(JG Illustration)

There Are 'Sengkuni' Behind May 22 Riot: Ganjar Pranowo


MAY 23, 2019

Semarang. Central Java Governor Ganjar Pranowo fully supports efforts by law enforcement agencies to find the masterminds behind this week's deadly riots in Jakarta.

Police announced on Wednesday evening that nearly 260 protestors had been arrested after rioting broke out in three locations in Central and West Jakarta during the May 22 rally against the result of last month's presidential election.

"There is Sengkuni, who provoked his fellow countrymen to fight; there is a particular setting to deliberately create chaos in the land," Ganjar said at his offices in Semarang, Central Java.

He was referring to a devious character from Javanese folklore who is behind the Baratayuda, a civil war between the Pandawa clan – the good guys – and the Kurawa clan – the bad guys.

"I strongly condemn this type of modus operandi. The National Police and the Army must investigate and catch the masterminds behind the riots," said Ganjar, who was elected for a second term last year.

The Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) politician said the "Sengkuni" in the May 22 rally are those who provoked the mob with narratives to disrespect the government and the agencies handling the elections, and to break the law and attack law enforcers.

The PDI-P is the main backer of incumbent President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo.

Ganjar said police have found evidence showing that the chaos in Jakarta over the past two days had been by design and that there were certain groups seeking to divide Indonesians.

He said supporters of losing presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto should have listened to their leaders when they called on them not to commit violence or break the law while protesting the result of last month's election.

The former military strongman, who served under the authoritarian regime of President Suharto, has refused to accept the result, claiming massive fraud. He previously stated that his side would resort to mass action to overturn the result, but has since promised to take the dispute to the Constitutional Court. 

"If Mr. Prabowo said he would take the matter to the Constitutional Court and urged his supporters to hold a peaceful rally, then, if there were a riot, I believe it was masterminded by a third party. I fully support law enforcers in their efforts to bring the perpetrators to book," the governor said.