Jakarta-wapresri.go.id. Vice President Jusuf Kalla received Dr. Effendi M.S. Simbolon and central board members of Punguan Simbolon Dohot Boruna Indonesia (PSBI) ethnic association at the Vice President Office in Jakarta on Thursday (April, 28).

In the meeting, Effendi invited the Vice President to formally open PSBI national working meeting (Rakernas) that will be held the end of next month in Parapat, North Sumatra province and attended by around 5,000 Batak people of five puak (sub-ethnic groups), namely Simalungun,  Toba, Karo, Nias, dan Pakpak.  Marga (clan name) Simbolon which is a part of Toba, he added, consists of 50,000 families, 25,000 of whom now live in Jakarta.

Effendi expected that the Vice President would explain in the meeting the government’s stance towards Article 18 para 2 of the 1945 Constitution regarding the state’s recognition of the rights of masyarakat adat (cultural communities) which he found frequently overlapping with the state’s positive law, such as in marriage and hak ulayat (traditional land rights).

“We want to hear from you the government directives on this together with people from other marga,” he said.

In response, the Vice President said that Indonesia’s motto is Bhinneka Tunggal Ika (Unity in Diversity) which is essential in strengthening the nation.

On the recognition of the rights of masyarakat adat, he told that the implementation depends on each region.

“Hak ulayat, for instance, cannot give a warranty in business dealings and thus land owners still need to have land ownership certificates from the National Land Agency,” he said.

Regarding marriage held under certain adat, the Vice President said, it could be registered at the Civil Registry Office (Kantor Catatan Sipil), similar to Islamic marriage that is registered at Religious Affairs Office (Kantor Urusan Agama).

“The state is responsible merely in the registration as it personal matter,” he said.

Accompanying Effendi Simbolon in the meeting were some PSBI board members, namely Raden Simbolon, Anthon Simbolon, Irianto Simbolon, Binsar Simbolon, Muslim Simbolon, and Marhuale Simbolon.