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Protesters threaten to storm House building JAKARTA - Thousands of supporters of President Abdurrahman Wahid threatened on Tuesday to storm the House of Representatives (DPR) building should the House decide, at its plenary session on Wednesday, to call for a special session of the People's Consultative Assembly (MPR) to impeach the President.
Grouped under the White Tiger Truth Front squad, the supporters held a rally on Tuesday at the National Monument (Monas) Park, demanding that the House stop calling for an MPR special session to impeach their embattled leader. "We will not think twice about storming in and attacking the House ... we plan to defend our leader, President Abdurrahman Wahid, until the last drop of our blood bleeds away," a member said in a speech on Tuesday.
"The House will be responsible if it makes any wrong decision against the President and riots will break out in the provinces." The orator continued to say that the President would not stand for betrayal and that if any kind of trouble should befall him, then Vice President Megawati Soekarnoputri, MPR Speaker Amien Rais and DPR Speaker Akbar Tandjung would have to answer for it.
Tuesday's protesters at Monas Park exhibited sickles while many others held a huge poster saying that should an MPR special session be held, East Java would fight to claim its secession from Indonesia. The protesters arrived mostly from East Java, Abdurrahman's political heartland, while some others came from Central Java and other areas of West Java including Bekasi and Purwakarta.
Fresh riots broke out in East Java, particularly in Pasuruan, on Tuesday as thousands of Abdurrahman supporters burned down a number of churches. Police stood by helplessly and were forced to fire several shots at the public as angry mobs vandalized public facilities, set up roadblocks and rampaged through school buildings.
While the police firmly stated that nobody suffered gunshot wounds on Tuesday in East Java, circulating rumors in Pasuruan claim that at least 12 people were shot. As tens of thousands of police and military officers gear up to secure the capital from possible widespread unrest on Wednesday, thousands of supporters of President Abdurrahman Wahid continued to pour into the capital, seeking refuge at Islamic boarding schools, mosques and motels in Greater Jakarta.
Jakarta Police chief Insp. Gen. Sofjan Yacob said on Tuesday that he had deployed a special police force of pemukul (beaters) across the capital in particularly riot-prone areas and business centers like Glodok and Mangga Dua areas and the Pasar Baru area in Central Jakarta. He added that the "beaters" were each equipped with rifles and fire extinguishers. "It is my hope that they will be able to prevent possible chaotic situations from worsening," Sofjan told reporters.



Posted in Protests @ 30 May 2001 00:02 CET by Jeroen · 'Blog' RSS feed · permalink






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