Sat, 26 Apr 2003

Antigovt rally staged in Yogyakarta

YOGYAKARTA: Some 5,000 students and people of different organizations took to the streets here on Friday to demand President Megawati Soekarnoputri and Vice President Hamzah Haz step down for failing to produce policies that best serve the public.

Carrying banners and posters condemning Megawati and her government, they marched from two different points before meeting in front of the Gramedia bookstore on Jl. Jend. Sudirman. From there they continued on to the Gedung Agung presidential palace near the kraton.

They stopped for a while in front of the Yogyakarta provincial legislature building on Jl. Malioboro to say Friday prayers en route to the presidential palace.

Calling the rally Perlawanan Nasional: Aksi Siaga Satu Gulingkan Mega (National Resistance: Top Alert Move to Oust Mega), the protesters listed 10 major sins committed by the Megawati-Hamzah administration, including not prosecuting corrupters, selling national assets, reducing subsidies and acting against democracy.

"If this regime continues, Indonesia will surely experience self-destruction," rally coordinator M. Arif Fibri said.

The protesters dispersed just before dusk, but promised to stage more rallies until their demand is met. -- JP