Six days after the bomb explosion in Legian, Kuta Bali, the Indonesian Government issued Government Decrees on the elimination of terrorism. After Bali's tragedy, the Megawati-Hamzah Haz government has found a justification for a more repressive policy. This government has the blessing of, and complete support from, the governments of Bush, Howard and Blair to carry on its anti-democratic policies.
We, the working people, condemn this tragedy on the Island of Paradise, which has killed 187 people, and injured more than 300 others. We condemn every single cowardly political action which sacrifices other people's lives in order to get a better bargaining position. We express our sorrow, deeply and from our hearts, for the families of the victims - both those who have been killed, and others who are still in hospital.
However, we reject the efforts being made to create from this tragedy grounds for developing an anti-terrorist hysteria among the people.
By Dita Sari, Chairperson, National Front for Indonesian Workers Struggle (FNPBI)
Bush, Blair and Howard are the pioneers of such an anti-terrorist campaign. They are an alliance of warmongers. We believe this tragedy has to be placed proportionately, as one part of the whole crisis of democracy and in the capitalist economic system in the world.
The main problem faced by this nation is the consolidation of dictatorship, and the neo-liberal economic policy implemented by the Mega-Hamzah government which has spread poverty all over the country.
The new decrees are the beginning of the decline of the democratic revolution which we have defended so hard since the fall of Suharto. The decrees give a very strong authority for the intelligence apparatus to conduct any arrests, interrogations and investigations they see fit to carry out, and without having to collect proper evidence.
The decrees open up an opportunity for the military to, once again, move into the political arena. They allow the targeting of the groups of political Islam - they are only the first on the list. Pro-democratic movements, left groups, workers and peasants unions, student movements, etc, would become the next targets.
Neo-liberal policies have created poverty, hunger, violence and bloodshed everywhere. War is the only way possible to get out of crisis, as well as an opportunity to crush the people's anger caused by crisis. In the middle of industrial collapses, war would stimulate the armaments industries, which in turn create multiple profits for the arms business. This dying capitalism needs fresh blood from the profits of arms sales.
We support every effort to destroy terrorism, but completely resist the idea of the possible emergence of a new kind of dictatorship, both at national and international levels.
Therefore the FNPBI demands
1. The creation of a joint investigation team, which involves various national and international democratic forces, to conduct an investigation into the Kuta tragedy. We believe that this government is not in a position to be the only "in-charge" element, since the government is itself part of the problem.
2. Joint actions to actively reject the decree, which would deliver democracy to the graveyard and send activists behind bars.
3. The building of an international movement against war and against globalisation, as evidence of global workers' solidarity.
4. Call on the democratic forces to place the issue of terrorism proportionately, in order not to fade out of the picture the other economic and political problems - such as debt, corruption, human rights violations, privatisations, etc.
5. The creation of an alternative government consisting of democratic forces all over Indonesia, that would be able to carry out an anti-neo-liberal programme, and the elimination of New Order forces.