It appears that fans of English singer and songwriter Sting expect more than just a few songs during his upcoming Jakarta concert next Saturday.
They want their idol to play an active part in the human rights campaign in Indonesia by dedicating his song They Dance Alone for murdered activist Munir.
Fans have started signing an online petition via the campaign website www.change.org/StingMunir or messaging Sting on his official twitter account @officialSting in the last few days, especially on Saturday (Dec. 8), the date Munir was born in Malang, East Java, in 1965.
Hundreds of people have signed the petition.
“Your song They Dance Alone resonates deeply with us. To me, this song depicts the deep wounds of the families of those who were kidnapped under Indonesia’s dictatorial rule,” wrote former journalist and poet Goenawan Mohamad in his online petition.
“With this petition, we have a simple request. If you can sing that song and dedicate it to Munir and the victims of enforced disappearances, this would mean much for the families left behind,” he added.
Another petitioner Santi Dharmawan said “your activism and your faith in your songs will help magnify our fight for justice and human rights protection in Indonesia”.
Singer Glenn Fredly, film director Joko Anwar, former journalist Rosiana Silalahi and other figures also encouraged their followers on twitter.com to sign the petition.
Friends and families of Munir, a human rights activist who died from arsenic poisoning on board a Garuda Indonesia plane to the Netherlands in 2004, have launched a campaign to push the government to resolve the murder case.
Munir’s widow, Suciwati, began the campaign in Malang, East Java, last week, calling on the public to sign a petition asking President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono to bring Munir’s killers to justice.
“Pak President, it is nearly the end of your second term and we are still patiently waiting for the realization of your promises,” Suciwati said in her petition.
“Do you still remember statements made early on in your term that said solving Munir’s murder would be a ‘test of our history’? You have made a promise to this country,” she said.
Garuda pilot Polycarpus Budihari Prijanto was implicated in Munir’s murder and sentenced to 20 years in prison. However, it has never been disclosed by law enforcement agencies who actually ordered the assassination.
Comparisons between Suciwati’s plea and women in Chile, whose men disappeared after protesting the Pinochet government, have been drawn.
The Chilean women inspired Sting to write They Dance Alone, which portrays the sadness of the women who dance alone in silence after losing fathers, husbands and sons in 1988.
The 61-year-old musician, born Gordon Matthew Thomas Sumner, is an active member of Amnesty International.
His Jakarta concert – the last stop of Sting: Back to Bass Fall Tour 2012 tour – will be his second show in the country after the Ten Summoner’s Tales tour in 1994.
Third Eye Management (TEM) Asia released 8,000 tickets, priced between Rp 850,000 (US$88.36) and Rp 5 million.
The promoter has said that there are only few seats left. (lfr)