Balowski.]