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DATE=9/23/1999 TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT TITLE=INDONESIA PROTESTS(L-O) NUMBER=2-254255 BYLINE=AMY BICKERS DATELINE=JAKARTA CONTENT= Intro: Thousands of students clashed with police in Indonesia Thursday during demonstrations against a new security law that grants greater powers to the military. As VOA's Amy Bickers reports from Jakarta, the military says the law will encourage more democracy and reform. Text: Thousands of students protested in Jakarta, Surabaya and several other cities on Thursday, after the country's parliament passed a controversial security law which they say increases the military's authority. In the capital, riot police fired rubber bullets and used teargas as they stopped demonstrators from marching on parliament. Students wearing red and white, the colors of the Indonesian flag, threw stones and gasoline bombs and charged the police. The new law gives greater authority to the president to declare a state of emergency. It requires the consent of Indonesia's parliament and permits the state of emergency to last up to six months. Protestors, such as student activist Hendri Kuok (prono: kwok), say the law will increase the power of the military to clamp down on demonstrations. /// KUOK ACT /// We consider the security bill is anti-democratic and does not bring the sprit of the reform process to Indonesia. The bill itself gives a lot of authority to the military under state emergency situations such as they could stop workers' strikes and student demonstrations or seize the land under the security law. /// END ACT /// The armed forces chief, General Wiranto, rejects claims that the army tried to push the bill through parliament to protect its power base. He says the new law is necessary and in line with the principles of democracy and human rights. The government says it softened some aspects of the new law to allay public concerns. Unlike the original draft, the new law does NOT allow restrictions on the media during a state of emergency. Kusnanto Anggoro, an analyst at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Jakarta, agrees that the law is less draconian then earlier versions. /// ANGGORO ACT /// To a certain degree yes, they may be right but I think the timing is wrong because there is a lack of credibility. I agree the subsistence is a little bit better than in the past. Of course, the real problem is the military involvement in politics. In Singapore, Malaysia and even in the United States they have security laws, but the military does not get into politics in those countries. Here, it is totally different because the military gets very much involved in politics and even in the next couple of months or year the military will still be involved in politics. /// END ACT /// Mr. Anggoro notes that the bill was passed in the final days of the outgoing parliament, which is dominated by the ruling Golkar party. The new parliament, which is due to be sworn in next month, will contain more opposition representatives and the number of seats assigned to the military will be cut dramatically. (Signed) NEB/AB/LTD/JP 23-Sep-1999 11:35 AM EDT (23-Sep-1999 1535 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .

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