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 Big meeting fails to resolve GKI Yasmin dispute

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BerichtOnderwerp: Big meeting fails to resolve GKI Yasmin dispute   vr 23 jan 2015 - 12:46





The Jakarta Post, Jakarta, Friday,January 23 2015


The continuing saga of the Indonesian Christian Church (GKI) Yasmin has yet to see any light at the end of the tunnel as the latest discussions among stakeholders, facilitated by the Indonesian Ombudsman, have not reached any significant agreement.

Indonesian Ombudsman commissioner Budi Santoso said after a meeting on Thursday that although Bogor Mayor Bima Arya claimed that he was committed to finding a solution during his tenure, no agreement or concrete proposal was produced after the three-hour talks.

Budi said that instead of engaging in further discussions, Bima asked all parties to cool down for a while.

“He asked all parties to cool down, especially in the articles and opinions published in mass media and social media, some of which have harassed him,” he said.

Besides the Ombudsman, the GKI Yasmin members and the mayor, representatives from the Home Ministry, the Religious Affairs Ministry and the Coordinating Political, Legal and Security Ministry also attended the meeting.

Budi said he urged the central government not to wash its hands of the matter and force the Bogor administration to face it alone.

Bima, who reiterated his commitment to resolve the issue, said the case was very sensitive and complicated.

“We need to informally approach and listen to the aspirations of all the stakeholders, including the ones who oppose the church building and another GKI group, like the GKI Pengadilan, instead of blowing up the issue in the mass media,” he said during the meeting.

Bima said he had several options for a solution: relocating the church to another place, asking the congregation to start processing the permit all over again, or finding some other possible legal avenue to replace the revoked online building permit (IMB).

The Ombudsman also proposed another solution, namely building a mosque near the church to
neutralize the situation.

GKI Yasmin spokesperson Bona Sigalingging said the church would only agree with a solution that complied with the Supreme Court ruling and the Ombudsman’s recommendation. Bona said the church refused to relocate because the current site was already their third choice, after having been relocated twice before.

He said, however, the congregation was open to any discussion in order to find a solution to the issue.

Timeline

• 2006: Several residents of Curug Mekar subdistrict, where Taman Yasmin is located, protest against the church in the housing complex. They accuse GKI Taman Yasmin of falsifying signatures for the IMB.

• 2008: Then Bogor mayor Diani Budiarto, through the Spatial Planning and Parks Agency, issues a decree to freeze the church’s IMB.

• 2008: The State Administrative Court (PTUN) in Bandung orders the administration to revoke the decree that froze the church’s IMB.

• 2009: The State Administrative High Court in Jakarta upholds the PTUN’s ruling.

• 2010: The Bogor administration seals the church building.

• 2010: The Supreme Court (MA) upholds the two lower court rulings in favor of the church.

• 2011: The Bogor Administration complies with the MA’s ruling, issuing a decree to revoke the freezing of the IMB on March 8.

• 2011: Three days later on March 11, Mayor Diani instead revokes the IMB.

• 2011: Ombudsman issues a recommendation against the March 11 decree, saying that it represents administrative malpractice.

• 2014: In January, when Bima Arya was still the mayor-elect, he vows to find a solution to the GKI Yasmin dispute.

• 2014: In December before Christmas, Bima meets with GKI Pengadilan, GKI Yasmin’s umbrella church before the latter became independent, to discuss Christmas services at GKI Yasmin. Bona protests because the mayor failed to invite GKI Yasmin representatives.



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