Fri, 03 Dec 1999

Government asked to issue decree suporting antidrug campaign

JAKARTA (JP): An antidrug activist called on Thursday for the government's full support in a nationwide campaign against drugs.

Deputy chairman of the People's Antidrug Movement (GERAM) Brig. Gen. (ret) Antonius Tifaona urged the government to back up its antidrug stance with legislation.

"The government should formally declare its support for a national campaign against drugs in a presidential decree," Tifaona said at a seminar on narcotics organized by Trisakti University in West Jakarta.

The former West Java deputy police chief said the government should also issue a government regulation as operational and practical guidelines for Law No. 5/1997 on Narcotics and Law No. 22/1997 on Psychotropic Substances.

"The government regulation should explicitly mention the death sentence for drug traffickers," he said, citing the importance of "shock therapy" measures in order to scare drug criminals.

He also asked the government to soon establish a national coordinating agency for antidrug measures.

The seminar was held in conjunction with the signing of a Trisakti University rectorial decree, which will ban drug use and trafficking within the university's campus, and with the launching of the university's internal antidrug movement.

In the last six months, the university's antidrug movement has netted 130 students found using drugs on campus.

Trisakti University rector Thoby Mutis said the university authority would impose the toughest sanctions possible in order to create a drug-free campus.

"Students who are proven to be using or trafficking in drugs will be dismissed," Thoby said.

"We'll conduct random urine tests on students in the near future."


The rector said the university's school of medicine would be developed as a drug rehabilitation center and that all campus infrastructure would be used for the university's antidrug campaign.

The seminar also saw the signing of an agreement between the university and the city police for a short-term training and campaign awareness program on drugs at the university's campus.

"Two of our security personnel confessed that several drug dealers had been operating on the campus.

"The dealers threatened, but also offered substantial sums of cash to the two personnel if they were allowed to run their business here," said Trisakti university lecturer Effendi Simangunsong.

Jakarta Police chief Maj. Gen. Noegroho Djajoesman said mass support was needed to curb drug abuse and trafficking in the city. "But the movement should be coordinated with the police," he said.

In a related development, nearly 400 police patrol (Sabhara) and Elite Police Mobile Brigade (Brimob) officers departed on Wednesday night from city police headquarters to conduct drug raids in West Jakarta.

At least 10 police trucks were sent out to raid discotheques and massage parlors in West Jakarta, including Raja Mas, Stadium, Emeralda, Sydney 2000, Zinos and Libra.

Some 50 officers raided the Sydney 2000 discotheque, located on the ninth floor of the Sydney 2000 building in West Jakarta, about two minutes after arriving on the scene. The delay may have been enough time for some of the patrons to dump illegal substances.

Officers did not immediately inspect the toilets, but waited for a song to finish. Personnel at the discotheque then switched on the lights and politely announced to the clientele that a raid would be conducted.

The West Jakarta raids led to the arrest on early Thursday morning of 32 people. Police also confiscated 38 ecstasy pills, 12 "Happy Five" pills and 17 marijuana cigarettes. (01/ylt)