Tuesday, May 13, 2014

1) Papua-police suspect cannabis trade for weapons in border

1) Papua-police suspect cannabis trade for weapons in border

2) 16 Years After Suharto, Activists Say Much Left to Be Desired

1) Papua-police suspect cannabis trade for weapons in border

Mon, May 12 2014 19:11 | 430 Views
Jayapura (ANTARA News) - The Papua Police Department suspect that cannabis was traded for weapons in the border areas between the Republic of Indonesia and Papua New Guinea (PNG).

Narcotics and Drugs Director Senior Commissioner Tornagogo Sihombing said in Jayapura, Papua, on Monday, the police forces presumption was due to the investigations of three suspects believed to be members of a narcotics and drugs networking syndicate, who were arrested on May 2, 2014.

"We presume that the cannabis from PNG was sold recently through barter with weapons or other goods, according to the deal," Sihombing said.

The police had arrested three suspects with initials Y, M and S, and also seized 7.2 kilograms of cannabis, a homemade firearm and 96 bullets of 7.62 millimeter-caliber.

The investigation indicated that the suspects bought the weapon and its bullets from Ambon and Maluku to be bartered with a civilian from PNG, who is a cannabis dealer.

Sihombing explained that for people in PNG, weapons are valuable and the primary choice for barter. These weapons will later be used as a self-defense instrument against the armed groups in PNG.

"In addition to the weapons, they also like laptops or mobile telephones," he added.

Regarding the PNG civilian who is a dried cannabis supplier, Sihombing said currently the police had not arrested him since he had just delivered the cannabis to the RI-PNG border.

"However, we have reported the information to the Indonesian Consulate in Vanimo, PNG," Sihombing added.

Editor: Priyambodo RH

2) 16 Years After Suharto, Activists Say Much Left to Be Desired

Jakarta. The history of modern Indonesia to a large extent was defined by the country’s youth. They have long been a force for change: From the 1928 Youth Pledge about the sense of being Indonesian, and the creation of the New Order regime in 1965-66 to, 32 years later, the dethroning of Suharto.
However, as the country celebrates the fall of the longtime dictator and commemorates the killings and kidnapping of students and activists 16 years ago, many, question the role played by 1998 activists after toppling Suharto. Why did so few people manage to fill the void left by the crumbling New Order regime?
Political analyst Boni Hargens is one of the people who have criticized 1998 figures’ absence when the country was in dire need of honest new leaders.
“Indonesian students indeed contributed to the 1998 overthrow of Suharto. However, they failed to consolidate after this success,” he said. “In addition, these students or activists pursued their own interests.”
“After the downfall of Suharto, the spirit of reform faded away, while the country’s politics continued to move forward, leaving these people behind,” he said.
“Many of the young people who pioneered the reform lost steam, and in the end got actively involved in the pragmatic and corrupt political system they were fighting in the first place,” Boni said.
The analyst mentioned Desmond Junaidi Mahesa, who was kidnapped in 1998, but later forgave his alleged kidnapper, Prabowo Subianto, and joined the former general’s Great Indonesia Movement (Gerindra) Party in 2008.
“This young generation was supposed to take a firm stance by refusing to join the old political system,” Boni said. “They could have created a new axis or center of political power, but sadly they did not.”
On the contrary, Boni said that many joined a political system that was still very much controlled by people tied to the New Order regime. “It is sad to say, but they all got involved in the system.”
“This is due to the lack of any specific political orientation or agenda,” he said. “There was no political orientation to continue the reforms, which would have allowed them to take over power from the older generation. A golden opportunity was wasted by this young generation.”

No change of the guard
Social activist and political analyst of the Soegeng Sarjadi Syndicate Fadjroel Rachman recalled the events in 1998.
“Back then I was part of the student forum at the University of Indonesia. We were continuously calling for change. We united to gather support from every element in society to fight against the New Order,” he told the Jakarta Globe.
“Importantly, we were fighting for democracy, for human rights and for transparency,” he said. “The fight against Suharto escalated on May 12, 1998, the day when our fellow students from Trisakti University were shot dead. Then, we didn’t stop until we had occupied the House of Representatives,” he said.
Fadjroel told the Globe that it took only 10 days to take Suharto’s crown.
“We stayed on campus, but after the shootings and the chaos, on May 18 we decided to move on the House. There were more than ten thousands students from all over the country demanding the fall of Suharto. On May 21, Suharto announced his resignation,” he said.

However, after sixteen years of Reformation, Fadjroel says that the New Order still remains powerful behind the scenes, pointing to some politicians and bureaucrats still occupying key positions.
“Habibie took the presidency, but he was just the extension of Suharto. Megawati [Soekarnoputri] and Gus Dur [Abdurrahman Wahid] were not really effective in steering the reform effort. After that, for the last 10 years, we have all fallen back into the old New Order regime,” he said.
Fadjroel also said that with the July president election coming closer, a new leader endowed with the spirit of reform could make a new start. Fadjroel said the popular Jakarta Governor Joko Widodo, who is a presidential frontrunner, was a product of the reform era.
“We are hoping that this year’s election will result in the regeneration of reform,” he said. “Joko Widodo is not a reform pioneer, but he grew to prominence in the reform era, and he is a good choice for Indonesia,” he said.
According to Fadjroel it should be clear by now that not enough has changed since 1998.
“Over the last 16 years, many things have happened that went against the principles of reform because the people holding the reins of government are linked to the New Order itself,” he said.
“We all hope that this year the political power of the New Order will finally come to an end. Hopefully the new government will bring back the reformist agenda,” he said.

Human rights issues
Boni stressed that ahead of the elections it is important for Indonesians, especially intellectuals and the middle class to raise awareness about presidential candidates’ involvement in human rights violations and their track record in general.
“The call for justice no longer echoes, is no longer consistent, no longer persistent,” Boni added. “It is a middle class task to remind and to educate other Indonesians about human rights violations, to show the whole country the complete dark past of this nation. This is also a job for the media, to discuss these issues,” Boni said.
“We need to teach the people to be critical and democracy-oriented citizens,” Boni said.
“A country has to have a sound historical foundation, without that, we have no value,” Boni said.
Like Fadjroel, Boni said this should be a year of profound change in the Indonesian political landscape.
“The person who can bring change to this nation is definitely not coming from those old players,” Boni said.
“Their presence within the governmental system proves how strong money politics still is. But now is the time to get rid of it,” he said.
He said that people should also beware of the return of the military to politics.
“There is no time for military romanticism. The quality of a good leader does not lie within the military package,” he said. “This is a very critical turning point in our history. For over 32 years we had been suffering under Suharto’s regime. Let’s end this together, now,” he said.

Long road ahead
The head of the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI), historian Taufik Abdullah, said that the failure of a new generation to carry out the reform agenda set in 1998 was caused by a crisis of mutual trust.
“For 32 years, we’d been terrorized by the dominance of Suharto. Not only because his control over this nation’s politics but also because of his control of the consciousness and political memory of the nation,” he said.
“Surprisingly, after Suharto fell, what we saw was not an era of change. What we saw was a crisis of mutual trust,” he said.
“The problem is that we have yet to find a leader who can convince the people and bring trust back into politics. That is the result of the crisis of mutual trust. There is something missing,” he said.
“In the early days of Indonesia’s independence, we used to call government officials ‘leaders,’ but now we are calling them ‘elites.’ What is the meaning of all of this? It indicates that the trust we once had in politicians is now rotten,” he said.
Taufik also compared the current system of government with that of the 1950s.
“In the 1950s, most of the political figures were intellectuals. Nowadays, even a celebrity with zero experience can join the political scene, just by talking about bringing change to this and that,” Taufik said.
“That is why the youth have to make their move, immediately,” he said. “This election could be a turning point for Indonesia. However, it will be a long process. [This election] will not instantly bring significant change,” he said.
“If in the next five years Indonesia is led by the right person, this is going to be a transitional phase for this country. Then, in the next [five-year] period, we will finally achieve true reform,” he said.

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