Indonesian Left Party under attack from anti-communist thugs

Right now the Papernas (Indonesian left Party) founding congress in Indonesia is facing a concerted threat from right wing, anti-communist groups, with the help of the police. The Indonesian comrades are facing this threat directly, at the onference site, and they are asking for SMS messages and letters of support.>>

There is currently a stand off at the conference site in Yogjakarta. The anti-communist grouping has given a 9pm deadline (1am Australian time on 19 January). Papernas comrades are standing firm.

Please SMS Katarina on +6281584368, and email her at and cc copies to immediately if at all possible.

The Papernas comrades would appreciate messages of support from individuals or organisations.

Protest and solidarity messages should be sent to :
The Indonesian Ambassador in Canberra:
His Excellency Mr Teuku Mohammad Hamzah THAYEB
Email is

Fax: (02) 6273 6017, 6273 3545
Please email PAPERNAS with the protest letters as well.

The articles on the Papernas founding congress from the Indonesian magazine Detik below tell most of the story.

Sue Bolton

Anti-Communist Front threatens to break up Papernas Congress - January 18, 2007

Bagus Kurniawan, Yogyakarta -- Threats and intimidation still find fertile ground in Indonesia.

The organisation of the National Liberation Party of Unity (Papernas) has been hreatened by a group of people calling themselves the Indonesian Anti-Communist Front (FAKI). Police are also guarding the congress.

The Papernas Congress is to be held at the Wisma Sejahtera building in Kaliurang in the Sleman sub-district of Yogyakarta, Central Java, on Thursday January 18. According to the schedule, the congress that is to be attended by some 300 people from throughout Indonesia would end on Sunday January 21.

Speaking with at the Wisma Sejahtera, the head of the Papernas organising committee, Lalu Hilman Afriandi recounted the threat. On Wednesday afternoon, dozens of FAKI members arrived at the site. They did not however meet with members of the Papernas Congress committee and the other participants had not yet arrived.

In the end, they ran into the owner of Wisma Sejahtera who they asked if it was true that the Wisma Sejahtera would be used for the Papernas Congress. They also asked about the permit to organise the congress.

"The building owner confirmed that the building had been rented out. But, on the permit, the building owner suggested the group ask the [congress] committee", said Lalu, who was previously known as anactivist from the Yogyakarta National Student League for Democracy (LMND).

Confronted by the group, the building owner was worried because they said they planed to break up the event.

Lalu explained that the Papernas Congress was a follow up from a meeting of the Papernas Preparatory Committee that is mandated to form a political party. And the congress in Kaliurang was to be the first congress and at the same time would launch the party.

By 11.50am around 200 participants had already arrived at the building. Meanwhile scores of Sleman district police and Yogyakarta regional police officers were on alert around the Wisma Sejahtera. A red-and-white banner with the word "FAKI" written in red had also been put up at the congress site.

A number of well known figures are to attend the congress including former People's Consultative Assembly speaker Amien Rais, political observer Revrisond Baswir and labour activist Dita Indah Sari who is now the general chairperson of the Peoples Democratic Party (PRD). It its not yet known however if they will now attend or not.

Lalu was not too worried about FAKI's threat to break up the congress. "The congress will go ahead. I don't think the FAKI group will come to the congress", he said.

Up until now, there was no sign of the FAKI in the area of the congress site. (asy/nrl)
[Translated by James Balowski.]

Police yet to issue permit for Papernas Congress - January 18, 2007

Bagus Kurniawan, Yogyakarta -- Confronted by the threat of being broken up by the Anti-Communist Front (FAKI), the Congress of the National Liberation Party of Unity (Papernas) is truly in a jam. The problem however is not the FAKI but the police. As of 2.30pm on Thursday
January 18, the congress has yet to start because National Police Headquarters has yet to issue the permit.

The FAKI group that earlier threatened to break up the congress has also not shown its face near the congress site, which is to be held at the Wisma Sejahtera Building in Kaliurang in the Sleman sub-district of Yogyakarta, Central Java. Police meanwhile are still on alert and guarding the site.

The chairperson of the Papernas Congress organising committee, Lalu Hilman Afriandi, admitted that the congress had not yet been able to go ahead because National Police Headquarters had not yet issued the permit. Moreover on account of the congress, Lalu was summoned by the Yogyakarta regional police to explain about the meeting.

Lalu took the opportunity to ask the Yogyakarta police to issue the permit because the congress is an ordinary one and the same as other political party congresses. "But, the regional police were not prepared to issue a permit, because that is the authority of the National Police Headquarters", said Lalu after leaving the Yogyakarta police headquarters.

Lalu claimed that the committee had in fact already sent a request for a permit to the National Police Headquarters three weeks ago. Up until now however, the police have not responded.

"Currently, there is a friend who is taking care of it at the National Police Headquarters", he said.

Lalu hopes that the police will be able to issue a permit today. "Hopefully this afternoon the National Police Headquarters permit will be issued, so that the congress can begin this evening", he said.

At this time all of the participants have already arrived at the Wisma Sejahtera. But because the opening session of the congress has yet to start, they are sitting around and chatting near the building. The meeting hall also appeared to be empty. (asy/nrl)
[Translated by James Balowski.]