Thousands gather in Indonesian anti-graft rallies
2009-Dec-10 07:52:15

 Thousands gather in Indonesian anti-graft rallies

Protesters wear traditional costumes during an anti-corruption protest in Jakarta yesterday. AP

JAKARTA: Students pelted rocks at police who returned fire with tear gas during one of several rallies across Indonesia yesterday to demand government action to end widespread corruption among politicians, police and other public officials.

More than two dozen rallies - annual events in this Muslim-dominated nation to mark International Anti-Corruption Day - were planned for the national capital of Jakarta and several of Indonesia's other larger cities.

TV reports showed scores of students armed with rocks and wooden planks clashing with anti-riot police and vandalizing commercial buildings at a rally in Makassar, 1,600 km northeast of Jakarta.

Police fired tear gas canisters to break up the crowd after protesters tried to storm the provincial governor's office. There was no immediate report of injuries or arrests.

"We want the government not only talking about eliminating corruption," said Amang Wijaya, a 19-year-old student in Makassar. "But we want the government really prosecuting officials who are making the country bankrupt."

In Jakarta, a dozen rallies caused downtown traffic chaos in this city of 13 million.

Thousands marched peacefully on the Jakarta palace of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, who is under pressure to act after winning re-election in July on promises of stamping out graft. Hundreds of anti-riot police were stationed outside his palace.

"Today's rally's aim is not to attack politically any party," protest organizer Usman Hamid said. "We just want to send a message to our fellow countrymen ... that justice cannot be served while corruption is still rampant."


(China Daily 12/10/2009 page11)

[Jump to ]
Nation | Biz | Comment | World | Celebrity | Odds | Sports | Travel | Health
ChinaDaily Mobile News
To subscribe to China Daily, call 010-64918763 or email to