Sat, 04 Nov 2000

No FPI protest at City Hall

JAKARTA (JP): The Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) members did not show up to stage a protest at the compound of City Hall as was expected.

Dozens of police officers stood guard at the compound immediately after the Friday prayers. The security officers had closed the compound's front gate while barbed wires were also put behind the fence.

However, until 3 p.m. none of the FPI members showed up.

"We were notified about the FPI members' planned protest this morning as the group was not satisfied with the governor's decision to keep the nightspots open during the fasting month," chief of the City Control Center for Social Disturbances Raya Siahaan said.

"That's the reason why we notified the police and was fully prepared for their arrival," he added.

City Hall had several times suffered from the unruliness of the group. During the last fasting month, FPI occupied City Hall, demanding the closure of nightspots during the month. The group had also wrecked the fence of the compound without clear reasons last month.

Separately, a staffer at the FPI secretariat said the members did not have any plan to stage a rally in front of City Hall but the group was annoyed that the governor had ignored their request for a dialog with them.

"We have sent the letter twice but they ignored it. Maybe, we should come and pay them a visit," the staffer said. (dja)