Jakarta – TVRI’s Study from Home (BdR) program produced by the Ministry of Education and Culture will air the film Let the Words Rest (Istirahatlah Kata-kata) about pro-democracy activist and poet Wiji Thukul.
Based on the Study from Home program schedule on the Ministry’s official website, Let the Words Rest will be broadcast on Tuesday June 16 between 9.30-11.30 pm.
Let the Words Rest is a film produced in 2017 and directed by Yosep Anggi Noen about the activist Wiji Thukul.
Thukul, who was born on August 23, 1963, was an activist come poet who fought the New Order (Orba) regime of former president Suharto.
He not only criticised the government through poetry, but also joined a number of organisations that enthusiastically resisted the New Order regime.
Thukul joined in the struggle with the People’s Artwork Network (Jakker) and the People’s Democratic Party (PRD). In the end however the PRD was declared a banned party which allegedly took up communist ideology.
His activities resulted in Thukul being abducted and he was declared missing in 1998 and to this day has never been seen again.
Thukul’s disappearance is suspected to be related to the July 27, 1996 riots at the Indonesian Democratic Party (PDI) headquarters in Central Jakarta. The New Oder referred to the affairs as Kudatuli, an acronym from “Kerusuhan 27 Juli 1996”.
The riots were triggered by an attack by supporters of the government backed PDI faction led by Soerjadi with the support of New Order troops on the PDI headquarters in the Menteng suburb which were occupied by supporters of opposition figure Megawati Sukarnoputri.
The New Order accused the PRD of being the masterminds behind the riots and one by one, the PRD activists were hunted down, including Thukul.
Thukul’s younger brother Wahyu Susilo was even arrested and accused of hiding his brother during the hunt.
Susilo suspects he was detained at a location which is now the State Intelligence Agency (BIN). He claims to have been interrogated about Thukul’s whereabouts and tortured with electric shocks if his answers were unsatisfactory.
The Study from Home program is a cooperative effort between the Education Ministry and the state run television station TVRI to facilitate school study activates in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic.
This week the Study from Home program will not be broadcasting study materials because of the school holidays. TVRI will however still broadcast educational programs together with the Ministry targeting students and children. (fey/wis)
Street performer and poet, People’s Democratic Party (PRD) member Wiji Thukul disappeared in February 1998. It is suspected he was a victim of the military abductions along with other activists which disappeared in Solo (Central Java). The bodies of Thukul and three other PRD activists have never been found and they are presumed dead.
[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was “Program Belajar di Rumah TVRI Tayangkan Film Wiji Thukul”.]