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Students in Bandung suspended over sale of leftist books

Campus News - March 1, 2017

Ahmad Fauzan, Bandung (Kabar Kampus) – Opening a free library without prior authorisation in the vicinity of the Telkom University (Tel-U) parking area in Bandung, West Java, has it appears become a serious problem for the Tel-U rectorate. Never mind that leftist books deemed to endanger the Tel-U campus were discovered at the book stall.

As a consequence, the rectorate suspended two Tel-U students. They are Fidocia Wima Adityawarman and Sinatrian Lintang Raharjo from the communication and business faculty. Both students are Library Appreciation activists who regularly distribute free books on the Tel-U campus.

The Tel-U suspension signed on February 20 deemed that on November 9, 2016 the students opened a public book stall on Tel-U campus grounds without authorisation and that the said activities spread communist ideas on the Tel-U campus.

In addition to this, the other two grounds cited for the suspension were that they were deemed to have distorted [historical] facts and spread false accusations about the Tel-U leadership that damaged Tel-U's good name and committed hate speech against the Tel-U leadership.

In addition to the one semester suspension, the two students were prohibited from conducting academic or university activities in the vicinity of the Tel-U campus.

Fidocia, who also known as Edo, said that the Library Appreciation free book stall had been operating regularly since 2014 but that only now has the campus administration made an issue over a permit.

"Yet the positive activities by Library Appreciation have already been conveyed to the rectorate", Edo told Kabar Kampus (Campus News) on Wednesday March 1.

With regard to the leftist books deemed to be dangerous meanwhile, Edo said that they only meant to provide the broadest possible access to literature for Tel-U students, including books about leftist history in Indonesia.

"Because of this therefore, [we] consider the prohibition on Library Appreciation activities, namely holding books stalls, reading books, discussions and joint activities with the Student Alliance of Literacy Concern, to be a failure to see it as culturally progressive", said Edo.

The Library Appreciation activities sited as a problem by campus authorities was held on November 9, 2016. Aside from selling general subject books, they also had three books deemed a problem by campus authorities, namely the Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels and two books from a four-book series by Tempo Magazine, namely Indonesian Leftists Nyoto and Indonesian Leftists Musso.

[Slightly abridged translation by James Balowski for the Indoleft news service. The original title of the report was "Mahasiswa Tel-U Diskorsing Gara-Gara Buku Kiri".]

Source: http://kabarkampus.com/2017/03/mahasiswa-tel-u-diskorsing-gara-gara-buku-kiri/.

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