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People's Council formed

Kompas - May 15, 1998 (extracts only from Tapol)

The names of some fifty members of the People's Council set up in Jakarta yesterday have been announced. The Council is known by its Indonesian acronym MAR which stands for Majelis Amanat Rakyat.

Members of the Council had their first meeting at a cafe in Jakarta yesterday and agreed to put forward three immediate demands:

To call on President Suharto to resign in the interest of reform and to ensure that the process towards democracy can proceed smoothly and peacefully.

To call on the security forces not to use force against the people so as to ensure that the situation does not deteriorate even further.

To call on students, the younger generation and the Indonesian people to work for change in the situation that can ensure the restoration of civil life.

The following is a list of those already listed as members of the Council:

Amien Rais, Goenawan Muhamad, former editor of TEMPO: Sumitro Djajohadikusumo, emeritus economics professor and father of Lt-General Prabowo, who is married to Suharto's daughter Titik; Toety Heraty, academic; Karlina Leksono, woman astronaut and member of SIP, Voice of Concerned Mothers; Gadis Arivia, academic and member of SIP; Emha Ainun Nadjib, Muslim writer and commentator; Ali Sadikin, former governor of Jakarta, retired commander of the Marine Corps and a long-time dissident from the Petition of 50; Trimoelya Soerjadi, human rights lawyer; Dawam Rahardjo, Muslim academic; Syamsudin Haris; Ichlasul Amal; Arbi Sanit, professor of politics and frequent commentator; Husein Umar; Mohamad Sadli, emeritus professor of economics; Faisal Bakri, economics professor Arifin Panigoro, top-level oil magnate and member of the MPR; Fikri Jufri, journalist; Mudji Sutrisno; Laksamana Sukardi, an adviser of PDI leader Megawati Sukarnoputri; Heri Achmadi, student leader from 1978; Adnan Buyung Nasution, human rights lawyer; Ong Hok Kam, etnic Chinese historian; Bambang Sidjojanto, human rights lawyer; Tjuk Sukiadi; Rizal Panggabean; Wimar Witoelar, TV presenter and wit; Sujana Sapiie; K.H. Mustofo Bisri; Emil Salim, former minister of the environment who was nominated for the vice-presidency in 1998; Frans Magnis Suseno, German-born Catholic theologian; Albert Hasibuan, lawyer and member of Komnas HAM; Siswono Judohusodo, until March this year, Miniter for transmigration; Haryono Titrosoebono, lawyer; Frans Seda, economist and cabinet minister for economic affairs under Sukarno, also member of the Justice and Peace Commission in the Vatican; Adi Andoyo, former Supreme Court judge and dean of the Law Faculty at Trisakti University; Adi Sasono, General Secretary of ICMI, the Association of Muslim Intellectuals; Mochtar Masoed; Daniel Sparringga, lecturer in politics at Airlangga University, Surabaya; A. Syarfii Maarif; Ratna Sarumpaet, actress and playwright, currently in police custody and facing charges for engaging in anti-govt political activities; (Ms) Saparinah Sadli, professor of psychiatry; TH. Sumartana; Bambang Sudibyo; A Hakim Garuda Nusantara, human rights lawyer; Rizal Ramli, economist; Arif Arryman; Hendardi, director of PBHI, Indonesian Human Rights and Legal Aid Association; Ulil Abshar Abdalla, from the youth organisation of Nahdlatul Ulama; Dede Oetomo Sayuti; Horman M Siahaan; Moedrick Sangidu, member of the officially recognised PPP based in Solo, Central Java; Meilono Suwondo, businessman; Zoemrotin.

Amien Rais said that membership of the Council is open and others wishing to join would be welcome.

With regard to Megawati and Abdulrahman Wahid, he said that an Indonesian Working Council (Forum Kerja Indonesia) would be set up which would include these two figures. The Forum and MAR would work together, 'running on two parallel lines' he said.

[The term "Amanat" does not have an exact equivalent in English and can be translated as "trusteeship", "mandate", "instruction" and "commission", or in its verbal form, to "entrust", or "commit" - James Balowski.]