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August 2007

On 26 August, I spoke on a panel at the 5th Congress of the Buddhist Students Association. Some of its leaders are members of PAPERNAS.

About 400-450 people were at the session, mostly very young.

Below is a translation of newspaper report on the Congress in KOMPAS newspaper, the major dialy newsopaper in Jakarta. The report was on page 2. It is a very short version of the 4 20 minute speaches and 1 hr of discussion
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Struggling for Rights in a Self-Reliant Way
The poor must rise up.

jakarta, Kompas - The poor in this country must be able to rise up themselves, self-reliantly and demand their rights thatthe state guarantee their prosperity. This must be done as the government is no longer able to lead Indoensia to rise up.
This was the view presented by the Indonesianist from the University of Sydney, Australia, Max Lane in a discussion with the theme, "Self-reliant my nation - sovereign my country" organised as part of the 5th Congress of the Indoensian Buddhist Students Association. Other speakers were Franz Magnis-Suseno from the Driyarkara Higher Institute of Philosophy Jakarta, the economist Sri-Edi Swasono, and the labour activist Dita Indah Sari.

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No leaderships with a national-scale authority

The recent Presidential and parliamentary elections have been very revealing. They have showed that no political institution or figure from the period of the national liberation struggle has developed a political following based on program, ideology, ideas or leadership. No figure or institution scored more than 29% in either the first round of the Presidential elections or the parliamentary elections. In the parliamentary elections both CNRT, the umbrella organization the Resistance (and de facto the only operating structure) and FRETILIN, the organization that lead the movement in the 1970s and proclaimed Independence with the support of the majority of the people, scored less than 30%. FRETILIN scored 4% more than CNRT: 29 to 25%. The Democratic Party (PD) and the ASDT led by a pre-1999 student leader and a founder of FRETILIN respectively scored less than 20%.

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