The National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) gives highest tribute to Darmini Diran H. – an Indonesian woman revolutionary internationalist and an outstanding friend of the Filipino people and the Philippine revolution, who passed away December 19 in the Netherlands. She was 100 years old.
For many decades, an inseparable elderly Indonesian couple, Darmini, and comrade-husband Soedirdjo Harsono, steadfastly joined and supported activities and campaigns of the NDFP International Information Office and progressive Filipino organizations in the Netherlands to uphold, defend and advance the national and democratic rights of the Filipino people.
They were among those who escaped the US-imperialist-instigated pogrom in Indonesia in 1965-1966. They sought refuge abroad and became political refugees in the Netherlands. In many political conferences and seminars they attended, they didn’t like to be referred simply as refugees but rather as proletarian revolutionaries in exile. Harsono passed away in August 2009.
Since arriving in the Netherlands in the 70s, Darmini and Harsono joined and participated untiringly in internationalist activities in support of the Indonesian, Filipino, Cuban, Palestinian, Iranian, and other oppressed and struggling peoples.
Darmini and Harsono contributed an extraordinary amount of their effort, time and resources in joining and supporting activities which have brought to the fore issues concerning the oppression and exploitation of the Filipino people and their demand for national and social liberation against foreign monopoly capitalism, feudalism and bureaucrat capitalism.
Whether at a picket in front of the Philippine embassy or at the Dutch parliament, or at a demonstration in Amsterdam or The Hague, Darmini and Harsono would be in attendance, rain or shine. They brought their own sandwiches and coffee in thermoses to save on costs. They unselfishly contributed part of their meager social welfare money to send support to the monthly operations of the NDFP Information Office, and generously donated the little amount of money they have whenever there are calls for donations for human rights causes, campaigns and projects. They even joined Filipino comrades in “OD-OPs”, operation dikit-pinta (post-paint), in late evenings so as not to call much attention, pasting posters to announce a forum or demonstration, or poster calls against an injustice.
At one protest demonstration against former Philippine President Fidel Ramos, who was visiting the Netherlands at the time, Harsono donned a “barong tagalog” (a popular Filipino attire for men), and made himself to look like Ramos, even smoking a cigar like Ramos, while Darmini joined other Filipinos in portraying a confrontation between the people and Ramos. This creative theater-like portrayal landed in major Dutch newspapers. Despite their advanced age, their presence and solidarity were always an inspiration, especially to young activists.
Darmini and Harsono did outstanding work in defending overseas Filipinos from persecution, especially in the case of the late Founding Chairman of the CPP Jose Maria Sison, who was unjustly deprived of political asylum in the Netherlands, and subjected to persecution through trumped up charges by the US, Philppine and Dutch governments. They joined tirelessly in gathering signatures for Ka Joma in public markets, plazas and in many other activities.
They have inspired Indonesians, Filipinos, Dutch and other people to stand up in defense of justice and human rights.
They did exemplary work in enlightening and inspiring Filipinos to support the Indonesian people and their struggle for national liberation and democracy against the US-directed Suharto fascist dictatorship and the continuing oppressive and exploitative policies of subsequent reactionary regimes in Indonesia. They also informed and aroused Indonesians, in so many ways, to support the Filipino armed revolutionary resistance.
They shall always be honored for working arduously and fruitfully for the advancement of revolutionary solidarity and mutual support between the Indonesian and Filipino people, for gathering moral and political support for their struggles, and for the advance of international solidarity among all peoples.
Darmini and her husband-comrade, were among those who were given tributes and recognition by the NDFP during its 35th anniversary in April 2008, embodying the flesh and blood proof of the warm and boundless support that the NDFP and the Philippine armed revolution continues to harvest from overseas.
Darmini (and Harsono’s) exemplary revolutionary life and proletarian solidarity will remain an inspiration for Filipinos, Indonesians and all peoples in the common struggle for freedom, democracy, social justice and genuine peace.#
(Sgd.) Luis Jalandoni
NDFP Chief International Representative
Member, National Council, NDFP
(Sgd.) Julieta De Lima
Chairperson, NDFP Peace Negotiating Panel
(Sgd.) Consuelo Ledesma
Member, NDFP Peace Negotiating Panel