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Indonesia

Indonesia: Activists debate electoral tactic

Dita Sari will stand in the 2009 election

Indonesia: Tracing a path towards parliament

By Kelik Ismunanto

November 29, 2008 -- After such a long period of time in a vacuum, uncertain of how to respond to changes caused by neoliberal economic policies, little by little, democracy movement activists have been able to wrest back the political podium.

In the last few months, several national television stations provided a political stage for activists such as Dita Sari, Budiman Sujatmiko, Pius Lustrilanang and other young activists who are contesting the 2009 elections, to explain their reasons for choosing the parliamentary tactic.

Among young activists, there are opinions in favour and against this tactic.

Free West Papua! A video introduction to a struggle for self-determination

Act of Free Choice (directed by Mark Worth)

The so-called ``Act of Free Choice'' was a sham referendum held in 1969 to decide whether Indonesia should govern West Papua. The small sample of indigenous West Papuans selected to vote were threatened with physical voilence if they voted against the Indonesian regime. Of course, they ``voted'' to remain part of Indonesia.

Indonesia: Union militant Dita Sari to contest elections

By Vannessa Hearman

August 16, 2008 -- Indonesian trade union activist and chairperson of the Deliberative Council of the National Liberation Party of Unity (Papernas) Dita Sari has declared that she will run for the Star Reform Party (PBR) in the 2009 legislative elections.

Sari and around 40 other Papernas members have declared their intention to contest the elections as part of the PBR. Sari will occupy the number one position on the party’s candidate list for an electoral district in Central Java that incorporates the towns of Klaten, Boyolali, Sukoharjo and the city of Solo.

According to Indo Pos, the district where Sari will run is a hotly contested area, with other candidates including Puan Maharani, daughter of former president Megawati Sukarnoputri, running for the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) and Hidayat Nurwahid, speaker of the People’s Consultative Assembly from the Prosperity and Justice Party (PKS).

Indonesia: Left confronts fuel price hike

By Data Brainanta

June 13, 2008 -- Fuel price hikes have always sparked widespread mass protests in Indonesia since the overthrow of the dictator Suharto in a popular uprising in 1998. However, the timing this year was special. The hike occurred near the time of the 10-year anniversary Suharto’s fall on May 21 and the National Awakening Day on the 20th, which commemorates the birth of Indonesia’s first nationalist organisation. Three leftist fronts, each representing different tactics, took to the streets to reject the policy.

Indonesia: Anti-communism in the age of reformasi: the case of Papernas

By Vannessa Hearman

May 20, 2008 -- In 2006, some long-term Indonesian activists in the People’s Democratic Party (PRD), such as Dita Sari and Agus ``Jabo’’ Priyono, reflected on how the post-1998 reformasi movement would respond to the 2009 general election. In June 2006, a number of activists and organisations, including eight national organisations such as the Indonesian Buddhist Students’ Association (HikmahBudhi), the National Students’ League for Democracy (LMND) and the Urban Poor Union (SRMK) met in Jakarta to agree to establish Papernas (the National Liberation Party of Unity). Around 40 local groups of farmers, workers, students and advocacy groups in Flores, Sumatra, Maluku, Java and Kalimantan also supported this initiative. PRD activists have made Papernas their key political project in the last few years, which also has created debates and splits inside the PRD over the question of electoral alliances in coming elections.

Indonesia: Workers, poor reject petrol price rises imposed `on behalf of the poor’

May 15, 2008 -- ``Let’s seek the opportunity out of the world's crisis. In responding to the increase in global food prices, let us improve productivity. Amidst the oil crisis and price rises, let's be thrifty. Let's develop the energy resources.'' -- Indonesian President, Susilo Bambang Yudoyono, May 1, 2008.

The poor will benefit from the increase in fuel prices rise, he said on May 7, 2008.

Meanwhile vice-president Yusuf Kalla said that so far the fuel subsidy has been benefiting the rich. He added ``The protesters who oppose this policy mean that they are helping the poor.''

Acting as if they are doing it ``on behalf of the poor'', the Indonesian government plans to impose a 30% rise on petroleum prices. It will be the third oil price rise under the Susilo Bambang Yudoyono government. To help the poor survive this unpopular policy, the government is granting direct cash transfers amounting 100,000 rupiah per month per family. The direct cash transfer ``gift'' was also implemented with the oil price rise in 2005.

Will this price rise benefit the poor?

Nike: How cool is exploitation?

Nike: how `cool' is exploitation?

Graphic

By Norm Dixon

August 28, 1996

Image is a vital to the success of the giant international sports footwear and apparel corporation Nike. Endorsements by sports superstars like basketballer Michael Jordan, soccer maestro Eric Cantona and sprinting ace Cathy Freeman -- to name just a very few -- have made the company's "Swoosh" logo synonymous with "cool" for millions of young people worldwide. That image would be badly tarnished if it became widely known that the Nike empire is built on cheap Third World labour (including child labour), denial of trade union rights and collaboration with repressive regimes, most notably the Suharto regime in Indonesia.

Nike Australia's public relations spokesperson, Megan Ryan, was coy about how much the company spends on marketing and sponsorship when Green Left Weekly spoke to her recently.

Indonesia: Call for Venezuela-style oil nationalisations; Papernas May Day statement


April 29, 2008 -- About 1000 workers, students and urban poor held a pre-May Day demonstration outside GKBI Towers in Jakarta, a flashy skyscraper that is the Indonesian headquarters of companies like ExxonMobil, ANZ Bank, Cable & Wireless, Credit Lyonnais Capital, Coca-Cola, Dow Chemical,
France Telecom, KPMG, McKinsey & Company, OCBC Bank and the Swiss Bank.

Indonesia: Students launch nationalisation campaign

By Katarina Pujiastuti

March 1, 2008 -- Beginning last Monday, the National Student League for Democracy (LMND) held two-day demonstrations in Jakarta to campaign for the nationalisation of oil, gas and mining industries. On the first day, about 150 students representing several campuses in Java and Sumatra protested against ExxonMobil in front of the commercial building that houses its headquarters.

The richest energy company was targeted because it recently attacked Chavez's anti-imperialist government by taking legal action to freeze the assets of the Venezuelan state's oil company, PDVSA. ``Therefore, LMND made a good decision in protesting in front of Exxon's headquarters, as the company rightly symbolises foreign corporation in the extractive sector'', said Rudi Hartono, an LMND leader.

Statements on Burma

Statements on the Burmese struggle for democracy from the Socialist Party of Malaysia, the Indonesian solidarity movement, the Australian Socialist Alliance and the Philippines' Partido ng Manggagawa.

Socialist Party of Malaysia

PRESS STATEMENT : 27 SEPTEMBER 2007

Pramoedya Ananta Toer

By Max Lane
Pramoedya Ananta Toer was born in Blora, Java, Indonesia, on February 6, 1925, and died in Jakarta on April 30, 2006. Blora was a small but busy town. His father was a teacher in a local nationalist school and prominent in nationalist activity. Pramoedya finished primary school, graduating in 1939, and later went on to study at a vocational school in radio in the city of Surabaya. He worked in a Japanese news agency during the Japanese occupation of the East Indies, where he also learned stenography. He left the agency and moved back to Java during this period.
After the proclamation of independence, he joined a youth militia and then the republican army fighting the Dutch colonial army, during which time he was captured and imprisoned. He resigned from the army after the war against the Dutch and from then on became immersed in the world of literature, although he had already begun writing before this.1

Police raid Asia-Pacific Solidarity Conference in Jakarta

By Sundaram

This article originally appeared in the July issue of Liberation, the central organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist).

The Asia-Pacific Solidarity Conference, scheduled June 7-10 at a site 50 kilometres outside the Indonesian capital, Jakarta, was meant to discuss ways of fighting neo-liberal policies and militarism in the region. But thanks to a draconian attempt by police and paramilitary groups to scuttle the event, the participants turned it into a real battle against the neo-fascist forces that are making a bid for power again in Indonesia.

It all started on June 8, the second day of the conference, when more than 100 policemen armed with carbines and tear gas barged into the venue to arrest foreign participants for alleged ``visa violations''. Sealing off the conference hall, switching off the lights and using megaphones to bark out their orders, the gun-toting policemen presented, to the more than 40 representatives of left groups from around the world, a taste of what former Indonesian dictator Suharto's New Order regime must have been like.

The political situation of Indonesia

This article is taken from the June 2002 international edition of Pembebasan, published by the People's Democratic Party (PRD) of Indonesia.

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