Papernas to sue police for obstructing congress

Source – January 19, 2007
Islamic groups protest Papernas Congress (Liputan 6)
Islamic groups protest Papernas Congress (Liputan 6)

Bagus Kurniawan, Sleman – The National Liberation Party of Unity (Papernas) plans to sue the national police for obstructing the issuance of a permit for their congress. The situation at the congress meanwhile remained full of uncertainty.

“We will sue the Yogyakarta regional police chief and the chief of the national police who have obstructed the issuing of the permit. There is clearly a hidden political agenda to obstruct ordinary people who want to organise and gather. Whereas this is guaranteed under the Constitution”, said congress committee member Dita Indah Sari.

Dita made the statement at the congress site at the Wisma Sejahtera Building in Kaliurang in the Sleman regency of Yogyakarta, Central Java, on Friday January 19. Dita said she deplored the planned anarchic action to obstruct the congress in the name of religion or groups such the Yogyakarta Anti-Communist Front (FAKI).

Meanwhile the Pakem sub-district coordinating body (Muspika), officials from the Hargobinangun village and Sleman Regional House of Representatives Member Farchan Hariem arrived to meet with the committee. A member of the Hargobinangun village representative body, Bejo Wiryono, expressed the hope that the situation in Kaliurang would remain ‘conducive’.

This was because on January 20-21 residents will commemorate the 1st night of Muharram (first month of the Muslim new year) by holding a traditional Merti Buki ceremony. Wiryono said that he was worried that is something undesirable happened local residents would be upset.

As of 2.30pm, congress participants were still gathered at the Wisma Sejahtera although there were no activities taking place. In anticipation of an attack, several older participants had already been evacuated.

Scores of Sleman district police were on guard in the Kaliurang area. Prior to Friday prayers, police also asked a number of roadside stalls near the conference site to close. (fay/nrl)

[Translated by James Balowski.]