Fri, 04 May 2001

500 street traders protest raid

JAKARTA (JP): A newspaper deliver boy joined about 500 street traders in a rally at the City Council on Thursday, demanding the council help restore their right to do business on Jakarta streets.

Unfurling banners and posters, one of them reading "Jakarta for all. Return the rights of the urban poor", the traders demanded the revocation of the City Bylaw No. 11/1988 on public order.

They accused the city public order office of arbitrarily using the bylaw to ban them from operating on Jakarta streets and to conduct raids on their businesses.

"The public order office often uses violence against the traders in the name of the bylaw. We urge the council to revoke the bylaw," the traders' association coordinator Azas Tigor Nainggolan told reporters.

He urged the city public order officers in the city's five mayoralties to stop conducting raids on the street traders, suggesting the mayoralties hold a dialog with the traders.

The traders were received by councillors from the Council's Commission B for economic affairs.

The commission deputy chairman Dani Anwar promised to hold a meeting between the traders and the Central Jakarta Mayoralty officials.

"We will first attend to traders in Central Jakarta. It's a question of priorities," Dani told the traders. (jun)