I hope students would return to the campuses and not hold any demonstration.
Jakarta (ANTARA) - Research, Technology, and Higher Education Minister Mohamad Nasir has put forth an appeal to university students to not hold any rally before the presidential inauguration on October 20, 2019.

"I hope that the students would return to the campuses and not hold any demonstration. Yesterday, I heard the university student's statement, and I am happy because he does not want to stage a rally that might be riddled by other interests that are not in accordance with the students' objectives," the minister stated here on Monday.

Nasir affirmed that he did not believe in applying pressure or repressing but merely urged students as intellectuals to solve (problems) through discussions and not by holding street demonstrations.

"If it concerns laws, we can adopt constitutional ways to the Constitutional Court. If it concerns a Bill, they can go to the House of Representatives (DPR) to give inputs," the minister noted.

Hence, he has invited students to hold dialogs and reminded rectors to not encourage students to hold demonstrations. Rectors should invite students for discussions at campuses.

The minister is optimistic of no student demonstrations being held ahead of the presidential inauguration.

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A series of student demonstrations took place on Indonesia's streets last September, as they protested against a passage of a bill revising the Law on the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK). The public believed the revised law would weaken the fight against corruption in the country.

Several students lost their lives, while hundreds of others and tens of police officers were injured during the demonstrations.

A youth identified as Akbar Alamsyah, 19, was the latest case of death and had gone missing after partaking in a university student demonstration in front of the Parliament Building on September 25 and was found by his family three days later at a hospital.

The police confirmed that Akbar was found injured on early Sept 26, 2019, after falling from a fence while participating in the rally. However, Akbar's family did not believe the police's explanation since Akbar had suffered multiple bruises on his body and face, his kidney was damaged, and his skull had been cracked. Akbar, named a suspect by the police as a rioter, died on Oct 10, 2019, at the Army Hospital in Jakarta.

Earlier, two students, Imawan Randi, 21, and Muhammad Yusuf Kardawi, 19, of the Haluoleo University in Kendari, Southeast Sulawesi, died of gunshots during a demonstration in Kendari on Sept 27.

The police denied that its personnel used live bullets while securing the students’ demonstration. The deaths led to an outcry, with Jokowi ordering an investigation.

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Translator: Indriani, Fardah
Editor: Sri Haryati
Copyright © ANTARA 2019