Democracy and sovereignty cannot be won by terror

KP30 – July 18, 2003
Banner reads 'Reject Radicalism and Terrorism' (KBR)
Banner reads 'Reject Radicalism and Terrorism' (KBR)

[The following is a translation of a statement released by the Committee for the Formation of a United Opposition Party (Komite Pembentukan Partai Persatuan Oposisi, KP3O) following a bomb attack on the national parliament building in Jakarta.]

The People’s Representative Assembly (Dewan Perwakilan Rakyat, DPR) building was rocked by a bomb on Monday July 14. Various explanations have been suggested, [but] it is clear that the target of this act was a building, an institution, which has come to be viewed by the people as being at odds [with their interests]. The many policies which have been issued by this building are exactly the opposite of those desired by the people. The DPR has become the People’s Assembly of Deceivers (Dewan Penipu Rakyat). Just look at the labour laws which have been passed ino legislation [recently], the law on the intelligence service, the law on education, the law on broadcasting and so forth. This does not include the agreement [by the government and parliament] to cut subsidies [on basic goods and services] which has brought misery [and suffering] to the people, along with legalizing the arbitrary sell-off of state assets, assets which we own, for the sake of a fee which goes into their pockets.

It is true that this institution represents one of the symbols of state power which at the moment is controlled by groups who’s interests are clearly the exact opposite to those of the ordinary people. They are interested in filling their wallets without caring where [the money] comes from, even though this means stealing the property of the people. The interests of ordinary people however, are to improve the quality of their lives, which cannot possibly be achieved if the people do not have sovereignty over their own [country].

It is not possible to create democracy and [uphold] the sovereignty of the people without the broadest possible involvement of the people. The overthrow of the dictator [former President] Suharto provided the evidence that a mass people’s movement represents the [best] method of struggle to eliminate the obstacles to the advance of a people. It is wrong to depend on methods of struggle which rely on the heroism of a small, exclusive group of people involved in a power struggle [in the name of] the people.

The bombing of the DPR and other bombings prior to this are actions carried out by a small, exclusive groups of people. This method of struggle does not educate the people, it does not involve the broadest possible participation of the people in the struggle. This method of struggle has a low opinion of the capacity of the ordinary people, who are continuing to struggle [for democracy] and further broaden their movement.

Terrorist methods will only result in narrowing the [political] space for the democratic movement, because this will provide further legitimisation for the state and its tools of violence such as the military and police to intensify their offensive to close off the democratic space [which has been won by the movement]. The position of the military is absolutely clear at the moment, they are riding the wave of the military emergency in Aceh and their control of strategic positions in government, both at the national as well as the local level.

What is needed at the moment is to unite the people’s movements, those who no longer trust the political elite, and move them towards taking power from the political elite. Uniting the opposition is the only way, [but it is a challenge] which must be taken up [if we are] to obtain the goal of democracy and the people’s sovereignty which has been stolen by the political elite, the remnants of [Suharto’s] New Order regime and the fake reformists who are [no more] than the puppets of colonialism.

Based on the above points we therefore state the following:

1. We strongly condemn and oppose acts of terrorism carried out by a small group of people as a means of struggling to improve the quality of life and to achieve justice for the people.

2. We call on all people’s movements to unite with KP3O as a means to unite the movement and achieve the sovereignty of the people.

There is no other way, the people themselves must take power.

Jakarta, July 18 2003

Dita Indah Sari, chairperson
Natalia Scholastika, secretary

KP3O Initiators:

1. The People’s Democratic Party (Partai Rakyat Demokratik, PRD)
2. The Indonesian National Front for Labour Struggle (Front Nasional Perjuangan Buruh Indonesia, FNPBI)
3. The Indonesian Student League for Democracy (Liga Mahasiswa Nasional untuk Demokrasi, LMND)
4. The National Farmers Union (Serikat Tani Nasional, STN)
5. The People’s Art Network (Jaringan Kebudayaan Rakyat, Jaker)
6. The Popular Youth Movement (Gerakan Pemuda Kerakyatan, GPK)
7. The United Social Movement (Kesatuan Perjuangan Masyarakat, KPM)
8. Food and Drink Trade Union (Serikat Buruh Makanan dan Minuman, SBMM)
9. The Association of Buddhist Students (Himpunan Kerukunan Mahasiswa Budhis)
10. The Jabotabek Trade Union for Struggle (Serikat Buruh Jabotabek Perjuangan, SBJ-P)
11. Youth Fighters for the Poor (Laskar Pemuda Rakyat Miskin, LPRM)
12. The United Communication Forum of Bekasi Workers (Forum Komunikasi Kesatuan Buruh Bekasi, FKKBB)
13. The Jabotabek Student Front (Front Pelajar Jabotabek, FPJ)
14. The Democratic Student Network (Jaringan Mahasiswa Demokratik, JMD)

Committee for the Formation of a United Opposition Party

Secretariat: Jl. Tebet Dalam I D No 9
Jakarta Selatan Indonesia 12810

Telephone: 021-8305268
Email :

[Translated by James Balowski.]