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National Library head supports censorship, disposal of leftist books

Tempo - May 16, 2016

Selfy Momongan (Magang), Jakarta – The recent raids against Indonesian Communist Party (PKI) related paraphernalia and books have attracted the special attention of the National Library (Perpusnas) with acting Perpusnas head Dedi Junaedi supporting the censorship of books containing leftist ideas.

"I agree. Because the existence of books with leftist ideology appears to be creating unrest. During the era of the New Order [regime of former President Suharto] these books were banned from circulation. For those who wanted to read them they had to have permission from the Attorney General", said Junaedi following a press conference at the National Library Auditorium in Central Jakarta on Monday May 16.

According to Junaedi, the National Library as an administrative institution is obliged to store collections of these books. However, said Junaedi, during the New Order period people had to have permission from the authorised body in order to be able to access these books.

So Junaedi supports the many raids on books smacking of leftist ideas by the Indonesian military (TNI) and police. "Primarily for the well being of our children, yes. Books like this are not in accordance with [the state ideology] of Pancasila", he said.

According to Junaedi, the general public wants the situation to be peaceful. "So if there are books that will create unease, this will be provocative".

Junaedi added that a number of book containing leftist ideas are stored at the National Library however the majority are old publications. In the case of recently published leftist books, Junaedi questions whether or not they have International Standard Book Numbers (ISBN). "In the case of new book, we'll check. Do they have an ISBN or not?", he said.

According to Junaedi, if the National Library will report it if there are requests for ISBNs for new books that smack of leftist ideas. "Although the Perpusnas authority to provide ISBNs isn't related to the content. That lies with the publisher, it's outside the authority of the Perpusnas", said Junaedi.

[Translated by James Balowski for the Indoleft News Service. The original title of the report was Perpustakaan Nasional Dukung Pemusnahan Buku-buku Kiri.]

Source: https://nasional.tempo.co/read/news/2016/05/16/078771409/perpustakaan-nasional-dukung-pemusnahan-buku-buku-kiri.

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