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Government urged to set up team to fend off issues that 'corner' Indonesia

Antara News - March 20, 1997

Semarang, C Java – A member of the National Human Rights Commission (Komnas HAM) has called on the government to set up a special team to fend off issues that tend to "corner" Indonesia.

"Reports on human rights abuses in Indonesia often corner the country. They only focus on the bad side. If the government does not react to such reports, the country will have a bad image abroad," Muladi told the press Tuesday.

He said he will discuss this during the Commission's regular meeting with the Coordinating Minister for Political and Security Affairs.

"There should be a body in charge of countering such reports,"he said.

He further said that the Indonesian Armed Forces (ABRI) and the Commission have been working hard to fend off such negative coverage.

"The Commission has also sent teams abroad (to explain these negative reports), but we are only a small institution. If the government takes over, the results may be better," he said. He also expressed hope that the special team could cope with the fast spread of true and false information, particularly through the Internet.