Compilation of protests commemorating nine years since fall of Suharto

The following is a compilation of abridged
translations taken from on demonstrations
commemorating nine years since the fall of former
President Suharto on May 21, 1998.

’Get ready for an increase in traffic jams’

Nurvita Indarini, Jakarta — Jakartan residents
today are haunted with the possibility of facing
daylong traffic jams. As well as being the end of a
long-weekend, a flood of demonstrations will also
mark nine years since former President Suharto
resigned. So, watch out for the traffic jams!

“Yeah, get ready for an increase in traffic jams”,
said Bripka Heri Triyatno from the Metro Jaya
Regional Police Traffic Management Center (TMC) when
speaking with on Monday May 21.

According to the TMC around 100 protesters from the
West Sumatra Association for Destitute and Poor
Abandoned Children (Isafat) will be meeting at the
House of Representatives (DPR) building in South
Jakarta. Around 200 students from Jakarta State
Islamic University Student Executive Council (BEM)
will also be visiting the DPR and well as protesters
from Thunder 49.

The TMC also said that protesters from the Jakarta
Legal Aid Foundation will be holding a demonstration
at the State Palace at 10am which will be followed
by a protest by students from the University of
Indonesia BEM at 12.30pm following a long-march from
the Hotel Indonesia roundabout. At 11am the
Association of Indonesian Law Student Senates
(Ishami) will also be demonstrating at the State
Prosecutor’s office, the State Palace and the
Attorney General’s Office (AGO).

The Committee of United Student Organisations (KMBE)
which includes students from the Bung Karno
University, the National Student League for
Democracy (LMND) and Bogor Institute of Agriculture
Student Movement (Gema IPB) will hold an actions at
the AGO, Hotel Indonesia and the State Palace at
1pm. Also at 1pm, protesters from the Islamic
Student Association (HMI) will march from the
Indonesian Persada University to Hotel Indonesia.

"As of 9am local time mass mobilisations have
already started at a number of points, but they have
yet to ’crystallize’", said Triyatno in a
disparaging tone. (nvt/sss)

Yogyakarta students call for Suharto and his cronies
to be tried

Bagus Kurniawan, Yogyakarta — Hundreds of students
from the Gajah Mada University in the Central Java
city of Yogyakarta commemorated nine years of
reformasi on May 21 by demanding that Suharto and
his cronies by tried.

"Seize their assets for the people. The student
[movement] must be on guard against the return of
Suharto’s lackeys in new guises", shouted action
coordinator Muhammad Rico from the Student Alliance
Against Neoliberalism (AMAN) during a speech.

According to AMAN, nine years reformasi has yet to
produce anything, in fact on the contrary, in recent
times the old forces from Suharto’s New Order regime
are rising up again. "Nine years of reformasi has
instead left the people facing even more problems",
said Rico adding that AMAN is calling on the current
regime to try Suharto and his cronies.

The students brought a number of posters and banners
to the action with messages such as "Fully
investigate human rights violations“,”Nationalise
foreign assets“,”Indonesia is not a province of the
US“and”Revoke the Law on Capital Investment".

Victims of 1965 demand Suharto be brought to trial

Nograhany Widhi K, Jakarta — Even though his body
is old an frail, 85-year-old Yasman Setyo Prawiro
was still able to gave a spirited speech in front of
the State Palace on May 21, demanding that
Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (SBY)
bring Suharto to trial.

Wearing a gray safari suit and black trousers,
Prawiro voiced the feeling of people stigmatized as
being members of the banned Indonesian Communist
Party (PKI).

"The coup d’etat was actually Suharto’s doing on the
instructions of the CIA. The CIA has admitted this
itself. Basically SBY must bring Suharto to trial
because he is a gross violator of human rights,
slaughtering 3 million people", shouted Prawiro.

Although Prawiro quickly tired and had to rest, his
friends continued demonstrating waving placards with
demands such as “Suharto is the same as Hitler”,
“Suharto in the October 1 1965 coup d’etat”, "Try
General Suharto“and”Rehabilitate the victims of 65
only then reconciliation".

Following the speech, Prawiro was immediately mobbed
by journalists, and he related how he had been
victimised by the stigma of the PKI. In 1965,
Prawiro, who was the head of a trade union, was
incarcerated at the Nusa Kambangan Prison without
trial for 14 years. He never received his pension
after being a civil servant for 41 years and his
children were also stigmatised.

"Basically SBY must bring Suharto to trial... if he
is not able to try Suharto over 1965 then in the
2009 [elections] we will mobilise the masses not to
vote for SBY", threatened Prawiro who claimed to
have 20 million people. (ana/sss)

Protesters call Yudhoyono and Kalla ’banci’

Anwar Khumaini, Jakarta — The government has yet to
fully investigate outstanding human rights cases
after nine years of reformasi. The government of
Yudhoyono and Vice President Kalla (JK) are ’banci’.

The epithet ’banci’, meaning effeminate or
powerless, was expressed in a banner brought by
around 100 students from Ismahi during a
demonstration in front of the State Palace on May

In speeches they demanded that the government
continue with cases involving former President
Suharto including the Bank Indonesia Liquidity Fund
support scheme, human rights vocations such Tanjung
Priok, the Military Operational Zone in Aceh and the
Trisakti and Semanggi I and II shootings.

The also brought a number of posters with messages
such as “SBY-JK are powerless”, "SBY-JK have
failed“,”Investigated the flow of non-budgetary
funds at the Department of Maritime and Fishery
Affairs“and”SBY-JK enjoy the funds of corrupters".

Action coordinator Cecep Agam Nugraha said that the
action was also held to draw attention to the recent
cabinet reshuffle. "The reshuffle was carried out
for political reasons so SBY should be removed", he
asserted. (nik/sss)

Five ’provocateurs’ arrested at State Palace

Anwar Khumaini, Jakarta — Shortly after shouting
“Come on fight the police”, police arrested five
youths who were suspected as being the provocateurs
behind a clash between police and City Forum
(Forkot) demonstrators at the State Palace on May

Although the attention of protesters was distracted
by the arrests, they continued giving speeches.
"This is the evidence that the state doesn’t side
with the ordinary people. We are here to rightly
voice our wishes, so why are police acting
repressively", said one of the speakers.

Not just that, police also proceeded to confiscate
paraphernalia belonging to the demonstrators
including pamphlets and five wooden tombstones that
were then thrown onto a pile of rubbish. "Why was
our stuff confiscated, whereas we didn’t do anything
anarchic", said one of the demonstrators.

At 2.25pm, some 50 students from the Student Action
Front (FAM), LMND and the University of Indonesia’s
School of Social and Political Science arrived and
were almost involved in clashed with police before
they gathered in front of the Palace. As of 3pm
protesters were still lining up waiting for their
turn to speak. (aan/sss)

Protesters burn posters of Suharto, two arrested

Indra Shalihin, Jakarta — Posters of former
President Suharto were burnt during a demonstration
commemorating nine years of reformasi in front of
the State Palace on May 21. As a result two students
were arrested and taken away by police.

Police moved in as soon as they saw the Suharto
posters being burnt. The two who were arrested
initially tried to resist with students and police
pushing and shoving each other. In the end however
police were able to take control of the situation.

As well as burning the posters, during the action by
around 500 students from Forkot and BEM Greater
Jakarta they called for Suharto to be tried and
criticised President Yudhoyono for failing to bring
prosperity to the people. The students also brought
posters of Yudhoyono and a wreath of flowers. "SBY’s
[promises] are just rhetoric", shouted the
demonstrators. As a result of the action, the heavy
traffic on Jl. Medan Merdeka Utara slowed to a
crawl. (nvt/sss)


* Translated by James Balowski.

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