TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - A family member of a Semanggi I tragedy victim, Maria Catarina Sumarsih, said that she wishes to meet President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) to solve the cases of human rights violations, including Semanggi I and Semanggi II.
Sumarsih said that she will find ways to meet Jokowi in the next couple of days. “To keep my hope and spirit,” said Sumarsih, the mother of Bernardinus Realino Norma Irmawan, a student who was killed in the Semanggi I tragedy.
She said that the ‘kamisan’ [Thursday] protest in front of the State Palace will continue until human rights cases are resolved by the government. “As long as there is no willingness from the President, [the cases] will not be resolved,” she said. The government is responsible for the resolution of human rights abuses through a legal process, she said.
After nearly 19 years, Semanggi I and II tragedies have yet to be resolved. September 25 will mark the 18th anniversary of the tragedy that killed a student and 11 others across Jakarta and left thousands of others wounded. Meanwhile, the Semanggi I tragedy’s 19th anniversary will be commemorated in November.
Sumarsih gets her hope back after President Jokowi had promised to resolve human rights abuses listed in the so-called Nawacita, a manifesto of nine principles. She believes that it is high time for Jokowi to do so. “I’m hopeful that Nawacita will not turn into ‘dukacita’ [despair], or even lies,” she said.
Sumarsih says that Jokowi would stop using human rights issues as a political commodity ahead of the 2019 general election. “Don’t vote for those who support or allegedly violate human rights. That’s what I always campaigned for,” she said.