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Jakarta workers protest fuel price rise JAKARTA - Hundreds of Indonesian bus drivers, vendors and factory workers staged a noisy rally in Jakarta on Sunday to protest against the government's plan to increase fuel prices. President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono unveiled a plan on Wednesday to raise fuel prices in order to support the weakening rupiah which plunged to a four-year low last week as oil prices surged.

Domestic fuel is heavily subsidized by the government. Raising fuel prices has been a politically sensitive issue in the past, triggering widespread demonstrations against governments including that of former president Suharto who was forced to step down in 1998. "We don't agree with the rising fuel prices because that would raise operational costs on the ground which would cut our income," said Yardin who heads a union of Indonesian bus drivers.

Some 500 protesters chanted patriotic songs and waved posters carrying anti-government slogans. "Please think about us, the people," said one the poster. The government has promised to channel the funds from the planned fuel prices to help out the poor. Indonesia has the cheapest gasoline in Asia at around 20 U.S cents per liter.



Posted in Protests @ 05 September 2005 07:09 CET by Jeroen · 'Blog' RSS feed · permalink






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