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PDI-P Wants Govt to Explain its Failure to Deal With Religious Violence
Markus Junianto Sihaloho | February 11, 2011
The opposition Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) said on Friday that it was considering using the House of Representative’s right to summon the president to explain why the government had failed to deal with the increase in religious violence.
Speaking at a news conference at the party’s headquarter in South Jakarta, PDI-P secretary general Ahmad Basarah said party chairwoman Megawati Sukarnoputri had urged lawmakers to push for the formation of a special committee to discuss the violence.
“We will soon summon members of the House leadership from PDI-P to accelerate the establishment of the special committee to talk about violence related to religion,” Ahmad said.
He said the committee could end up exercising its right to summon President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.
Hamka Haq, a senior PDI-P official for religion, said the government could be accused of allowing violence against minority groups to continue to occur.
“We won’t say that the Ahmadiyah belief is true. We only want to stress that it’s wrong if the government cannot provide protection from violence for the Ahmadiyah members,” Hamqa said.
He also blamed some government officials who made statements that encouraged perpetrators to keep on attacking minority groups.
“The statement from the religious affairs minister [Suryadarma Ali] that Ahmadiyah must be disbanded, or the statement from the justice and human rights minister [Patrialis Akbar] that the attacks are not a violation of human rights; those statements from the president’s helpers that have encouraged and boosted the confidence of the attackers to keep moving on with their actions,” Hamqa said.
“They have made the situation worse.”