Wed, 23 Aug 2000

Sumatra congress being prepared

BANDAR LAMPUNG, Lampung: The Sumatra People's Congress to discuss autonomy for the island is expected to take place early next year, organizers said on Monday.

Executive chairman of the Lampung Autonomy Council (MKL), Syafarudin, told Antara the non-governmental organization would hold preliminary congresses ahead of the bigger forum which will involve representatives of people across Sumatra. Lampung has been named the host of the initial all-Sumatra congress.

Banda Aceh, Medan and Bengkulu have been tipped to host the preliminary meetings, which are scheduled for December, according to Syafarudin. The fixed dates for the congress and its preliminary gatherings, however, remain undecided.

The council's deputy chairman, Syarif Makhya, said the congress was expected to find solutions to the myriad of problems Sumatra's people have been facing, ranging from the political to economic fields. (amd)