In December 2008, I met Anand Krishna (of Anand Ashram) in Singapore on the sidelines of a conference on religion and politics in Southeast Asia. He told me how that June members of the FPI had attacked a pro-pluralism gathering at Monas (the National Monument in Central Jakarta). The gathering was held in order to commemorate the 63rd anniversary of the Pancasila state ideology and to show support for the embattled Islamic minority Ahmadiyah sect.
On Sunday, 18 October 2009, 33 Chinese temple contingents paraded through the streets of Jakarta’s Chinatown in what was probably the largest Chinese religious festival to be staged in the city from even before the New Order. Hundreds of devotees formed teams to carry 38 palanquins bearing the images of Chinese deities. Accompanied by musicians, lion and dragon dancers, they formed a foot procession that stretched more than one kilometre long. Three police cars were in the vanguard to clear the way through the city’s perpetual traffic jams as the parade wound its way around a ten-kilometre circuit starting and ending at Glodok.
Permit me to draw your attention to my first desperate call for help last month. I am compelled to write to you again on this matter, since the situation has worsened.
Two of our ministers have issued public statements supporting the chairman of the Islam Defenders Front (FPI), Habib Rizieq and his organization.
They are those in charge of co-operatives and forestry. These ministers represent two different political parties, supporting the government.
Indeed there are a couple of such other parties. So far, however, they have been supporting from behind the scenes.
Such support definitely has political implications, and has weakened the thrust of police investigations (into the attack by FPI members at the National Monument (Monas) park in early June.
One of the ministers, in a recent statement, made an appeal for the release of Rizieq and to declare his organization not guilty.
Right now, only seven out of more than 50 suspects originally detained are still in custody.
I once again make an appeal to the world community to help us in this matter. In view of the latest happenings in the Philippines and Pakistan, if these radicals are not punished, then not only this region, but the entire world will become their playground.
The Jakarta Post | Sat, 07/12/2008 11:41 AM | Opinion
——— Indonesia, July 3rd 2008 ———
To: The Heads of United Nations’ Member States, andThe Distinguished Members of the World Community
Permit me to draw your attention to my first desperate call for help dated 11th June, 2008. I am compelled to write you again regarding this matter, since the situation has worsened.
——— Indonesia, June 11th 2008 ———
– The Heads of United Nations’ Member States, and
– The Distinguished Members of the World Community
It is with much regret, and a deep sense of shame, that I write this about the atrocities in my country against the religious minorities. I am compelled to address the World Community, since my appeals to my own Government officials have bore no result whatsoever.