Interfaith leaders express concern over country`s conditions

The main cause is weak national leadership. As a result no fundamental problems of the country have been thoroughly solved,"
Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Interfaith leaders on Tuesday e expressed concern about the situation in the country and called on the people to cooperate to improve it.

"We call on the people and all parties concerned to cooperate to immediately end this situation according to our constitutional spirit," the chairman of the Indonesia Bishops` Conference, Mgr. Martinus D Situmorang, said when reading their statement at the Proclamation Monument.

The interfaith leaders were concerned over problems like corruption, human rights violations and the people`s woes over increasing cost of education, health services and basic necessaries.

They also criticized the national leadership as weak and as the main cause of the deterioration in statehood and nationhood in the country so far.

"The main cause is weak national leadership. As a result no fundamental problems of the country have been thoroughly solved," former Muhammadiyah Islamic organization leader Syaffii Ma`arif said when reading the statement.

Syafii said interfaith leaders had used up all the words to appeal to the government to improve the situation.

"With regard to the present Indonesian leadership we would like to say that we have already used up all the words to make more moral appeals. It is very difficult to find in the leadership real efforts that it has made to improve the life of the nation and state," he said.

In view of that Syafii said that it would only be the people that could improve the situation.

The general chairman of the Indonesia Communion of Churches, Andeas Yewangoe, meanwhile said when reading the statement jointly

that it has been quite long that the President and various other national figures have declared to be the spearhead in the corruption eradication efforts but "political corruption remains rife. The web of corruption has covered ministerial officials, parliament members, law enforcers, political parties, businessmen and others."

The statement was signed among others by Mgr. Martinus D Situmorang, Andreas Yewangoe and Syafii Ma`arif.

Former Nahdlatul Ulama Islamic organization leader Salahudin Wahid and culturalist and priest Frans Magnis Suseno, Budhist monk Sri Panyavaro Mahathera, Hindu figure Ida Pedande Sebali Tianyar and activist Djohan Effendi were seen attending the event.

Other attendees include political activist Effendi Gozhalia and Human Rights activist Usman Hamid.

The event was attended by a number of victims of injustices in the country such as the Semanggi I and II incidents and the Rumpin eviction.

They all carried black umberallas symbolizing their grievences and a banner reading "save Indonesia migrant workers from death penalty." (*)