TITLE=JAKARTA/PEACEFUL PROTESTS (L)
INTRO: Hundreds of university students held an
anti-violence protest in Jakarta Wednesday. As
Amy Bickers reports from the Indonesian capital,
the students were not the only ones in
Jakarta's streets Wednesday pushing for political
/// :04 PROTEST NOISE, UP AND FADE UNDER ///
More than 500 students gathered in Jakarta
Wednesday to protest against the recent violence
and to express support for the country's
continuing but fragile democratic reform process.
For more than five hours, they shouted slogans
such as "reject anarchy," as they demonstrated in
front of a Jakarta hotel. Inside were members of
Indonesia's new parliament, which will be sworn
The students were joined by politicians
Abdurrahman Wahid (prono: ab-doo-RAH-man Wa-
heed), head of the country's largest mass Muslim
organization, who said that parliament must be
the vehicle to express the public's demand.
Leading reform figure Amien Rais (prono: Ameen
Rye-ees) also joined in the gathering and called
on the students to continue their struggle for
change in Indonesia. Both men are seen as
possible presidential contenders in Indonesia's
Wednesday's protest follows the killing of a
student by security troops during a demonstration
in the Sumatran city of Bandar Lampung on Tuesday
and the deaths of seven people during protests in
Jakarta last week. The demonstrations came after
the passage of a controversial security law,
whose implementation has since been postponed.
One student leader said the protesters want to
put pressure on members of parliament not to
forget their commitment to carry out reforms.
Student groups say they have scheduled more
protests in the run-up to a presidential election
scheduled for November.
Top Indonesian politicians also met with
beleaguered President B-J Habibie Wednesday and
advised him not to seek re-election. The
politicians, including Amien Rais, say Mr.
Habibie's candidacy could be a destabilizing
Indonesia's main political parties are also
pushing for the presidential poll to be brought
forward because of Mr. Habibie's unpopularity.
He has been widely criticized for his handling of
various crisis, including a major bank scandal
and East Timor's vote for independence from
29-Sep-1999 07:18 AM EDT (29-Sep-1999 1118 UTC)
Source: Voice of America
Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list