dinsdag 26 januari 2016

The four problems/mistakes of Jusuf Wanandi

Last weeks I have read some material about father Joseph/Joop Beek SJ. More an image grew that he was strong in setting things in working, but could not really finish it. He was the founder of Realino in Yogyakarta. He developed a Documentation Office for the Catholic bishops, but it was later grown into something absolutely different: policy debating club CSIS, a think tank for the conservative and authoritarian Soeharto government.
Jusuf Wanandi was one of the three Chinese Indonesian Catholics who worked in this field, together with his brother Sofjan (specialist in organizing and managing money, from the family and from sponsors) and Harry Than Silalahi, great in vision and strategy.
Jusuf Wanandi published in 2012 a fascinating book: Shades of Grey. A political memoir of modern Indonesia 1865-1998.  It is not triumphalist. It is not all black or white. At least on four aspects Wanandi regrets his struggle from the early 1960s, fighting against Communism, until in the eriod of Reformasi.
In the fight against Communism General Soeharto was a key figure. He worked often slower than wanted by the students. He made always small steps, was often hesitating, was careful to keep control of everything. But finally he had too much power. From Supersemar in March 1966 to its confrimation: Page 65: We know now, looking back, that we were wrong to support this move, and would never do it again. It gave too much power to one man. But it was a struggle at that time. We were inexperienced. It resulted in too much corruption, a father who could not constrain his children (Wanandi is rather forgiving and positieve about Ibu Tien).
11 November 1965 there was a meeting of some Catholics with Sukarno: Kasimo, Frans Seda, Harry Tjan. They called for an intervention with the killings. Sukarno answered: This is a political problem. I'll handle it. But Sarwo Edhie continued, mostly because his spiritual father, General Yani was killed. And Yani had come from the same town of Purworedjo. Is this not soo simple? Blaming Edhie only? What about strategy of the arnmy in general, already at the time?
Winning back Papua is a nationalist title. Soeharto was in the active army in 1962-3 and therefore deserved to conclude the process in a positive way. Wanandi came to Papua in May 1967 and was critical: West Papua had been completely neglected since it was returned in early 1963 ..  the whole region had been plundered by our Armed Forces. (99) I was wondering how this man already in 1967 knew that the army was not respecting the rights of citizens and still worked together with the army for so long.

Left is  Golkar politican Jusuf Kalla, right Jusuf Wanandi

The Act of Free Choice is here depicted as something that was inevitable.
A further weak sectin is about East Timor. Here agin the army took action, while Wanandi and CSIS members travelled around the world to gather documentation and support for Indonesia. And in fact they perhaps only worked as the polite, educated and reasonable side of Indonesia. In fact, the Americans had no interest at all in East Timor itself. They were only afraid of Communism.
It is a very Catholic book, although no priest or bishop is mentioned here. Father Beek is missing as well! No word about him. Also nothing about Mangunwijaya, Magnis Suseno, no bishop Belo and his Nobel Prize
Reading this book gives us a very selective history of the Soeharto period from a political Catholic group: they were anti-Communist because they were Catholic. But in a positieve way? No new formulation of Pancasila Doctrine (like Mangun wanted with more interest on social justice and true democracy, not only the focus on the One Divinity).
It is very negative about Proetstants: no organisation, no unity.
On pp 79-80 he gives a plea for a Truth and Reconciliation Process, resuming the terrible killings of 1965-6. Abdurrahman Wahid should have done it, because he had the spiritual rpestige like South African Nelson Mandela. But he had no political support. (79-80)
The book is a sometimes honest, sometimes deceiving picture of a long reign.

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