Tue, 18 Mar 2003

PDI-P destroys our facilities, PNBK says

Wahyoe Boediwardhana, The Jakarta Post, Denpasar, Bali

The National Freedom Bulls Party (PNBK) has accused supporters of President Megawati Soekarnoputri's Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI Perjuangan) of attacking its office in Tabanan, Bali, over the weekend.

PNBK chairman Eros Djarot said on Monday that PDI Perjuangan supporters had not respected the words of their leader Megawati when she declared year 2003 the Year Without Violence.

"What a shame that her (Megawati's) instruction was ignored by the party's members," Eros said.

Eros, a former member of PDI Perjuangan and noted filmmaker, said some 30 men wearing masks attacked PNBK's office and supporters at around 8:30 p.m. on Sunday evening.

He said the attack was the fourth such incident against his party. Last Dec. 27, PDI Perjuangan supporters also vandalized his party's facilities such as chairs and several party attributes.

Other cases included the intimidation of several PNBK members followed by the vandalizing of their homes, cars and motorcycles.

Eros mentioned that his party also received similar treatment from PDI Perjuangan members in Banyuwangi.

"It is quite clear that they are members of PDI Perjuangan," he said.

Eros said that Megawati, as the party's leader, should be held responsible for the actions of PDI Perjuangan members.

"She has in particular mentioned making Bali a nonviolent place," he said.

Meanwhile Budi Setyawan, chief of the Bali Police, guaranteed that the police would seriously investigate the alleged vandalism by the members of PDI Perjuangan.

Usdek Maharipa, deputy secretary of PDI Perjuangan, said his party had never been informed of any violent action against Eros' PNBK in Tabanan, Bali.

"We stand firm on the grounds of presumed innocent. We suspect a political maneuver is behind the report of violence by our members," he said.