Subject: Detik: Komnas HAM asked to take up issue of SBY and Wiranto

Also: Wiranto and Timor Leste

Komnas HAM asked to take up issue of SBY and Wiranto - April 28, 2004

M. Rizal Maslan, Jakarta ­ United Solidarity for the Victims of Human Rights Violations (Solidaritas Kesatuan Korban Pelanggaran HAM, SKKP HAM) has called on the National Human Rights Commission (Komnas HAM) to take the initiative and have an active position on the process of nominating presidential and vice-presidential candidates. They also called on Komnas HAM to take up the issue of [former armed forces chief] Wiranto and [recently resigned coordinating minister for politics and security] Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (SBY) becoming presidential candidates.

These demands were submitted to Komnas Ham on Wednesday April 28 at the Komnas HAM offices on Jalan Latuharhary in Central Jakarta. The scores of SKKP HAM members were accompanied by the coordinator of the Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (Kontras) Usman Hamid and were received by the deputy chairperson of Komnas HAM, Solahuddin Wahid.

SKKP HAM said that Wiranto must be held accountable for human rights violations in Indonesia. This includes the abduction of activists(1), the shooting of students at Trisakti and Semanggi(2), the May 1998 riots in Jakarta and the scorched earth campaign waged the military in East Timor in 1999.

SKKP HAM said that SBY, who used to be the chief of staff of the Kodam Jaya (regional military command) should be held accountable for the attack on the Indonesian Democratic Party headquarters(3) on Jalan Diponegoro on July 27, 1996. They also said that SBY is responsible for the policy of implementing martial law in Aceh.

“SKKP HAM does not want Gus Solah (Solahudin familiar name) to support Wiranto”, said Hamid. As has been reported, Gus Solah as been mentioned several times as Wiranto’s running mate for the position of vice-president.

On this question, Gus Solah denied it was true. “I have never been contacted by anyone, especially to become a vice-presidential candidate. I have also told PKB [the National Awakening Party] not to form a coalition with [the former state ruling party] Golkar”, said Gus Solah.

With regard to accusations of human rights violations committed by the two former generals, Gus Solah stated that Komnas HAM has done the maximum possible to investigate the cases. “We even recommended to President Megawati [that she] form an ad-hoc team to investigate the May riots. This issue should be taken up with the DPR [People’s Representative Assembly]”, said Gus Solah. (dit)


1. On May 12, 1998, security personnel shot into a crowd of student protesters from the Trisakti University near their campus in West Jakarta, killing four students and injuring several. This proved to be the spark which set-off three days of mass demonstrations and rioting in Jakarta which eventually lead to the overthrow of former President Suharto. Similar incidents occurred on in November 1998 and September 1999 when troops opened fire on demonstrators from the Atmajaya University in Jakarta using rubber bullets and live ammunition in the area of Semanggi, South Jakarta, resulting in the death of dozens of student demonstrators.

2. Following weeks of protests at the Indonesian Democratic Party (PDI) headquarters in Central Jakarta by pro-Megawati PDI supporters after the Suharto regime engineered Megawati's removal as the party's democratically elected chairperson, on July 27, 1966, paid thugs backed by the military attacked and destroyed the PDI offices resulting in the death of as many as 50 people. Popular outrage at the attack sparked several days of mass rioting and violent clashes with police.

3. Between 1997 and 1998 as many as fourteen pro-democracy activists were abducted by members of the elite special forces Kopassus. After extended periods of detention - in many cases the victims were severely tortured - most were released although four remain missing and are presumed dead. Former Kopassus chief Lieutenant General Prabowo Subianto who was at the time President Suharto's son-in-law is alleged to have ordered the abductions. In April 1999, 11 low-ranking Kopassus officers were tried by a military court for the kidnappings and given sentences of between a year and 22 months in prison, although six of them were allowed to remain in the army.

[Translated by James Balowski.]


Opposition to Neo-New Order and military candidates continues

Kompas - April 28, 2004

Jakarta ­ In Jakarta, opposition to presidential candidates from military circles continues to be organised. On Tuesday afternoon, hundreds of student demonstrators held another demonstration while non-government organisations including the People’s Democratic Party (PRD) and the Community of Families of Victims of Human Rights Violations urged the political elite not to form coalitions with military forces.

They are concerned that if a military person is chosen as president the administration will be tainted by militarism, authoritarianism and there will be a possibility that more gross human rights violations will occur, while past human rights violations have yet to be resolved.

By 12.30pm, hundreds of student had gathered on the campus of the Indonesian Christian University in Salemba, Central Jakarta. They watched a presentation of demonstrations by thousands of students from different parts of the county, principally in Jakarta in and around the Trisakti University and Atma Jaya Catholic University in 1998.

Political speeches were also given which rejected the reemergence of the New Order [regime of former President Suharto], the reemergence of the military and called for unity and rebuilding the pro-democracy movement which have split over differing interests. At the same time, scores of students burnt tyres and handed out leaflets with a similar theme in front of the Indonesian Legal Aid Institute offices in Central Jakarta.


At 1pm, PRD general chairperson Jusuf Lakaseng and other PRD leadership board members met with the deputy chairperson of the National Human Rights Commission (Komnas HAM), Solahuddin Wahid, at the Komnas HAM offices. Lakaseng urged Wahid to reject offers by political parties of the New Order or Neo-New Order and presidential candidates from military circles. “It will be ironic if Gus Solah (Solahuddin) who has until now worked for Komnas HAM, for example, wants to join with [former armed forces chief and Golkar Party presidential candidate] Wiranto or [President] Megawati Sukarnoputri as their vice-presidential candidates when these people have allowed the military to disrupt democratic life and commit gross human rights violations”, asserted Lakaseng.

In the afternoon, Indonesian Human Rights Watch (Imparsial), the Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (Kontras) and the United Opposition Front (Barisan Oposisi Bersatu, BOB) met with [former President and National Awakening Party presidential candidate] Abdurrahman Wahid and raised the same concerns. (win)

[Translated by James Balowski.]

The INDOLEFT news service is produced by the Indonesian Centre for Reform and Social Emancipation (INCREASE) and Action in Solidarity with Asia and the Pacific.


Jakarta Post

April 30, 2004 Friday

Wiranto and Timor Leste, JAKARTA POST


In the commentary Wiranto must face the storm by Pitan Daslani (The Jakarta Post, April, 26) there appears a truly astonishing paragraph, "Everybody put the blame on Wiranto as well as the Indonesian Military (TNI) and the police, despite their self-sacrificing devotion to the conception of the Republic of Timor Leste."

Self-sacrificing devotion? Pardon me? They were devoted to bringing to the new state into being? This flies in the face of all the evidence. It is an insult to the intelligence.

I suggest Pitan just sits down and coolly examines the record, which will show that Wiranto and TNI were instrumental in the creation and sustenance of the murderous pro-Jakarta militias such as attacks led by the self-proclaimed nationalist hero Eurico Gutteres and these militias were abetted throughout by the Indonesian Military, in particular units such as Battalions 744 and 745.

Command responsibility rested with Wiranto as the head of the Armed Forces at the time, as any international court would readily prove. I suggest that Pitan goes back and looks at some of the news footage of the time and sees for himself how Indonesian soldiers and police simply stood by and let the militias burn, loot and kill.

The Indonesian security forces were wholly responsible for this situation. East Timor was, after all, under martial law at the time! What Wiranto's book says I do not know but I can readily guess. It will be the usual gruel of obfuscation and plausible denial, the workings of a very dishonest mind.

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