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Commemorating fall of Suharto, activists in Yogya call for campaign against militarism

Metro TV News - May 21, 2016

Ahmad Mustaqim, Yogyakarta – Pro-democracy activists in the Central Java city of Yogyakarta have called for a campaign against militarism during a commemoration of 18 years since the fall of former President Suharto's New Order dictatorship. The protesters say that the military should no longer be intervening in the life of civil society in Indonesia.

Institute for Islamic and Social Studies (LKiS) researcher Hafizen said that the people must again unit against militarism. According Hafizen, the military has intervened in many discussion forums. "If the New Order is reborn, Indonesia will be in a world of darkness", said Hafizen during the 18 Years of Reformasi action on Saturday May 21.

In addition to this, continued Hafizen, recent actions by the military have exceeded its duties, namely defending the sovereignty of the country. The military, he said, has instead been preoccupied with dealing with [leftist] books that are the business of education. "If we don't take advantage of the momentum of May 21 it will mean that we have failed to pursue reformasi", he said.

Action coordinator Ahmad Haedar said that in addition to criticising the actions of the military, they are also calling on the state to protect the academic and educational world from intolerant groups. This can be seen from the many forced closures of discussions and academic forums that have been carried out by certain groups. "The government must guarantee this. Not instead protecting these intolerant groups", he said.

Haedar added that they are also calling on the stated to return the management of the country's natural resources to the people. "Capitalist exploitation and the intervention of foreign capital are making it difficult for the people's economy to develop", he said.

Scores of organisations were involved in the action including the Peaceful Yogya Solidarity Forum (FSYD), the Yogyakarta Legal Aid Foundation (LBH), the Yogyakarta Alliance of Independent Journalists (AJI), the Indonesian Islamic University Human Rights Advocacy Development Studies Center (LPS HAM), the Yogyakarta Anti Violence Community (Makaryo) as well as labour movement and student organisations.

During the action they held a long-march from the Yogyakarta Monument in the north of the city to the Tugu railway station, then on to the zero kilometre point in the centre of the city. Along the way they gave speeches. (UWA)

[Translated by James Balowski for the Indoleft News Service. The original title of the report was Militer berangus buku, aktivis: Reformasi gagal.]

Source: http://jateng.metrotvnews.com/peristiwa/gNQYnrwN-militer-berangus-buku-aktivis-reformasi-gagal.

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