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Jakarta Post

Thousands rally in protest of alleged revival of PKI

  • Anton Hermansyah
    Anton Hermansyah

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Fri, June 3, 2016   /  03:27 pm
Thousands rally in protest of alleged revival of PKI Members of the Islamic People's Forum (FUI) take part in a long march from Istiqlal Mosque to the State Palace in Central Jakarta on June 3. They are among 10,000 people from various hard-line and civil society groups protesting what they claim to be the revival of the defunct Indonesian Communist Party (PKI) and communism in Indonesia. (thejakartapost.com/Anton Hermansyah)

At least 10,000 people representing various hard-line and civil society groups marched to the State Palace on Friday in protest of  what they claimed to be the revival of the defunct of Indonesian Communist Party (PKI).

The groups, including the Islam Defenders Front (FPI), Islamic People's Forum (FUI) Pemuda Panca Marga and the Communication Forum of Indonesian Veterans' Children (FKPPI), started their long march after Friday prayers at Istiqlal Mosque in Central Jakarta.

Wearing white garb and military-like attire, the protesters held posters as they called for the eradication of communism in Indonesia.

"This is an anti-PKI movement," Maman Suryadi, who led the FPI protesters, told the thejakartapost.com.

Protesters’ demands included for President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo  to not revoke the 1966 Provisional People's Consultative Assembly (MPRS), which disbanded the PKI and banned anything communism-related, and also banned lessons on PKI in school curriculum.

The protest was a continuation of a two-day symposium entitled “Threat of the Indonesian Communist Party [PKI] and Other Ideologies” during which retired military generals and groups discussed threats brought about with the alleged revival of the PKI and ways to protect Pancasila as the state ideology.

Tuparjo from Pemuda Panca Marga said the purpose of the rally was to warn the government and public over the rising influence of communism. The protesters also urged the government to be firm on matters related to the PKI.

"Communism and radicalism must not live in this country," he said.

Members of the Pemuda Panca Marga group take part in a rally protesting an alleged revival of the defunct Indonesian Communist Party (PKI) and communism in Indonesia in Central Jakarta on June 3. Around 10,000 people took part in the protest to push for the government to take a firm stance on communism in Indonesia.(thejakartapost.com/Anton Hermansyah)

Meanwhile, Arive Bawomo from FKPPI also said that the group's members urged the government to not apologize over the 1965 tragedy as demanded by human rights activists, victims and family of victims of the massacres. The government has yet to find a conciliatory solution for the 1965 communist purge, which is believed to have killed at least 500,000 people suspected to be members or sympathizers of the PKI.

Jakarta Police deployed around 3,000 personnel for Friday's rally. Police officers will guard the protest and manage traffic to prevent congestion, said Sr.Cmr. Dwiyono of the Central Jakarta Police. (rin)

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