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Prosecutor seeks eight years for Dita and six for Coen Pontoh

Kompas - March 26, 1997 (slightly abridged)

The prosecutor in the trial of Dita Indah Sari, chair of the Indonesian Workers Centre of Struggle PPBI, and Coen Pontoh, coordinator of the education and propaganda department of the National Peasants Union, has asked the court to pass down a sentence of eight years against Dita Sari and six years against Coen Pontoh. He said they were proven to have been guilty of subversion by seeking to undermine the state ideology.

According to the prosecutor, the two defendants had affiliated politically with the People's Democracy Party led by Budiman Sujatmiko, a party with the aim of creating a coalition government in order to bring about a people's multi-party democratic system in Indonesia.

In collaboration with Wilson, Ignatius Damianus Pranowo, Suroso, Ken Budha Kusumandaru, Yakobus Eko Kurniawan, Ignatius Putut Arintoko and Mohamad Sholeh, they set up the PRD, a party outside the political system which failed to mention Pancasila as its basic principle, in this way distorting, undermining and straying from the state policy as set down by the MPR.

In order to achieve the objectives of the PRD, the two defendants had undertaken activities together with students, saying that they wanted to support the workers struggle for democracy in Solo, Semarang, the Jakarta-Bogor-Tangerang-Bekasi region and in East Java.

In Surabaya, the two had led a demonstration of workers at two companies on 8 July 1996. As the main speaker, Dita Sari had fired her listeners enthusiasm by calling for Rp 7,000 a day, for freedom of association, for the repeal of the five political laws, the rejection of the army's role in workers' disputes and an end to the dual function of the armed forces.

The prosecutor said that Coen Pontoh had not acted as badly as Dita Sari who, as chair of the PPBI, took part in an action of solidarity with Sri-Bintang Pamungkas at the Jakarta district court, calling for his release and the repeal of the five political laws.

She had also attended a meeting of the student organisation, SMID in South Jakarta at which there was a discussion about how to ensure that the independent monitoring committee, KIPP would be a success. She had also lit a peace candle to commemorate the the Santa Cruz tragedy and calling for a referendum in East Timor.