Friday, February 25, 2005

Media Palmerah

Oleh Andreas Harsono

Arief Budiman dari Melbourne University pernah mengatakan, "Kritik itu konsultan gratis." Jadi kritik sangat berguna. Saya tak anti media Palmerah.

Saya dulu pernah ikut melawan sensor dan bredel ala Orde Baru sampai tak boleh kerja di media mana pun di Indonesia. Itu alasan saya pindah ke The Nation.

Anda tahu bukan bahwa saya dipecat dari The Jakarta Post? Alasannya, saya dituduh partisan! Wartawan nggak boleh ikut politik. "Kita harus netral," kata Raymond Toruan. Emangnya gue ikut partai politik mana? Ironisnya, orang-orang yang dulu memecat saya, belakangan dengan bangga menjodoh-jodohkan politisi dan jadi broker politik. Susanto Pudjomartono jadi dutabesar di Rusia. Toruan entah kemana. Don't get me wrong! Saya nggak punya dendam sama mereka. Saya kira pada 1994 mereka tak punya pilihan untuk tak memecat saya.

Saat itu, saya ikut mendirikan Aliansi Jurnalis Independen. Saya jadi juru bicara AJI ketika media tak memuat satu kata pun tentang AJI (Hanya Republika pernah memuat foto saya ketika kami protes penangkapan Ahmad Taufik, Eko Maryadi dan Danang Kukuh Wardoyo). K. Basri dari The Jakarta Post bahkan lebih gemar memuat versi polisi soal kesalahan Taufik dan kawan-kawan tanpa sekali pun tanya pada saya, juru bicara AJI, yang sekantor dengan Basri.

No hard feeling!

Pak Susanto secara bergurau pernah bilang dalam suatu forum bahwa pemecatan itu merupakan blessing in disguise! Kalau saya nggak dipecat, karir saya hari ini mungkin tetap berkubang di Palmerah.

Saya setuju pendapat Pak Susanto. Saya bisa melihat dunia setelah dipecat. Jadi, saya tak menyesal. Kita hidup punya nasib sendiri-sendiri.

Cuma saya memang kesal lihat mereka tak berbuat lebih banyak sesudah lima tahun masa demokratisasi ini. Sudah ada kemajuan tapi terlalu pelan. Lebih cepat gerak bisnis mereka daripada gerak redaksionalnya. Ini bukan keluhan saya pribadi lho!

Selama dua tahun lebih menyunting Pantau, saya sering menerima laporan kegelisahan pada wartawan, terutama redaktur yang bukan jajaran pemilik atau manajemen top, terhadap berbagai macam kebijakan boss mereka.

Ada satu kelompok media yang memangkas "chief editor" mereka yang umurnya 40 tahun ke atas. Ada yang membatasi masa jabatan "chief editor" sementara anggota komisaris atau direksi tak dibatasi. Buntutnya, bobot editorial sering kalah dengan kebutuhan bisnis. Board room, anggota-anggotanya kawakan.

News room terus diganti. News room jadi melemah. Media Palmerah pun jadi konglomerat. Maka mereka pun bergerak sesuai langkah konglomerat --harus tumbuh demi pertumbuhan itu sendiri.

Siapa yang rugi?

Saya kira warga Indonesia yang rugi. Media Palmerah ini menguasai lebih dari 90 persen konsumsi berita politik di seluruh Indonesia. Farid Gaban menganjurkan media memberitakan tuntutan GAM. "Ini harus menjadi diskursus yang lebih luas, termasuk politisi dan publik pemilih Indonesia di luar Aceh," kata Farid.

Saya pesimis. Media Palmerah itu sendiri sudah berpihak. Ia bukan pengamat yang independen.

Intinya, saya punya asumsi bahwa media Palmerah ini peninggalan Orde Baru. Semuanya gede pada zaman Orde Baru bukan? Baik Jawa Pos, Kompas, Tempo, The akarta Post apalagi RCTI, SCTV, Indosiar, TVRI, TPI. Mereka rata-rata berideologi kanan, berorientasi komersial (secara berlebihan), secara teknis belum mau pakai standar jurnalisme internasional (byline, firewall, liputan media independen, menganggap wartawan kerja produksi alias kuli, tak meliput media secara independen, nasionalisme sempit dan sebagainya).

Jangan kaget kalau budaya korupsi ini menyebar ke kalangan reporter mereka. Amplop adalah penyakit yang ditularkan dari atas. Coba deh Anda tanya pada Dahlan Iskan. Beranikah ia mendeklarasikan Kelompok Jawa Pos bebas amplop? Saya berani bertaruh tidak berani karena mereka belum sanggup membayar wartawan dengan proper.

The Jakarta Post, dengan segala hormat pada rekan-rekan saya disana, didirikan 1983 sebagai mesin propaganda Orde Baru. Jusuf Wanandi, bos besar Anda, adalah orang besar tapi ia pernah kerja untuk Operasi Khusus pada 1970-an. Ia membantu almarhum Ali Moertopo dengan politik "kupas tumpas" Orde Baru --meminjam nama "Kupas Tuntas" ala Trans TV.

Jadi, sama dengan TNI harus melakukan reformasi, saya kira, media Palmerah juga perlu reformasi. Di dalam tubuh media Palmerah, baik itu di kepengurusan Persatuan Wartawan Indonesia atau di board room, banyak wartawan yang dulu ikut melakukan penindasan rakyat Indonesia.

Anda bisa baca cukup banyak karya ilmiah untuk tahu bagaimana mereka ikut membenarkan pembunuhan orang kiri 1965-1967, orang Tionghoa di Kalimantan Barat 1967, politik "massa mengambang" 1970-an, Tanjung Priok 1984, Kedung Ombo 1989 dan entah apa lagi. Bahkan sesudah reformasi pun, kegamangan dan kebodohan mereka, ikut mengupas-tumpaskan orang Madura di Kalimantan, sengketa agama di Maluku, orang Acheh di Aceh dan sebagainya.

Selama setahun ini saya banyak membaca kliping-kliping lama. Ngeri deh kalau baca berita-berita mereka. Alasan bahwa mereka harus pandai salto untuk selamat bukan justifikasi untuk membenarkan ideologi yang represif. Apalagi sesudah zaman bebas.

:: ::

Catatan Editor: Tulisan ini adalah posting Andreas Harsono pada milis Pantau-Komunitas, pada Jumat, 25 Februari 2005, dengan judul email “Kumpas Tumpas Media Palmerah” yang telah dipangkas dan diedit seperlunya. Isi email adalah balasan Harsono atas dua butir pertanyaan Puji Santoso dari Pekan Baru tentang cara menulis dalam bahasa Inggris dan kritik Harsono pada “Media Palmerah.” Dalam kesempatan tersebut, Puji Santoso antara lain bertanya: “Panjenengan ini kok kayaknya anti sekali dengan media kelompok Palmerah, termasuk The Jakarta Post?” Blog kami merasa perlu menampilkannya sekadar uji kritik. Untuk lebih memahami apa yang dimaksud Harsono tentang “Media Palmerah” silakan klik di sini. Sedangkan untuk lebih memahami Kompas sebagai representasi terbesar dari “Media Palmerah” bisa dimulai dari judul-judul berikut ini: Suryopratomo Anak Baik Bernasib Baik, Wendo dan Tujuh Samurai, Amanat Hati Nurani Karyawan, Kompas Berita Kompas Iklan, Accountability, Reward dan Byline. Terima kasih. Agus Sopian

Cara Belajar Menulis Bahasa Inggris


Untuk Fauzul Muhammad,

Ini pertanyaan gampang-gampang sulit. Bagaimana cara belajar menulis dalam bahasa Inggris? Saya bukan guru bahasa Inggris. Tapi saya bisa cerita tentang bagaimana saya sendiri belajar menulis dalam bahasa Inggris?

Saya punya rahasia. Bekerjalah di harian The Jakarta Post! Saya tak bisa menulis Inggris sampai saya masuk ke sana pada 1993.

Terima kasih untuk Endy Bayuni, Hartoyo Pratignyo, Margaret Rose Agusta, Oei Eng Goan, Thayeb Sabil dan Vincent Lingga. Mereka mengajar saya menulis berita dengan struktur piramida terbalik dalam bahasa Inggris. Ini langkah pertama. Menulis dalam piramida terbalik.

Mula-mula sulit tapi lama-lama biasa juga. Pak Eng Goan mengajari style. Mas Endy memberitahu saya Thesaurus sehingga spelling bisa kita cek lewat komputer (Bahasa Indonesia nggak punya khan?).

Lalu setahun di sana, pindah ke harian The Nation di Bangkok. Lebih banyak menulis feature. Itu pertama kali saya sadar bahwa standar jurnalisme di sana beda dengan di sini. Mereka pakai byline, pakai firewall, mempekerjakan kolumnis dan sebagainya. Ini praktek yang tak ada dalam jurnalisme ala Palmerah hingga Kebon Jeruk.

Belakangan baru sadar standar di media Palmerah, termasuk harian Kompas, Media Indonesia, Tempo, Gatra dan rombongannya, termasuk ketinggalan banget dari rekan mereka di Bangkok atau Hong Kong.

The Nation belakangan menunjuk saya jadi kolumnis. Digaji tiap bulan. Lumayan gajinya dalam dollar Amerika. Bisa buat menabung. Apalagi saat krisis moneter. Satu dollar pernah jadi Rp 23,000.

Tahun 1996, tiap minggu menulis kolom di halaman editorial. Mereka memberi kesempatan saya menulis panjang, satu halaman penuh, terkadang lebih. Mewah banget bukan? Umur saya baru 31 tahun.

Di sana saya melatih diri menulis esai, sebaik-baiknya. Mulai dari soal skandal bisnis emas Busang, Timor Lorosae, Aceh, Partai Rakyat Demokratik, Sri Bintang Pamungkas, Aung San Suu Kyi, kebrutalan tentara Indonesia dan sebagainya. Saya juga boleh menulis untuk media lain asal bukan saingan The Nation --misalnya The Bangkok Post.

Maka saya menulis untuk The American Reporter secara gratisan. Saya suka karena The American Reporter mencoba jadi media alternatif di Amerika Serikat. Saya dibayar kalau berita dipakai media lain. Joe Shea, editor disana, banyak membantu meningkatkan mutu reportase saya. Dia juga mengomel kalau salah grammar.

Sebagai kolumnis, saya melatih diri berargumentasi, mencoba menyakinkan orang yang tak setuju dengan saya, agar mengerti isu yang saya kemukakan. Setidaknya, mereka setuju dengan metode analisisnya. Saya banyak belajar bagaimana menulis opini dari situs web Pulitzer Prize. Disitu banyak contoh. Saya menggunakan kata-kata sederhana saja. Kalau kesulitan, saya mencari kamus atau menelepon teman yang native speaker.

Ketika dapat beasiswa dan belajar di Universitas Harvard, barulah saya mengerti ada struktur yang lebih rumit lagi: NARASI.

Kerennya, disebut "jurnalisme sastrawi." Anda menyebutnya "penulisan kreatif." Saya lebih suka nama "narasi" tapi nama "jurnalisme sastrawi" lebih populer. Padahal salah kaprah sering muncul. Dikiranya, ini penulisan fakta yang mendayu-dayu dan puitis.

Bill Kovach, guru saya di Harvard, mendorong saya belajar narasi. Kovach juga mententir harus baca buku apa? Tiap minggu ia cek. Sudah selesai? Kalau sudah, ia beri judul lagi. Black Hawk Down. Philadelphia Aurora. The New York Times. CBS. The New Yorker, Scotty Reston, Harold Ross, David Halberstam dan sebagainya.

Pulang dari Boston, menulis untuk media internasional secara freelance, sambil menyunting majalah Pantau. Inilah periode ketika saya benar-benar belajar dan berlatih bersama rekan-rekan Pantau lainnya: Agus Sopian, Agus Sudibyo, Alfian Hamzah, Budiman S. Hartojo, Budi Setiyono, Chik Rini, Coen Husain Pontoh, Eriyanto, Hamid Basyaib, Helena Rea, Heru Widhi Handayani, Indarwati Aminuddin, Irawan Saptono, Ni Luh Sekar, Linda Christanty, Max Wangkar, Sirikit Syah, Veven Sp. Wardhana dan masih banyak lainnya (sorry rek nek ono sing lali).

Sambil menulis dalam Bahasa Indonesia, saya juga membandingkannya dengan bahasa Inggris. Saya sendiri nggak punya bahasa ibu yang official. Saya lahir di Jember, satu kota tembakau di Jawa Timur. Nama pemberian orang tua saya, "Ong Tjie Liang," tapi oleh rezim Orde Baru, kami dipaksa ganti jadi nama "Indonesia." Nama "Ong Tjie Liang" dianggap "bukan Indonesia," dianggap belum membaur. Papa orang Hokkian. Mama orang Hakka. Di jalanan, kami memanggil satu dengan lainnya dengan "lu" dan "gua." Tapi nenek kecil orang Jawa asal Tuntang, Malang. Saya memanggilnya "kima."

Jadi saya besar dengan budaya campuran. Besar dengan Man Tuka yang Madura. Mbek Wie yang Madura. Pak Tie yang Jawa. Masa kecil yang menggembirakan. Omong Madura, Jawa, Melayu, Hokkian.

Enak. Gado-gado. Kamsia. Kulo nuwun. Sampeyan. Kebacut. Selangkong. Dan (maaf) Diancuk.

(Kata terakhir itu difamilierken lagi ke kuping saya oleh Alfian Hamzah dalam "Kejarlah Daku Kau Kusekolahkan." Alfian sendiri belajar dari anggota-anggota Batalyon Infanteri 521/Dadaha Yodha Kediri yang bertugas di Aceh Barat pada 2002).

Ketika kecil, juga ada bahasa Indonesia ala TVRI dan RRI --yang rasanya keriting di kuping tapi mereka bilang inilah Bahasa Indonesia yang baik dan benar. Ketika duduk di bangku SMPK Maria Fatimah Jember, belajar bahasa Inggris dengan Pak Hur, guru bahasa Inggris disana. Saya paling muda sekelas.

Ketika masuk SMAK St. Albertus Malang, ambil kursus bahasa Inggris privat, di rumah seorang dosen IKIP Malang. Bahkan sudah lupa namanya. Tante itu baik sekali. Lalu sempat les bahasa Jerman di satu pusat kursus di Malang. Juga lupa namanya. Cuma ingat, "Ich liebe dich." Tapi punya temen-temen yang hebat, yang mengajar saya untuk belajar apa saja untuk maju. Pastor kepala sekolah kami, Pater E. Siswanto, juga orang liberal yang berpikir terbuka. Hidupnya penuh tragedi tapi ia mendidik kami dengan terbuka. Keluarganya mati dibunuh perampok.

Masuk kuliah di Universitas Kristen Satya Wacana, Salatiga, daerah pekat Jawa-Mataram, yang makanannya terasa berlebihan manis untuk lidah Jember saya. Logat Jawatimuran dianggap kasar. Apalagi omong kata, "Diancuk." Padahal di Malang dan Jember, "diancuk" adalah bumbu omongan perkoncoan. Nggak apa-apa. Belajar Kromo Inggil untuk pergaulan. Orang Cina, to be politically correct, orang Tionghoa, disana juga alus-alus Kromo Inggil.

Di Salatiga, juga kerja sebagai aktivis grassroot (ceile!) dengan para sais dokar. Tiap hari ada di terminal dokar Margosari. Orang-orang Jawa tapi "ngoko." Komboran. Jaran. Suket. Maka mulailah saya dikenal sebagai "Mas Andreas" oleh Pak Achmadi, Mas Sukardi, Mas Slamet, Bu Endang, Mas Wagimin dan sebagainya. Lalu sempat mengajar bahasa Inggris untuk anak-anak mereka, dan dipanggil, "Oom Andreas."

Lulus kuliah, saya bekerja di Phonm Penh. Bicara bahasa Inggris tapi sempat ambil kursus bahasa Khmer, sehingga bisa bilang, "Cum riep sak sabai?" Artinya, "How are you?" atau "Are you okay?" Lalu tukang masak di rumah indekost, sering mengajar kalimat, "Rom Khmer Grohom." Artinya, "Crush the Khmer Rouge." Serem. Hi. Orang Khmer masih trauma dengan "Killing Fields" ala Khmer Rouge. Bahkan koki di rumah tak suka dengan Khmer Grohom.

Saya belajar dengan sering switching bahasa. Logika, sering bolak-balik antara logika Melayu, Madura, Jawa dan Inggris. Kalau berhitung dalam hati, saya menggunakan Mandarin, "Ik, ol, san, tse, u, liok ...." Suka sekali main-main dengan kosakata. Adam Ellick, rekan dari Fulbright yang kebetulan sering main ke Pantau, mengatakan pemakaian kata Melayu dalam karya bahasa Inggris saya, membuatnya jadi kenal kalau ini karya saya. Suatu saat, Adam ketemu suatu karya soal bajak laut di Batam. Ia merasa akrab dengan gaya itu. Tapi tak ada byline. Ia menduga karya saya. Ternyata benar.

Saya cinta dengan bahasa-bahasa. Goenawan Mohamad, mentor saya di Institut Studi Arus Informasi, mengatakan saya punya bakat di bidang bahasa. Saya tak tahu. Saya hanya tahu imajinasi bahasa melampaui khayalan saya sendiri. Kita tak pernah tahu batas dari kata-kata kita sendiri. Terkadang satu pokok pikiran saya tuangkan dalam dua bahasa dengan khayalan atas dua audiens yang berbeda. Menulis khan soal khayalan tentang audiens bukan?

Jadi bagaimana resepnya? Belajarlah. Mulai sekarang juga. Seraplah sebanyak mungkin bahasa. Bukan hanya bahasa Indonesia. Tapi semuanya. Ia akan memperkaya nalar dan komparasi berbahasa Anda. Ia akan membuat jarak bahasa jadi sempit, bahkan mesra. Grammar hanya soal logika. Belajarlah mula-mula dengan piramida terbalik. Lalu feature dan analisis. Lalu narasi.

Mudah-mudahan cerita ini membantu Anda. Mohon maaf, ini bukan jawaban seorang guru bahasa Inggris. Tapi seorang wartawan. Terima kasih dan selamat belajar.

Andreas Harsono


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----- Original Message -----
From: "Fa uzul"
Sent: Thursday, February 24, 2005 5:27 AM
Subject: belajar menulis kreatif

Dengan hormat,

Saya Fauzul, mahasiswa UGM Jogja. Mengetahui reputasi Mas Andreas yang kerapkali menulis dalam bahasa Inggris, mohon informasi apakah ada situs internet dan sumber lain yang menjadi tempat mengali referensi untuk hal ini. Terutama dalam konteks keberjarakan bahasa Indonesia dan bahasa Inggris. Mengingat Mas Andreas sendiri pernah mengungkapkan di milis PANTAU-komunitas tentang lemahnya kemampuan jurnalis Indonesia. Bahkan sekadar untuk berbahasa Inggris, apalagi untuk menulis karya jurnalistik!

Demikian dahulu. Terima kasih atas perhatian dan balasannya. O ya, mohon dibalas ke

Fauzul Muhammad

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Acheh's Tsunami Versus Indonesian Nationalism

I

ON MONDAY, 27 DECEMBER 2004, about 24 hours after the tsunami devastated hundreds of villages and killed more than 150,000 people in Acheh on the northern tip of Sumatra, Nasruddin Abubakar, an Achehnese activist in Jakarta, received an email from Stockholm. It was signed by Malik Mahmud, a top leader of the Stockholm-based Acheh Sumatra National Liberation Front.

Mahmud wrote in his 160-word public statement that all Achenese guerillas are to help “the processes of aiding, evacuating and rehabilitating the victims.” He also called on his nemesis, the Indonesian government, to open up Acheh to humanitarian assistance and international relief organizations. “All field commanders (are) to restraint their troops,” he said, in a bid to avoid the tsunami victims to feel being “trapped and panic.”

Half the world away, in a remote tropical jungle in Acheh, Sofyan Daud, a spokesman for the guerillas, made satellite phone calls to some journalists in the provincial capital, Banda Aceh, repeating Mahmud’s instruction. Sofyan was quoted as saying, “I guarantee that GAM will not make any civil disturbances anywhere in Acheh during this period.”

GAM is the acronym of the Gerakan Acheh Merdeka or the Free Acheh Movement –the nickname of Mahmud’s Acheh Sumatra National Liberation Front. In the Acheh language, the word “gam” literary means, “boy.” It was set up on 4 December 1976 in the hinterland of Acheh by Hasan di Tiro, an Achenese aristocrat, who left his trading business in New York to lead an independence struggle against what he claimed to be Acheh’s colonialization by the Javanese --the dominant ethnic group in Indonesia.

Nasruddin recalled those hectic hours to let me know that the guerillas were making a ceasefire when the Indonesian government was confused in the first week after the tsunami. Most international media covered tourist areas like Phuket in Thailand or Galle in Sri Lanka. Acheh was practically under covered due to the banning of international media to visit Acheh. Only on the third or forth day after the tsunami, some international media began to realize that the hardest hit area was in fact in Acheh.

“Two days after the tsunami, Jusuf Kalla (Indonesian vice president) was still saying about difficulties to get the information from the field,” said Nasruddin. Kalla only announced that “foreigners” –journalists, diplomats, troops, doctors, engineers and aid workers-- were allowed to enter Acheh and to get visas on arrival four days after the tsunami.

“How many survivors could be saved if the government moved quicker?” asked Nasruddin.

Nasruddin is a 28-year-old activist, cleanly shaved with wavy hair. He lives in Jakarta to organize international networking for the Banda Aceh-based Information Center on Acheh Referendum or locally known as SIRA. It is a coalition of student groups, whose aim is to advocate self-determination in Acheh.

“Everyone was then trying to find out about their love ones. I also tried to find out my relatives. My pakcik (uncle) and his two sons were missing in Lamno,” he said, referring to a small town south of Banda Aceh. Altogether, he told me, he had lost 20 relatives in the tsunami.

In Acheh, the Kalla statement immediately opened up the gate to thousands of aid workers, journalists, soldiers and even Christian evangelists, flying from places as far as Norway, Sweden, Japan, China, Afghanistan, Spain, Turkey, Germany, Singapore, Malaysia and many other countries. It was a heart breaking international solidarity. They swarmed into the once isolated Acheh to help the victims.

The Russians set up a field hospital in Banda Aceh. “The hospital provision was ordered by President Vladimir Putin to help the Achehnese,” said Col. Vitaly Geraschenko, the head of the Russian delegation. They used twelve flights of Il-76 heavy transport aircraft to bring a total of 380 tons of hospital equipment including trucks and tents.

The Americans anchored the USS Lincoln off the Acheh coast, deploying 17 Black Hawk, six Chinook and two Super Puma helicopters to deliver emergency relief supplies inland. Four Hercules transport aircraft backed up these helicopters. It was indeed a much needed help for the Indonesian military that operated only two helicopters and three Hercules. From the Australian side, four Hercules transport carriers and four helicopters are in action. In total, there are more than 50 helicopters and 20 cargo planes used by international troops in the Acheh relief effort. The Australian government also agreed to help US$750 million to help reconstruct Acheh. Many nongovernmental organizations also helped Acheh. Hong Kong movie star Jacky Cheung to German Formula I car racer Michael Schumacher organized fund raising for Acheh.

The tsunami flooded not only the Achenese but also Indonesian soldiers. At least 61 soldiers stationed in Aceh were killed and 290 others were missing. Forty-six wives of troops died and 265 others are missing, while 107 children have been reported killed while the fate of 542 others remains unknown, according to the Indonesian military.

Mahmud obviously would like to exploit the presence of the 2,000-something international workers in Acheh and the panic among Indonesian soldiers to advance GAM’s political interest. On the other side, the Indonesian military, which practically controlled and administered Acheh since the late 1970s, would also like to see that the foreigners are under control.

Therefore, the tug of war began just days after Mahmud’s email reached Nasruddin’s electronic mailbox. Sporadic skirmishes began to appear in the first week of January. In the hills near Banda Aceh, there was a barrage of automatic gunfire, prompting survivors living in a temporary camp to run for cover. It was unclear who fired the shots.

The Indonesian military insisted that it has been forced to take action against GAM to ensure that aid is securely delivered to the worst hit areas. "In the past two weeks we were forced to kill at least 120 members of GAM and seize their weapons," said army chief General Ryamizard Ryacudu in late January.

GAM field commander Tengku Jamaica said, however, that only around 20 guerillas had been killed, while the 100 others were unarmed civilians. He denied that the rebels were targeting aid convoys, and accused the military of abandoning the informal ceasefire.
Many rights groups, which include the New York-based Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, have repeatedly accused the Indonesian army of being responsible for executions, disappearances, torture and collective punishment in Acheh. Indonesian televisions also showed Indonesian soldiers, whatever they do in the tsunami area, always holding their arms.
“We asked the TNI (Indonesian military] to respect the ceasefire we offered on December 27," Sofyan Daud said. “Now we just run away when they chase us. However, if they continue to chase us, we will go on the offensive and that would be trouble for the TNI and the humanitarian mission.”

These saddened Nasruddin and his peers in Jakarta. “How could we help the tsunami survivors if battles still going on? We’re being sandwiched between GAM and TNI,” he told me.


II

I WAS TRAVELLING DEEP in the hinterland of Kalimantan, which is famous with its orang utan and wild orchid, when the 9.0 Richter temblor hit Aceh. I witnessed how the tsunami had created an outburst of genuine solidarity among Malay farmers, Dayak tribes people, Chinese merchants or Madurese settlers. there. On almost every main street, whether in Bengkayang or Sambas, I saw young people put out boxes to seek donation from motorists or pedestrians. Indonesian televisions showed dramatic footages from Acheh and people stared for hours.

I was afraid it was not going to be long. Many scholars believe that Indonesia is a new artificial nation lacking firm historical roots. Indonesia comprises 13,677 islands, stretching over a distance from east to west that is approximately the same as from London to Moscow.

It is the world’s largest Muslim country but has a significant Christian majority in the east. Its 200 million people speak more than 300 different languages and their common history is quite a few, which include a Dutch colonial past and a lingua franca developed from the Malay language. When Indonesia achieved independence in 1949, it was built as a federation --a political model that more or less reflected the aspirations of many ethnic groups or former sultanates, who were in various degrees against the Dutch colonialism, but also never wish to be dominated by their neighbors.

Acheh also struggled prominently against the Dutch to secure an autonomous place in the post-Dutch structure. In 1953, however, the first “rebellion” against Jakarta broke out. It took a decade to clamp it down. In 1976, a new “rebellion” broke out again, involving people like Hasan di Tiro and Malik Mahmud.

In other parts of Indonesia, ethnic and religious conflicts also appeared in every major island. More than four million people were killed in these communal violence since 1950. The first two Indonesian presidents, Sukarno and Suharto, managed to keep Indonesia together by brutal means. When Suharto felt from power in May 1998, the institutions that he had built up also began to crumble. East Timor, actually a former Portuguese colony, became the first province to secede from Indonesia when it got a United Nations-organized referendum in 1999.

Still in Kalimantan, I spotted a news report in the Pontianak Post daily, featuring Vice President Jusuf Kalla as saying that he would include the Indonesian Council of Ulemas to help decide on the adoption of “Acehnese orphans.” ”We will help the children to keep their faith. No adoption could be done without the ulemas' (Islamic clergymen's) supervision,”' he said.

Reading between the lines, I immediately realized that Kalla was talking about the sectarian Christian-versus-Muslim issue. Aceh has an immense symbolic importance for Muslims who constitute 88.3 per cent of Indonesia's 201 million citizens. Acheh was the seat of the first Islamic kingdom in the archipelago in the 13th century, when its neighbors were under Hindu or Buddhist rulers. The adoption issue, however imaginary, worries many Islamic activists, including Kalla -- himself a Muslim. I sensed in Pontianak that the solidarity was beginning to crack!

In Banda Aceh, activists of the Muslim-based Prosperous and Justice Party put up posters in public spaces with this warning: “Don't let Acehnese orphans be taken away by Christians and their missionaries.” The party also printed their telephone numbers, encouraging town folks to hand over orphans to Muslim child-care centers instead.The United Nations children's agency, UNICEF, puts the number of affected children, including those who have been orphaned, injured or traumatized by the disaster at close to 1.5 million across South and Southeast Asia.

In Aceh alone, some 35,000 children were estimated to have been affected. Hence, it is only natural for one to be moved by the plight of these destitute children. Kristiani Herrawati, who visited Aceh with her husband, Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, also took the initiative to show compassion and wanted to adopt a 13-year- old Acehnese boy, Muhammad Dede Nirwanda.

The media of Palmerah, a Jakarta neighborhood where top newspapers and TV channels are headquartered, however, played up Kalla's statement. But not a single media outlet could quite explain what prompted the vice-president and Muslim activists to focus on religion when the bulk of attention was on how to get emergency aid fast to the tsunami survivors.In Kalla's statement, the innuendo was palpable: relief services had been motivated by religious considerations. Perhaps such worries had been sparked because international relief organizations -- whose workers are mostly westerners and presumably Christians -- were among the first to rush to Aceh. They included American evangelists who spoke about “the love of Jesus Christ” among the victims.

Still the Kalla statement seems more a case of paranoia: there is nothing to suggest that international relief workers are keen to take away Acehnese children and neither have Indonesian churches demonstrated such altruism. Indonesian churches also issued a joint statement, saying that it is not ethical to preach in a disaster area like Acheh. Meanwhile, the mainstream press is fanning suspicions that the U.S. troops helping out in the relief efforts could be providing assistance to GAM guerillas or looking for other interests.

"Of course, the United States government has its interests and it will use this opportunity to closely monitor the geographic conditions of Aceh and the Strait of Malacca," Syamsir Siregar, the head of Indonesia’s intelligence service, told a parliamentarian hearing.

Other politicians talked about “Indonesia’s sovereignty” in Acheh, saying that the government should limit the movements of the international workers there. Hidayat Nur Wahid of the Justice and Prosperous Party suggested that the foreign troops to move out from Acheh in a month!

Jusuf Kalla finally decided that foreigners should get out of Acheh as soon as possible. “Three months are enough. The sooner (they leave), the better,” he said, adding that Indonesians, not foreign troops, should take charge of caring for the 400,000 or so people who lost their homes to the tsunami.

When asked about long-term relief efforts, he said, “We don't need foreign troops.”

In Acheh, the Achenese generally prefer to seek help from international relief workers than their Indonesian counterparts. “I am very, very grateful for them,” said Ibrahim, a security guard whose village vanished in the disaster, told Reuters when asked about the huge influx of foreign soldiers and aid workers into his village. “I hope they stay longer," said Ibrahim.
“We are considering working in Sri Lanka ... but it is very difficult to do so in Indonesia,” said Masakiyo Murai, director of Citizens Toward Overseas Disaster Emergency in Kobe. ”Political interference is a big concern,” said Murai, whose Japanese group has sent members to more than 30 countries hit by national disasters including Turkey, Taiwan and Papua New Guinea.

But President Yudhoyono was trying to put a stop to this narrow-minded nationalism in Jakarta. “The presence of foreign servicemen here is apolitical; they are conducting a humanitarian operation. After some time we will take over the operation, but for now we are grateful for their presence,” he said. Yudhoyono's admissions, as well as his aides’ remarks, show very well that sectarianism and narrow-minded nationalism are the Indonesian agendas in Aceh's relief operation. My Kalimantan’s fear is coming true. Solidarity is slowly changing into xenophobia.


III

THEY GATHERED OUTSIDE THE UNITED NATIONS office in Jakarta, chanting, waving banners and having speeches in three different languages: English, Indonesian and Achehnese. I did not fully understand the Achehnese speeches, as I do not speak that language, but still their message was clear: Keep the foreign troops and international workers in Acheh. Let the UN help solve the conflict in Acheh.

Just read their banners:

- Acheh problem is a political problem, its solution should go through political channel
- The UN should allow the Achehnese to self-determination
- US Army – My Family – No out from Aceh – We love the peace
- Acheh people welcome international community in Acheh
- Save Acheh now


I met Nasruddin Abubakar the first time here –exactly one month after the tsunami. He shook my hands while looking at the 200-something protesters who rallied in the main avenue in Jakarta.

Idup bangsa Acheh! Idup bangsa Acheh!” they shouted. “Idup” means “long live” and “bangsa” means “nation.” They used a small white truck to bring water for the protesters. Two Achehnese women in a four-wheel drive sold karee rice and hot chili sambal to the protesters. Slowly they marched toward the American Embassy in the Merdeka Square, creating quite a traffic jam on Thamrin Street.

Nasruddin sent me an email the previous night, asking me to come and to see the protest. Interestingly, I did not see many Palmerah journalists covering this rally, which is an irony, when the previous weeks they bombarded their audiences with anti-foreign statements everyday.

Talking about Acheh among Indonesians is a delicate matter. They mostly believe that Acheh is a legitimate province of Indonesia. They might admit that East Timor was taken by force in 1975. Aceh, in comparison, was at the forefront of Indonesia's struggle for independence from the Dutch in 1945-49. Aceh was an integral part of the new Indonesian Republic. It was only later that Acheh became disillusioned, giving rise first to the Darul Islam (Abode of Islam) rebellion in 1953 and then the GAM insurgency in 1976.

But what is not political in Aceh now? Even the spelling is dilemmatic. The Bahasa Indonesia regime uses the word “Aceh” and most Indonesian school teachers use it that way, but most independent Acheh citizen groups prefer the spelling “Acheh.” Listen to Fauzia Zakaria of the Acheh Women for Justice: “Acheh is the spelling that our forefathers told us to use. We don’t use Aceh because it is not the spelling that our parents use.”

Razidin Marhaban Ahmad, an Achehnese artist, told me, “The Indonesians do not need the Achehnese people. They just need the Acheh land. They just need our oil, our gas and our belonging.”

I asked Nasruddin what made him critical about Indonesia. He said it began in his childhood in his hometown Idi Rayeuk. One day in either 1992 or 1993, he did not remember clearly, the Indonesian military barrack in Idi Rayeuk was burned. Just like most other kids, Nasruddin came to see the burning.

“Suddenly a soldier came to me, kicking and hitting me, without reason,” he said.

It humiliated him. He told me that until today he still remembers the soldier’s name, which is Jumadin. “I still remember his cruel face.”
“GAM was then pretty small. Maybe only 10 people in Idi Rayeuk. But I began to sometimes hear that corpses were found on the streets. They were killed by Indonesian soldiers.”

In 1996, Nasruddin entered Ar Raniry Islamic Institute in Banda Aceh, joining a student organization. He began to read some books written by Hasan di Tiro as well as other history books on Acheh. “My eyes were opened. It was different from the history lessons that I learned from schools. I was only told the histories of (ancient Javanese kingdoms) Majapahit and Mataram.”

When he first visited the Indonesian main island of Java, also in 1996, he saw that his Acheh was rather underdeveloped to be compared with Java. “I had this feeling that Acheh was being discriminated. Like it or not, Java is the most development island in Indonesia.”

He began to join student protests, along with his Java-based student activists, against the repressive Suharto regime. But after the fall of Suharto in May 1998, Nasruddin decided to concentrate his energy on SIRA. His goal is a UN-sponsored referendum in Acheh.

In December 2002, the post-Suharto government signed a truce with Malik Mahmud’s GAM that lasted until May 2003, when the Indonesian military expelled foreign monitors and resumed combat operations against the guerillas.Now efforts are being made in Helsinki so that a ceasefire might be implemented and the two sides sit down together again. President Yudhoyono again offers for wide-ranging autonomy for the Achehnese andthat they give up demands for an internationally supervised referendum like in East Timor in 1999.

Malik Mahmud camp, however, insist that the Achehnese have been cheated with the autonomy offer since the 1950s. They want to internationalize the freedom cause and to ask for a referendum.

When I left the rallies that Nasruddin organized, I remember what Simon Winchester writes in his book “Krakatoa: The Day the World Exploded - August 27, 1883.” That catastrophic eruption on the southern tip of Sumatra changed the world. The explosion was followed by an immense tsunami that killed nearly 40,000 people in Sumatra and Java. The effects of the waves were felt as far away as France. Bodies were washed up in Zanzibar. Most significant of all –in today’s new political climate— the eruption helped to trigger in Java a wave of murderous anti-Dutch militancy among the Javanese Muslims.

What will be the political impact of today’s Acheh tsunami? Maybe it is too early to know who will be the target of the anger: the Indonesians who colonize their Aceh or the westerners who dominate Indonesia?
***


Andreas Harsono is a Jakarta-based journalist, writing mostly for the Inter Press Service. He is currently working on his book on ethnic and religious violence in Indonesia and East Timor. This story appeared in the Stockholm-based Ordfront magazine issue 03/2005 in Swedish. I wrote in English and they translated into Swedish. This is the English version. For the Swedish version clink Ordfront.

Sunday, February 20, 2005

Debat "jurnalisme baru"

Pada Maret dan April 2000, ada sebuah perdebatan cukup ramai dalam dua mailing list tentang mengapa di kawasan ini tak ada media yang menurunkan laporan panjang? Kalau ada harian macam Kompas, Pikiran Rakyat, Suara Merdeka, atau majalah macam Gatra, Tempo, tapi mengapa tak ada yang setara dengan The New Yorker?

Debat ini saya picu dari Cambridge. Tapi gaungnya kemana-mana. Ada Atmakusumah Astraatmadja, Nirwan Dewanto, Yosep Adi Prasetyo alias Stanley, Biranul Anas, Wicak Sarosa dan sebagainya ikut menanggapi. Atmakusumah bilang tak mungkin genre ini berkembang di Indonesia karena media disini masih berurusan dengan survival. Stanley berpendapat tak perlu menggunakan nama "jurnalisme baru" karena itu hanya bikinan dosen-dosen komunikasi. Biranul Anas mengatakan media Jakarta urusannya duit melulu. More

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Tujuh Pertimbangan Jurnalisme Sastrawi

Istilah jurnalisme sastrawi adalah salah satu dari sekian banyak nama buat genre tertentu dalam jurnalisme. Wartawan Amerika Tom Wolfe pada 1974 memperkenalkannya dengan nama "jurnalisme baru." Ada juga yang memakai nama "narrative reporting". Ada juga yang pakai nama "passionate journalism." Tapi ada yang secara sederhana mengatakannya “tulisan panjang.” More

Accountability, Reward dan Byline

Ceritanya, 15 Desember 2003 lalu Bill Kovach, salah satu penulis buku Sembilan Elemen Jurnalisme dan seorang wartawan terhormat di Amerika, datang ke kantor harian Kompas. Kovach menemui Jakob Oetama dan Suryopratomo, masing-masing pemimpin umum dan pemimpin redaksi Kompas. Kovach juga menemui sekelompok wartawan Kompas untuk berdiskusi di ruang rapat.

Diskusinya cukup menarik. Saya kebetulan ikut mengantar sehingga bisa mendengarkannya. Kovach sempat bertanya kepada para wartawan Kompas, "Mengapa suratkabar Anda tak memakai byline? Mengapa di halaman satu tak terlihat byline?" More

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Tujuh Kriteria Sumber Anonim


PANTAU punya tujuh kriteria untuk sumber-sumber anonim. Kesemuanya dibahas agak panjang lebar dalam buku Warp Speed (1999) pada bab "The Rise of Anonymous Sourcing" (h. 33-42) karya Bill Kovach dan Tom Rosenstiel, ketika mereka membahas pemakaian sumber anonim pada kasus Monica Lewinsky.

Dasarnya, kita harus ingat bahwa sumber yang anonim tak memberi kesempatan pada audiens (pemirsa, pembaca, pendengar) untuk menentukan seberapa besar derajat kepercayaan mereka pada sumber bersangkutan. Ini praktek yang harus kita hindari karena kita harus bisa memberikan kesempatan kepada pembaca kita untuk menentukan sendiri; seberapa besar ia mau percaya pada suatu keterangan.

Seorang sumber anonim juga punya kecenderungan untuk lebih kurang bertanggungjawab ketimbang sumber yang sama tapi identitasnya disajikan dengan lengkap. Sumber anonim cenderung lebih sering "bernyanyi" --kedengarannya merdu, sensasional, tapi esensinya lebih kecil dari nyanyian.

Kita harus ekstra hati-hati dengan sumber yang minta diberi status anonim. Frase yang sering dipakai media Palmerah, "menurut sumber yang layak dipercaya" atau "konon" atau "katanya" --meminjam gurauan satiris kita Hamid Basyaib-- harusnya bisa kita artikan sebagai "sumber yang layak ditempeleng."

Jadi berpeganglah pada tujuh kriteria sumber anonim ala Kovach dan Rosenstiel. Seseorang bisa diberi status anonim bila ia memenuhi ketujuh syarat sebagai berikut:

1. Sumber tersebut berada pada lingkaran pertama "peristiwa berita" yang kita laporkan. Artinya, dia menyaksikan sendiri, atau terlibat langsung, dalam peristiwa tersebut. Dia bisa merupakan pelaku, korban atau saksi mata, tapi dia bukanlah orang yang mendengar dari orang lain. Dia bukan pihak ketiga yang melakukan analisis terhadap peristiwa itu. Dia bukan berada pada lingkaran kedua, ketiga, dan seterusnya.

2. Keselamatan sumber tersebut terancam bila identitasnya kita buka. Unsur "keselamatan" itu secara masuk akal bisa diterima akal sehat audiens kita. Artinya, entah nyawanya yang benar-benar terancam atau nyawa anggota keluarga langsungnya yang terancam (anak, istri, suami, orang tua, saudara kandung). Kalau sekedar "hubungan sosial" yang terancam, misalnya pertemanan, maka ia tak termasuk faktor "keselamatan." Kalau sekedar "kelangsungan pekerjaan" yang terancam, masih harus diperdebatkan lagi, apakah benar dia akan kehilangan pekerjaan, dan apakah dia akan sulit mendapat pekerjaan baru?

3. Motivasi sumber anonim memberikan informasi murni untuk kepentingan publik. Kita harus mengukur apa motivasi si sumber memberikan informasi. Banyak kasus di mana si sumber memberikan informasi dan minta status anonim untuk menghantam lawan atau orang yang tak disukainya. Banyak juga kasus di mana informasi anonim diberikan karena hal itu menguntungkan si sumber tapi ia mau sembunyi tangan.

4. Integritas sumber harus Anda perhatikan. Orang yang sering mengarang cerita atau terbukti pernah berbohong atau pernah menyalahgunakan status sumber anonim, tentu saja, jangan diberi kesempatan jadi sumber anonim Anda lagi. Periksalah integritas sumber Anda. Biasanya makin tinggi jabatan seseorang, makin sulit mempertahankan integritas dirinya, sehingga Anda harus makin hati-hati dengan status anonim. Kami praktis punya satu daftar hitam para pejabat atau mantan pejabat Indonesia yang tak boleh kita beri status anonim.

5. Harus seizin atasan Anda. Pemberian sumber anonim harus dilakukan dengan sepengetahuan dan seizin atasan Anda. Bagaimana pun juga, editor Anda yang harus bertanggungjawab kalau ada gugatan terhadap kinerja jurnalistik kita. Ini prinsip dalam pekerjaan jurnalisme. Editor punya hak veto terhadap suatu berita tapi si editor pula yang harus masuk penjara atau membayar denda bila kalah di pengadilan. Lebih baik kita berdebat duluan ketimbang ribut belakangan gara-gara suatu berita anonim digugat orang.

6. Ingat aturan Ben Bradlee. Bradlee adalah redaktur eksekutif harian The Washington Post zaman skandal Watergate. Bradlee pernah mengeluarkan sebuah aturan yang terkenal tentang pemakaian sumber anonim. Dia hanya mau meloloskan sebuah keterangan anonim kalau sumbernya minimal dua pihak yang independen satu dengan yang lain. Dalam film All the President's Men, Anda mengenali adegan di mana Bradlee minta reporter Bob Woodward agar sumber anonimnya ditambah dari satu menjadi dua --untuk melakukan verifikasi terhadap informasi yang sama.

7. Bill Kovach sendiri menambahkan satu syarat lagi. Kita harus membuat sangat jelas dengan calon sumber anonim kita bahwa perjanjian keanoniman akan batal dan nama mereka akan kita buka ke hadapan publik, bila kelak terbukti si sumber berbohong atau sengaja menyesatkan kita dengan informasinya. Ini perjanjian yang berat karena konsekuensinya bermacam-macam tapi kita harus menjelaskan pada sumber persyaratan ini.

Kami mohon tujuh syarat ini kita perhatikan sebaik-baiknya. Kebanyakan gugatan hukum muncul dari sumber anonim. Kita tak punya uang untuk membayar pengacara atau denda. Pantau adalah media kecil. Cara untuk menghindar dari keluarnya biaya besar ini adalah menjalankan prosedur jurnalisme dengan disiplin tinggi.

Banyak sumber juga tak tahu bahwa sumber anonim memiliki syarat-syarat. Kami harap Anda mau meluangkan waktu untuk menerangkan tujuh kriteria ini pada orang yang menghendaki status anonim. Dari pengalaman kami, setelah diterangkan panjang lebar, biasanya si sumber mengerti dan mau memberikan informasi dengan identitas lengkap (nama dan atribut). Mungkin informasinya tak spektakular tapi setidaknya ia bertanggungjawab terhadap informasi yang diberikannya.

Andreas Harsono

Friday, February 11, 2005

Alone and Forlorn, a Survivor Pines for His Family

Andreas Harsono

LAMNO, Indonesia, Feb 11 (IPS) - Muhammad Ali finished a plate of fried noodles, sipped a glass of cold tea and lamented about his misfortune in a coffee shop at the market in small town Lamno, about 200 kilometers south of the Acehnese capital Banda Aceh.

''No amount of aid can bring back the lives of any of my children,'' he said, lighting his cigarette and looking at a relief truck from the aid organisation World Vision that was distributing plastic buckets, soap bars, cooking utensils, batteries and other essentials at a refugee camp behind the market.

The aid operation in tsunami-ravaged Aceh is moving into a second phase, as rescue workers begin to look at ways of providing long-term support.

''The peak of the emergency operation is behind us,'' said a U.N. official. ''The difficult part starts now.''

Six weeks on from the disaster, aid workers are focusing on rebuilding and returning people to their former homes.

More than 400,000 people were left homeless in Aceh as a result of the Dec. 26 earthquake and tsunami. At least 225,000 others are dead or missing.

Ali used to be a 'keuchik' or village head in his coastal hamlet of Cot Dulan, near Lamno, before he married Yusmanida, a woman from Ujung Muloh -- a fishing village about 15 minutes walk from the market.

They married about 15 years ago and 'keuchik' Ali moved to Yusmadina's village to become a trader.

He bought a piece of land and then started a small business venture. Yusmanida later gave birth to a son and two daughters.

Just like most Acehnese, they lived with their kin and Yusminda's parents and grandmother were a permanent part of the family.

But Ali's tranquil life changed drastically on Sunday, Dec. 26, when the killer waves washed away the whole of Ujung Muloh. There were only 21 survivors, and Ali was one of them.

''It was one of the first villages hit by the waves,'' said Hendi, a hardware seller in the market.

''As the water started rising fast from the first wave, we started running. Then the second wave hit,'' recalled Ali. ''It was huge - as tall as a coconut tree, maybe 20 to 30 meters high.''

Ali held on to his youngest daughter, who was only 10 days old. They ran together without saving anything.

Yusmanida, who had not fully recovered from the delivery, was assisted by her mother. The couple's 13-year-old son Suheri Akhar and 11-year-old daughter Santrina ran together behind their parents. The two also held on tight to their great grandmother as they were running.

The second huge wave however swallowed the whole family.

''I was submerged. I swam and appeared on the surface to find out that I was already at sea. It was more than one kilometer from my house,'' he said.

''I checked my baby daughter, not sure, whether she was dead or still alive. The water was moving so fast. I had to let her go,'' added Ali with tears welling in his eyes.

Then a third wave carried him to Alumi, three villages away from Ujung Muloh.

''A tree trunk hit my back when I was in the water. I also suffered some bleeding in my left forehead. Look at this!” he said, pointing to black scar that marks his face.

In the water, Ali managed to hang on to a wooden plank that floated towards a coconut tree. He then grabbed the tree and just hung on till the water subsided.

When he came down from the coconut tree he saw corpses everywhere.

Still staring blankly at the World Vision truck outside the coffee shop, Ali said he had lost his wife, his children, his mother-in-law, his wife's grandmother, his gold deposit, money, house and everything else.

''Only my father-in-law survived. He was fishing at sea then,'' he revealed.

Mustafa Ibrahim, a schoolteacher who helped organise grassroots support among the Lamno villagers said Ali was a broken man after having lost his immediate family.'' But at least he is alive. And I think he has to be thankful for that.''

Ibrahim and many villagers, who live in downtown Lamno, helped victims like Ali -- setting up temporary shelters in school buildings and feeding the survivors.

The tsunami cut off Lamno as well as neighboring Calang from the outside world, when it swept away bridges linking the towns to the main highways. Outside help only arrived in Lamno seven days later.

''If outside help did not arrive, we might have faced starvation as food supplies were almost gone,'' said Ibrahim.

Joel Thaher of the Ratna Sarumpaet Crisis Center, a Jakarta-based non-governmental group that manages the Gle Putoh camp in Lamno, said relief agencies were still relying on helicopters and boats to bring in food and medicine.

''The bridges and roads are still badly damaged,'' he told IPS.

Returning to New York from a week-long tour of the Indonesian province a month after the deadly Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami, John L. McCullough, executive director of the international humanitarian agency Church World Service said: ''Survivors in Aceh are beginning to pick up their lives, but their needs continue to be almost overwhelming.''

''This territory cannot be left idle or left in the lurch to rebuild,'' he said in a plea to the international community.

''Recovery of the dead is still going on-and the international community is very much involved,'' McCullough said. ''But the world community must stay focused and present for what will be long-term recovery in these worst-hit tsunami regions.''

McCullough echoed a plea from the United Nations Wednesday for world governments to keep their pledge promises for tsunami recovery. According to the U.N., almost two-thirds of the money promised by governments to help the millions of people affected by the tsunami has yet to be received by the world body.

So far, only 360 million U.S. dollars have been received --little more than a third of the total 977 million dollars needed for the projected first six months of emergency phase relief work. (END/2005)

Monday, February 07, 2005

El tsunami se tragó a mis padres

Andreas Harsono

LILIB BUKTI, Indonesia, 7 feb (IPS) - Dos docenas de niños se aglomeran en varias chozas de madera sobre pilotes que sirven de orfanato en este caserío miserable, 20 kilómetros al sur de Banda Aceh, capital de la provincia indonesia de Aceh. Muchos juegan y bromean, aunque comparten un pasado muy trágico y muy reciente. Todos ellos son sobrevivientes del maremoto que el 26 de diciembre mató a más de 220.000 personas. Los niños aquí alojados quedaron huérfanos por la tragedia.

”No te lleves mis sandalias, por favor”, dice riendo uno, mientras otros lo abuchean. En una esquina de la habitación, un adolescente fuma y le pide a sus compañeros que sean discreción para hacerlo con disimulo. Otros juegan partido de badmington cerca de allí.

El orfanato Mahyal Ulum, sólo para varones, recibió a más de 200 después del tsunami, dijo Faisal Alí, el clérigo musulmán que lo dirige. Muchos de ellos sufren trastornos mentales después de haber visto sus pueblos y a sus seres queridos desaparecer bajo las olas.

”Tratamos de mantener sus mentes ocupadas para que no piensen demasiado en el tsunami. En las tardes les enseñamos a recitar el Corán. Pronto podrán asistir a la escuela”, dijo Faisal a IPS.

El epicentro del terremoto submarino se ubicó frente a la costa de Meulaboh, al oeste de Aceh. Desde allí se desataron tsunamis (olas gigantes) que llegaron a la costa de una docena de países del sur y el sudeste de Asia.

Más de 70 por ciento de los habitantes de poblados costeros de Aceh murieron. El saldo oficial de muertes es de 111.171. Más de 127.000 desaparecieron. Tal vez nunca se sepa el número exacto de víctimas.

”Cuando nos golpeó el tsunami, mi mamak (madre) me tomó de la mano y corrimos”, dijo Abdul Hanan, un niño de 10 años que llegó al orfanato junto con su hermano Najimuddin, de nueve.

Su padre, como la mayoría de los hombres de Lamno, 200 kilómetros al sur de Banda Aceh, estaba trabajando en los campos. Muchos no se dieron cuenta entonces que las olas se habían engullido a su poblado pesquero.

”Mamak tenía a Mawardi, nuestro hermano bebé, en sus brazos. Najimuddin y yo corrimos con ella. En algún momento, corrí más rápido que mamak, cuando el agua comenzó a perseguirnos. Corrimos y corrimos, pero el agua seguía persiguiéndonos”, recordó.

”Entonces, mamak me pidió que cargara a Mawardi. Ella estaba exhausta. Nos pidió a mí y a mis hermanos que nos metiéramos en un edificio de tres pisos. Entré, pero regresé para ayudar a mamak, y le pedí a Najimuddin que trajera a nuestro hermano.”

”Subí las escaleras. Me seguían Najimuddin, el bebé y mamak. Pero mamak no lo logró. Fue tragada por las olas.”

A partir de entonces, las cosas no hicieron más que empeorar. ”Las olas seguían inundando el edificio y el agua de mar nos tragaba. Fue así que Najimuddin perdió al bebé.”

Por suerte para los dos niños, una mujer que también trataba de obtener refugio en el edificio logró hacerse de un gran tablón de madera. Flotando sobre él, pudieron salir de allí.

”Cuando el agua del mar retrocedió, busqué a mamak y al bebé Mawardi. No pude encontrarlos. Tal vez se fueron con las olas. Papá nos encontró luego. Nos envió aquí porque nuestro pueblo está en ruinas. No tenemos casa.”

La historia de Hanan es típica de los recién llegados a Mahyal Ulum.

La Organización Mundial de la Salud (OMS) calculó a fines de enero que al menos medio millón de sobrevivientes sufrían trastornos mentales sólo en Aceh. Unos 200.000 necesitan urgentemente atención psiquiátrica.

”Algunos niños quedan petrificados cuando ven la bañera llena, o se aterrorizan cuando grandes aviones pasan por encima de ellos, porque suenan como el agua en un tsunami”, dijo Randall Kyes, un psicólogo voluntario de la Universidad de Washington en Banda Aceh.

”Ya pasaron las lágrimas y las pérdidas inmediatas. Ahora comienza a surgir el trauma. Hablamos de cientos de miles de personas, sólo en Aceh”, añadió.

”Tantos niños perdieron sus familias y no tienen apoyo ... Ellos sufren el doble: primero, la pérdida de los padres y hermanos, y luego tratando de sobrevivir el tsunami.”

Para Faisal, fue un desafío trabajar con los recién llegados al orfanato. ”Ni siquiera podíamos comprar jabón y pasta de dientes para ellos. Debí pedir crédito al almacén del pueblo.”

Ahora, la institución recibe alguna ayuda de Nahdlatul Ulama, la mayor organización musulmana de Indonesia, y del grupo empresarial Artha Graha.

Hanan se queja de los mosquitos. Quiere ropa limpia para él y Najimuddin.

”Nunca supe el nombre de mi madre. La llamaba mamak. Recuerdo que una vez le di un puñetazo a mi hermano. Ahora él no está en ningún lado.”

Y repite, una y otra vez: ”Los dos se fueron. El mar se los tragó.”

Translation Review: Covering Globalization

A Handbook for Reporters
Anya Schiffrin and Amer Bisat (eds)
Columbia University Press
New York 2004


There is no question that this book is a practical reference for those who are to write about global economy. It will also be more useful when this book is to be translated into Bahasa Indonesia. I agree with the Vietnam Economic Times, when reporting about its Vietnamese-language translation, that “the book is the first economics textbook aimed at reporters in developing and transition countries who cover finance and economics.” The Jakarta-based Kompas daily also reviewed this book, saying that it helps journalists to write globalization issues better. Other reviewers in the United States also praised this book.

This book will also help journalists, academics, students and anti-globalization activists to have a handbook when they are trying to understand the complexities of globalization. Indeed, the original English edition is already available in many media libraries. Still a Bahasa Indonesia version will reach greater audience as English is only spoken by less than one percent of Indonesia’s 210 million people.

The question is how to do it?

Modern economics is relatively a new field in the scientific development in Indonesia (only in the 1960s with the Ford Foundation-sponsored projects in three schools of economics in Jakarta, Jogjakarta and Medan). Bahasa Indonesia itself is rather in some degrees of limitation. It is also a new language with a lot of grammatical, social and political problems (politically established only the 1930s).

My suggestion is to assign an editor and a translator to work together in the translation process. They should be fluent in English and Bahasa Indonesia, preferably, to be able to write in the two languages so that they would have better grasp of the translation. They should also understand economic concepts, ranging from basic notions like balance sheet to the more new issues such as the some organizations in what the media generally call “The World Bank.”

The book is written by more than 30 people but the editing by Anya Schiffrin and Amer Bisat is quite tight to the extend that I barely notice the differences of styles in each chapter or sidebar. Indeed the Bahasa Indonesia translation should also be edited tightly. The editor and the translator should sit together since the beginning to understand the book and to make an agreement on terminologies, style, grammar et cetera. I prefer to use the simpler American-styled outside quote rule rather than the British, thus the Dutch and the Bahasa Indonesia, usage of quotation marks.

This book is written for an international audience but indeed there are some samples that sound more familiar to an American reader than an Indonesian one. Some issues have to be contextualized, of course, with the prior sentence-by-sentence agreement with the editors. I did that when translating Bill Kovach and Tom Rosenstiel’s Elements of Journalism with the full cooperation of Kovach. He was involved in a number of email correspondences with me. There is also a reference on the Far Eastern Economic Reviewwebsite (page 307) as a source material. Unfortunately, the magazine was closed down late last year. The translator might ask either Schiffrin or Bisat whether they would like to suggest an alternative. I believe that there are plenty of alternatives to the Review website. In some cases, I suggest that the translator is to ask Schiffrin and Bisat whether we could offer the alternatives for the Indonesian audience.

The translator should also understand that some terms such as the World Bank or the Bank Dunia are widely used, both the English and the Bahasa Indonesia version. We could be flexible, using the two of them in accordance to the needs.

The book design is also an issue here. I suggest that we use the original design as well as the original cover. The book layout is pretty efficient. We have to remember that it is a handbook. It is not a book to be read from the beginning to the end. It is a reference in which a reader could seek for instance the concept of “money laundering” or the history of the International Monetary Funds. The design is different from a novel design indeed. It has many chapters, sidebars, pointers and the index.

John McGlynn of the Lontar Foundation, which translated many Indonesian literatures into English, once told me that a Bahasa Indonesia translation is usually 30 percent longer than the original English is. Even using the original design might take some adjustment –that is what graphic designer Joko Sudarsono faced when reusing the original draft of The Elements of Journalism.

Finally yet importantly, the selection of the translator and the editor could be made in an open bidding. If possible, we need someone like Oey Hay Djoen, who translated Karl Marx’s Das Capital, to translate this book. Oey understands economics and writes very well. Joesoef Isak of Hasta Mitra helped with the editing. We could set up the criteria and let the interested parties to apply. We could also ask a book publishing house to help sell and distribute the book. But again, the issue of the translation is the key to the success usage of this book.

Friday, February 04, 2005

Aceh Children Recall Sea 'Swallowing' Their Parents

Andreas Harsono

LILIB BUKTI, Indonesia, Feb 4 (IPS) - Around two dozen boys mill around several wooden huts on stilts, which serve as an orphanage here, in this hamlet 20 kilometers south of the Acehnese capital Banda Aceh. Though they play and joke with one another, they share a common fate. All are survivors of the Dec. 26 killer tsunami, and all of them lost either one or both parents to the killer waves.

''Don't take my sandals, please,'' said one youngster, while a few were jeering at him. Some others were engrossed in a game of badminton in the compound.

In another corner, one teenager was sheepishly smoking a cigarette while asking those around him to keep quiet.

According to Faisal Ali, the Muslim cleric who heads the Mahyal Ulum orphanage, his boys- only institution had received more than 200 children after the tsunami.

He predicted that many of them would be suffering mental trauma having seen their loved ones die when the waves swept away their villages along the coastline.

''At the orphanage, we try to keep their minds busy so that they don't think too much about the tsunami,'' Faisal told IPS.

''We're teaching them to recite the Quran in the evening so that soon they would be able to get themselves enrolled in the neighbourhood school,'' he added.

The epicenter of the Dec. 26 undersea quake was at Meulaboh in western Aceh. That spawned tsunamis that hit the coastlines of a dozen countries in South and South-east Asia killing over 220,000.

In Aceh, more than 70 percent of the inhabitants of some coastal villages are reported to have died.

The official death toll is at 111,171, while more than 127,000 others remain missing. The exact number of victims will probably never be known.

''When the tsunami hit, my Mamak (mother) pulled me by the hand and all of us just ran,'' said Abdul Hanan, a 10-year-old boy, who came to this orphanage with his nine-year-old brother Najimuddin.

Their father, just like most villagers in Lamno, about 200 kilometers south of Banda Aceh, was working in their farm. He did not realise that the tsunami had swallowed his fishing village.

''Mamak held Mawardi, our baby brother, in her arms. Najimuddin and I ran with her. I soon ran faster than Mamak when the water began to appear,'' said Hanan. ''We ran and ran but the water kept chasing us.''

''Mamak then asked me to carry Mawardi. She was exhausted. Mamak asked my brothers and me to go into a three-story building. I went inside, but returned and helped Mamak. I asked Najimuddin to bring our brother,'' he added.

''When we climbed the stairs, I was followed by Najimuddin, the baby, and Mamak. But Mamak could not make it. She was swallowed by the water,'' Hanan recalled.

Then, things just started getting worse.

''The waves kept on inundating the building and the seawater was swallowing us. Najimuddin then lost the baby,'' said Hanan.

Luckily for them, a woman -- who also tried to take shelter in the building - managed to grab a large wooden plank. All of them then held on tight to the plank and managed to float away.

''When the seawater receded, I tried to find Mamak and baby Mawardi. I couldn't see them. Maybe they went away with the waves,'' said Hanan with tears welling up in his eyes. ''Father later found us. He sent us here because our village was ruined. We have no house.''

Hanan's story is a typical account among the newcomers to the Mahyal Ulum orphanage.

Last week the World Health Organisation said almost 500,000 tsunami survivors were facing mental health problems in Indonesia's hardest-hit Aceh province, with some 200,000 or more likely to require psychiatric care.

''We are seeing children petrified by seeing water in a tub or cowering when large airplanes are flying overhead because they sound like rushing water,'' said Randall Kyes, a University of Washington psychologist volunteering in the capital Banda Aceh.

''People are past the tears and the immediate loss, and now reflection sets in and trauma is beginning to surface. We are talking about hundreds of thousands of people, and that's just in the province of Aceh,'' he added.

Added Kyes: ''The real concern is for children. So many lost their families and have no support to reach out to for help. They really suffered twice, first the loss of parents and siblings and now coping with surviving the tsunami.''

For Muslim cleric Faisal, it has been a real challenge trying to cope with the newcomers to his orphanage.

''We could not even afford to buy soap and toothpaste for these new children. I had to get them on credit from the village store,'' he said.

Lately, however, the orphanage received some help from Nahdlatul Ulama, the largest Muslim organisation in Indonesia, and Artha Graha, a widely diversified business group in Jakarta.

Hanan complained about the mosquitoes and wanted some clean clothes for himself and his brother Najimuddin.

When asked about what he remembers the most about his mother and his baby brother, Hanan replied, ''Uh oh, I never knew her name. I just called her Mamak. I remember my brother because I once punched him. He is nowhere now.''

''Both of them are now gone. The sea swallowed them,'' he said repeatedly. (END/2005)

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Indonesische ngo wil buitenlandse dokters weg

BANDA ATJEH, Indonesië, 2 februari (IPS) - De Indonesische Rode Halve Maan ziet de buitenlandse dokters in Atjeh liever vertrekken en wil de noodhulp toevertrouwen aan lokale artsen. De ngo vindt dat er een overaanbod is van "goeddoeners die de taal niet spreken."

"De aanwezigheid van buitenlands dokters botst op taal- en cultuurbarrierres", zei Gunawan (één naam), de woordvoerder van de Indonesische Rode Halve Maan, maandag. Gunawan stelt dat zijn 390 lokale vrijwillige hulpverleners best zonder hulp van buitenaf kunnen. "De internationale gemeenschap zou ons beter geneesmiddelen opsturen in plaats van dokters."

De Indonesische Rode Halve Maan werkt naast het Indonesische Rode Kruis in Indonesië. Alleen die laatste organisatie is aangesloten bij de Federatie van Rode Kruis- en Rode Halve Maan-verenigingen (IFRC), de koepelorganisatie van alle nationale Rode Kruis- en Rode Halve Maan-verenigingen. De ngo speelt wel een grote rol bij de hulpverlening in de Indonesische provincie Atjeh. Daar kwamen tienduizenden mensen om het leven door de aardbeving en de vloedgolf van 26 december. Ziekenhuizen werden vernield, dokters en verplegend personeel kwamen om. More

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

ICIJ on narrow minded nationalism in Aceh aid

From: "Andre Verloy" averloy@icij.org
To: icijlist@lists.panix.com
Sent: Tuesday, February 01, 2005 3:45 PM
Subject: ICIJ: ICIJ MONTHLY MEMBERS' UPDATE

CONTENTS:

ICIJ/CENTER NEWS: Roberta Baskin named executive director of the Center for Public Integrity
MEMBER NEWS: Thatcher and Equatorial Guinea; Tensions in Aceh; Ineffective spying; Torture and the War on Terror; Onyango-Obbo's new job

MEMBER NEWS

Tensions are growing over the large international presence of military personnel and aid workers in the Aceh province of Indonesia, which was the hardest hit by the tsunami, reports ICIJ Indonesian member Andreas Harsono. Due to military operations against the Free Aceh Movement, foreigners have been mostly closed off from the Aceh province and are now allowed to return after the tsunami only to face distrust and a confusing disaster management system. Several Indonesian politicians are speaking up against the foreign presence in Aceh saying that it threatens Indonesia's sovereignty. Harsono explains that "A combination of nationalism, xenophobia and the inability of Indonesia to deal with Aceh's violent past, may work against the huge international relief effort at the expense of 800,000 homeless Acehnese." To read the full article, go to: http://www.ipsnews.net/new_nota.asp?idnews=27130

Indonesian Red Crescent Targets Foreign Doctors

Andreas Harsono

BANDA ACEH, Indonesia, Feb 1 (IPS) - The Indonesian Red Crescent -- claiming there is an oversupply of ''do-gooders'' who ''do not speak the language'' -- wants all foreign doctors, helping the Indian Ocean tsunami survivors in Aceh, to leave and hand over their emergency medical functions to local doctors instead.

Gunawan, the spokesman for the Indonesian Red Crescent, said in a press briefing Monday: ''It is better if the international community helps us with medicines rather than sending human resources here.''

''There are language and cultural barriers with regard to the presence of foreign doctors,'' he added.

Gunawan said the Indonesian Red Crescent arrived in Aceh on Dec. 27 - a day after killer waves lashed the province killing at least 220,000 - and set up two field hospitals in the Lambaro and Pidie districts, as well as a mobile medical facility.

The Red Crescent spokesman said there is more than enough local medical staff on the ground.

''Altogether more than 390 (local) volunteers are involved in our work,'' said Gunawan.

At the present moment the local relief agency also works with volunteers from Germany, Turkey, Malaysia, Pakistan, India, Belgium, and the United States.

There are at least 100 aid organisations - plus U.N. agencies - operating in Aceh. Aid agencies have provided emergency food, water and shelter to about 330,000 people, according to the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). The agency says the next step is to construct temporary settlements for 150,000 families.

Because the tsunami destroyed hospitals and medical clinics, killing doctors and nurses, access to quality health care has been severely restricted. Drinking water is still in short supply and this keeps the risk of some sort of epidemic high.

World Health Organisation (WHO) officials are worried about an outbreak of measles as well as the risk of malaria, which is spread by mosquitoes. The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) reports that measles still kills more children than any other disease that is preventable by vaccine.

Measles can lead to brain damage, deafness, blindness and mental disorders. To help prevent an outbreak of measles, WHO has set up a program to vaccinate as many children as possible - up to 65,000.

Currently, refugees in Aceh seem to be suffering from diarrhea, respiratory problems and skin infections. While these diseases are not considered life threatening, they can lead to more serious illnesses. Sanitation is still lacking and that alone can pose health risks.

To make matters worse, last week Australian doctors reported treating a case of Mucormycosis, a deadly fungus that attacks the brain, lungs, skin, kidneys and sinuses.

It is still not clear how many doctors, anesthetists, surgeons, dentists and nurses work in Aceh now.

Bernt Apeland of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said Aceh used to have 700 doctors and nurses. They mostly ''disappeared'' during the tsunami, he told IPS.

Commenting on the Indonesian Red Crescent's statements, Apeland said: ''I do agree that in the long run the health service should be ran by Indonesians. But it is an emergency situation here.''

''We were asked by the Indonesian authorities to set up a field hospital. We always have 10 doctors -- five Indonesians working side-by-side with five internationals,'' he added.

But Acehnese like Ismet Nur, the co-coordinator of a grass roots relief service in Ulle Kareng -- a crowded neighborhood in Banda Aceh -- wants the foreign doctors to stay.

''We have cases where Indonesian doctors are perceived to be not as professional as their international colleagues,'' he told IPS.

And Ismet has every reason to be sceptical of the local medical services.

The relief worker's son, Mahdi Anzala, a 23-year-old college student, had a bad cut in his foot as a result of injuries sustained when he tried to flee the killer waves.

The festering sore, because it was untreated, later developed into a tumor.

Ismet first took his son to an Indonesian clinic to seek medical help.

''They asked me to register first, then to show documents from my district officials, you know -- typical Indonesian bureaucracy. Later a doctor checked him and said he should be transferred to a bigger hospital,'' he told IPS.

It is a common practice among Indonesian doctors to ask their Acehnese patients to produce their red-and-white identity cards. Red and white are the colours of Indonesia's national flag.

The cards were specifically designed for the Acehnese since the Indonesian government declared martial law in Aceh in May 2003, in its fight against separatist rebels.

Before the Dec. 26 tsunami struck, Aceh was almost entirely closed to any international presence due to military operations there against the Free Aceh Movement, which has been fighting for independence since 1976. More than 10,000 people, mostly civilians, have been killed since then.

Ismet said he had to thank a foreign doctor - who happened to visit the relief camp where he is currently sheltering in -- for saving his son's leg.

''This Brazilian doctor saw Mahdi's wound and decided on the spot to perform surgery on a bench, using local anesthesia, to remove the tumor,'' he said. ''No questions asked, he just what he thought was best.''

''When the tumor was out it was the size of my thumb,'' added Ismet.

Ismet said his son started walking after the Brazilian doctor came back to the camp again to remove the bandages.

Murizal Hamzah, an Acehnese journalist who works for the Jakarta-based 'Sinar Harapan' daily, also considered the Indonesian Red Crescent's request ''a bit odd''.

''I have traveled and visited many hospitals throughout Aceh. Indeed, the foreign doctors are more popular than local ones because the bureaucracy of the Indonesian medical services is really notorious,'' he said. (END/2005)