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After Surabaya ban, lively Tan Malaka book discussion held in Kediri

Tribune News - February 9, 2014

Surya Didik Mashudi, Kediri – A "Tan Malaka" book dissertation in Surabaya was closed down by protesters from the Islamic Defenders Front (FPI). But a similar event in Kediri took place in a lively atmosphere.

More then 100 students took part in the book discussion "Tan Malaka" at the PGRI Nusantara University in the East Java city of Kediri on Saturday February 8.

The book's author, renowned Dutch historian Harry A Poeze had earlier been scheduled to be the speaker at a book dissertation at the C-20 Library in the East Java provincial capital of Surabaya, but police and the Indonesian military (TNI) arrived at the venue before the discussion took place and announced that the FPI protesters would close down the event.

Because of concerns that it would cause difficulties, Poeze then cancelled the discussion. That evening, around 30 FPI members arrived at the library building only to find that the event had been cancelled.

Meanwhile a Tan Malaka book discussion with Poeze in Kediri took place in a lively atmosphere with many students enthusiastically taking part in the course of the discussion until the end. The book went down well and was bought in large numbers by students. Following the discussion, the students also asked for Poeze to sign the books.

Poeze himself admitted to being shocked that the Surabaya event was able to be closed down by the FPI. However he suspects that the FPI misunderstood because the discussion was a scholarly forum and not a training course in the ideas of communism.

"There were soldiers and police officers that announced the discussion [had to be] cancelled because FPI protesters would demonstrate. They weren’t happy accusing our discussion of being a course in communism", said Poeze.

In fact the discussion of the book Tan Malaka, Left Wing Movement, and the Indonesian Revolution was a scholarly meeting. "The FPI people are of the view that Tan Malaka is a communist", he said.

[Translated by James Balowski for the Indoleft News Service.]

Source: http://www.tribunnews.com/regional/2014/02/09/diskusi-buku-tan-malaka-ditolak-di-surabaya-tapi-meriah-di-kediri.

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