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Deemed 'neo-communist', paramilitary group shuts down film showing on radical poet Wiji Thukul

Fajar - August 8, 2017

Scores of people from the Pancasila Youth (PP) paramilitary group have shut down a film showing and discussion about radical poet Wiji Thukul at the Lintas Kemukus Retreat in Sirau Village, Paduraksa, Central Java, on Sunday August 6, at around 11pm.

The group wearing yellow and black military fatigues arrived in the final minutes of a film showing and discussion of the film Let the Words Rest (Istirahatlah Kata-Kata). They barged into the venue and demanded that the event be stopped because the film and the discussion allegedly contained elements of neo-communism.

Starting with a verbal argument, a scuffle even broke out between the PP members and event organiser Andi Rustono. Fortunately it was able to be brought under control by security personnel on guard at the venue.

The scuffle took place when Andi refused to hand over his laptop as material evidence. The PP also demanded the film be shown again so the group could see it for themselves. Because the situation was becoming heated however, the film was not shown again.

PP field coordinator Edi Suprayogi stated that the PP is obliged to monitor and secure anything that smacks of communism. Moreover, he said, the event was held in a closed venue.

"Remember, the Pancasila Youth will safeguards the NKRI [Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia] which is non-negotiable from [threats] no matter what their form. If there are indications that point towards neo-communism, the Pancasila Youth will be in the forefront, whatever its form", he asserted. Suprayogi added that the PP came to the venue based on a report by a local resident.

Andi Rustono meanwhile said the PP's suspicions were false and what was happening at the film showing were in no way what they suspected.

Andi said that the film is not in conflict with the state ideology of Pancasila or the NKRI. The film is simply critical of the New Order administration of former president Suharto.

According to Andi there is no difference between people now who try to replace the NKRI with a caliphate. "So, what are they making an issue out of? Moreover the film itself is legal and has already been shown in cinemas all across Indonesia", he said.

According to Andi Wiji Thukul was a poet who was murdered because of his poetry that was very critical at that time. "One of the reasons that we enjoy freedom of expression today is because of Wiji Thukul's struggle", he said.

Because of the presence of the PP the film showing was not continued and in the end the discussion cancelled. (sul/fat/c19/ami)

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was Dianggap Neokomunisme, Pemutaran Film Wiji Thukul Dibubarkan Ormas.]

Source: http://fajar.co.id/2017/08/08/dianggap-neokomunisme-pemutaran-film-wiji-thukul-dibubarkan-ormas/.

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