Friday, December 30, 2016

Susanna Harsono with schizophrenia paranoid

Susanna Harsono has been having schizophrenia paranoid since 1991.

Susanna Harsono, my sister, is visiting us in Jakarta. She lives with our mother in Jember, spending her Christmas holiday with us.

Susanna has been having schizophrenia paranoid since 1991 when she was 24 years old. She said she heard "voices" in her head, making it difficult for her to work even to sleep. Imagine if you have a noise of someone drilling or buzzing 24/7? 

She said she has this noise everyday. She could only sleep without such a noise after taking her medication. 

Sometimes she acts like a child, going tantrum if she is hungry or sleepy. She is always careful when her medication is running thin. 

But she takes medication every day, making her able to do household works. She is quite an artist, very good in knitting and coloring. I gave her a coloring book. I am pretty amazed to see how fast she does her coloring. It's quite a distraction from her chaotic conversation.

I am grateful that she has the government support to see psychiatrists at the Jember general hospital and to get the medication from a puskesmas (district clinic) near our family house. 

She was born in November 1969 in Jember. She has a twin sister, Rebeka Harsono, who lives in Tangerang. 

Saturday, December 10, 2016

George Junus Aditjondro: Researcher, dissident, human rights defender, environmentalist

George Junus Aditjondro, an Indonesian anti-corruption researcher, academic, dissident, human rights defender and environmentalist, died in Palu, Central Sulawesi, this morning.

He is probably best known for his investigation of the Suhartos' illicit wealth published in 1995 when he was teaching at Satya Wacana Christian University in Salatiga, Central Java.

He was born in Pekalongan, Central Java on May 27, 1946. His father, Harjono Aditjondro, was a Javanese judge who met his wife while studying at a law school in Leiden, the Netherlands. Aditjondro senior had an adopted son, Ali Moertopo, later becoming an Indonesian Army general and a close aide to President Soeharto.

George grew up in various cities due to his father's job --Pekalongan, Pontianak, Banyuwangi and Makassar--  never finished his colleges --in Salatiga and Semarang-- but took his Ph.D from Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, writing his thesis on the anti-Kedung Ombo dam movement in Central Java.

In the 1970s, he worked for Tempo magazine for a decade, writing especially on environmental reporting. He later worked for some NGOs such as Bina Desa and Walhi in Jakarta as well as Yayasan Pengembangan Masyarakat Desa di Irian Jaya in Jayapura, West Papua (1982-1987). He left Jayapura after the killing of his friend and neighbor, West Papuan anthropologist Arnold Ap, in 1984.

In 1987, President Suharto gave him the Kalpataru environment award for his works to prevent environmental degradation in Indonesia. A decade later he returned the award as a protest against human rights abuses and environmental destruction by the Suharto regime.

In 1991, after finishing his Cornell master degree, he began to teach at Satya Wacana Christian University in Salatiga. He was my mentor when I was studying in Salatiga. He finished his Ph.D from Cornell in 1993, writing his thesis on the anti-Kedung Ombo dam, a World Bank-sponsored project, in Boyolali, Central Java.

In 1995, he moved to Australia due to his Suharto corruption research. He taught at Newcastle University in New South Wales. He returned to Indonesia in 2002 after the fall of Suharto in 1998, teaching at Sanata Dharma University in Yogyakarta.

He is one of very few Indonesian intellectuals who write about almost every corner of this vast archipelago i.e. Aceh, North Sumatra, Poso, the Malukus Islands, East Timor, West Papua.