Responding to TNI book raid, author says New Order misusing authorities

Detik News – January 10, 2019
PDI-P politician Budiman Sudjatmiko (Detik)
PDI-P politician Budiman Sudjatmiko (Detik)

Bagus Prihantoro Nugroho, Jakarta – A book written by a politician from President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s ruling Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) Budiman Sudjatmiko titled Children of the Revolution has been seized in a raid by a team of TNI (Indonesian military) and the Padang public prosecutor’s office after it was deemed to contain material related to the banned Indonesian Communist Party (PKI).

“My book tells the story of the struggle against the New Order, about the struggle of me and my friends, with my generation of friends in the overthrow [of Suharto], the struggle against the New Order. If the struggle against the New Order is deemed to be PKI, that means that there are elements of the New Order that are misusing their authority to delegitimise the struggle against the New Order, to support the revival of the New Order”, said Sudjatmiko in a discussion with Detik on Thursday January 10.

According to Sudjatmiko, the TNI’s duties are not to seize books but rather to safeguard the country’s defense. In addition to this, he said, TNI commander (Panglima) Air Martial Hadi Tjahjanto has stated that there are no indications of a PKI revival. Sudjatmiko himself has not yet been able to confirm the seizure of his book.

“If the reason for seizing the books was because of the revival of the PKI, the TNI Panglima Pak [Mr] Hadi Tjahjanto has stated that there is no indication of a PKI revival”, said Sudjatmiko.

The book Children of the Revolution is worthy of being a novel. It actually tells the story of Sudjatmiko since he was a child until he grew up to fight against the New Order regime.

The book is also about the July 27, 1996 affair when supporters of PDI-P chairperson Megawati Sukarnoputri [then the chairperson of the Indonesian Democratic Party] were arrested by the New Order government. Sudjatmiko, who at the time was the chairperson of the leftist People’s Democratic Party (PRD) and his friends were also hunted down, arrested and jailed.

“The TNI is a tool of the Indonesian nation, a tool of the Indonesian state, not a tool of certain political forces who consider that the struggle against the New Order which I wrote about was the PKI. That’s the method the New Order used to oppress and crush resistance against them”, said Sudjatmiko. (bag/tor)

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was “Bukunya Disita TNI, Budiman Sudjatmiko: Ada Unsur Orba Salahgunakan Aparat”.]