By Firdaus Cahyadi and Ade Tanesia
I. State Discourse on Indigenous Peoples
Discussing the indigenous peoples in Indonesia can not be separated from the political history of the New Order regime in Indonesia. During that regime, Indonesian society was conditioned by the government to support the development projects. In that era, people were not allowed to criticize the government. Imprisonment up to enforced disappearance was a punishment that should be accepted by the people who criticized the government policy.
In order to smooth the development projects, the New Order regime produced a variety of terms that become stigmatized which subtly to silence critical voices of the people who tried to criticize the projects of the New Order. The term communist for example, always used to silence the people’s protests.
During that New Order regime as well, many various terms and terminology were used to identify or to recognize indigenous peoples. Some were referred them to as isolated communities, economic backwardness communities, tribunal communities, inland communities, as well as primitive tribes. Those terminologies embedded century’s old discrimination and harassing indigenous groups.
Estranged communities, for example can be interpreted as people who are not familiar with other civilizations, locked in an unknown place. Similarly, the term of wild cultivators, can be translated as indigenous people do not have rules on doing cultivations which resulted on uncontrolled farming. Under Constitutions 1945 (amendment), in article 28 paragraph (3) is simply referred to as traditional communities. While the term customary law community is in Article 18B Paragraph (2)
That is what makes true when we are speaking about indigenous people, at the same time we were talking about the contestation of concepts, legislation and sectoral agencies in charge of indigenous people.
The Soeharto’s New Order which built under the media perception that “no customary in Indonesia” or “no indigenous people in Indonesia” to maintain Indonesia unity, had classified that more than one million people which were still living by hunting was regarded as estranged communities or isolated communities or primitive tribes, but not as an indigenous people. Indigenous people were referred to tradition, ritual, appropriate behavior, and rules or practices of social life.
“The Soeharto New Order constructed through media a perception that “there is no indigenous peoples in Indonesia” or “no adat communities or customary communities in Indonesia” to maintain the unity of Indonesia. He referred adat to tradition, ritual, appropriate behavior, and rules or practices of social life. For example, in daily conversations, Indonesia says “adat Jawa” (Javanese Culture) that could mean the Javanese people’s way of doing things in general. “Baju adat” would mean traditionally appropriate kind of clothing, used in ritual or ceremonies. Soeharto classified more than one million peoples who still live in hunting and gathering as masyarakat terasing or masyarakat terpencil or masyarakat primitive (estranged or isolated or primitive) but not as indigenous peoples or adat peoples.” (Takano, 2009)
Furthermore, there was a systematically destruction of indigenous/local governance systems during the New Order. Since the New Order authoritarian regimes, Desapraja were abolished. Through Law No. 6/1969, Desapraja considered no longer valid.
Then proceed with the publications of the Home Ministry Circular No. 5/1/29 year 1969 regarding the Principles of Rural Development, where under the circular, the village was given definition as follow:
“Village and regional level is a public law entity (rechtsgemeenschap) both genealogical and territorial which is directly under the hierarchical government districts.”(Hanif Nucholis, 2011).
This is where the story begins. Village started being treated repressively. All social institutions, politics and culture were centralized in a top-down government. This era was referred as a starting point for the collapse of local traditions in Indonesia.
Ten years after the publication of Home Ministry Circular, then born Law No. 5/1979 on Village Government. Village is defined as “an area occupied by a number of residents as a legal entity community that has the lowest administration organization directly under the sub-district heads in the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia”. Some of the effects produced by the presence of village governance embodies in this law can be summed up into at least three parts, namely: First, the village administration has eliminated the concept of a local government that based on local tradition. Secondly, the village administration has removed the local institutions that have been instrumental in building the social order of society. Third, the village administration has spawned a cultural conflict in the local community (Silfia Hanani and Rahimah Abdul Aziz, 2009).
II. Indigenous Peoples in the Coverage of Jakarta Mass Media
In the midst of long tangled perspective which inherited by the New Order regime against indigenous peoples, and not yet acknowledged the rights of them by the state, then media is expected to become the spearhead that can provide critical impartial information about the existence of indigenous peoples in Indonesia. But, in reality, the mass media in Indonesia does not have sensitivity to indigenous issues. The media has not yet placed indigenous peoples at the same level as the mainstream society.
At most media, including at television, indigenous people are regarded as primitive. There is no empathy to these groups. In Indonesian language, primitive means no culture, or having low level culture. By using primitives on the coverage has shown that media does not have any sensitivity at all to this issues.
One example that can be retrieved to show this was reality program on local TV station called “Primitive Runaways” which had been broadcasted nationally in Indonesia. “Primitive Runaway” had put interaction between celebrities (at the highest level) and indigenous people (at the lowest level). All habits and customs that embedded on indigenous people were used as ribbing material by the celebrities which had been act as the main characters at the show.
AMAN, NGOs and individuals who can not stand to watch such program, sent a letter of protest to the related television station as well as to the Broadcasting Commission Agency. The protest was responded by the TV station; however, they only changed the title of the program into “Ethnic Runaway”, which the content remained the same.
The same was experienced as well by the indigenous peoples of Gorontalo Suku Polahi at the Boliyohuto mountainside. The television management even paid the tribal for naked, though the peoples had known clothing long time ago. In fact, according to Mama Tanio, displayed from one national private television some time ago which showed them naked, it is no longer pure like that. “Baba Tanio was paid for naked during that time”, explained Mama Tanio who is the wife of Baba Tanio, the chief tribe.
On May 6, 2013, in its regional column, Kompas.com also raised writing on Polahi Indigenous Community titled “Tribe Polahi in Gorontalo, Half Human Half Animal”, which later changed its title to “Polahi Citizens, Marginalized at Forest Boliyohuto”.
According to sources of Kompas.com, the Tribun-timur.com also raised the news with the same title and content “Tribe Polahi in Gorontalo, Half Human Half Animal”. On January 22, 2013, Kompas.com also published article on tribe from South Middle East, which mention the tribes as primitives.
III. The Dominance of Mass Media Conglomeration in Indonesia
The negative coverage by the large mass-media aginst indigenous peoples need to be scrutinized. If we analize further, the negative coverage that appear related to the indigenous peoples can not be separated from the structure of the media in Indonesia which has been dominated by media conglomerate that mostly centered in Jakarta.
The centralization of mass media in Jakarta has made news on indigenous peoples who are outside Jakarta, even Java, become Jakarta bias. The lifestyle of city dwellers become a reference in looking at the lives of indigenous peoples. As a result, the coverage of indigenous people who live outside Jakarta tends to be negative.
Conglomeration of media in Indonesia, within the meaning of the cross section, appeared since the era of Soeharto and all being centralized in Jakarta,” said Chairman of Yayasan Pantau Andreas Harsono, “In the Era of Dutch East Indies and Soekarno, there was major media, but not cross section, at that time only in the form of newspaper,”.
According to Andreas Harsono, outside the internet, the largest media conglomerate is MNC (Media Nusantara Citra). “Secondly, Kompas-Gramedia,” he said, “for the convergence of ICT-based conglomerate, currently the largest is the Bakrie Group”. According to him, the ICT convergence will further strengthen the media conglomerate in Indonesia. “It will get worse,” he said.
Table 1: Media Conglomerations in Indonesia
|Media Group||Newspaper||Magazine||Radio Station||Television Station||Cyber Media||Other Business|
|1||Kompas-Gramedia Group||Kompas, The Jakarta Post, Warta Kota and 11 local newspaper||37 magazines and Tabloid, 5 book publisher||Sonora Radio and Otomotion Radio||Kompas TV||Kompas.com,Kompasiana.com||Hotel, Printing,House, Promotion, Agencies, University|
|2||MNC (Media Nusantara Citra)||Seputar Indonesia||Genie, Mom&Kiddy,Realita, Trust Magazine||Trijaya FM, Radio Dangdut TPI, ARH Global, Women Radio||RCTI, Global TV, TPI (MNC TV), Indovision (cable television)||Okezone.com||IT Business|
|3||Jawa Pos||Jawa Pos, Fajar, Riau Pos, Rakyat Merdeka, and 90 local newspaper around regions||23 weekly magazines||Fajar FM at Makassar||JTV at Surabaya and 3 local TV station||Travel Bureau, Power House|
|4||Mugi Reka Aditama (MRA)||Cosmopolitan, Harper’s Bazaar, Esquire,FHM, Good House Keeping and 10 other magazines (mostly franchise)||Hard Rock FM, MTV Sky||O’Channel||Holder of Several International Boutique|
|5||Bali Post||Bali post, Suluh Indonesia and 2 other newspapers||Figure Tabloid||Bali TV and 8 other TV local||Balipost, bisnis bali|
|6||Mahaka Media||Harian Republika||Golf Digest, Arena, Parents Indonesia, A+||Radio Jak FM||JakTV, TV One||Entertainment. Outdoor Advertisement|
|7||Femina Group||Femina, Gadis, Ayah Bunda, Dewi and 10 other magazines||Radio U FM||Production House|
|8||Bakrie Group||ANTV, TV One||Vivanews.com||Property, mining, palm oil and telecommunication|
|9||Lippo Group||Jakarta Globe, Investor Daily, Suara Pembaruan||Majalah Investor, Globe Asia, Campus Asia||Beritasatu.com||Property, hospital,Education, insurance, internet service provider|
|10||Trans Corp||TransTV, Trans7||Detik.com|
|11||Media Group||Media Indonesia, Lampung Post, Borneo News||MetroTV||mediaindonesia.com|
Source: Compiled from media conglomeration table of Ignatius Haryanto
Ownership of many media in one group not only brings financial benefits for its owner, but also has the potential to dominate public opinion. By media conglomeration, at the end, information will be controlled by a few people,” said Andreas Harsono. “Public opinion in Indonesia will only be controlled by a few big media companies”.
Television owned by the media conglomeration network, for example, has huge potential viewers in Indonesia. With that magnitude, it causes a discourse hegemony tendency. The trend is growing larger when the media conglomerations penetrate the online world as well.
Table 2: Potential Viewers of Television
|Name of TV Station||Transmission Site||Potential Viewer (million)|
Source: Satriyo Dharmanto presentation material
“Monopoly of media ownership in every canal will be able to remarkably influence public opinion,” said Farid Gaban, “and public opinion will have an effect on public policy”.
Farid Gaban cited issues such as highway construction. “The choice to build toll roads or railways, it is under the corridor of public policy,” he said. “Can you imagine if this public discourse regarding to this problem is controlled by media conglomerate which also has an interest in or has the infrastructure business”.
The capital owner of media in Indonesia, in addition to having a media company also owns manufacture companies. Most companies have potentially cause social conflict with society, including with indigenous peoples. Companies outside the media sectors namely oil palm plantations and quarries.
“Bakrie Group, for example, besides having and controls the media, they also own toll road business, properties, and mines,” said Farid Gaban. “If the media conglomeration in the era of media convergence is not controlled, it can be dangerous”.
IV. Indigenous Struggle against the Domination of Jakarta Mass Media
IV. 1. Struggling by Utilizing Complaints Mechanism
Negative coverage of indigenous peoples by mass media in Jakarta got reactions from Indigenous Peoples Alliances of Archipelago (AMAN). AMAN sent an objection letter to the editor of Kompas.com regarding the article on Polahi Tribe in Gorontalo. AMAN judged that the article was loaded with racial discrimination (SARA) against indigenous peoples, by pinning a predicate to Polahi Tribe as half-human half animal, primitive and stupid.
The article was considered violated Law No. 40/1999 Article 6 on PERS. It also considered contrary to the Constitution 1945 (Amendment) Article 281 paragraph (2) and (3). Moreover, it was contrary to Law No. 27/2007 and Law No. 32/2009. Under the general recommendation of CERD (Committee on Elimination of Racial Discrimination) No. 23 on indigenous peoples mentioned:
“The Committee calls on particular upon states parties to: a). Recognize and respect indigenous distinct culture, history, language, and way of life as an enrichment of the State’s cultural identity and to promote its preservation; b). Ensure that member of indigenous peoples are free and equal in dignity and rights and free from any discrimination, in particular that based on indigenous origin”.
Case coverage on Togutil Tribe in Wasile Halmahera Forest by print media also got direct response from PW AMAN of North Maluku. Posko Malut raised the article with title “Togutil Tribe Looking Back for Prey”, Malut Post under the title “Again, Togutil Tribe Create Problems”, and Radar Halmahera with the title “Togutil Tribe Return to Terror Citizens”.
In the documentary film produced by Gekho Studio, entitled “A grain of hope, a dream of village forest in between industrialization”, the existence of indigenous peoples were presented by their struggle and wisdom in maintaining and preserving the forest sustainability. Amid the current media coverage which discredit indigenous peoples and pressured by forestry companies and large-scale plantation, Riau society were struggling to get their first permission on village forest, a community effort to save the living space.
Other films entitled “Indigenous peoples: True guardians of Indonesia Forest”, describes that indigenous peoples of Papua to Sumatra are proved able to maintain their forest sustainability.
AMAN protest against television station that broadcast the “Primitive Runaway” show, objection letter of AMAN to Kompas.com regarding the article titled “Polahi Tribe, Tugotil Tribe, Boti Tribe, and Press Release issued by PW AMAN of North Maluku, are critical examples of fights against discrimination committed by media to indigenous peoples.
From the discussion between AMAN, Kompas.com and Press Council on August 22, 2012 in Jakarta associated with news on indigenous peoples of Polahi Tribe and Boti Tribe, Press Council stated that it was a violation to the Article 8 of the Code Governing Journalism which regulate that “Indonesian Journalists do not write or broadcast news based on prejudice or discrimination against someone on the basis of differences in ethnicity, race, color, religion, sex and language. And do not degrading the weak, the poor, the sick, the mental or the physical disability”.
At that time, the Press Council recommended that Kompas.com to load right of reply to the complainant proportionally, accompanied by apology to Polahi Tribe, Boti Tribe and readers. As per Clause 4 on Cyber Media Coverage Guidelines, the right of reply and an apology is linked to the news. Managing Director of Kompas.com Tri Wahono apologizes to AMAN who represented by PB AMAN Mina Susana Setra.
On July 19, 2013, Press Council also mediated AMAN and Tribun-Timur regarding the same articles on Polahi Tribe. The meeting agreed that Tribun-Timur as suspected shall put a statement of apology (in the news features), while AMAN as the complainant shall accord the right to reply to be published in the Tribun-Timur.
IV. 2. Fight for Access to Information
Lack of access of indigenous peoples to information is due to the media lack of responsiveness on indigenous peoples, and also due to limited range of access and infrastructure. Thus, it is much needed alternatives for indigenous peoples to be able to access information. AMAN has held a discussion on theme “Media for Strengthening Indigenous Voices” in North Maluku.
Strengthening indigenous voices require media. Moreover, with number of problems they have to face, such as the loss of indigenous peoples’ access to the forest, due to forest conversion for the benefits of mining and oil palm plantation. Media must have the alignment to the indigenous peoples as their social responsibilities. If this spirit is not established then media presence is only to protect the interest of corporation or certain elite.
AMAN of North Maluku is also setting up cooperation with Diahi FM and RRI Ternate branch. This cooperation will be very useful, as it is expected that the media also helps encourage the protection and recognition of indigenous people rights.
“Indigenous communities need alternative media such as community radio, newsletters, facebook, twitter, blog, since those are ways for them to express what they are facing. This media can encourage change toward better life,” stated Chairman of AJI Ternate. Radio community is very effective on building movements in the villages which are out of reach from communication media network.
Recognizing the importance of access to information and communication for indigenous peoples in various regions, the Indigenous People Alliance of the Archipelago (AMAN) initiate several radio communities in several areas, namely:
1. Community Radio Gelora FM at Langkat district – North Sumatra
2. Community Radio Daye’e FM at Enggano Island
3. Community Radio Sampan FM at Togean Islands
4. Community Radio Suara Kiyu Meratus FM at Meratus – South Kalimantan
5. Community Radio Cek Bocek at Sumbawa
IV. 3. Starting a New Phase: Struggling by Utilizing ICT
Along with the information and communication development, the indigenous peoples under the Indigenous peoples Alliance of the Archipelago (AMAN) also utilize ICT. By making use of ICT, a person can serve both as consumers and producers of information. In addition, information that is made can be published through multiple information channels at the same time (website, community radio/online and online video).
The development of ICT brings new ways for indigenous activists to fight for their interest. Struggling with the use of ICT is a new round of fight for indigenous activist in Indonesia. In addition, with this ICT, the indigenous activists strive to offset news which has been dominated by media conglomerates in Jakarta.
Given the widespread use of online media by various segments of society, it is now emerging groups with specifically discuss or exchange information about indigenous peoples. PB AMAN itself has groups in AMAN. And in the regions, there are AMAN of East Kalimantan, AMAN of West Kalimantan, AMAN of Center Kalimantan and so on. All indigenous youth make group of Youth Indigenous Front, as well as with the female of AMAN members.
There are also groups called Association of Indigenous Peoples Defenders of the Archipelago. Beside AMAN, there is also group that specifically discuss the indigenous culture of a particular region, such as Ruang Diskusi Save Borneo initiated by Dayak youth overseas, Save Our Borneo from Central Kalimantan, and so on.
The ease of doing blogging is also utilized by indigenous peoples to make longer review on cases or life or culture. Online petition through Change.org is often used to put pressure on the government, corporate, or police for related specific case.
As an example is a case in Ketapang between indigenous peoples and Oil Palm Company that resulted in two residents were arrested. Petition addressed to the police chief of West Kalimantan to release both residents. There was also a petition to the government of Indonesia to immediately implement the Constitutional Court ruling No. 35/PUU-X/2012 which states that indigenous customary forest is no longer state forest.
The utilization of mobile phone technology is also maximized by indigenous peoples, given the fairly massive mobile phone users up to the villages. Ruai TV in West Kalimantan is one that uses mobile technology to deliver news with short messages. Vice Chief Editor of Ruai TV Alim reveals how mainstreaming the indigenous voices in West Kalimantan through Ruai Tv channel. “The media responsibility is to give space to those who can not voice their rights. However, there are a lot of media that has already begun to forget such responsibility”.
Ruai TV has developed Ruai SMS and Ruai Swara over the phone. Initially, about 20 people get journalism training that is expected to deliver important news to Ruai TV. Ruai TV refers these residents journalist as CJ or Citizen Journalist. CJ will send news through Ruai SMS, and after that it will go to editing process. Then, Ruai SMS will spread the news to all its customers, which until now mounting about 700 contacts. Some of the incoming message will also be displayed as running text in Ruai TV.
Through Ruai SMS, some problems of agrarian conflict experienced by the peoples generate positive results. “The issue of plasma, roads, damaged docks bridge, school, were preached through SMS,” said Adrianus Adam Tekot Timanggung Binua Sungai Manur. SMS media has changed the movement strategy. “If we had muscle long time ago, now we use SMS,” said Adrianus Adam Tekot. Palm has been destroyed, but people of Ampaning will still rise to uphold the rights and dignity in the wilds of palm plantation. The Ruai SMS model can be illustrated in below chart:
So it is with Seruat II Society in West Kalimantan. They are now able to gain back their land rights from palm plantation company PT Sintang Raya. “By using of Ruai SMS, our bargaining power to the government, police and company could be aligned. Indeed, SMS is not the only way, but this media allows our voices to be heard by various interest parties,” said Madjid, resident of Seruat II.
Following the movement of Ruai TV, the Indigenous People Alliance of the Archipelago (AMAN) is also implementing SMS Adat program. There are about 2000 SMS numbers from indigenous archipelago network held by SMS Adat administration. Usually, SMS Adat is effective enough to raise public awareness by put pressure to officials or public officials on certain related cases. For example, in the arrest of 16 Pandumaan Sipituhuta indigenous peoples in North Sumatra, SMS Adat had spread the SMS to its network to suppress the police by sending SMS to Police Chief of North Sumatra to immediately release the residents in connection with the conflict with PT Toba Pulp Lestari. Spreading of this SMS is also channeled through Twitter, Facebook, and email.
The existence of demonstration in Jakarta and Medan, and video capturing the arrest process that had been distributed through mass media was considered enough on affecting the public and national media. Metro TV then made a special coverage of the case so that the range of coverage became wider. Various pressures through these media had resulted in the release of that 16 people with suspension of detention.
V. ICT Policy; Potentially Undermining the Movement of Indigenous Peoples
The development of ICT has encouraged the emergence of media convergence. According to Satrio Arismunandar, media convergence is the merging or combinations of various types of media, which were previously separated and distinct (eg. computers, television, radio and newspaper) into a single media.
As mentioned above, the development of ICT has become a new opportunity for indigenous peoples to take fight against the domination of big mass media which affiliated into media conglomeration. This is happened because by development of ICT, people no longer serve as consumers of information but also serve as producers of information.
However, on the other hand, the development of ICT is also strengthen existing media conglomeration. Group of major media that back by its capital can have a variety media from many channels at once (print, online, television and radio). “Media conglomeration in the era of ICT convergence is something that difficult to avoid,” said Don Bosco Salamun, from Berita Satu Media Holdings, when he served as speaker in the Conference of New Media organized by Alliance of Independent Journalist (AJI).
“Due to this affiliations of media ownership, this can make media operates in more efficient,” he said. “A journalist, for example, can make news not only for one channel, but also several channels at once”.
As written in one portal, President Director of Bakrie Telekom Tbk (BTEL) Anindya N. Bakrie when describing Bakrie Telecom, Media and Technology (Bakrie TMT 2015) planed to synergize the telecom business lines (BTEL), media (VIVA Group) and technology (BConn and BNET) companies until 2015.
In the midst of such situation, then emerge government policies related to ICT which weakening the people movement, including the indigenous peoples which utilize ICT on their struggle. New phase of indigenous peoples using ICT for their fight was withered before it developed. Government ICT policies that could potentially undermine the indigenous movement, among others:
a. Defamation Article under the Information and Electronic Transaction Law (ITE Law).
Prita Mulyasari, a name that can not be separated from defamation article under the ITE Law. Prita was a woman who wrote her dissatisfaction with the services of Omni International Hospital through her personal email to her colleagues.
Finally, the personal email came to Omni International Hospital. The hospital performed a civil lawsuit and criminal report of her. In criminal law, Prita had committed did the defamation as set out in Article 27 paragraph (3) of ITE Law.
The case then encouraged internet users, bloggers and facebookers to rally support for Prita against Omni International Hospital. Online movement support then continued to offline activities. This evident can be seen from various demonstration in the Prita’s trial and the greatest effort was a coin movement for Prita’s justice.
However, it seems that the social movements through the virtual world will have to see some constraints. First constrain is related to defamation threat under the ITE Law. In a criminal case, Prita was defeated by the Supreme Court Decision. This was a bad precedent for the social movements in cyberspace.
In addition to Prita case, defamation article and unpleasant acts has threatened some residents who tried to make social critique to figures who happen to have power, both politically and economically. Bambang Krisminarso for example, the police had detained him along with his son M. Naziri on allegedly insulting the president’s son in a violation of the defamation provision under the ITE Law.
This happened because Bambang filed a complaint to the local election supervisory commission that stated that the supporters of the son of Indonesia’s president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (SBY) had been handing out some money to the prospective voters.
In addition, there is Yudi Latif, a public intellectual who ever threatened entangled defamation article under this ITE Law. At the end of 2010, Yudi Latif was reported to the police by the Golkar party cadres for allegedly defaming the party leader Aburizal Bakrie. Under the police report No TBL/498/XII/2010/Bareskim, Yudi was reported on the alleged violation of Article 310 and 311 of KUHP and Article 45 paragraph (2) in conjunction with Article 28 paragraph (1) and (2) of ITE Law.
Previously, defamation article is always used as a tool to silence the civil society movement:
- Fifi Tanang, a letter writer in a newspaper reader. Accused of defaming PT Duta Pertiwi through her writing in the reader column.
- Alex Joni Polii, Minahasa resident, who fight for his land ownership against PT Newmont Minahasa Raya (NMR). Accused of committing a criminal defamation and unpleasant acts.
- Dr. Rignolda Djamaluddin, he was judged to have defamed a gold mining company PT Newmont Minahasa Raya (NMR) due to his statement about symptoms of Minamata desease which were found in body of some Buyat Pante residents.
- Yani Sgaro and Salamuddin, the two people have been accused of defaming PT Newmont Nusa Tenggara (NNT) because of their statement that the company should be responsible for the decline in the quality of health that experienced by Tongo Sejorong people since the company disposed of tailings waste into the Senunu Gulf.
- Usman Hamid (Kontras Coordinator). Allegations: defamation
- Emerson Yuntho (ICW Coordinator). Allegations: defamation
- Illian Deta Arta Sari (ICW activist). Allegations: defamation
- Gatot (KSN activist). Allegations: defamation
- Suryani (NGO activist of Glasnot Ponorogo). Allegations: defamation
- Dadang Iskandar (activist of Corruption Watch Gunung Kidul). Allegations: defamation
- Itce Julinar (Chief of SP Angkasapura). Allegations: defamation
The emergence of defamation article under the ITE Law and many citizens who become victims of criminalization will potentially become new tool of criminalization for indigenous peoples who voices their interest in cyber world. Especially, when the indigenous peoples’ interest collides with the interest of a big capital owner.
b. ICT Convergence Bill
If the defamation article under the ITE Law has the potential to become a tool for criminalization then the bill of ICT (information and communication technology) convergence would potentially eliminate the rights of indigenous peoples to communicate by utilizing media convergence. The bill has the potential to preserve indigenous inequality of access to information.
In the context of telecommunication liberalization, ICT Convergence Bill will not be much different with the Law No. 36/1999 on Telecommunication. Under the Bill, it states that one of the backgrounds for the emergence of the ICT Convergence bill is a pressure or impetus to make paradigm shift from the vital and strategic ICT, as well as that affects the livelihood of many people into a commodity that can be greater traded through regional and international forums in the form of pressure for the opening up of market (open market).
c. Inequality of ICT Access
Unequal access to ICT which becomes a fact in Indonesia has become a serious issue in the context of indigenous resistance to the dominant discourse of the conglomeration of media convergence. Citizens who live outside the Java, especially in most central and eastern part of Indonesia would found it difficult to offset or against the domination of conglomeration media discourse through blogs, citizen journalism, if they do not have access to ICT.
Data from the Ministry of Communications and Informatics states that until 2008, the village in Java was an area that has the most wired telephone infrastructure. It was followed by Sumatra, Sulawesi, Bali, East Nusa Tenggara, Kalimantan, Papua and Maluku. Ownership of telephone cables were most in the area of Java and Sumatra. From this data, it can be revealed an indication of unequal access to telecommunication in Indonesia. Telecommunication access is still dominated by Java and Western Indonesia (Sumatra).
However, it could be that the above data appears because more telephone wires being abandoned and switches to the mobile communication through mobile phone. In this case, then indicators that can be used are the amount of cellular receivers among Java, Western and Eastern Indonesia.
According to the white book as well, Java was also an area of recipient village with the highest mobile signal compared to the other regions in Indonesia. It was not surprisingly, in 2008 the mobile phone ownerships in Java and Sumatra area were reaching of 81.57 percent.
Meanwhile, data in 2010 from Ministry of Communications and Informatics, revealed that as many as 65.2 percent of fiber optic backbone infrastructure was concentrated in Java, followed by Sumatra (20.31%) and Kalimantan (6.13%). While in the eastern part of Indonesia have not yet equipped with such infrastructure.
Condition of ICT infrastructure as mentioned above also cause internet users to be concentrated in Java. Data from Susenas 2006-2008 from Statistics Indonesia showed that during year 2007-2008, internet access of Indonesian households had increased. In 2007, percentage of households with internet access was 5.58 percent. In the year 2008, it increased to 8.56 percent. And once again, households in Java still had the highest access to the internet among Indonesian households through the regions.
The same is reflected in Facebook user and tweet production in Indonesia. As written in the snapshot of Indonesia Social Media Users – Saling Silang Report Feb 2011, mentioned that Facebook user was dominated by Jakarta residents (50.33%), followed by Bandung (5.2%), Bogor (3.23%), Yogyakarta (3.09%), Medan (3.04%), Makasar (2.23%) and Surabaya (2.18%), and compared with Facebook users in Jayapura (0.12%) and Ternate (0.03%).
Similarly, the tweet production on Twitter. Tweets being tweet from Jakarta dominated all the tweets in Indonesia. It was mounting to 16.33 percent, followed by Bandung (13.79%), Yogyakarta (11.05%), Semarang (8.29%) and Surabaya (8.21%), compared with tweets from Palu (0.71%), Ambon (0.35%) and Jayapura (0.23%).
The centralization of mass media and ICT infrastructure in Java, while on the other side the area of indigenous peoples are mostly located outside Java, has caused news concerning indigenous peoples will be biased of Jakarta. Unequal access to ICT causes hardship for indigenous peoples for counterbalancing mass media coverage which concentrate in Java. The difficulty has increased when it connected with natural resources conflicts involving capital owners who also have big mass media in Jakarta.
According to Deputy of Advocacy of Indigenous Peoples Alliance of Archipelago (AMAN) Ruka Sambolinggi, of 200 indigenous communities of AMAN members, there are only 20 percent who has the access to mobile phone. “There are a lot of areas in where indigenous peoples live that not equipped by telecommunication infrastructure,” she said. “It is becoming one of the complaints factors of indigenous peoples to Komnas HAM (human rights commission) that could not being pursued”.
According to the ICT Convergence Bill, communications and informatics are no longer something vital and dominate the life of many people, but it turns into a commodity, thus the development of ICT infrastructure will be released to market mechanism. As a result, only an area where its people have the purchasing power economically that will be served by this ICT infrastructure. It means that ICT infrastructure will remain concentrated in Java, especially in Jakarta. Meanwhile, most of indigenous peoples are outside Java.
Indication that this ICT infrastructure will be given to market mechanism is reflected in the body of the bill. It stated that there will be no legal basis for citizens to assert their rights when the government fails to build ICT infrastructure.
“If the bigger concept is the rights of citizens (the general publics), why being regulated under the bills is more vicious matter of consumers rights/users?” said ICT Watch Coordinator Donny BU, “Meanwhile, the rights of citizens, especially for those who have not yet gotten the access to ICT, not yet or is not regulated”. Consequently, the existing ICT gaps which relies on islands state such Indonesia will continue to be maintained through this bills. And if that is the case, then the voices of indigenous peoples that should be channeled through media convergence will be weakened.
VI. Policy Recommendations: Time to Change the ICT Policy that in favor of Indigenous Peoples
Associated with the potential weakening of indigenous peoples’ struggle by the ICT policy, there are some recommendations as below:
- The new government and legislative peoples from the 2014 election results should immediately revise the ITE Law by repeal the defamation article under it. The defamation article should not be threatened with criminal law. This article should be under the civil law.
- The new government should pull out the ICT Convergence bill and do the review to this draft. The obligation of the government to build ICT infrastructure in remote areas should be strengthened with a legal framework in the form of citizen lawsuit for peoples who live in that remote areas if the government fails to meet his obligation on building ICT infrastructure.
- In drafting the bill relating to media, telecommunication and informatics, the government and legislative people must involve representatives of communities from remote areas, not just peoples from the cities of Java.
 Director of Information and Communication of AMAN
 Media researcher, live in Yogyakarta, Indonesia
 New Order Regime is authoritarian regime backed by the Indonesian military at that time. This regime was established after President Soekarno was drooped from the governmental.
 “Cultural identity and rights of traditional community be respected in accordance with the development of times and civilizations.”
 “The State recognizes and respects units of customary law community and their traditional rights as long as they are all still alive and in accordance with society development and principles of the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia, which is regulated by law.”
 Print media, radio, television and internet
 Yayasan Pantau is an institution that concerned with capacity building of journalism in Indonesia
 Research of SatuDunia, Telematics Policy and Discourse Battle in the Age of Media Convergence (http://www.slideshare.net/satudunia/final-report-kebijakan-telematika-dan-pertarungan-wacana-di-era-konvergensi-media-sdtifa)
 ICT = Information and Communication Technology
 As of this writing, Kompas Group in on preparation for KompasTV
 Kompasiana is a Citizen Media
 Batam, Pekanbaru, Makassar
 Bandung, Jakarta, Bali and Surabaya
 Jakarta and Bandung
 Has been taken over by SCTV
 In cooperation with Bakrie Group
 Berita Satu Media Holdings
 As of this writing, still on acquisition process
 10 years of TIFA, “The Spirit of Open Society”
 MNC Group
 Bakrie Group
 MNC Group
 MNC Group
 Trans Corps Group
 Trans Corps Group
 Bakrie Group
 Media Indonesia Group, Surya Paloh
 Satriyo Dharmanto, Presentation at Working Group Licensing, Bandung, February18, 2010
 Print, television, radio, online media
 Former journalist of TEMPO Newspaper, as been written on SatuDunia Research ”Telematics Policy and Discourse Battle in the era of Media Convergence (http://www.slideshare.net/satudunia/final-report-kebijakan-telematika-dan-pertarungan-wacana-di-era-konvergensi-media-sdtifa)
 Bakrie Groups own TV One, AN TV dan vivanews.com
 Merging of various media channels, for example, a news can appear simultaneously in print, radio, television and online media
 Tribe, religion, race and class
 AMAN objection letter to Kompas.com: Objection regarding article on Polahi Tribe in Gorontalo. Jakarta, May 7, 2013. Number: 411/SEKJEN/PB AMAN/V/2013
 Malut Post is a local media under the network of media conglomeration of Jawa Pos Group (http://www.jpnn.com/)
 Daily Newspaper (SKH) Radar Halmahera is a local newspaper subsidiary of Malut Post (Jawa Pos Group) located in Tobelo, North Halmahera (Halut) (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Koran-Radar-Halmahera/141089249266234?sk=info)
 Satrio Arismunandar is the former journalist of Republika and Trans Group Television
 Berita Satu Media Holdings is an Indonesian media holding company that operates the Berita Satu TV, BeritaSatu.com, Jakarta Globe, Globe Asia, The Peak, Campus Asia, Investor Daily, Majalah Investor and Suara Pembaruan. Berita Satu Media Holdings are a multiplatform media company, focusing in broadcast, print, digital, online, social media, mobile, and events. http://www.linkedin.com/company/berita-satu-media-holdings
 Conference on “New Media: Being a Host at Home Country, Nikko Hotel, July 7, 2011
 Article 27, paragraph (3) of ITE Law on defamation, Article 18 of ITE Law on unpleasant acts
 Criticism reaping a crime, Human Right Watch, 2010. http://satuportal.net/system/files/indonesia0510indosumandrecs.pdf
 White Book, “Communication and Informatics in 2010”
 Mobile and wire telephone distribution based on islands, 2008, White Book, “Communication and Informatics in 2010”
 White Book, “Communications and Informatics in 2010”
 Definition of fiber optic backbone is high speed connections or channels that become the main path of telecommunications network.
 Statement issued during the media gathering, “Week of Indigenous Peoples; Struggle Message for the New President,” at Galery Café, Jakarta on August 20,2014
 As written in SatuDunia Research, ICT Policy and Fights of Discourse in the Era of Media Convergence (http://www.slideshare.net/satudunia/final-report-kebijakan-telematika-dan-pertarungan-wacana-di-era-konvergensi-media-sdtifa)