Mon, 24 Jan 2000

Students to hold seminar on autonomy

JAKARTA (JP): A group of student organizations will hold a two-day seminar here on Monday and Tuesday on wide-ranging autonomy and federalism.

The seminar will be organized by a joint committee comprising representatives from several student organizations, including Forum Kota, Jakarta; Forum Koordinasi Masyarakat Bersatu, Bandung; Dewan Mahasiswa Untuk Demokrasi, Medan; Posko Perjuangan Rakyat, Denpasar; and Forum Demokrasi and Aliansi Mahasiswa Jambi untuk Perubahan, Jambi.

About 55 student and non-governmental organizations and individuals are expected to participate in the seminar, which will be held at the Jakarta Media Center, Central Jakarta.

Speakers who have already confirmed their attendance include economists Faisal Basri and Rizal Ramli, international relations expert Soedjati Djiwandono and historian Hermawan Sulistyo.

The seminar is part of the National Meeting of Indonesian Students being held in Jakarta from Jan. 24 to Jan. 29.

Representatives from six student organizations are scheduled to attend the meeting.

The seminar is intended to socialize federalism and autonomy terms among students, who are less informed on the topics.

Committee member Arie Mirjaya said in a media conference here on Saturday, "Those terms are very abstract, and by conducting the seminar, we'll bring the terms down to earth for students."

He said the seminar is held amid threats of disintegration throughout the country, as found in Irian Jaya and Riau. (asa)