Indigenous faith group Sunda Wiwitan has said local authorities have committed a human rights violation by closing off a tomb built by the group’s followers in West Java.
The tomb was built in Cisantana village, Cigugur district, Kuningan regency.
On Monday, the Kuningan Public Order Agency (Satpol PP) placed an orange barrier around the tomb and fastened two stickers to it. The agency said the group had built a “monument” without the proper permit.
The Sunda Wiwitan followers said the construction was a tomb that the group had prepared for two of its elders, Pangeran Djatikusumah, who is now 88 years old, and his wife, Ratu Emalia Wigarningsih.
“Do we have any technical instructions on [monument construction]? We don’t have the regulation yet. For us, it is not a monument. It’s a tomb,” Sunda Wiwitan member Okky Satrio Djati said on Monday, as quoted by kompas.com.
Kuningan Satpol PP head Indra Purwantoro said that before the building was closed off, he had sent three warning letters to Sunda Wiwitan, but the group had failed to show a permit.
“This is in accordance with our standard procedures. If after the third warning letter, no legal license is shown, we close it off,” Indra said.
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He said the local administration did not consider the building a tomb, saying that tall constructions made of bricks and other materials were defined as monuments by the Great Dictionary of the Indonesian Language (KBBI).
“Based on the perspective of the Satpol PP, it is a monument. I have discussed it with colleagues from the SKPD [regional working units], and we categorize the building as a monument,” Indra said.
According to Kuningan Regency Regulation No. 13/2019 on a building permit (IMB) issuance, a monument must have an IMB, Indra added.
The Satpol PP gave Sunda Wiwitan seven days after it closed off the building to obtain an IMB. If the request was not met, the agency said, it would ask the group to demolish the building within 30 days.
Sunda Wiwitan said it had applied for an IMB with the Capital Investment and One Stop Service (DPMPTSP) agency on July 1, two days after the first warning letter was issued by the Satpol PP.
However, on July 14, the DPMPTSP rejected the application on the grounds that there were no implementing regulations for such a building, the group said.
“This is arbitrariness carried out systematically. There are no technical guidelines [for the construction], but the sealing has been done. So what’s the legal basis?” Okky said.
Okky said he would report the incident to the National Commission on Human Rights (Komnas HAM). (syk)