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Price protests echo Suharto stepdown JAKARTA - Indonesian protest leaders have warned the Government to roll back sharp price rises for fuel and power or face even larger demonstrations and more radical action, including a blockade of a major port. Protesters have hit city streets across Indonesia throughout the week. Violent protests over prices in 1998 helped topple strongman Suharto, who stepped down as president with his nation in chaos at the height of the Asian financial crisis.
Protests turned violent with clashes outside the presidential palace in Jakarta and in West Java. The economy is struggling and many Indonesians barely make ends meet because of high unemployment and previous price rises. Analysts say the sense of crisis is not as great as in 1998 and the latest demonstrations will need to get bigger and bolder to have a major impact.
Some protest leaders are promising exactly that. "We intend to have more protests on the 13th and 15th of January," said Dita Indah Sari, a labour activist who heads the National Front for the Struggle of Indonesian Workers. She said workers at the Jakarta sea terminal wanted to use 50 trailers to block the port.Price increases including a 22 per cent rise for diesel are part of government efforts to cut subsidies and the country's budget deficit. The rises reflect economic reform agreements with key donor the International Monetary Fund.



Posted in Protests @ 10 January 2003 00:01 CET by Jeroen · 'Blog' RSS feed · permalink






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