Yogyakarta – Freedom of association in the era of reformasi (the reform process beginning in 1998) is, as it turns out, still little more than jargon.
The reason being that there are still many groups that act arbitrarily and discriminatively based on the stigma attached to other people. This is what was done by the Indonesian Anti-Communist Front (FAKI) in the Central Java city of Yogyakarta.
Yogyakarta provincial FAKI chairperson Burhannudin said that his group closed down an even by the families and children of former 1965 political prisoners (tapol) at the Santi Dharma Retreat at the Sidoagung Godean Dam on Sunday October 27.
“The event was a PKI (Indonesian Communist Party) cadre congress. It had to be closed down”, insisted Burhannudin on Sunday.
Burhannudin said that they got wind of efforts at the formation of cadres in an event disguised as social gathering. Because of this, continued Burhannudin, it was their duty to close down the event. “There were hundreds who arrived earlier to close down the event”, he explained.
According to Burhannudin there can be no tolerance for the PKI’s activities in Yogyakarta. “There can be no mercy for communists that exist and hold meetings in Yogya. This is non-negotiable”, he asserted.
Meanwhile based on information from Iriani, one of the managers of the Santi Dharma Retreat, the event was simply a discussion on how to improve the economic welfare of the families and children of former 1965 prisoners. One of the activities at the event was how to make fertilizer. “It was more about the empowerment of family members”, he said.
As reported earlier, several FAKI members unexpectedly forced their way into the Santi Dharma Retreat where family members and children of former 1965 prisoners were planning to hold an event.
They tried to close down the event claiming that it was for the formation of cadres. During the incident, FAKI members assaulted several event participants including Ciptadi (62), a resident of Kroya Cilacap, Bayu Cahyadi (30), a resident of Sumpiuh Banyumas, Ardi Nugroho (23), a resident of Cilacap and Sukrisdiono (45), a resident of Purwoketo.
[FAKI Akui Bubarkan Acara Arisan Eks Tapol ‘65 di Yogyakarta – Tribunnews.com. Senin, 28 Oktober 2013. Translated by James Balowski.]