Wed, 05 Mar 2003

Traders protest at City Council

JAKARTA: Some 100 street vendors who were evicted from outside the Pasar Minggu traditional market in South Jakarta staged a protest in the grounds of City Hall on Tuesday, demanding that the city administration allow them to start trading again.

They were evicted from the pavements in front of the market three months ago and have since moved inside the market complex. But they complain that the move has led to a fall business.

"We hope that we will be allowed to resume our activities (in front of the market) as the new place is no good for us to do business," Mohamad Nasikin, a spokesman for the traders, told a hearing with the City Council's economic affairs commission.

The councillors, however, advised them to stay inside the market, saying that the pavements could no longer be used for trading due to the problem of traffic congestion in the city.

"You should stay inside the market as the buyers will come to you if you keep trading there," said councillor Sumiyati Soekarno of the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI Perjuangan).--JP