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Jakarta Post

6 intolerance cases in Yogyakarta this year

  • Bambang Muryanto

    The Jakarta Post

Yogyakarta   /   Sat, December 22, 2018   /   08:03 am
6 intolerance cases in Yogyakarta this year The headstone on Albertus Slamet Sugihardi's grave at Jambon Cemetery, Purbayan, Yogyakarta. The cross-shaped headstone was destroyed by local residents because they did not want a Christian symbol in the Muslim-majority village. (JP/Bambang Muryanto)

An alliance of civil society groups has recorded that there were at least 10 unresolved cases of intolerance in the province, six of which occurred this year.

The Bhinneka Tunggal Ika National Alliance said the six cases this year included the recent wooden cross incident in Purbayan village in Yogyakarta City.

In February, a man attacked churchgoers with a sword on a Sunday morning at St. Lidwina, a Catholic church in Sleman regency, injuring the priest and several congregation members.

“[Acts of] intolerance are being repeated in Yogyakarta because there is no serious effort to resolve the root of the problems,” said alliance coordinator Agnes Dwi Rusjiati. 

The group also recorded this year that there was a rejection of a social program held by St. Paulus church in Pringgolayan, resistance to the construction of a Seventh-day Adventist church in Bantul, intimidation toward a traditional Javanese ritual and sedekah laut (ocean’s offering) in Bantul, as well as vandalism at the Bantul District Court building after the court punished a Pemuda Pancasila leader that had disrupted a painting exhibition at the Islamic University of Indonesia. 

Setara Institute director Halili said intolerance was prevalent in the province, which was once dubbed “Little Indonesia” for its pluralism and tolerance, because values of diversity are absent in the education system.

Other factors were “inequality before the law” as authorities have applied impunity to certain groups.  

“The Yogyakarta administration is very weak in creating inclusive policies,” he said.

Yogyakarta City ranked 41st out of 94 cities observed in the institute’s 2018 Tolerant Cities Index.

In a report titled the 2018 Elections Vulnerability Index, the Elections Supervisory Agency named the province the second most conflict-prone electorate, only slightly better than West Papua, which is struggling with a separatist movement.

Yogyakarta Legal Aid Institute director Yogi Zul Fadhli said the state “remains absent” in the province. 

In the wooden cross incident, he said the grave of Albertus Slamet Sugihardi should have been allowed to have a cross on it because it is protected under the country’s law.

“Government Regulation No. 9/1987 on land use for public cemeteries stipulates that anyone, including those without identity, can be buried in a public cemetery,” he said. (wit)