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The history of New Order political controls on the academic community demonstrates that the freedom to pursue research and scholarship unfettered by censorship and persecution cannot be separated from basic political freedoms. During Soeharto’s thirty-two year rule, the government gave high priority to economic growth and technological development. It drew heavily on a range of academic experts, most notably economists, but also engineers, planners, and other specialists. Indonesia made remarkable economic progress during much of this period and the government built thousands of new schools, substantially raising literacy rates. At the same time, however, the rise of Soeharto, an army commander at the time he assumed power, was marked by a bloody, indiscriminate purge of communist party members and their supporters in 1965-67, and by the increasing militarization of Indonesian society. Soeharto consistently used repression to rein in potential challenges to his rule. Hostility to any form of political debate or political life independent of government control was accompanied by arbitrary arrest and harassment of dissidents, denial of basic rights to political opponents, censorship, and imposition of a new ideological orthodoxy. With few external enemies, the primary focus of the armed forces became internal security. Although the government’s totalitarian reach exceeded its grasp, surveillance of civilians was pervasive.3

In the 1970s, student protests were crushed and the academic community itself became the subject of government and army surveillance and suspicion. Student political activity was banned and academics, particularly those in the humanities and social sciences, part of whose business it is to address contemporary social, cultural, and political developments, were subjected to far-reaching controls. Paradoxically, the success of the campus-based protest movement in 1998 can be attributed at least in part to these very controls. The ban on student political activity and imposition of controls on campus life were directly contrary to the essential function of the academic community—to develop and promote critical inquiry and understanding—and came to be seen as such and to be resisted by important segments of the student and faculty population. Because the government continued to depend on academics for economic and technological expertise, moreover, opposition to the government’s authoritarian policies increasingly found a receptive audience even within certain government circles. When the Indonesian currency took a nose-dive in early January 1998, making it clear to everyone that the nation was headed for a severe economic downturn, student activists and critical academics emerged as forceful and independent voices for change.

1965: The Anti-Communist Pogrom

President Soeharto rose to power in the aftermath of a failed coup attempt against Sukarno, Indonesia’s first president, on September 30, 1965. In the months prior to the coup attempt, the country was politically polarized and in desperate economic straits, a crisis reflected in rising social tensions and at times violent social unrest. Campuses were also polarized, with many of the most prominent student organizations directly linked to political parties, serving as their recruitment centers and youth branches. In addition to Sukarno, who had assumed increasingly authoritarian powers beginning in the late 1950s, two primary political forces were jostling for power: the army and the Indonesian Communist Party (Partai Komunis Indonesia or PKI). Although the coup attempt claimed the lives of six army generals, it was the army, led by then-Major General Soeharto, that emerged in its aftermath as the paramount power. The events surrounding the coup attempt remain unclear and some participants themselves described it as an internal military affair, but the government subsequently maintained that it was exclusively the work of the PKI.

Students aligned with anti-communist parties joined forces with the army and formed a number of new umbrella organizations to coordinate anti-communist activity and attacks on communist supporters. The most powerful of these organizations was called Unity of Indonesian Student Action (Kesatuan Aksi Mahasiswa Indonesia or KAMI). With army backing, KAMI organized a series of large street demonstrations against the government, which played an important role in strengthening then-Major General Soeharto’s hand against Sukarno, in supporting the effective transfer of authority to Soeharto in March 1966, and in legitimating Soeharto’s formal installation as president in March 1967.4 Although students and faculty who supported the army and wanted a change from the chaotic and authoritarian rule of Sukarno rose quickly to prominence in the New Order, those deemed politically unsympathetic were crushed.

In 1965-67, Soeharto presided over a bloodbath that destroyed Indonesia’s communist party. Estimates of the number of people killed range from a quarter million to over one million. Individuals suspected of having leftist affiliations, including large numbers of teachers and student activists, were among roughly one million citizens imprisoned in the wake of the coup attempt. Three categories of prisoners were established: Group A members, including officials of the PKI and its affiliates, were tried and sentenced, sometimes to death; Group B members were detained for years without charge, but in most cases there was not enough evidence to try them; Group C members, who numbered in the hundreds of thousands, were guilty only by association with any of a long list of organizations, subsequently banned, deemed by the New Order government to have been sympathetic to the communists. With the exception of about 1,000 people, none of those imprisoned was ever tried, let alone convicted of any offense. To this day, those accused of having been members of an organization bannedin the mid-1960s are under constant surveillance, often face restrictions on their freedom of movement, have no right to vote, have to report regularly to the police, and are banned from holding jobs in the civil service, which includes all teachers in government schools and universities, and from publishing articles in mass-circulation newspapers or other publications.

The very lack of clarity as to what led to the 1965 coup attempt and what happened in its immediate aftermath became the government’s chief ideological weapon against political opponents and dissenters. A message incessantly repeated by New Order officials until the last days of Soeharto’s rule, long after the destruction of the Indonesian Communist Party and the fall of communism in Eastern Europe, was that social chaos could again grip the country because communism and other subversive forces, manipulative and hard to identify, continued to threaten the Republic from within.

One of the most important consequences of the rise of Soeharto was the progressive militarization of Indonesian society. In the year following the coup attempt, the Indonesian Armed Forces (Angkatan Bersenjata Republik Indonesia or ABRI) expanded a 1950s doctrine called the “Middle Way” into what came to be known as “Dual Function,” whereby ABRI was to play an increasingly prominent role as a “social and political force” as well as serve as a defense force.5 Under the New Order, the chief function of ABRI became internal security.6 As one observer of the Indonesian military, writing in 1990, phrased it: “In Indonesia in the New Order period under President Soeharto, three separate political processes [came] together to yield a distinctive and institutionalized pattern of control of the Indonesian population: militarization, comprehensive domestic political surveillance, and intermittent but persistent state terror.”7 Formal army doctrine called for “ensuring the security and success of each government program in the field of development” and “the stabilization of social conditions . . . to generate the basis for national development and security.”8 ABRI’s territorial commands were expanded and upgraded to fulfill these functions, with military counterparts of civilian institutions created at each level of the bureaucratic hierarchy down to the village level. Intelligence gathering was carried on at all levels, supervised by a number of different organs with often overlapping jurisdiction, including the military unit in charge of internal security,9 the military intelligence agency,10 the State Intelligence Coordinating Body (Badan Koordinasi Intelijen Negara or Bakin), National Police Intelligence, the Directorate General of Social and Political Affairs in the Home Ministry, the office of the Deputy Attorney General for Intelligence, and police intelligence.11 ABRI was guaranteed a block of seats in parliament, and scores of important political leaders, from cabinet members to governors to local officials, were recruited from ABRI ranks.

The first years of New Order rule have been described as “characterized by remarkable political ferment and free expression of ideas (except for former communists) after the constraints and fears of the late Sukarno era.”12 As the New Order consolidated its power, however,it progressively tightened controls on expression and transformed the slogan “politics, no; development, yes,”13 a slogan which had become popular among groups dissatisfied with the increasingly polarized politics of the Sukarno era, into a rigid doctrine.14

The vilification of the radical left in the aftermath of the coup attempt and the increasing political prominence of ABRI had important long-term consequences for intellectual and academic life. One important legacy of 1965 was what Indonesia sociologist Franz Magnis-Suseno called the authorities’ “despicable habit” of accusing dissidents and individuals involved in human rights advocacy of being “infected” with communism.15 A corollary was the scapegoating of political opponents. There is no question that some PKI officials were involved in the attempted coup and that PKI members in some areas engaged in acts of violence, but there is also no question that the overwhelming majority of those killed or arrested were themselves suspected communists or members of affiliated groups, all but a handful of whom were never given a chance to defend themselves in a court of law. Rather than investigating the killings and bringing the perpetrators to justice, the government stripped surviving communists, alleged communist sympathizers, and, in many cases, members of the extended families of such individuals, of basic rights of citizenship, repeatedly blaming them for the national trauma of 1965-67. The New Order never again arrested political opponents on such a massive scale, but it continued the practice of blaming political opponents for outbreaks of social unrest. As described below, some of the most prominent targets of New Order scapegoating in the 1990s were from the academic community.

A second legacy was censorship. Within a month of the attempted coup, over seventy novels and other writings by authors linked to leftist groups were banned. In subsequent years, far-reaching book censorship was institutionalized under a Sukarno-era law giving authority to the attorney general to ban all works which “could disturb public order.”16 Marxist works were outlawed, but so too were a broad range of other books, including new social science texts, historical studies, literary works, and memoirs.

A third legacy was the aggressive suppression of Chinese language and cultural expression. The government asserted that the coup plotters had been supported by Beijing through Chinese-Indonesian intermediaries. The initial target after the coup attempt was an organization called the Consultative Body for Indonesian Citizenship (Badan Permusjawaratan Kewarganegaraan Indonesia or Baperki), which had been created in 1954 to promote Indonesian citizenship for ethnic Chinese but which had developed close ties to the PKI. After the coup attempt, Baperki’s Res Publica University in Jakarta was burned, and all Baperki schools (in which Indonesian was the language of instruction) were closed and allowed to reopen only under new management. Baperki itself, at the time the largest association of ethnic Chinese in the country, was banned. In addition, some 600 Chinese-language schools were closed and Chinese language education was outlawed.17 In subsequent years, the government banned the use of Chinese characters in publications and advertising18 and subjected the ethnic Chinese, both Indonesian citizens and resident aliens, to overt and de facto discrimination.19 As one scholar noted: “In Indonesia, between March 1966 and March 1998, not a single person of known Chinese descent became a cabinet minister, senior civil servant, general, admiral or air marshal; there have even been very few Parliamentarians.”20

1973-74 and 1977-78: Political Controls on Faculty and Students

The government’s treatment of the academic community was colored by its response to student protest movements that first emerged in the 1970s. In the early years of the New Order there was little campus-based opposition to Soeharto. Leftist students and scholars had been purged and those who remained were largely supportive of Soeharto’s commitment to opening the economy to world markets. Many former student leaders entered the government, both as ministers and as economic advisers and specialists. By the early 1970s, however, the New Order government’s hostility to political life, its embrace of foreign investment, and close relationships with wealthy businessmen, both foreign and domestic, began to draw criticism both from some former campus supporters and from a new generation of students. Two major campus protest movements, described below, emerged in 1973-74 and 1977-78, respectively. In both cases, the movements rose to national prominence when limitations on basic rights and autonomous political activity had closed other political outlets. The government responded by imposing far-reaching political controls on the academic community and new limitations on freedom of expression.

The first student protest movement under the New Order emerged not long after the government had eviscerated the political parties. In 1967, New Order officials established Golkar as the government’s parliamentary vehicle. In keeping with the government’s hostility to politics, Golkar was not styled a political party but a grouping of military and civilian “functional groups” (the word Golkar itself is derived from “Golongan Karya;” literally, “Functional Group”).21 In 1973, officials pressured all nine existing political parties to join one of two new larger parties, the United Development Party (Partai Persatuan Pembangunan or PPP) for Muslim parties, and the Indonesian Democratic Party (Partai Demokrasi Indonesia or PDI) for nationalist and Christian parties. At the same time, the government introduced the idea of “floating mass,” according to which “the populace [was to] become a floating mass allowed to vote once every five years but otherwise refrain from political activity.”22 Pursuant to the “floating mass” concept, the two opposition parties were prohibited from establishing permanent offices in rural areas. As room for political activity narrowed, those who believed that the government was on the wrong course or felt that their interests were not being served, particularly those from Muslim and socialist parties and those adhering to liberal or democratic socialist ideologies,23 all of whom had seen their influence wane, had few outlets to express their grievances. It was in this context of narrowing political space and increasing dissatisfaction that the first major campus-based opposition to Soeharto emerged.

In 1973, students and faculty, many of whom belonged to the groups that had been pushed aside in the government’s assault on the existing political parties, grew increasingly vocal in their criticisms. Their themes included corruption and waste of taxpayer money on pet projects of officials, the extravagant lifestyles of many leaders, the government’s open embrace of foreign capital (in the early years, largely Japanese), and the frequently cosy relationships between the so-called “financial Generals” and wealthy Chinese-Indonesian business groups. As student protests grew more frequent, students received direct support not only from faculty, but from some government officials. Most notably, the students were encouraged by a high-ranking general named Soemitro, suggesting that dissatisfaction with at least some of Soeharto’s policies had reached the upper echelons of power. On January 16, 1974, students at the University of Indonesia organized large demonstrations to greet the arrival of Japanese Prime Minister Tanaka to the country. The student demonstrations spilled into the streets where they were quickly joined by thousands of angry, poor Jakartans. The demonstrations turned into riots: a major shopping center and other buildings were set on fire and at least eight people were killed.24

Many commentators, both Indonesian and foreign, believe that the student movement had become the pawn in a struggle for power within the Soeharto government, with different factions competing to use the protest movement to strengthen their own positions. Soemitro himself argues that his opponents in elite circles close to Soeharto encouraged the students and hired thugs to provoke rioting and the burning of shops, thereby setting the stage for a far-reaching crackdown on the protesters.25

In the aftermath of the demonstrations and riots, which the government quickly suppressed, roughly 800 people were arrested, prominent student leaders and several faculty were imprisoned, and Soemitro was eased into retirement. Critical journalists were also imprisoned and six of Jakarta’s most independent and critical newspapers, including two affiliated with student groups who had supported Soeharto in 1965-67, were summarily closed down.26

In the ensuing months, institutional measures were instituted to give the central government greater control over student activity. These measures included a requirement that students obtain a permit for all on-campus activities, institution of a permit scheme for student publications to be supervised both by the Ministry of Information and university administrators, and enactment of regulations forcing formerlyparty-affiliated student organizations to join a single organization controlled by the government (these groups, which had gained national prominence as a result of their support for the New Order in 1965-66, continued to recruit new student members but were based off campus).27 According to a leading historian of Indonesia, the government also responded to the unrest by launching what was to become a decade-long, aggressive ideological campaign.28 Beginning in 1974, President Soeharto established a commission to turn Pancasila,29 a set of guiding principles for the nation first articulated by Sukarno on the eve of independence in 1945, into a tool for political control.

A second major student protest movement emerged in 1977 in the wake of parliamentary elections in May of that year marred by widespread army coercion, vote-rigging, and other manipulation by army-backed Golkar cadres. Despite these measures and a solid victory overall in the polls, Golkar suffered embarrassing defeats in Jakarta and the province of Aceh, where Muslim voters came out behind the United Development Party. Public criticism of the government grew through the end of 1977, with critics continuing to attack economic policies which they saw as favoring a handful of wealthy capitalists with access to Soeharto.30 Anti-Chinese riots in Bandung in November indicated growing public unrest. With the electoral process viewed as biased and subject to government manipulation, and few alternative outlets available, student protests again emerged on the national political stage.

This time, student leaders scrupulously avoided making alliances with disaffected government figures, and focused instead on building a coalition of student councils to push a platform for reform. In the run-up to the general session of parliament scheduled to hold presidential elections in March 1978, student council leaders at major public universities in Jakarta, Bandung, Yogyakarta, Surabaya, Palembang, and Medan issued statements and held rallies boldly calling for the replacement of Soeharto, reorientation of the country’s economic and political systems, and institution of the rule of law (negara hukum). The students also criticized the close alliance between Golkar and the army, and the increasingly prominent role of the army as a partisan political force. In January 1978, the student council (dewan mahasiswa) at the prestigious Bandung Institute of Technology (Institut Teknologi Bandung, ITB) published the White Book of the 1978 Students’ Struggle, a work which has been called the “first systematic Indonesian critique of the domestic policies of the New Order regime.”31 The White Book lambasts the government for endemic corruption, economic policies which facilitate self-enrichment at the expense of social welfare, repression of independent political voices, and losing touch with the people.32 At about the same time, General Dharsono, a high-ranking military official with ties to a number of disaffected Muslim groups, publicly called on the government to heed the calls for reform, stating that the protests were evidence that the government was losing the public trust.33

The publication of the White Book and Dharsono’s remarks prompted the government to act. Dharsono was ousted from his position, the “White Book” was banned, and student leaders in Bandung and other cities where student councils had been active were put on trial.34

The government clamped down on the entire campus community following the 1978 protests. Through a policy formally known as “Normalization of Campus Life,” the government banned political expression and activity from the campuses, and placed all student activities under the supervision and control of the university rectors. Campus-wide student councils were outlawed and only closely monitoreddepartmental student representative bodies were allowed to exist.35 Rectors, in turn, were made answerable to the military authorities and to the Ministry of Education and Culture for implementation of the policies.36

In subsequent years, on-campus “training” courses in Pancasila, which Soeharto transformed into an official state ideology, were made obligatory for students. (The nature and impact of these indoctrination sessions are discussed in chapter 7 below.) The university became an important locus of military intelligence operations. Undercover agents attended seminars and campus-based “Student Regiments” (Resimen Mahasiswa or Menwa) increasingly served as a vehicle not only for recruitment and training of future military personnel, but as an on-campus intelligence network to monitor the activity of other students. Student rallies were routinely broken up by security forces. Between 1978 and the resignation of Soeharto, scores of students were imprisoned for political crimes, many under broadly worded laws criminalizing “deviation” from the state ideology, “disrespect” for the president or vice-president, and “public expression of hate or insult” directed against the government.37
In the 1980s, the entire academic community suffered from the pervasive security presence on campus and the government’s hostility to independent political expression. Pressures on faculty to toe the line were imposed through a variety of measures, including central government control over promotion decisions at public universities, denial of travel privileges to critical professors, monitoring of academic seminars, and increasingly institutionalized press and book censorship on a significant range of historical, political and economic subjects. As civil servants, faculty at public universities were required to show “monoloyalty” to Golkar, and to wear civil servant uniforms on designated days each month. Under regulations governing public gatherings, prominent writers, environmentalists, legal aid lawyers, and foreign scholars deemed overly critical of the government were routinely blacklisted and banned from public campuses, severely limiting the ability of the university to serve as an open forum and a resource to social institutions independent of the state.

The 1990s: The Role of Students and Faculty in the Push for Change

By the late 1980s, nearly two decades of rapid economic growth in Indonesia had given rise to a small but increasingly assertive middle class. This growth was reflected on campus in sharp increases in overall enrollments and a proliferation of new private universities, academies, and institutes to serve the children of an expanding population of workplace supervisors, small businessmen, and mid-level government employees.38 At the same time, a wide range of Indonesians, including an important segment of the expanding middle class, was increasingly demanding greater freedom of expression and the opening of the political system to broader citizen participation.

Student activists, who had been driven underground and radicalized by the repressive campus policies instituted in the late 1970s, were an important source of pressure. Campus protest first reemerged in 1987, and an initial period of activity culminated in 1989 in a series of student protests on land dispute issues and violence against civilians. A 1996 Human Rights Watch report described the reemergence of campus protest as follows:

Ironically, the revival of student activism since the late 1980s, much of it aimed at championing social justice for the poor, has been seen as one of the signs of greater openness in Indonesia, even as it has also been an indication of discontent and frustration with the Soeharto government.

But the revival was not due to any easing of government controls on campus activities. Rather, the emergence of “radical populism” among Indonesian students was a direct result of the lack of any authorized venue for discussions of political and social issues...39 Throughout the 1980s, some of the brightest students in Indonesian universities formed off-campus discussion clubs where they read and debated political and social theories—Marxism, dependency theory and liberation theology, among others—that both explained and offered solutions to social injustice and had the added attraction of being banned topics in Indonesia. The first arrests of students associated with such a study club took place in 1988 when three members of the Palagan Study Club in Yogyakarta were arrested and sentenced on subversion charges to prison terms ranging from seven to eight and a half years.40

Those arrests helped galvanize the student movement, particularly in Yogyakarta, whose plethora of colleges and universities facilitated inter-campus organizing. By 1989, the Yogyakarta Students Communication Forum (Forum Komunikasi Mahasiswa Yogyakarta) had been formed from over 1,000 students on twenty-eight different campuses in and around the city, and it became a model for similar fora in other cities.41 Students began to join forces with NGOs to defend the interests of peasants evicted from their land for development or commercial purposes and workers deprived of the right to organize. Yogyakarta students were particularly active in the early 1990s in support of families displaced or about to be displaced by the World Bank-funded Kedung Ombo dam; Surabaya students were out in the streets en masse in 1993 to protest the death of Marsinah, a young woman labor activist, and to raise worker rights issues. Communications technology—mobile phones, fax machines, and electronic mail—helped facilitate intercity organizing, and by late 1993, it was common to have demonstrations involving students from throughout Java, if not farther afield.

Such demonstrations were almost always broken up by the police or military and the leaders arrested. However, the fact that they continued, and indeed, increased in size and frequency, was attributed by many, including the students themselves, to tacit support from some members of the military who were not unhappy either with the anti-Soeharto themes of many of the protests or with the sense that mass street actions conveyed that the president was losing his grip.42 (The growth of the studentmovement coincided with the emergence into the open of a split between Soeharto and the military in the dispute over selection of the vice-president in 1988.)43

As described above, the reemergence of campus political life was facilitated by splits within the elite but grew on its own as a response to the controls implemented a decade earlier. In the 1990s, student protest became an important source of pressure on the government for relaxation of political controls and broader citizen autonomy. Important links also existed between student groups and Indonesia’s increasingly active NGO (nongovernmental organization) sector. Although a discussion of Indonesian NGOs is beyond the scope of this report, legal aid activists, environmentalists, independent labor organizers and a wide range of other activists assumed increasing prominence in the 1980s and early 1990s in pushing for fundamental institutional reform and in drawing attention to human rights and other abuses by New Order officials.44 The rise of the NGOs provided an important outlet for student study group activists and for a number of prominent faculty members, and such ties created an important channel for exchange of information between activists based on and off campus.

To a limited extent, domestic pressures for the relaxation of political controls were encouraged by the government’s emphasis on economic development, which required opening Indonesia’s borders to foreign capital and information flows. A new higher education law passed in 1989 and a government regulatory decree issued in 1990 included guarantees for both “academic freedom” and “scientific autonomy.”45 In 1990, President Soeharto himself publicly endorsed broader “openness” in Indonesian society as one of the government’s development objectives. On campuses, the changed climate was reflected in a 1990 decree allowing the reestablishment of campus-wide student senates for the first time in over a decade. Also in 1990, President Soeharto publicly endorsed the creation of an organization known as the Indonesian Association of Muslim Intellectuals (Ikatan Cendekiawan Muslim se-Indonesia or ICMI, an organization which quickly grew to national prominence), and the president’s endorsement energized a variety of campus-based Muslim groups. Beginning about the same time, some government officials and campus administrators themselves felt that campus life had grown sterile during the 1980s and informally began to allow more room for campus-based activities.46 Many academics and intellectuals took advantage of the opening to push for more fundamental reform. In a 1990 interview, Mochtar Lubis, one of Indonesia’s senior journalists and most independent intellectuals, stated:

There is no time to waste. Indonesians must be allowed to develop their critical faculties so they can understand what’s happening to themselves, to their society and in the world. Not just understand, but be able to analyze and make choices. Members of society are not allowed to be critical so how can they be creative? How can you expect people to create, to think, if there is no climate of freedom? Without fostering our intellectual strengths, which means letting people say what they think without fear, Indonesians will remain coolies in their own country. It’s terrifying to think that just to say common things you have to be so careful. When you reach that stage, and that’s where we are, you have to realize we’ve arrived at a critical situation.47

Even as the government loosened controls in some areas, however, it repeatedly insisted that the kind of “openness” that it endorsed was “responsible openness,” and continued to use repressive laws, violence, and ideological campaigns to enforce its interpretation of what constituted “responsibility.” Because there was no institutionalization of protection for basic rights, citizens never could be sure how far theopening extended. As Indonesian sociologist Arief Budiman, now teaching in Australia, phrased it in a 1997 speech: “Democracy is given as a ‘loan’ by the powerful state. If the state feels that it is inconvenient to continue giving this ‘loan,’ it can easily be terminated.”48

The 1990s thus witnessed an oscillation between greater leeway for expression and periodic crackdowns. Student protest was a bellwether of these opening and closings, and significant expansions of protest activity in 1993-94 and 1996 were each followed by renewed crackdowns.49 Protests in the 1990s were not limited, as they had been in the 1970s, to elite campuses and did not focus to the same extent on national-level political issues. New protest activity included campaigns on campus and local issues, inter-campus campaigns on land rights issues, a successful challenge to the national lottery in 1993, election boycott campaigns, anti-corruption and anti-nepotism protests, rallies and hunger strikes to protest violence by the security apparatus against students and other civilians, and, increasingly, workers’ rights campaigns.

Faculty as well as students became more active and more vocal on social and political issues in the 1990s. Faculty spoke out on behalf of academic freedom, joined off-campus human rights and democracy advocacy groups, and lent their expertise to NGO campaigns on a wide range of issues, from women’s rights to legal reform. In interviews with Human Rights Watch in September 1997, Indonesian faculty uniformly reported that classroom and seminar discussions had become more freewheeling, and many stated that the most significant barrier to free expression was no longer censorship on campus, but continuing, far-reaching controls on the ability of faculty to state their views publicly.

If students and faculty played an important role in the push for greater openness, they also continued to define the limits of government tolerance. The most prominent victim from the academic community was Dr. Sri Bintang Pamungkas, whose case is described in more detail in chapter 6 below. Sri Bintang, a long-time economist at the University of Indonesia and one-time member of parliament, emerged as a leading public proponent of democratic reform in the early 1990s only to be arrested, first in 1995 and again in 1997. He was first arrested in August 1995, publicly blamed with organizing boisterous demonstrations in Germany that had greeted Soeharto during a state visit there in April. Sri Bintang had been invited to Germany by a student group and had been in the crowd at one of the demonstrations.50 Apparently lacking evidence to support its initial allegations, the government at trial instead alleged that he had made derogatory remarks about Soeharto in a question-and-answer period following an address he had delivered at the Berlin Technical University. Sri Bintang was sentenced to thirty-four months in jail under Article 134 of the Indonesian criminal code, Indonesia’s equivalent of a lese majesty law, which outlaws expression of “disrespect” for the head of state. After being released pending his appeal, Sri Bintang subsequently was rearrested in March 1997 and put on trial for subversion for sending a holiday greeting card calling for an election boycott and founding a political party dedicated to implementation of constitutional and legal reform.51 He was one of the first people released after Soeharto’s resignation.

In the student community, the most prominent victims were a group of radical students belonging to the People’s Democratic Party (Partai Rakyat Demokrasi or PRD) and its affiliates, including Indonesian Student Solidarity for Democracy (Solidaritas Mahasiswa Indonesia untuk Demokrasi or SMID). The PRD, led by former Gadja Mada University (Universitas Gadja Mada or UGM) student Budiman Sudjatmiko, grew out of the underground study groups that emerged in the 1980s, described above, but was set apart from other groups by its strident criticism of New Order institutions, its attempts to mobilize peasants, workers, students, and artists in a united struggle for change, and its success in organizing large worker and student demonstrations in major cities in Java and a few cities outside Java.

In July 1996, when rioting broke out in Jakarta following the government-engineered ouster of Megawati Sukarnoputri, the most popular opposition leader to emerge in over two decades, from her position as head of the opposition Indonesian Democratic Party, the government instituted a virtual witch-hunt for PRD members. In an aggressive public campaign, the government accused the PRD of having been the “mastermind” behind the riots, and military and government officials repeatedly asserted that the PRD was communist, a reincarnationof the banned PKI and a manifestation of the long-proclaimed “latent” danger still posed by communists.52 In the wake of the riots, senior army officials embarked on a campaign aimed at Muslim mass organizations to whip up fervor against this new communist threat and rally forces behind the government. Fourteen PRD activists eventually received harsh jail sentences, ranging from eighteen months to thirteen years, even though the government produced no evidence that any of the defendants had been involved in the July 1996 riots. The convictions were instead based on their political activities and statements, their participation in prior demonstrations, and their alleged “deviation” from the state ideology.53 (The case of the PRD prisoners is discussed in more detail in chapter 6 below.)

Far from quieting the opposition, the government’s actions against political opponents in 1996 were greeted in 1997 by increasing public demands for political change and increasingly open criticism of the government in the press. In the run-up to parliamentary elections held in May 1997, students coordinated a nationwide “blank ballot” (golput) campaign calling for an election boycott. The election, the bloodiest in Indonesian history, took place against the backdrop of violent mob attacks on police depots, the shops of Chinese-Indonesian merchants, and Christian churches. Through the end of the year, critics continued to blame the government for its poor responses to ecological disaster as hundreds of forest fires covered much of the region in a thick haze, as well as the deepening economic crisis.

Many faculty, including some of the government’s own social science researchers, became increasingly vocal in calling for reform. Mochtar Pabottingi, a political scientist at the prestigious, government-funded National Institute of Sciences (Lembaga Ilmu Pengetahuan Indonesia or LIPI) told Human Rights Watch in an interview in 1997: “The fundamental obstacle to intellectual freedom is the government’s monopolization of political truth. [In the government’s eyes,] conflict of ideas is bad, we should not question the government or its one-sided reading of history: the army and leaders are always right. . . . The only response is to continue to find the distortions, regardless of the threats and the government’s practice of strategically jailing critics to keep up the fear. It is a question of endurance. The constitution and ideals of the republic are on our side.”54

1998: The Nationwide Student Protest Movement and the Opening to Democratic Reform

President Soeharto resigned from office on May 21, 1998. His resignation followed national outrage over the shooting deaths of four students at Trisakti University in Jakarta during a student demonstration on May 12; widespread rioting in Jakarta and other cities in which over 1,000 people lost their lives, many in fires set by looters, on May 14-15; and calls for him to step down from some of his closest associates within the government. Prior to these events, however, pressure on Soeharto to resign had been building steadily, with student protests, prominently backed by many leading faculty and community leaders, providing the most important and most continuous source of public pressure. Several features of the campus-based protest movement relevant to the present discussion are set forth below.

First, the rise of the student protest movement in 1998 broadly followed the pattern of 1973-74 and 1977-78, campus-based protests once again arising to national prominence against a backdrop of growing public discontent and the closure of other political outlets. Public expressions of concern and dissatisfaction with policies of the Soeharto government first erupted after the sharp drop in the value of the Indonesian rupiah in early January 1998. Although student protesters immediately responded by holding rallies and issuing declarations calling for fundamental political as well as economic reform, the student protests were initially only one part of a much larger outpouring of demands for change. It was only when popular opposition leaders failed to mount any significant challenge to Soeharto and it was clear that no political changes would be implemented by Indonesia’s highest legislative body (Majelis Perwakilan Rakyat or MPR) at its “General Session” in early March 1998 (such sessions are held once every five years to select a president and to set the “broad outlines” of government policy for the coming five years) that the focus of national attention shifted away from opposition figures and the student movement again became a national political force.

Second, although spurred in part by the growing economic crisis, the student protesters from the beginning demanded political as well as economic reform. Nearly every demonstration demanded price controls to address the economic crisis, but most of the protests also demanded that Soeharto step aside, asserting that government greed—manifested in corruption, economic favoritism, and nepotism—had led the government to ignore the public interest and thus to forfeit its right to rule in the name of the public. Many of the protests, moreover, added specific recommendations for structural political reform. One common demand was repeal of Indonesia’s “five political laws,” laws which effectively ban independent political organizations and strictly regulate the two recognized political parties. Other common demands included implementation of measures aimed at demilitarization of society, decentralization of government, and guaranteeing respect for basic rights.

A declaration by student senate leaders at the University of Indonesia, dated January 22, 1998, exemplifies the political nature of student demands. The declaration asserted that the economic crisis could not be separated from failure of Indonesia’s political leadership to live up to its commitment to the public, and listed five demands: (1) price controls on basic commodities to assist the most vulnerable groups in society; (2) political reform, including restoration of public institutions as servants of the people, and repeal of all laws which limit the public’s right of freedom of association, assembly, and expression; (3) a change of national leadership as an “absolute precondition” for politicalreform; (4) admission by the president of full responsibility for the economic, social and political crisis; and (5) student unity with the public in the struggle for reform.55

Third, the protest movement was unprecedented in scope. Even in January and February, when significant protest activity was taking place on only a dozen or so campuses, protests were reported not only in major student centers in Java such as Yogyakarta, Jakarta, Bandung, and Surabaya, but also in cities outside Java not previously known as protest centers such as Pekanbaru, Sumatra, and Palu, Sulawesi. After the General Session of the MPR in March, students from literally hundreds of institutions, including private universities, academies, and institutes as well as leading public universities and state teacher training and Islamic institutes, participated in the movement. Larger rallies drew 10,000 to 15,000 students and scores of rallies, even in smaller cities, drew 5,000 or more students. On many days, protests were held on a dozen or more campuses simultaneously. Protests took place not only on campuses in major cities, but on campuses in cities throughout the country, including each of the following: Abepura in Irian Jaya; Lampung, Banda Aceh, Medan, Palembang, Padang, Jambi, Pekanbaru, and Bengkulu in Sumatra; Ujung Pandang, Menado, and Palu in Sulawesi; Kupang in Timor; Pontianak, Samarinda, and Banjarmasin in Kalimantan (Borneo); Denpasar in Bali; Mataram in Lombok; Jakarta, Bogor, Bandung, Sukoarjo, Yogyakarta, Surakarta, Salatiga, Purwokerto, Semarang, Malang, Surabaya, Tasikmalaya, and Cirebon in Java.

Student groups of striking diversity participated in organizing the protests. As in the 1970s, organizers of demonstrations included recognized student government leaders, but many major demonstrations also were organized by representatives of the wide variety of Muslim, radical leftist, and reform-oriented organizations that had emerged since the late 1980s. Many new umbrella organizations were formed expressly to coordinate protests. This diversity is best exemplified by three successive protests held at Gadja Mada University (UGM) in Yogyakarta on April 2, 3 and 4. The first demonstration was organized by a student group called the Committee of the Peoples Struggle for Change (Komite Perjuangan Rakyat untuk Perubahan or KPRP), an organization of leftist students known on campus as the “radical pro-democracy group.” Some of the organizers of the demonstration were affiliated with SMID, the affiliate of the PRD described above. The demonstration the following day was coordinated by the League of Yogyakarta Muslim Students (Liga Mahasiswa Muslim Yogayakarta or LMMY), a coalition of centrist Muslim students which has been active in organizing protests on campus since 1996. The third demonstration, attracting over 20,000 students, was organized by yet another organization, a group called the UGM Student Family (Keluarga Mahasiswa UGM), a body formed by the UGM student senate and supported by a large number of UGM professors and lecturers.

Fourth, the strength and popular appeal of the protest movement would have been unthinkable without the active support and, frequently, direct participation of university faculty. A turning point in the campus protest movement came in late February, when faculty speakers joined students in addressing rallies. Particularly important was a large rally at the University of Indonesia (UI) on February 25, 1998, held while at least four truckloads of police and soldiers in riot gear and scores of rapid response troops on motorcycles with automatic rifles stood ready at the campus gates. Students were joined at the rally and on the podium by many prominent faculty and other public figures, including Mahar Mardjono (former rector of the university and a long-time member of the team of presidential doctors), Dr. Sri Edi Swasono (a prominent professor and former government official), Dr. Selo Sumardjan (a prominent professor and former adviser to the late revolutionary war hero and sultan of Yogyakarta, Hamengkubuwono IX), Dr. Karlina Leksono (Indonesia’s first female astronomer), Wahyu Sardono (an alumnus and popular television comedian), and Mulyana W. Kusumah (a prominent democracy and human rights advocate). At the rally, the head of the University of Indonesia Alumni Association, Hariadi Darmawan (a retired army officer and government official), read aloud a six-page declaration. The declaration, although it did not set forth specific demands, offered a scathing critique of the government’s response to the economic crisis. Among other criticisms, the declaration blamed the government for endemic corruption and nepotism, accused the government of self-serving “manipulation of constitutional processes and mechanisms,” and stated that “lack of respect for the law and norms of social justice and human rights have been spread in the name of national stability to ensure the unobstructed implementation of a capitalist and nepotistic development which benefits only a certain small circle of entrepreneurs . . . .”56 The participation of faculty in the protest movement, which mushroomed in subsequent weeks to include junior and senior faculty, university administrators, and prominent alumni on over a dozen of Indonesia’s leading campuses, made it difficult for the authorities to brand the protests as the work of a handful of radicals or the product of misplaced youthful idealism.

The UI rally was also significant because it was conducted publicly, with invitations sent to press and public figures prior to the event. According to sources familiar with the planning of the rally, the protest had been in the works for weeks, but a number of participants were reluctant, given the increasingly militarized and tense political climate, to risk a public display of opposition.57 The decision to send invitations and publicly declare the rally a proper form of expression was quickly picked up on other campuses. As Dr. Mardjono said in a subsequent interview, defending what might be seen by the authorities as the presumptiveness of the call for change: “. . . the campus is a channel for theviews of the public and [the university works on behalf of] social welfare, humane values, and social justice . . . . Sometimes we forget that attention to social matters [is part of the mission of the university].”58

The rally had important political resonance because of the role of the University of Indonesia as the “Campus of the New Order Struggle” (UI students had been among the most prominent backers of Soeharto and the rise of New Order in 1965-67). Student protesters signified their rejection of that legacy by approaching two large signposts on campus grounds carrying the “Campus of the New Order Struggle” slogan and obliterating the words “the New Order” with black spray-paint.

Thereafter, faculty members, researchers such as Hermawan Sulistyo of the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI), and alumni, some of whom had been active in protest movements in the 1970s, often advised students and helped in facilitating contacts with students and faculty on other campuses. University rectors, deans, and prominent faculty members frequently addressed the rallies, expressing support for the students’ demands for political reform. At a rally held during the last week in April at Dr. Soetomo University in Surabaya, for example, Poncol Marjada, the university rector, read a statement formally calling on students to participate in the demonstrations to express their concerns. At a rally at Gadja Mada University in Yogyakarta the same week, senior professor Dr. Loekman Soetrisno declared to the crowd of students: “If Martin Luther King could trigger the birth of a new America, you, too, the young people, can create a new Indonesia.”59

Scores of faculty expressed support for the students in commentaries and interviews in leading media. On May 2, 1998, Indonesia’s “National Education Day,” over 200 faculty at the University of Indonesia issued a statement criticizing the government and expressing support for “all public movements aimed at creating a clean and accountable system of government.”60 On May 8, a group of twenty-one full professors from five of Indonesia’s most prestigious universities issued a statement calling for support for the student movement “from teachers, lecturers, and professors on all levels, and by all academies and universities throughout Indonesia.”61 The group also appealed to “all academicians of state and private universities in Indonesia, and to all scientists, professionals, nongovernmental organizations (NGO), private and religious organizations, to cooperate in bringing about comprehensive reform.”62 Among the prominent signatories were former government minister and current UI professor Dr. Emil Salim and UGM rector Dr. Ichlasul Amal. On May 2, a new umbrella group of alumni from forty-eight universities and other tertiary education institutions publicly issued a statement in support of the students and announced the creation of a nationwide legal support and psychological counseling network for students injured in protests and for the families of activists who have “disappeared” after being forcefully abducted by military or paramilitary teams.63

Faculty associations and other academic groups also issued platforms for political change. In a public declaration released on January 18, nineteen social science researchers at the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI) called for a change of leadership, protesting that “every contribution of ideas from outside the circle of state power is greeted with prejudice and suspicion, not with relief at the widening of participation. The public sphere is closed . . . .”64 On February 10, a group of over seventy alumni of the Bandung Institute of Technology (Institut Teknologi Bandung or ITB), which had been the center of student protest twenty years earlier, issued a strongly worded statement that the country was facing a national disaster caused by the failure of Soeharto’s leadership. In April, the Research Institute for Democracy and Peace, an institute founded by social science researchers at LIPI, issued a detailed “Political Reform Agenda” (Agenda Reformasi Politik) setting forth their vision for a two-stage transition to a more democratic society. The agenda suggested specific measures for reform in such areas as presidential accountability, separation of powers, freedom of political association, demilitarization of society, national and local elections, and development of civil society. Some of these same researchers maintained close contacts with student leaders and worked actively to support the movement. Graduate students and overseas student associations held rallies and issued declarations of support.

Finally, students showed remarkable resilience and commitment to the reform cause notwithstanding government repression. Every attempt the government made to diffuse the protest movement only strengthened it. The government tried to contain the movement by force, banning public marches by students nationwide and stationing hundreds of riot police and troops at campuses across the country. The security presence at campus gates became a magnet for the protesters’ anger and, increasingly, a flashpoint for violence. The ensuing tense confrontations between students and security forces only added fuel to the developing political crisis.

Nearly every day from early March to May 21, the same scene was repeated in cities across Indonesia: thousands of students gathered for a campus rally and, after one or more hours of speeches, patriotic songs, and calls for immediate reform, they marched in rows to the campus gates. At the gates, they came face to face with rows of police and troops who stood squarely in their path, under strict orders from the military command in Jakarta to prevent the students from marching through city streets. Although the majority of the protests were peaceful, some of the confrontations turned violent. Between March 11 and May 2, over eight hundred people were reported injured in over thirty separate clashes, many with serious facial and head wounds. (A chronology and brief description of these clashes is set forth in Appendix D.) Rather than containing the movement, the government’s response pushed toward increased violence, as witnessed by violent confrontations in Bogor, Medan, Solo, and Yogyakarta in early May, and culminating in the shooting deaths of four students at Trisakti University on May 12.

The government also tried to deter the protests through ideological pressures and fear. On April 16, the president stated that security forces should take “repressive” measures where necessary to restrain the students.65 At about the same time, the armed forces commander for the Jakarta region stated that he had evidence that the student protests were being manipulated by subversive elements in society, who had formed a network to foment social chaos,66 and military Commander-in-Chief Wiranto warned of “a serious threat of [national] disintegration” due to “certain individuals or groups who have the intention of destroying national unity and solidarity.”67 The government also reiterated its ban on “practical political activities” on campus and threatened to expel students who violated the policy.68 There was also evidence that the forced abduction and subsequent “disappearance” of over a dozen of prominent opposition organizers which began in early February was the work of a group within the military.69 In response to the threats, students stepped up the level of protest activity.

Finally, the government tried persuasion, offering to meet with student leaders in “dialogue” sessions to discuss student demands. Most student leaders rejected the offer, saying that their demands were clear and that dialogue would be appropriate only after the government showed its commitment to change by implementing concrete reforms.


The campus-based movement not only played an important role in toppling Soeharto, it emboldened a wide range of Indonesians to offer critical diagnoses of the problems facing the country and to speak openly of the kind of reforms they would like to see and the kind of society they would like to build. The challenge now facing Indonesia is to remove the institutional bases of authoritarian rule built up during Soeharto’s thirty-two year rule. Some of the most important barriers are discussed in the following chapters.

3 See Richard Tanter, “The Totalitarian Ambition: Intelligence Organizations in the Indonesian State,” in Arief Budiman, ed., State and Civil Society in Indonesia (Victoria, Australia: Monash Papers on Southeast Asia, no. 22, Monash University, 1990). Tanter’s title effectively captures the disjunction.

4 Edward Aspinall, “Student Dissent in Indonesia in the 1980s,” Center of Southeast Asian Studies Monograph, Monash University, 1993, pp. 3-5; Robert B. Cribb, Modern Indonesia: A History Since 1945 (Harlow, England: Longman Group Ltd., 1995), p. 110.

5 See David Jenkins, Suharto and His Generals: Indonesian Military Politics 1975-1983 (Ithaca, NY: Cornell Modern Indonesian Project Monograph Series No. 64, 1984), pp. 74-88. According to Todung Mulya Lubis, the Middle Way “positioned the military neither as the tool of the civilian government, as in Western countries, nor as a military regime holding socio-political power. Instead it was to be a social force working closely with other social forces.” Todung Mulya Lubis, In Search of Human Rights: Legal-Political Dilemmas of Indonesia’s New Order, 1966-1990 (Jakarta: PT Gramedia Pustaka Utama & SPES Foundation, 1993), p. 196.

6 Ian MacFarling, The Dual Function of the Indonesian Armed Forced: Military Politics in Indonesia (Canberra: Defense Studies Centre, 1996); Tanter, “The Totalitarian Ambition,” p. 214.

7 Tanter, “The Totalitarian Ambition,” p. 214 (emphasis in original).

8 Ibid., p. 237.

9 This unit initially was known as the Operational Command for the Restoration of Order and Security (Komando Operasi Pemulihan Keamanan dan Ketertiban or Kopkamtib). Kopkamtib was replaced in September 1978 by the Coordinating Agency for the Maintenance of National Stability (Badan Koordinasi Bantuan Pemantapan Stabilitas Nasional or Bakorstanas).

10 This unit initially was known as the Strategic Intelligence Agency (Badan Inteligen Strategis or Bais). Bais was replaced by the Armed Forces Intelligence Agency (Badan Inteligen ABRI or BIA).

11 See Tanter, “The Totalitarian Ambition,” pp. 218-223.

12 Jamie Mackie and Andrew MacIntyre, “Politics,” in Indonesia’s New Order: The Dynamics of Socio-Economic Transformation (St. Leonards, Australia: Allen & Unwin Pty. Ltd., 1994), p. 12.

13 Lubis, In Search of Human Rights, p. 160.

14 One of the oft-repeated doctrines of Soeharto and other New Order officials was the so-called “Development Trinity” (Trilogi Pembangunan) — national stability, economic growth, and distribution of the benefits of development — objectives which, they said, had been impossible under Sukarno when political competition was the norm. See, e.g., “Presiden Soeharto: Kesetiaan ABRI tidak bisa Dikompromikan,” Kompas Online, December 5, 1996.

15 John McBeth, “Red Menace: Warnings of a communist revival get personal,” Far Eastern Economic Review, 2 November 1995.

16 Farid Hilman, Pelarangan Buku di Indonesia (unpublished book manuscript, dated September 1997, on file at Human Rights Watch), p. 16.

17 Charles A. Coppel, “Patterns of Chinese Political Activity in Indonesia,” in J.A.C. Mackie, ed., The Chinese in Indonesia: Five Essays (Melbourne, Australia: Thomas Nelson Ltd., 1976), p. 64.

18 Hilman, Pelarangan Buku, pp. 19-20.

19 Ibid., pp. 20-21; Patrick Walters, “Indonesia relaxes ban on Chinese language,” The Australian, August 4, 1994. For some specific examples, see “Javanese Governor Bans Chinese-Language Karaoke,” Reuters, June 4, 1991; “Jakarta’s Chinese Told: Tone Down New Year Joy,” Straits Times, February 4, 1997.

20 Benedict Anderson, “From Miracle to Crash,” London Review of Books, April 26, 1998, p. 5.

21 Adam Schwarz, A Nation in Waiting: Indonesia in the 1990s (St. Leonards, Australia: Allen & Unwin Pty. Ltd., 1994), p. 31

22 Ibid., pp. 32-33.

23 Richard Robison, Indonesia: The Rise of Capital (Canberra, Australia: Asian Studies Association of Australia, Southeast Asia Publications Series, no. 13, 1986), p. 159.

24 For descriptions of these events, see Robison, Indonesia: The Rise of Capital, pp. 159-168; Schwarz, A Nation in Waiting, pp. 29-35; International Commission of Jurists, Indonesia and the Rule of Law (London: Frances Pinter, 1987), pp. 86-88.

25 See “Saya Dipojokkan, Biayanya Rp. 300 Juta,” Jawa Pos Online, February 18, 1998; “Melacak Joki Penunggang Mahasiswa,” Forum Khusus, April 20, 1998.

26 Cribb, Modern Indonesia, p. 129.

27 Didik Supriyanto, Perlawanan Pers Mahasiswa (Jakarta: Yayasan Sinyal, Pustaka Sinar Harapan, 1998), pp. 36-37.

28 Cribb, Modern Indonesia, pp. 136-143.

29 Pancasila itself consists of an enumeration of five broad principles: belief in one supreme being, a just and civilized humanitarianism, the unity of Indonesia, a people led by wise policies arrived at through a process of consultation and consensus, and social justice for all the Indonesian people. The Soeharto government’s use of Pancasila as an ideological tool is described in more detail in chapter 7 below.

30 See Jenkins, Suharto and His Generals, pp. 74-88.

31 “Editors’ Note,” Indonesia 25 (April 1978) (Ithaca, New York: Cornell Modern Indonesia Project), p. 151.

32 “White Book of the 1978 Students’ Struggle,” Indonesia 25 (April 1978) (Ithaca, New York: Cornell Modern Indonesia Project), pp. 151-182.

33 Jenkins, Suharto and His Generals, pp. 87-88.

34 "Defense of the Student Movement: Documents from the Recent Trials,” Indonesia 27 (April 1979) (Ithaca, New York: Cornell Modern Indonesia Project), pp. 1-2; International Commission of Jurists, Indonesia and the Rule of Law (London: Frances Pinter, 1987), p. 90.

35 For a description of these regulations, see Didik Supriyanto, Perlawanan Pers Mahasiswa, pp. 37-45.

36 Mulya T. Lubis and Fauzi Abdullah, Human Rights Report, Indonesia 1980 (Jakarta: Sinar Harapan, 1981), quoted in Edward Aspinall, “Student Dissent in Indonesia in the 1980s,” Center of Southeast Asian Studies Monograph, Monash University, 1993, p. 9.

37 International Commission of Jurists, Indonesia and the Rule of Law, 85-86.

38 See Edward Aspinall, “Students and the Military: Regime Friction and Civilian Dissent in the Late Soeharto Period,” Indonesia 59 (April 1995) (Ithaca, New York: Cornell Modern Indonesia Project), p. 31 (noting that the number of private universities increased from sixty-three in 1978 to 221 in 1990). Indonesia today has over sixty state run institutions of higher education (including thirty public universities, ten teacher training colleges, and fourteen state Islamic institutes), 270 private universities and at least 600 other private tertiary institutions offering non-degree diploma programs. Public and private universities are located in cities throughout the archipelago, with highest concentrations in major cities on Java and provincial capitals. See Karen Johnson et al., Indonesia: A Study of the Educational System of the Republic of Indonesia and a Guide to the Academic Placement of Scholars in Educational Institutions in the United States (Washington D.C.: American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers, 1993), p. 25.

39 For a good discussion of the recent history of student activism and the emergence of the PRD and other organizations with a radical populist bent, see E. Aspinall, “Students and the Military: Regime Friction and Civilian Dissent in the Late Suharto Period,” Indonesia, no.59, April 1995, pp. 21-44.

40 These arrests are described in detail in Asia Watch (now Asia Division, Human Rights Watch), Injustice, Persecution, Eviction: A Human Rights Update on Indonesia and East Timor (New York: Human Rights Watch, 1990), pp. 7-16.

41 Aspinall, “Students and the Military...,” Indonesia, p. 32.

42 See Human Rights Watch/Asia, The Limits of Openness (New York: Human Rights Watch, September 1994), p. 12; Aspinall, “Students and the Military,” pp. 34-42. The possibility of military support surfaced in a student protest against then Minister of the Interior Rudini in November 1989 in Bandung; in a protest against the state lottery in November 1993 in Jakarta where demonstrators were actually allowed to go up to the gate of the presidential palace; and in a demonstration in the lobby of the national parliament on December 14, 1993. Syarwan Hamid, the hard-line general who runs the social and political affairs division of the military, told the Jakarta magazine Forum Keadilan (August 12, 1996), that PRD is well-financed from the pockets of former (unnamed) officials.

43 This passage first appeared in Human Rights Watch/Asia and Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Center for Human Rights, “Indonesia: Tough International Response Needed to Widening Crackdown,” A Human Rights Watch Short Report, vol. 8, no. 8(C), August 1996, pp. 9-10.

44 For an account of the political orientation and role of the NGOs, and government attempts to contain their activities, see Todung Mulya Lubis, In Search of Human Rights: Legal-Political Dilemmas of Indonesia’s New Order, 1966-1990 (Jakarta: PT Gramedia Pustaka Utama & SPES Foundation, 1993), pp. 206-250.

45 Lembaran-Negara Republik Indonesia, No. 38, 1990: Peraturan Pemerintah Republik Indonesia Nomor 30 Tahun 1990 Tentang Pendidikan Tinggi (copy on file at Human Rights Watch); Tambahan Lembaran-Negara RI, No. 3390: Penjelasan Atas Undang Undang Republik Indonesia Nomor 2 Tahun 1989 Tentang Sistem Pendidikan Nasional (copy on file at Human Rights Watch).

46 See Suprianto, Perlawanan Pers Indonesia, pp. 87-91.

47 Quoted in Schwarz, A Nation in Waiting, p. 238.

48 Arief Budiman, “The Lonely Road of the Intellectual: Scholars in Indonesia,” address delivered upon the appointment of Dr. Budiman as Chair, Indonesian Studies Program, University of Melbourne, October 1997 (copy on file at Human Rights Watch).

49 For information on the 1993-94 protests and subsequent crackdown, see Amnesty International, “Indonesia: Student prisoners of conscience,” June 1994, AI Index 21/14/94; Amnesty International, “Indonesia: Update on student prisoners of conscience,” July 1994, AI Index 21/27/94; Human Rights Watch/Asia, The Limits of Openness, pp. 12-13. For information on the 1996 protests and the subsequent crackdown, see Human Rights Watch/Asia and Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Center for Human Rights, “Indonesia: Tough International Response Needed to Widening Crackdown,” A Human Rights Watch Short Report, vol. 8, no. 8(C), August 1996.

50 See Human Rights Watch/Asia, “Soeharto Retaliates against Critics: Official Reactions to Demonstrations in Germany,” A Human Rights Watch Short Report, vol. 7, no. 6, May 1995, pp. 3-5.

51 See Amnesty International, “Former MP charged with subversion for election boycott call,” March 1997, AI Index: ASA 21/11/97.

52 Human Rights Watch/Asia and Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Center for Human Rights, “Tough International Response,” pp. 11-14.

53 See Amnesty International, “Indonesia: The Trial of Thought,” April 1997, AI Index: ASA 21/19/97.

54 Interview with Human Rights Watch, Jakarta, September 30, 1998.

55 "Pernyataan Sikap Mahasiswa Universitas Indonesia,” Indonesia Daily News Online, January 23, 1998.

56 "Statement of Concern: Civitas Akademica of the University of Indonesia,” Indonesia Daily News Online, March 4, 1998.

57 Human Rights Watch interview with Ezki Suyanto, New York, March 31, 1998.

58 “‘ Orang Jujur Sekali Malah Dianggap Bodoh,’” Media Indonesia, March 8, 1998.

59 “Indonesian Milik Kalian, Orang Muda,” Ummat, May 4, 1998.

60 “Krisis Memburuk Akibat Pernyataan Simpang Siur,” Kompas Online, May 4, 1998.

61 “Guru Besar Lima PTN: Galang Reformasi Menyeluruh,” Kompas Online, May 9, 1998.

62 Ibid.

63 “Alumni back student calls for reform,” Jakarta Post, May 4, 1998.

64 “Pernyataan Keprihatinan 19 Peneliti LIPI,” Indonesia Daily News Online, January 23, 1998.

65 “ABRI can use ‘repressive measures,’” Tempo Interaktif, April 17, 1998.

66 “Pangdam Jaya: Jaringan Oposisi Berusaha Masuk Kampus,” Media Indonesia, April 18, 1998.

67 “Gen. Wiranto warns over threat to unity,”Tempo Interaktif, April 15, 1998.

68 “Kegiatan Politik Dilarang di Kampus,” Kompas Online, April 5, 1998.

69 Human Rights Watch, “Disappearances in Indonesia: The Military Must Answer,” press release, April 28, 1998; Human Rights Watch, “Torture, Disappearances, and Arrests of Indonesian Activists,” press release, April 1, 1998.

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