APSN Banner

Budiman Sudjatmiko: Government ban will not affect party activity

SiaR - October 1, 1997 (posted by Tapol)

Jakarta – The government's decision to ban the Peoples' Democratic Party and all its affiliates will not affect the activities of the organisations. They will continue with their actions until their aims have been achieved, the PRD chairman, Budiman Sudjatmiko told Siar in Salemba Prison, Jakarta.

"Whereas formerly we might have used the name of our organisation, now we won't conduct actions under our name but together with other groups. We will continue to be involved in actions among workers, peasants and the urban poor", he said.

In a press release, the party said it was not much influenced by the government's ban. It would continue to intensify its programme of activities as stated by the party at its congress which was held on 30-31 August 1997. The main points on the programme are: the succession, the five political laws and the fight for a democratic coalition government.

'We are not going to dissolve our organisation. On the contrary, we will go on consolidating it with a recruitment campaign. The structure of the organisation will not be changed,' the press release said.

Budiman said that since its birth, the party had not relied on legitimacy from the government and the government had not give it recognition. He said the Interior Minister's decision to ban the party was a joke.

"It's very funny indeed. From the start, they refused to recognise the existence of the PRD but now they have banned it", he said.

The fact that it no longer accused the party of being communist was proof that the government had failed to find any evidence that the PRD was communist.

'What was the basis for accusing us of being communist? The structure we have created is the same as the structure of other organisations, including GOLKAR. So what is it that is communist?'

The communist accusation directed against the PRD and other organisations, along with the arrest and imprisonment of its activists had failed to halt actions demonstrating feelings of dissatisfaction in society. A number of actions have taken place in various parts of the country recently. These accusations appeared to be part of the government's overall strategy of maintaining the status quo, said the PRD press release.