Jakarta – Vice President Jusuf Kalla says it is not just the general public which has fallen victim to human rights abuses but the government has also been a victim of rights violations.
He gave as an example the recent shooting of Trans Papua road project construction workers and TNI (Indonesian military) personnel in Nduga which he believes was a serious human rights violation against the government.
“Many government officials have had their rights violated. Who are the violators? Not the military but members of the public who are anti-government who frequently violate human rights”, said Kalla when giving greetings at the commemoration of International Human Rights Day at the National Human Rights Commission (Komnas HAM) building in Jakarta on Tuesday December 11.
Kalla said that he deeply regrets that people murdered the construction workers and TNI personnel without reason and believes that it was a gross violation of the law.
Moreover, Kalla is asking that Komnas HAM as the institution with the authority to resolve such cases do so as justly and fairly as possible. “We must resolve this properly. I believe that Komnas HAM will be fair, so the government is not always in the position of the accused but also the victim”, said Kalla.
Leaving aside this issue, Kalla said he believes that reconciliation is still the best way to resolve such problems. He reflected on the separatist conflict in Aceh when the Truth and Reconciliation Commission was established in the province known as the Gateway to Mecca. Kalla also took part in resolving the conflict.
“Don’t [just] accuse the government of violating human rights, there are also those who burn down schools, kill people, so it’s just the same. So we need reconciliation”, he said. (psp/arh)
As one of the people directly involved in brokering the August 2005 peace deal between the government and the Free Aceh Movement, Kalla should know that the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (KKR) tasked to look into human rights violations during the three-decade long conflict in Aceh was in fact never established. Although a draft law on the KKR was adopted by the Aceh legislative council it was never able to be ratified after the Constitutional Court in 2006 annulled the 2000 Human Rights Trials Law which mandated the creation of the KKR.
[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was “JK Sebut Pemerintah Turut Jadi Korban Pelanggaran HAM”.]