ELSAM, Jakarta – The initiative and mechanism of reparation of past human rights abuses victims have been emerging in a number of levels, particularly at the grassroots and local government. Such an effort has been implemented despite the lack of capacity of the initiators which focus more on the social, economy and cultural approaches. For instance, Kota Palu, Central Sulawesi has attempted to implement the reparation for the victims of past violence in its region through providing aids covering health, education, job opportunity access, and housing. Moreover, the provincial government of DKI Jakarta built a memorialization to reminisce the past violence taking place on 13-15 May 1998 in its region as an effort to highly respect to the victims and their families to further prevent the recurrence in the future.
In cultural life, the progress to the remedy of past violence victims has been through in fully passionate and various ways. The revival of arts and culture which have been forbidden in the past becomes the signature of social restoration. In Bojonegoro, East Java, the Sandur art forbidden at the New Order regime has revived; and so is the performance of Ketoprak Ondo Rante in Pati, Central Java. Young generation of NU created the cultural reconciliation in any regions in Central and East Java which has been ongoing for 15 years. The victims’ families supported by society figures and local government have tombed the location of mass graves as pursuant to their spiritual beliefs and a manifest of cultural reconciliation in the society. Such events have occurred in Semarang and Bali.
All these economy, social and culture actions are the public acknowledgement from government and local community over the violence occurred in the community history and the impacts suffered by the victims and their families. Such local initiatives have shown the capacity of socio-cultural regulation to strengthen the social solidarity based on fair and civilized humanity values. Seen from the victims’ perspective, those actions have greatly contributed to their remedy. Meanwhile, from the national perspective, those are the elimination of prolonged discrimination and part of Indonesian social restoration.
As part of accelerative effort to ensure the remedy to the victims of past violence, Coalition for Justice and Truth Revealing (KKPK) held a national dialogue on 26-28 October. The dialogue brought about a topic on “Promoting the Institutionalization of Policy on Special Treatment to Accelerate the Indonesian Social Restoration: Remedy of Past Violence Victims”. It was officially opened by Coordinating Ministry of Human Development and Culture, Puan Maharani. In her opening speech, Puan stated the importance of maintaining the Indonesian social collectivity to nurture the diversity, which can be carried out through ensuring the social inclusion for overall elements of the society in the development, including those of past abuses victims. Moreover, it is also an obligation to end the discrimination practices, particularly the past abuses victims who have long undergone the discrimination and stigmatization for over years.
Following the opening speech from Coordinating Ministry of Human Development and Culture, Prof. Jimly Asshiddiqie delivered his keynote speech which reminisced the importance of agenda to settle past human rights abuses, as one of state owed agenda. The dialogue was initiated with a public workshop and then a series of in-depth discussion and technical consultation with the experts, policy makers and victims’ groups to prepare a policy draft to promote the remedy for the victims of past violence.
The national dialogue is expected to be the stimulus to return the special treatment policy, especially in the social, economy and culture fields. Other than that, this activity aims at being the initiator to strengthen the social capital of local government, civil society, and victims groups all this time. The local practices initiated by the grassroots, as being the reflection in the dialogue, have become the important tie to set up national agenda for the remedy of past gross human rights abuses victims’ rights. [ ]