Yogyakarta – Kader Pandu Inklusi Nusantara (PINTAR) visited the secretariat of the Forum of Human Rights Education and Struggle (Fopperham) in Keparakan, Yogyakarta City on Wednesday, November 7, 2018. This visit was one of a series of events from Temu PINTAR activities held on November 6-8, 2018. Through this visit, PINTAR cadres from various regions in Indonesia with various background issues learned from the experience of Fopperham that has worked for victims of human rights violations.
PINTAR was welcomed by an art group consisting of survivors of human rights violations of 1965 who sang the Javanese song ‘Gugur Gunung’ and ‘Kiper’. After that, Fopperham’s management explained programs that had been carried out to realize social inclusion for survivors of human rights violations in 1965.
One initiative undertaken was One Week One Mother. Through this program, Fopperham volunteers regularly visited survivors to accompany and ensure the health of those who were older. Astri Wulandari, a Fopperham staff member said that the program was initiated in 2014 with students participating as volunteers. Besides in the city of Yogyakarta, Fopperham also ran a similar program in Gunung Kidul Regency. The program, called “Selangkah Meraih Berkah Ngurusi Simbah” or “one step to the blessing of taking care of Simbah (grandparents)”, succeeded in attracting 57 young mothers from surrounding villages as volunteers.
Fopperham’s various programs do not always run smoothly. There are various obstacles that arise. One of them was experienced by Muntiati when she volunteered. “The first time I was there was still quiet,” she said remembering her first experience of volunteering. “However, slowly when we approached, she was finally able to accept and instead often asked when we would return,” she concluded.
After the program presentation was carried out by Fopperham’s administrators and survivors, the next was the presentation of specific issues brought up by PINTAR cadres. The presentation began with Mr. Sanusi as a cadre of Sekber 65. In his presentation he conveyed the stigma or views of the community toward the PKI (Indonesian Communist Party) and the September 30, 1965 Movement (G30S/PKI). According to him, until now most of the people viewed that the PKI was an irreligious party and contained people labeled as “general killers,” even though the PKI was substantially not that bad.
These stigmas have been embedded long ago so it is very difficult to make changes to these negative views, even using historical facts. That is because at this time many historical facts about the 1965 tragedy are bent, one of which is the history of the Lubang Buaya Monument, Jakarta. Carvings on the monument show the abduction and torture of seven generals by the PKI. According to Mr. Sanusi, the narrative was exaggerated, giving the impression that the PKI was very cruel. In the historical fact that happened, there was no torture whatsoever as described in the Lubang Buaya Monument.
“The reality about the PKI and the tragedy of 65 has indeed been distorted. Yes, all of that was done in the interests of Pak Harto’s political interests. There was no such thing as the PKI carrying out torture as in current historical narratives, even it was not proven in the post mortem,” he narrated.
These historical facts distortions made the negative views of the PKI flourish in society today. Another problem that has yet to be resolved properly is the restoration of the good name for victims of the 1965 tragedy. This becomes a crucial problem because it relates to how one’s position is in public access. So far, Mr. Sanusi and his 65 Sekber friends have tried to advocate for survivors of the 1965 tragedy, one of which is by seeking free medical treatment in every health service and population access.
The next presentation was by PINTAR cadre as representative of government institutions, namely Ibu Sumilir. In her presentation, the issue she raised focused on the issue of the elderly who so far have not received more attention from the government. According to her, the issue of the elderly couldn’t be considered a trivial problem. That is because the welfare of the elderly becomes one of the factors that determines life expectancy. In addition, local regulations that represent the interests and rights of the elderly in the city of Surakarta, are needed.
The issue of elderly welfare is an issue that needs to be raised in relation to the inclusion program. Another inclusive issue discussed is the issue of the position of transgender women or waria in the public sphere presented by Ayu. According to her, the position of waria who are increasingly marginalized in public nowadays, is one of the issues that needs more attention. Similar to the survivors of 1965, their position which is often underestimated makes it difficult for them to get public access. Not only related to social aspects, but also health to work.
After the presentation session ended, there was a question and answer session intended for all the audiences involved in the visit. One of the interesting questions in the discussion was how the issues were blown up, given the current political upheaval, and how to prevent these things. The first answer was presented by Ayu as a cadre of transgender women or waria. Ayu explained that issues relating to LGBT have now began to surface. One example was the rented rooms for waria in West Java that were visited by a group of people, then they were advised not to occupy the place anymore. The effort to avoid these things is the limitation of activities outside which involve transgender women or waria communities, both in terms of place and event publication.
Sekber 65 explained that in relation to the current political conditions, they were usually the main targets politicized by certain parties. The form of politicization that often happens is in the form of giving promises about the restoration of good name and resolution of past human rights violations with the aim that they want to join and support one particular political figure.
Meanwhile the presentation from Fopperham, the issue of the PKI or the 1965 tragedy usually appears at certain moments, such as September. During that month, there are often interventions from certain parties such as banners hanging until open campaigns through social media or directly. This certainly greatly affected the survivors of the 1965 human rights violations. In response to this, officials from Fopperham takes action by temporarily delaying activities in September and diverting in other months.
In addition, in the historical tour program aimed at young people or students, Fopperham changes the concept from what used to invite all survivors on the tour to be replaced by inviting selected survivors so that they would not stand out and involving several local residents as speakers. In addition, another strategy is to choose a place that is not too conspicuous for historical tour activities. These efforts are carried out with the aim of avoiding suspicious attacks or assumptions from both the public and certain parties. That way, the purpose of the historical tour as a medium in introducing history to young people can be achieved without the intervention of other parties.
A different presentation was explained by Pak Muslam as a cadre of a group of believers who believed that there was a negative stigma and there was the opinion that they were a group of polytheists. This often occurs and are responded wisely. One of them is by giving education for the first time to the surrounding community about some of the customs and ways of worship carried out by groups of believers. These efforts are carried out with the aim that the community is not mistaken in responding to existing differences.
The visit that was held at the Fopperham Secretariat ended with lunch and the presentation of souvenirs to the Fopperham administrator and a group photo. The aim of this visit is to gain deeper knowledge about the conditions of the issues that have been presented, especially the issue of inclusion groups, so it is able to provide an overview of what further programs will be carried out by cadres in addressing those issues.