These students, as the channel of the people's voice, must be respected and treated well.
Jakarta (ANTARA) - Chief of the National Defense Forces (TNI) General Andika Perkasa has assured that TNI soldiers will not take a repressive stance while helping the police guard student demonstrations.

While meeting Regional Representative Council (DPD RI) Speaker A. A. LaNyalla Mahmud Mattalitti here on Saturday, he said that the soldiers will carry out their duty in accordance with their function and authority.

"We thank the DPD Speaker for reminding us. Our troops have been transferred to the police for action anticipation," he told Mattalitti.

"However, we stress that the TNI and entire officials will maintain their discipline in accordance with their core duty, function, and authority," he added.

Earlier, the DPD speaker had asked law enforcement authorities in charge of guarding student demonstrations in various cities to uphold the students' rights to voice their opinion in public.

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"These students, as the channel of the people's voice, must be respected and treated well," he remarked in a written statement.

In relation to this, he also urged National Police chief, General Listyo Sigit Prabowo, to remind officials not to become repressive toward students.

During the meeting with the senator, the TNI chief concurred with that request. He said he believes that demonstrating is a political right of every citizen and is protected by the 1945 Constitution.

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"However, we cannot let demonstrators destroy existing public facilities and infrastructure because it would be harmful for us all. The people's voice will certainly be heard by the government," Perkasa said.

The Indonesian Student Executive Board (BEM SI) is planning to hold simultaneous demonstrations in various cities, primarily Jakarta, on April 11, 2022.

Students, from both state and private universities, have urged President Joko Widodo to be assertive in the discourse on the general elections’ delay and Presidential term extension.

The students have also asked the President to control the price of basic necessities and ensure the availability of basic goods in the market.

Their other demands involve resolving the case of the cooking oil mafia and performance evaluation of ministers.

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Translator: Genta Tenri M, Fadhli Ruhman
Editor: Fardah Assegaf
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