Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Music to End Impunity

NS prepared the following draft script for the CBC Global Village Program. I would be very pleased if it can be broadcasted.

Music to End Impunity: The Campaign for Justice in the Murder Case of Munir

Suggested Intro:
It has been over two years since the murder of Munir Thalib Said, Indonesia’s leading and internationally renowned human rights defender, but until now, the perpetrators of this heinous crime have escaped justice. Just last week, the one person who was tried and found guilty of the murder was acquitted and released from prison. The search for truth and justice continues, and Nancy Slamet was in Jakarta last month to learn how Indonesian musicians are playing an important role in this campaign and the broader struggle to end their country’s culture of impunity.

Music Clip: Ada Yang Hilang (Someone is missing)
Play Munir’s voice at the beginning of the song (25 seconds) and the first part of the song (suggested clip is 1:45)

Fade out Music

Narrator (NS): This song titled “Ada Yang Hilang” or “Someone is missing” is the lead track of a CD dedicated to the life and work of Munir, which was put together by various Indonesian musicians and sponsored by several human rights organizations. At the beginning of the song, we hear Munir speaking at a rally about the thousands of innocent people who are “missing” because they have been disappeared or killed as a result of state sponsored violence. Tragically, Munir himself became one of the countless “missing” when he was murdered on September 7, 2004.

Speaking truth to power in Indonesia is a dangerous profession, but Munir fearlessly led the charge and dedicated his life to defending rights of people throughout the Indonesian archipelago. Munir’s death sent a country into mourning and dealt a big blow to a fledgling civil society emerging from of 32 years of dictatorship and militarism. But both his life and his death have inspired many Indonesians, including musicians to carry the torch for human rights and democracy.

Interview Clip: Endah Widiastuti

Quote about how she was inspired by Munir & therefore wrote songs about social justice and supported the work of human rights organizations

Narrator (NS): Endah Widiastuti is one of many musicians whose life and work has been influenced by Munir. As a young artist based in Jakarta, she hopes that her music can continue to carry Munir’s message of hope. Endah was inspired to compose a song in tribute to Munir which she performed at an event organized by the Swiss Embassy and a number of local and international human rights organizations commemorating the first anniversary of Munir’s death.

Interview Clip: Endah Widiastuti

Quote about what the song is about – calling on people to be like Munir who defied darkness and despair by living like a candle in the dark, not to give up…

Music Clip: Play 30 seconds to 1 minute of Endah’s song “A Thousand Candles Lighted

Narrator (NS): Endah told me that this song will be re-recorded and re-released on her 4th CD this spring given that Munir’s murder remains unresolved and the search for justice continues. At the forefront of this campaign is Suciwati, Munir’s widow…

Interview Clip with voice over: Suciwati

Quote about this campaign not only being important for her late husband, but all Indonesians. Truth and justice is needed in Munir’s case so that this does not happen again.

Narrator (NS): Commenting on the role of musicians in this campaign, Suciwati underscores their importance in building popular support for the cause.

Interview Clip with voice over: Suciwati

Quote about how music can reach more people and the general public - such as the music of Iwan Fals, a popular protest singer and musician of the “people” who composed a song in tribute to Munir shortly after his death.

Music Clip: Iwan Fals’ song Pulanglah or “Going home” (30 seconds)

Narrator (NS): Iwan Fals recently recorded this song, Pulanglah for his upcoming CD. It was first performed for Suciwati on December 8, 2004, Munir’s birthday, which has been a date for remembrance of his life and work ever since. Just this last December, I was in Jakarta for a public event titled “Working for Universal Human Rights: Reflections on Munir’s Life”.

Clip: Background/Ambient noise from event (traffic)

Narrator (NS): About fifty people are gathered in a round-about on one of Jakarta’s main thoroughfares. There is a hopeful air about the gathering, as earlier that day, the Indonesian House of Representatives demanded that the investigation into Munir’s death be re-opened. Family members, friends, activists, victims of human rights abuses and members of the general public are holding placards and candles, and a group musicians are playing songs about social justice to hearten and inspire the crowd. These street musicians play their music at events like these, on buses, sidewalks, and in the cafes of Jakarta, keeping alive Munir’s message of hope and human rights for all Indonesians. And indeed there is reason to hope that justice may be had, as earlier that day, the Indonesian House of Representatives demanded that the investigation into Munir’s death be re-opened.

Ambient noise from the event (music)
For the Global Village, this is NS in Jakarta, Indonesia.

Amidst my busy life and tight schdules I managed to secure interview slots to several people involved as the sources for this program for NS. Yeah, I talked to IF on direct line about interviewing him *smile*. Too bad we couldn't accommodate the only time that he had for this interview. We interviewed Endah, instead. She's good too. A young girl with a heart! (Well, it's very hard to find a young girl with a heart these days in Jakarta!) You know it's very hard to find a quiet place to conduct this interview. We ended up on the sofa of Chatterbox in Taman Anggrek Mall - the only place with acceptable level of decibel. So, while NS interviewed her, I ate the calamari *smile*. NS and I agreed if The Global Village broadcasts this piece we will donate the money for Munir's cause.

I really hope that one day we can end this cycle of impunity, we can come to terms with our violent past, we can have fair and solid foundation for reconciliation among those in conflicts, we can have more people like Munir...

Next: Our Story on Munir will be Aired.

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