Bimo Petrus' Father: I'm Proud to Have a Son Like Bimo

After my previous blog post titled "Abduction Series and Prabowo's Involvement", I wanted to meet and chat with the family of the abduction victims who haven't returned. One of the family I planned to meet is the family of Petrus Bimo Anugrah in Malang.

Last Thursday, June 26th, 2014, I unexpectedly met Bimo's father, Utomo Rahardjo in Jakarta. He went to Jakarta to attend The 357th Kamisan Action. Kamisan is a peaceful and silent movement by the human rights violation victims, families, and activists asking for justice. It has been held every Thursday in front of the presidential palace. In the 357th Kamisan, Pak Tomo gave a speech in front of other victims, families, activists, policemen, and media. Pointing to the president's palace, Pak Tomo shouted,

 

"If he [the president] doesn't care and doesn't have the guts to do it, let's leave him. Let him be 'til the time comes..."

 

Pak Tomo in The 357th Kamisan (Photo by Yasmin Purba)

Pak Tomo in The 357th Kamisan (Photo by Yasmin Purba)

Later that night, at an event, I took the opportunity to approach Pak Tomo and I asked if he was willing to meet for an interview about Bimo. We met the next day at Wisma KontraS. Kontras (The Commission for the Disappeared and Victims of Violence) provided a guest house for the victims and the familes who need to stay in Jakarta. 

It was a sunny day. Pak Tomo was sitting on the floor while watching Metro TV news. I was glad to see him healthy. Then I joined and sat next to him. He shook my hand and asked my name, he said, "Thank you Dian, for your concern and your willingness to speak up. Without you, I can not possibly share my stories, my feelings. You can use any media, so that more people know about my son."

Pak Tomo repeatedly said he does not expect people to be concerned about his son or his story. For him, his story just needs to be shared with other people. Then it's up to them how will they respond it. He said it is their right. He does not worry if people ignore or bully him. He is grateful that people cared and are concerned about his son.

Petrus Bimo Anugrah

Bimo was from Malang (near Surabaya). He was a student of Airlangga University. Later he opted out from Airlangga University, moved to the STF Driyakara Jakarta, and became an activist. He become a member of the Indonesian Students Solidarity for Democracy (SMID) and the People's Democratic Party (PRD).

Bimo was missing on March 13th 1998 after attending a meeting against Soeharto regime in Pasar Baru, Jakarta. Unlike his roomates, Bimo did not return home after the meeting. His room mates who were also activists returned home to Klender Flat, and was arrested. On the same night, Bimo was missing. No one knows where BImo was abducted and how it happened.

When his friends realized Bimo was missing, they told Bimo's parents. Bimo's family immediately made a missing person report. They asked for help from the government and the police. But there has been no significant change. Bimo is still missing. From all institutions in Indonesia, only KontraS and IKOHI (Indonesian Association of Families of the Disappeared) gave them support. The government never helped anything.

The Day Bimo Said Goodbye

RETURN OUR SONS!

RETURN OUR SONS!

"If that is your choice, if you think it is right, do it. If you are faithful, no matter how small you are, Jesus will always save you,"

 

said Pak Tomo to Bimo when Bimo asked his permission to go to Jakarta and leave his college in Surabaya. Pak Tomo gave support to Bimo, while his wife didn't agree to Bimo's leaving.

After Bimo went missing, Pak Tomo said his wife complained to him why he had let Bimo leave in the first place. But Pak Tomo felt he wasn't letting Bimo to leave. He just wanted to give a support and pray for Bimo's passion. Which was changing his country for the better.

Pak Tomo said there is reason to regret for what happened. Pak Tomo said, there is no reason to regret what happened. He believes that there has been a positive outcome. "Indeed, I am proud to have a son like Bimo. He was ready to give him what he had for others," said Pak Tomo with a little sob but still trying to be strong.

Bimo's Dream and Struggle

Pak Tomo knew that his son was engaged in an underground political group. Bimo started to care about politics and social issues since his first semester in college in Surabaya. Bimo began to follow his friends who were in labor protests, accompany the farmers who were being evicted from their land. "That is Bimo's passion. He cares for those who are weak," said Pak Tomo.

Pak Tomo once asked Bimo, how many friends he had in his activist group. It turned out just as many as 30-50 friends. Pak Tomo continued asking Bimo, "will you be able to defeat the Soeharto regime along with the strength of the armed forces? If Soeharto and the armed forces are as thick as steel wall, will Bimo be able to break down that wall? Pak Tomo said, he remember Bimo answered his question with a smile,

 

"At least I will try to break the steel wall."

 

However, Bimo didn't tell Pak Tomo much regarding his activities or his actions in dealing with the police officers. Pak Tomo only knows that Bimo was upset with the regime and its human rights violations. Pak Tomo also heard Bimo was arrested by 60 days at the Polda Metro (Jakarta Police). Bimo's friend gave the news to Bimo's family and gave them a photograph of Bimo behind bars. Pak Tomo still keep that photo.

Bimo was arrested and detained for three charges. He was charged not for the possession of armed weapon, but for the possession of Mega-Bintang flyer, for his membership with the PRD, and for his demand for PRD Manifesto. "Bimo did not have a gun. His weapon was his thoughts, his critical view of the government. I remember that he demanded the PRD Manifesto. The Manifesto of the PRD included, among others; remove the dual function of the Armed Forces; revocation 5 political laws; East Timor referendum; and true open democracy. Their demands, I remember, was an attack to the government. The ideas could topple the regime. But now, after 16 years, their demands have been realized, " said Pak Tomo.

Bimo's big dream for this country has been accomplished. The PRD Manifesto has been accomplished and Bimo has managed to pave the way for the nation's democracy. However, he perished when he broke that steel wall.

Father's Support

Bimo did not always tell his father about his activism. However, there was one time Bimo needed his father's help. In 1996, when Bimo was on a hunger strike in Grahadi Parliament Surabaya, he was dispersed by a group of unknown people. He was hit on his head and was taken to the hospital. Bimo couldn't afford the hospital bill, so he asked his friend to see Pak Tomo in Malang. After receiving the news, Pak Tomo gave Bimo's friend the money to cover the hospital cost and the gas. He was also spontaneously gave Bimo's friend a piece of brown paper from the food paper bag. On that piece of paper, Pak Tomo wrote,

 

"Good luck. Don't give up. Keep fighting."

 

Accompanied by Bimo's younger brother, Bimo's friend went back again to Surabaya to give the money and the letter. According to Bimo's younger brother, when Bimo read the letter, he smiled. 

"At least he got support from me, his father," said Pak Tomo after telling the story to me. Pak Tomo sighed and smiled remembering that story. "Bimo must be really happy to get the support from his father," I said to Pak Tomo. He was silent for a moment and then sighed again, "I think so ... I am proud of him. People still care about him. People are still fighting for him. Including you Dian, thank you ..."

Little Bimo

"Bimo was funny. He likes to wear an ugly waist bag. I used to mock him. But Bimo just smiled. He does not want to look cool like other boy his age. Although he could, "said Pak Tomo.

"Where does his great soul came from?" I asked Pak Tomo

"It is naturally just Bimo," he replied. Pak Tomo told me that he raised his children in a humorous and democratic family. So Bimo grew up to be what he understood.

Then Pak Tomo started remembering how funny Bimo while he was still in elementary school. Although his school teacher was his own aunt who lived in the same house with him, every morning Bimo was always in a hurry to go to school. His mother wondered why he had to rush to school as early as possible if his teacher was still at home. Bimo claimed he just did not want to be late. Pak Tomo was laughing when he told me the story and he said, "That is how unique he was. That's how disciplined he was."

When Bimo was in kindergarten, he was being bullied by a classmate. He often complained to his father until Pak Tomo encourage him,

 

"Fight back. Men must be brave. Fight back until he loses."

 

One day while Bimo was playing with sands, his classmate bullied him again. Then Bimo put a plastic bucket on the bullies head and started punching the bucket. The boy cried and ran home. Since then he had never bullied Bimo again.

Pak Tomo said he had the same experience when he was still young. Pak Tomo also beat his classmate who bullied him. From that experience, Pak Tomo taught his children don't ever lose against the bad guys. "If we always want to be defeated, we will always lose. Do not ever want to lose. Fight back," was his advice.

Today's Reality

 

"Half of my life to raise my son. Now half of my soul waits in silence for him to come back..."

       Misiati Oetomo, Bimo Petrus' mother.

 

After raising, supporting, and praying for his 24-year-old son, Pak Tomo lost him. Today, after 16 years Bimo has not yet returned, Pak Tomo started to make peace with himself. He claimed that his mind was full of anger and grief. He also claimed his speeches were always emotional with curses.

At first, Pak Tomo also could not resist the anger and sadness. She always thinking and weeping about Bimo. She was also asked her husband why he never cried. Pak Tomo said, crying is not visible. Actually, in his heart he cried deeper. God knows it.

One time Pak Tomo told her, "Do not cry, honey. People who cried, their mind are not clear. They can not think straight. It's better to pray than to cry." Pak Tomo always encourage his wife to pray and they should ontinue to live their life with grace and gratitude. He says, "It is more peaceful than being angry and swearing."

In recent years he has begun to find his peace. When I asked if that meant he was letting Bimo go? Pak Tomo disagree. "How to let him go? If I knew he's already dead, I will let him go. But he disappeared, gone undiscovered. How can I let him go?" However, he claimed to have been able to accept the reality that he would never see Bimo again.

After talking for almost an hour and a half, Pak Tomo had to go home to Malang by train. We exchanged phone numbers and again Pak Tomo thank me or anyone who had concerns about Bimo. After shaking hands, I told him I wished him and his wife to be healthy. And then I turned and walked away.

On the way home I could not hold my emotions. Pak Tomo and his wife had been entrusted by God with a great child who contributed to making a difference in this country. God had also chosen Pak Tomo to support his son so that his son never he was felt fighting alone.

Thanks for everything Bimo. Like your last name, Anugrah (a gift), you are a gift to this country. I pray for you, wherever you are, hopefully you are always in peace with happiness. As you strove for peace and happiness for others. 

Indonesian Minister of Forestry: Please Save Surabaya Zoo

Melani KBS
Melani KBS

Her name is Melani, a Sumatran Tiger in KBS (Surabaya Zoo), Indonesia.

She is undernourished, you can see her skin clinging to her bones. At her age, a healthy feline should weighted at 100 kg, but Melani is 60 kg. Her days are spent laying helpless on the cage floor. Almost every food she consumed was eventually vomited a few moments later, and diarrhea is preying for her life. The only trace of her soul is her fierce eyes seeking for your help. Melani is not the only one. Last month, a male tiger Razak died after lungs disease due to tiny and unsanitary cage. Many are now concerned Melani will die soon, or she might face euthanasia. Ironically there are only 600 Sumatran tigers left in Sumatran forests.

In March 2012, the only giraffe in KBS died in her cage after her stomach was filled with plastic garbage. The giraffe and other animals in KBS do live under inhumane condition: tiny cage filled with garbage and inadequate sunlight. Some of them does not have shelter after their cage was leased as rooms for humans, and leafy trees to shade was occupied for witchcraft clinic.

The revised Indonesian penal code article 302 clearly indicates that animal owners are responsible for the welfare and safety of their animals, this includes giving a good care and feed them. Negligence for the animal’s wellbeing, and causing them to be ill and hurt are a violation of the code and punishable for 2-7 years prison and penalty up to 10 million rupiah.

While an ad hoc management team to rescue KBS has been appointed, the pictures and videos of Melani in terrible condition indicates the management is not doing enough. What happened to KBS management? Why many animals in still in poor condition? Internal conflicts within the organization could be the driving factor, but animal welfare should always be the main concern. Therefore we request Indonesian Minister of Forestry, Zulkifli Hasan to save the animals in KBS and have them nurtured as instructed in Indonesian penal code (KUHP) article 302 on animal welfare.

We ask you to join the petition to support the Minister of Forestry to act immediately and save the animals at the KBS zoo. Not only because they are endangered, but also because they are a living being like us that can feel pain and fear. Let’s speak up for those who cannot speak.

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Video of Melani by Jonathan Latumahina (@tidvrberjalan)

Apologizes

I learned from Ashton Kucher, when he made a public apology and admitted his fault commenting on something in his tweet which was wrong. Sometimes in our heart, we can admit our mistakes, but we still don't want to apologize. Eventho we say sorry but it just feels forced, not really apologizing.

Learning from Ashton Kucher, if we make any mistake, we should apologize immediately and show how we are very sorry and admit it. Several months ago, one of my tweet was wrong and harmful to others. Many of my followers were protesting me, blaming me. I was confused. Then I remember what Ashton did, so I try. I apologize sincerely and admitting my mistake. Surprisingly, the people who had been directly blamed me can forgave me and even they respected me. Because of what happened, I admit, apologizing is a very positive energy. But if we truly understand our mistakes and willing to admit.

But not all apology are easy to do. Either because we're busy, or we still cannot convinced our mistakes, or other person still can not forgive us. Luckily God has given us a very special time to apologize and forgive. If the world do it together, it's easier right? God is so clever, so nice, we should not waste this precious moment. Let us apologize and forgive each other.

Happy Eid brothers and sisters. My whole heart apologize for all of my words and actions.

Queen - You're My Best Friend

Ooh you make me liveWhatever this world can give to me It’s you you’re all I see

Ooh you’re the best friend that I ever had I’ve been with you such a long time You’re my sunshine and I want you to know That my feelings are true I really love you Oh you’re my best friend

Ooh you make me live I’ve been wandering round But I still come back to you

In rain or shine You’ve stood by me girl I’m happy at home You’re my best friend

Ooh you make me live Whenever this world is cruel to me I got you to help me forgive Ooh you make me live now honey Ooh you make me live

You’re the first one When things turn out bad You know I’ll never be lonely You’re my only one And I love the things I really love the things that you do You’re my best friend

I’m happy at home You’re my best friend Oh you’re my best friend Ooh you make me live You you’re my best friend

A beautiful song. Expressing the joy feeling having someone who have been with us for such a long time, who always be the first one to come when things turn out bad, who always be there in rain or shine, who helps us to forgive the cruel world, and most importantly, who never makes us feel alone.

This song reminds us that the most ideal partner in our life is someone who can be our best friend. (:

How To Identify Twitter Accounts With Fake Followers

I'm sure many you have wondered why the owner of the account X,  who we never heard before, who isn't a celebrity or a famous organizations may have thousands or even million of followers? As far as I know, there are two ways to manipulate the number of followers on Twitter. The first one is adding thousands or millions of robot (BOT) account in our followers list. BOT account does not have a master, they were made simultaneously by a person at a time. If we already got a thousands to millions of BOT's account, then we can make the BOT follow our account. The process is very easy. You just need to be patience. Thats it. But every year Twitter clean-up BOT accounts. BOT that caught by Twitter will be removed. So in a sudden followers of Twitter account with BOT followers reduced drastically.

Other way to manipulate number of its followers by forcing a lot of Twitter accounts to follow their account. I guess you guys ever find an unknown account in your following list. You never follow them but suddenly these people pops out on our timeline. I ever suddenly follow and Mexican boy. I was confused. So with this way, not all the followers will always follow us. If they realized never follow us, they will unfollow us.

This post is not about how to manipulate the number of our followers, but to share an easy way identifying accounts with fake followers. Since I only know how to manipulate the number of followers with BOT, then I can only share how to identify BOT followers. Here's account with 16,000 BOT followers. I don't need to mention who, but here I take a few examples of his/her followers:

An anonymous almost famous account with 13,000 BOT followers. This is an example of his/her followers:

How to identify fake or BOT followers?

  • All followers are always strangers from USA or Canada.
  • All followers always with 0 tweets.
  • All followers created on the same date. See this:

  • BOT followers are never separate from each other. I you scroll down, you well find the list full of them.
  • Usually every half year, many BOT accounts being remove by Twitter.
  • Keep in mind, sometimes we can't find BOT followers on followers list because it already covered with new-original followers. If you wondering whether someone followers are fake or not, then just scroll down their followers list.

PS: If anyone has more info, please share!

Sincere Condolences For The Dark Night Rises Premiere Victims

I was never afraid to die, but I often think about death. Where am I going to die? What causes my death? This thought never stops every day.

Mass shootings in Colorado July 20th 2012, made me more believe that life is so difficult because we easily could die anytime, anywhere, even with any ridiculous reasons. Just watching a movie in the theaters, we could have met death and dying on the spot. Horrifying, of course.

But more horrifying to those who have left behind. They still have to move on and deal with the sadness. What a terrible loss, to that I say the sincerest condolences. I'm sure the victims are already happy meeting God up there in a place called peace.

So often I have found myself taking it for granted. Every hug from a family member. Every laugh we share with friends. Even the times of solitude are all blessings. Every second of every day is a gift. 

- one of the victim, Jessica Ghawi (1988-2012).

Who Are Your Real Friends?

From all your friends, who is your real friend? What is the difference between a friend and a real friend? What makes a person in our lives more special than the others? I was confuse answering all that. But yesterday, suddenly I found the answer when I watched TV. There was Viola Davis in an interview said,

"Real friend is one who appreciates our passion, our dreams, and say, "you know what, let's make that happen."

I was deeply moved when I heard it. Davis was right. Best friends are those who really know us and our dreams, so they will understand and appreciate it, even they wanted to help us to achieve it. Now I know who are my real friends.

I Wish

Turned 24 today. What is missing in my life? Nothing. I did not dare to ask anything to God, who always loved me. I just hope I can always be happy and blissful in the rest of my life. Amen.

PS: Thank you all for the greetings. I really enjoy getting all the birthday greeting and prayer. For me it's an incredible gift of joy. Thank you ...