woensdag 18 mei 2016

Sentis, alias V.B. da Costa

A few days ago I mentioned the three major Catholic Indonesian politicians from Flores: Frans Seda, Ben Mang Reng Say, and Vinsentius Bata da Costa, also called Moat (=Venerable in Sikkanese) Sentis. I could find little about him in libraries or on the Internet. I wrote John Prior in Maumere who gave me some information.
Sentis was born in Paga, Lio region, probably in the middle or late 1930s. In the early 1950s he was a high school student in Makassar where he supported in 1953 a demonstration against the quite authoritarian Raja Thomas of Sikka (supporting the KangaE of central Maumere, the Gerakan Kanilima who were so brutally killed in the aftermath of G30S). He studied law in Yogyakarta, graduated in 1964, but was also member of the Constituante, 1956-9 and during quite a few periods a member of the Parliament: 1964082, 1992-7 and again 1999-2004. In fact he was one of the founder of PDI and seen as its founding generation, supporting Orde Baru in many respects.
Sentis was had a sharp mind of a good lawyer and through his firm Veritas often supported the bishops. He died earlier this year, January 2016.
Perhaps the best 'politican' was still another one, the number four: Chris Siner Key Timu (1939-2015), who was member of the Petisi 50 group, even its secretary. I wrote some lines on him in Catholics in Independent Indonesia, 289-90 and 489.

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