Saturday, 31 January 2009

Glossary of Indonesia Terms

The following from Indonesia's Secret War in Aceh by John Martinkus:

  • ANSLF: Aceh North Sumatra Liberation Front
  • Brimob: Brigada Mobil - Indonesian riot police
  • DOM: Daerah Operasi Militer -- area of military operation
  • ELSHAM: Institute for Human Rights Study and Advocacy West Papua
  • Falintil: Forcas Armadas de Libertação de Timor Leste (Armed forces for an independent East Timor)
  • Front Pulyamet Aceh: Safe Aceh
  • GAM: Gerakan Aceh Merdeka -- Free Aceh Movement
  • ICRC: International Committee of the Red Cross
  • INTEL: Indonesian state intelligence, military, police or civilian
  • JSC: Joint Security Commission
  • Kodim: Local Indonesian military command
  • Kontras: Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence
  • Kopassus: Indonesian special forces
  • Kopkamtib: Intelligence unit
  • Kostrad: Indonesian army's strategic reserve
  • LBH: Lembaga Bantuan Hukum -- Legal Aid Foundation
  • MPR: Majelis Permusyawataran Rakyat -- People's Consultative Assembly (Indonesia's highest legislative body)
  • NII: Negara Islam Indonesia -- the Islamic State of Indonesia
  • NU: Nahdlatul Ulama -- Muslim Scholar Organisation
  • OPM: Organisasi Papua Merdeka -- Free Papua Movement
  • PBHAM: Pas Bantuan Hukum dan Hak Asasi Manusia Aceh -- Human Rights and Legal Aid Office
  • PHIA: Pemberdayaan Hareukat Inong Aceh -- Empowerment for Acehnese Women
  • PKF: United Nations Peacekeeping Force
  • PMI: Indonesian Red Cross
  • Polri: Republic of Indonesia Police -- Indonesian police
  • PUSA: Persatuan Ulama Seluruh Aceh -- All Aceh Religious Scholars' Association
  • RATA: Rehabilitation Action for Victims of Torture in Aceh
  • SGI: Satuan Gabungan Intelijen -- Indonesian Combat Intelligence Unit
  • SIRA: Aceh Referendum Information Centre
  • SMUR: Solidaritas Mahasiswa Untuk Rakyat -- Student Solidarity for the People Movement
  • TAPOL: Indonesian human rights NGO
  • TNA: Tentara Nasional Aceh -- National Army of Aceh
  • TNI: Tentara Nasional Indonesia -- Indonesian Regular Army
  • UNAMET: United Nations Assistance Mission in East Timor
  • UNHCR: United Nations High Commission for Refugees -- the UN Refugee Agency
  • UNTAET: United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor

Wednesday, 28 January 2009

Indonesia and Sukarno

In Indonesian Destinies by Theodore Friend on page 17:
To evoke the great range of character and characteristics of this nation that lives so markedly in the world of myth, I turn to a symbolic pairing whose source is Indian mythology, transformed by centuries of Javanese history. The pairing is of Durga, who stands for power, destruction, rage at man, and Umayi, who represents all that is gentle, feminine and beautiful. Durga appears in old Javanese sculptures as a many-weaponed warrior, female, adamant, Amazonian in her fearlessness. Umayi, not captured in stone, represents the soft, submissive and creative side of the same mighty character. Both are consort to the great god Siva. Umayi is his sweet and domestically fulfilled spouse; but by an ancient curse she is always transformable into her angry and vengeful opposite, Durga, with her appetite for war.

All his life Sukarno courted Indonesia as Umayi. He charmed and won her. She was faithful to him; and he, in his fashion, despite his petty mortal passions, was faithful to her. But in the end Sukarno had to face the reality that he was playing games with the gods. Eventually, the curse emerged, and Umayi was transformed into the dreadful Durga. Sukarno's rule went down, and with it the lives of half a million Indonesians. The romantic who had aroused the masses was reduced to an isolated, weeping wreck.

Monday, 19 January 2009

Science Versus Metaphysics/Philosophy

This excerpt from the introduction to the Critique of Pure Reason should be plastered all over the walls of university departments that house cultural theorists and philosophers who consider science a collective illusion:

But though it is older than all other sciences, and would survive even if all the rest were swallowed up in the abyss of an all-destroying barbarism, it has not yet had the good fortune to enter upon the secure path of a science. For in it reason is perpetually being brought to a stand, even when the laws into which it is seeking to have, as it professes, an a priori insight are those that are confirmed by our most common experiences. Ever and again we have to retrace our steps, as not leading us in the direction in which we desire to go. So far, too, are the students of metaphysics from exhibiting any kind of unanimity in their contentions, that metaphysics has rather to be regarded as a battleground quite peculiarly suited for those who desire to exercise themselves in mock combats, and in which no participant has ever yet succeeded in gaining even so much as an inch of territory, not at least in such manner as to secure him in its permanent possession. This shows, beyond all questioning, that the procedure of metaphysics has hitherto been a merely random groping, and, what is worst of all, a groping among mere concepts.