TEMPO.CO, Yogyakarta – Dozens of non-governmental organizations in the Special Region of Yogyakarta (DIY) rejected the World Statesman Award that was given to President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono in New York City last May 31.
They considered Yudhoyono to be unworthy of the award because he failed to resolve religious intolerance issues in the nation. Some of these organizations are the Indonesian Court Monitoring, Perkumpulan Rumpun, Yogyakarta Women Solidarity, Center for Islamic Studies at the Islamic University of Indonesia, LkiS Foundation, Yogyakarta Women Network (JPY), Yogyakarta Alliance for Peaceful Indonesia (AJI Damai), and the Institute of Women's Rights.
Coordinator for the Yogyakarta Women Network, Ika Ayu, stated that Yudhoyono abandoned democracy and human rights because he failed to help his nation resolve issues related to violence. She believed that Yudhoyono failed to take firm action against religious issues in Indonesia.
Instead, his policies have the potential to violate freedom of religion and criminalize victims of religious intolerance. The President, through Religious Affairs Minister Suryadharma Ali, even issued a policy to reduce the amount of minority activities. He also failed to make any attempts to help the Ahmadiyah citizens in Mataram to return to their village after they were driven away by the villagers.