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Unite with the People

On Sunday night, 11 August, 1996, military units arrested national leaders of the PRD (Peoples Democratic Party) in Bekasi (an industrial zone west of Jakarta) and a number of leaders of PRD's mass organisations in Depok (satellite city south of Jakarta). Those arrested were:

  • Budiman Sujatmiko, PRD Chairperson
  • Petrus H Hariyanto, PRD General Secretary
  • J. Kurniawan, Head of the PRD Organisational Development Department
  • I. Pranowo (Bowo), Secretary-General PPBI (Indonesian Centre for Labour Struggle)
  • Garda Sembiring, Chairperson of the Jabotabek branch of SMID (Student Solidarity for Indonesian Democracy)
  • Suroso, Secretary of the Jabotabek branch of SMID
  • Victor da Costa
  • Beny, member of the Jabotabek branch of SMID
  • Details of the arrests were announced by the head of the Armed Forces (ABRI) Political-Social office, Lieutenant General Sjarwan Hamid, as well as the head of the ABRI information department, Brigadier General Amir Sjarifuddin and Intelligence officers from ABRI headquarters. The arrests of members of PRD and its mass organisations became major new stories in Jakarta for two days in the dailiesTerbit andSuara Pembaruan But no mention was made as to their whereabouts. PRD is currently trying to obtain the right to accompany them in the courts. It is strongly suspected that they are being detained by the intelligence agencies BIA or Bakorstanas.

    Amidst this confusion and panic in the face of this dynamism which has developed in society, those in power with wisdom are inviting all parties to discuss a solution to the problem. But the authorities which are "confused" and "panicking" are just the opposite. Instead they want to beat to death all movements struggling for democracy. Terror by propaganda about the "ghost of communism" only embarrasses the government internationally. The world knows that the Cold War has ended six years ago. The US, which has become the pillar of anti-communism, states we have entered the New World Order where issues of human rights, democracy and economic development have become the priority for all world nations. And this principle has given birth to a wave of democratisation everywhere. Poor Indonesia, which is so active in international forums, but cannot absorb positive goals from globalisation outside of the market and economy, that is democracy and human rights.

    PRD is certain that all the propaganda, terror and arrests of activists from the pro- democratic movement will further open the people's eyes to the character of the present authorities. Sooner or later, the people's consciousness which faces a blocked path will flow forward and there will be no power to stop it, even the most authoritarian power. History has taught and proven this truth.

    In this atmosphere, PRD calls on all of its cadre, its mass organisations, all of the Indonesian people: do not forsake those victims which have given themselves for the sovereignty of the people -- do not submit to fear and tyranny.

    Tighten our ranks, consolidate, produce leaflets, discuss, act on the national leadership's and organisational instructions, ever more guard discipline, guard unity, help and protect one another, provide moral and organisational support and most importantly: Be with the people, trust the people and struggle with the people. There is no place which is truly safe, there is no place of calm, there is no belief as sincere as that given by the people.

    PRD will continue to struggle for: One struggle - one change, 7000 rupiah a day - reduce prices, monitor the elections, a new party - a new president and a referendum for the Maubere people!

    Jakarta, August 12, 1996. I Gusti Agung Anom Astika
    Education and Propaganda Department, PRD. Received from Jakarta, August 13 by the Overseas Office, International Relations Department, of the PRD.

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