Students in Palembang demand Yudhoyono abandon neoliberal policies

Source – October 20, 2009
Banner reads 'Reject Pro-Neoliberal Presidential Candidates' (Liputan 6)
Banner reads 'Reject Pro-Neoliberal Presidential Candidates' (Liputan 6)

Taufik Wijaya, Palembang – The inauguration of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and Vice President Boediono on October 20 was also greeted by protest actions in Palembang, South Sumatra, demanding that Yudhoyono and Boediono prove that they are not adherents of neoliberalism.

The action by around 100 students from the Indonesian National Students Movement (GMNI) began at around 9am with a long march to the South Sumatra governor’s office then on to the Palembang Regional House of Representatives (DPRD). The protests also brought leaflets, pamphlets and a red-and-blue banner reading “Oil, gas and coal, sold cheap overseas.”

During the action at the governor’s office, two GMNI representatives read out a statement condemning the slow pace of the investigation into the Century Bank scandal and saying that the government officials involved in the case – including Boediono as the then governor of the central bank – must be purged. They added that the Century Bank case was just part of Yudhoyono’s administration’s failures along with economic, social and security problems that occurred due to the application of neoliberal policies.

The group also accused Yudhoyono of seeking loans from colonialist countries, which have not only placed a burden on the state budget, but have also become an entry point for the neoliberalism, privatisation, trade liberalisation, bank deregulation and unemployment. (tw/djo)

[Abridged translation by James Balowski.]