Pemuda Pancasila (Indonesia)

Country: Indonesia
Details of Formation: The PGM was first established in October 1959 by the military commander General Abdul Haris Nasution. In 1978 it received backing from the government under Soharto and the Golkar party.
Details of Termination: After Suharto’s resignation, Pemuda Pancasila lost its influence and funding and separated from Golkar, the party it originally supported. Pemuda founded its own, politically insignificant party, the Patriot Party. From 2003 onwards, Pemuda was supported by the military.
Purpose: The youth organization was originally established to act as an anti-communist force and to promote Indonesia’s state ideology. Under Soharto it evolved into a means to do the “dirty work” such as provoking riots and attacking political rivals. After his downfall it was a pro-integration militia used to terminate independence activities. Members were involved in organizing and taking part in riots and were used as counter-demonstrators for this purpose. They had security-related tasks, such as ostensibly providing security and order against protestors at party gatherings like the MPR.
Organisation: Pemuda Pancasila was associated with Soharto regime and Golkar party and backed by the military. There were also ties to and cooperation with the police. The group had local branches in the provinces and its deputy chairman is Yorris Raweyai.
Weapons and Training: The group was given some paramilitary training, according to one report this lasted for three weeks. Sources state that members were armed with sticks and sometimes allegedly with guns.
Size: It is reported that membership grew rapidly after the group started being backed by the government, and reached seven million in 1999.
Reason for Membership: A common ideology appears to have been an important component for some members.
Treatment of Civilians: The group was involved in riots in which people were killed and injured. The security forces tolerated this behavior in at least one reported instance. Similarly, when they were deployed as counter-demonstrators, members exhibited violent behavior against civilians. Pemuda Pancasila also ran protection rackets and intimidated the population.
Other Information: This group is frequently used to instigate riots, control election campaigns and was active in every hotspot. It was reportedly loyal to the Soharto regime even after its decline. Its name means Pancasila youth and the Patriot Party was established as the political wing of the group. There were financial ties to Satgas Papua via a leading figure in Pemuda Pancasila. Pemuda Panca Marga originated from this group.
References: Amnesty International. 2000. “Indonesia - Impunity persists in Papua as militia groups take root.” AI Index: ASA 21/34/00

Information was taken from news sources listed in the PGMD.