3.1.11

Epilogue by the editor of The Mute's Soliloquy


Epilogue by the editor of The Mute's Soliloquy



“verba amini proferre et vitam impendero vero”

Liberation of the first group of political prisoners from Buru took place in December 1977. Pramoedya Ananta Toer is not included in it even though the press at home and abroad had previously been told that he would include that first group. Of the journalists who are interested in investigating the causes of the cancellation just got the news: Pramoedya's answers in interviews with military officials who came to the Buru not pleasing to their ears. Apparently still two more years he waited. As the first group entered Buru (Pramoedya, August 1969) -- as the last group he had left the island exile (November 12, 1979).
       On day 12 in November, they were transported from Namlea, Buru, with the ship "Tanjung Pandan" toward Java. In a sea journey on the third night, the ship weigh anchor at sea approximately 6 hours north Gresik. In the dark night, 40 people were political prisoners are separated and is derived from "Tanjung Pandan" into a boat-landing and then bring them to the port of Tanjung Perak, Surabaya. In the meantime "Tanjung Pandan" continue the voyage to Jakarta.
      Pramoedya is included in group 40 which separated it; with him there, among others Rivai Apin (poet), Oey Hai Djoen (writer), Hasyim Rachman (journalists), members of the CC-PKI Karel Supit, J. Pirie, Ismail Kartasasmita and others again. The 40 political prisoners were classified by the Indonesian authorities as a diehard, head-stones, the people who are considered as "trouble-makers", the non-cooperative and remained at the old ideology. From Surabaya, they are directly transported by bus to Magelang travel route south, through Solo and Yogya. In Magelang, they were gathered together with the other political prisoners from various prisons in Java.
      Magelang a place to wait. What next? How-final decision authority in Jakarta? The news that was widely circulated at that time was that they still continue to be detained and likely will be brought back to Nusakambangan, an island of another exile in the Indian Ocean, south of Java Island. Meanwhile in Jakarta occurred ceremony the release of political prisoners derived from the ship "Tanjung Pandan."
      Here is not to be missed notes on the role of the government of President Carter who has been specially appointed a Deputy Secretary of State, Patricia Derien, for matters of human rights. The Indonesian government urged to seriously by Americans to avoid further delaying the release of political prisoners has repeatedly promised that. Patricia Derien and U.S. ambassador in Jakarta, Edward G. Masters, in 1978 with Carter's assertive stance of the Government to submit the issue of political prisoners to the Government of Indonesia. Pressure made with regard the possibility of termination of some U.S. aid package if the liberation of political prisoners in Indonesia are also delayed.
       Indonesia under the Government "New Order" -- thus ruling calling itself -- can be recorded as a land-developing-political prisoners who have large numbers in the world. Western countries that support the New Order Indonesia regime be difficult to account for political to Parliament each to expand their capital investments and to help a government that has so many political prisoners. Therefore, for the sake of their own goals and needs are more important, the release of political prisoners must be held as soon as possible. Actually, until early 1976 did not arise intention by the Government of Indonesia to release the political prisoners detained in Buru. If there is any mention of "settlement", then the question is granting certain concessions gradually and in stages to its political prisoners and then then "liberated" by the provisions shall remain in residence on the island of Buru, may not return to place of origin. But pressure from the United States under the Carter and some IGGI country, Amnesty International and the wide world opinion, had also heard by the Government of Indonesia.
       Finally, to also news to Magelang.
      After about a month was arrested in Magelang, Pramoedya and his entourage at the date of December 18, 1979 was transported to a military barracks in Banyumanik, 7 km south of Semarang. After two nights in Banyumanik, from there on December 20, they were dispatched to Semarang. And on that day also took place "release ceremony" in Semarang, which received enormous attention from the world press. A number of foreign Ambassadors also require attendance. After the ceremony, Pramoedya and those who came from Jakarta transported to Jakarta, and got back to the middle of the night in place of origin were arrested: imprisonment or special detention center (RTC) Salemba. The next day they were handed over to the District Military Command (Kodim) in place of residence each.
       Pramoedya is included in the East Jakarta Military District Command. In a ceremony at the Kodim East Jakarta, to Pramoedya and the other political prisoners, were told that they were subject to mandatory-report once a week. Also the political prisoners taken to the headquarters of other Kodim, experienced the same thing.
      Since that day, December 21, 1979, ending the period of imprisonment for 14 years -- 4 years in prison Salemba Jakarta and 10 years on Buru, -- all held without trial or charge something clear. Pramoedya's free, but mandatory to report to him until now, the year 1988 -- until the book was published -- still go on.
      How far is Pramoedya Ananta Toer and hundreds and thousands of ex-Indonesian political prisoners free in their own country after they were out of prison? Is already recovered their civil rights as other citizens of Indonesia?
To answer the questions above, then verily the most objective is to record the rules and regulations made by the Indonesian Government itself for the former political prisoners:

-- The ex-political prisoners were forbidden to work on all government service, in the functioning of anything and anywhere.
-- Ex-political prisoners were forbidden to work on all companies that are considered vital by the Government. Definition of "vital" to grow old eventually grow large. In recent years, this regulation is enhanced with what is known as "clean-environment". This means that anyone who has a connection-family (father, son, cousin, brother in law, sister, in-laws and so on) with an ex-political prisoners, should be excluded from the company where they work.
-- Ex-political prisoner barred from defending the homeland or into military service.
-- Mass-media are prohibited from receiving ex-political prisoners as a reporter or publish their writings. The Publishers are prohibited from publishing books written by ex-political prisoners.
-- Ex-political prisoners are required to request special permission from the civilian agencies and military, if out of town, let alone abroad. Application for such permits usually do not answer, which meant not, without having to say "no!".
-- Ex-political prisoners must ask for special permission if they want to move home, even from one village to another village nearby. (In practice, such permission by a complex bureaucracy and personal attitudes of the officials who are not of good will, can rarely be expected to come out, so that two possibilities could occur: ex-political prisoners are secretly concerned to move house by breaking the rules, or he clandestine stay in her own home without being resident in the village in question).
-- Some ex-political prisoners are allowed, some are banned from participating in elections. Since Pramoedya was back at home, had twice occurs elections (1982 and 1987), at both the general election that Pramoedya was not entitled to vote.
-- All ex-political prisoners are hundreds and thousands in Indonesia run by Card (KTP), which was given a special code: ET (ex-political prisoners). This is an effective control system, because all social activities must begin by showing ID cards. Want to move house, ask for a letter-street, applying for a job, need a passport and many other necessities, everything has to start with that ID cards.
-- Special about Pramoedya can be noted: three novels he wrote in the island of Buru, This Earth of Mankind, Child of All Nations, Footsteps and a work of biographical research, "de Pioneer", which was written after the "free", banned by the Government of Indonesia. All books were published between the years 1980-1985. The reason: Pramoedya's books contain a hidden Marxist propaganda. (Because the books have been published in several foreign languages, the reader in the world can participate assess whether the reason it has a basic truth or not).

Western countries are now free to operate with capital in Indonesia by the Dutch Minister of Schoo of the opinion, that in Indonesia "there is no structural violations of human rights." They believe that once the statement itself, because such beliefs seems desirable to justify their capital investment and soothe their conscience. The facts on the definition of "free" experienced by ex-political prisoners as detailed above, by the western countries and according to Western measures apparently can not be categorized as violations of human rights structurally.
     But however one interprets the facts above, one thing is clear that the Indonesian Government to preserve or standardize the ex-political prisoner status permanently. Officially the Government of Indonesia to run a kind of political discrimination or apartheid against its own citizens. If Hitler forced the Jews bearing the mark "Star of David", then in Indonesia, the ex-political prisoners are required to bear the mark "ET". Why so? Is it rational? Is that humane? What is the situation like it is still necessary for security?
       Analysts here see the problem of Indonesia one contradiction in terms: on one hand the Government of Indonesia is continuously proudly issued a statement that the situation is safe and stable, but on the other hand considers a "latent danger of the left" (now also the danger right) still threaten the existence of government New Order. What is a safe statement about the state just to calm investors and prospective foreign-capital investors, when things are not safe? Or is the situation really secure and stable, but authorities now require constant "weapon ready to use" which necessarily any time can be used against anyone who has another opinion of the ruling? To that end the terrible scourge that needs to be preserved and turned on, although the armed forces prevail and the situation is fully controlled by strict and effective.
       One factor has not been the restoration of civil rights of ex-political prisoner for 23 years -- since 1965 till today (!) --, May be also due to an inertia, laws that make bureaucratic inertia-power to be frozen. The mentality of this inertia cause the actual rules are obsolete or no longer needed, continue to be valid without the initiative to review it. Or say briefly: the authorities have contaminated the culture-power-slowness. Another possibility is that the civilian and military officials of the New Order was not contaminated inertia, but each was afraid to have taken a new policy decision in the matter of ex-political prisoners, because they have thoughts of restoring the civil rights of ex-political prisoners face an increased risk allegedly sympathetic to leftist or even be labeled as communists. Or, the New Order power system in Indonesia is consciously willed implementation of political discrimination against its own citizens, which have different views?
       Indeed, a number of possibilities can be displayed, but clearly explains the fact, that New Order did not have the strength, the will have no political, to restore civil rights of ex-political prisoners, the pariah that. The existence of pariah, or class of society who become pariahs, never contained all the ideals that embrace the freedom fighters and founding fathers of Indonesia. Why the New Order era, the construction of the current fill it by creating a pariah class? According to the standard formulas commonly found in the press today, the New Order shall preserve, save, securing the Pancasila and the Constitution 45. And Pancasila / Constitution 45 in practice are identical, congruent, with power being held by the authorities.

**
How free content of freedom which is owned by ex-political prisoners? Freedom granted by the Government of Indonesia to Pramoedya Ananta Toer and the other ex-political prisoners are apparent freedom. The ex-Indonesian political prisoners were still the people prisoners, people outside the prison jail. As a result, in Indonesia there are two classes of citizenship: that enjoy and which do not enjoy civil rights.
The remarkable thing of all is that in Indonesia, the violation of human rights can be done legally under the law. All restrictions on civil rights were given legal basis and regulations passed by government. That is why the Indonesian military and civilian officials have always denied and do not feel have violated human rights, because for all the action they take -- which by the civilized world is considered as violation of human rights -- is officially legal basis.
       Pramoedya himself always argued, that human rights, civil rights, not a gift from anyone, not something that should he ask for, but rather a legitimate personal rights, as human beings and as citizens of Indonesia. And on the principle that it works: He wrote and continued to write -- that his personal rights and that is his profession. It's not easy for him to be an author in his own country.
       The motto at the beginning of this concluding note is well suited to her subject: “verba amini proferre et vitam impendero vero” -- he pronounces his thoughts freely, and he was risking his life for truth.

Joesoef Isak, ed.
***

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