Students demonstrate as SBY interviews perspective ministers

Source – October 18, 2004
KAMMI protest against neoliberal government policies (Aktual)
KAMMI protest against neoliberal government policies (Aktual)

Luhur Hertanto, Jakarta – Two days before his inauguration as president, some 100 students from the Indonesian Muslim Students Action Front (KAMMI) and the Greater Jakarta Student Executive Council (BEM Jabotabek) held a demonstration against president-elect Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (SBY). They failed however to meet directly with SBY.

The demonstration started at the gates of the Puri Cikeas Indah housing complex 100 metres from SBY’s house. The demonstrators arrived in two Metromini busses and a pickup truck. Their aim was to call on SBY to fulfil his promise of forming a clean, strong and credible government.

The demonstrators said that in witnessing the process of selecting prospective ministers there are indications that the nation will again collapse under the pressure of foreign interests. One indication of this is SBY’s candidate for economics minister who is considered to be pro-International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Demonstrators brought a number of banners with messages like “IMF Comeback = Neo-Suharto, Beware of the IMF Dracula, the IMF is the destroyer of the national economy”.

Ten or more representatives were received by members of SBY’s success team, Sudi Silalahi, Irvan Edison, and Andi Mallarangen. During the meeting which took place on the verandah, students insisted on meeting directly with SBY however at the time he was in a meeting with Bambang Sudibyo so their request was refused.

The meeting proceeded with difficulty because the students were concerned that their wishes would not be passed on to SBY. Annoyed and frustrated, the students finally left SBY’s house at 3.45pm. (nrl)

[Translated by James Balowski.]