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Clashes spread to Islamic State Institute

Kompas - May 1, 1998

Jakarta – A clash between the security apparatus and students staging actions of concern has now occurred at the Syarif hidayatullah Islamic Religion State Institute, Jakarta, on Thursday (30/4). More than one thousand students from various higher education institutes in the Jakarta-Bogor-Tangerang-Bekasi area who had gathered there, tried to go on the streets to demand that the government soon carry out comprehensive political and economic reformation.

Traffic on the Juanda road, Ciputat, was paralyzed for an hour because the road was blocked by security. Hundreds of security members formed a barricade along the campus when the students tried to get out of the campus. The pushing and shoving between the students and security members lasted a while accompanied by stone-throwing at the security personnel. Three security agents were injured. Students who were able to get out of the campus formed small groups of 25 to 100 persons. Each group staged orations on the road-side. Nearing noon, the students inside the campus simultaneously gathered outside the campus and formed a long column heading towards the mosque on the opposite side of the road.

The students delayed their dispersal when a police helicopter flew low towards the demo location and issued reminders for the students to cease their action. The action stopped when the security apparatus withdrew and heavy rain showered the area.

In Medan, the situation on the North Sumatra University (USU) campus, which the day before was swamped by rioting, on Thursday gradually returned to normal. The roads around the campus could again be used by the public as usual. No uniformed personnel were seen on guard. Similarly, the students were no longer staging actions of concern.

The head of the university, Prof dr Chairuddin P Lubis DTM SpAK said that with the lectures holiday the students could cool and calm down. Hopefully the students were capable of thinking clearly and conveying their aspirations in a way that would not disturb the community around the campus. Let the students convey their aspirations, but in an orderly and polite manner.

The university head took the time to visit a student being treated in the Elisabeth hospital. He and a fellow student fell from their motorbikes after a collision, the friend died as a result.

In Bandung, students of the Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB) succeeded in marching some 500 meters along the Ir Juanda road. A clash occurred when security personnel tried to drive the crowd back to Ganesha road. As a result, traffic on Ir Junda road was completely stopped for a while and two students who were injured were rushed to the St Borromeus hospital. Besides the ITB, several other higher education institutes staged demonstrations. Besides demanding reformation, they also condemned the abduction of activists.

In Jember, hundreds of students of the Muhammadiyah University staged a mock funeral procession mourning the "Voice of the People" to the Jember Regional Parliament Building about one kilometer away.

In Semarang, a student action of concern again took place at the Diponegoro University. This time about a thousand students were able to get out of campus, but only to the boulevard connecting the campus with the protocol road. Gathered around the Diponegoro statue they conveyed their demands for reformation and lowering of prices.

In Padang, thousands of students of various higher education institutes staged a grand rally on the campus of the Andalas University. They again urged the government to carry out reformation soon in all fields.

Thousands of students from various universities held a grand rally on the IKIP Negeri Ketintang campus in Surabaya, and tried to break through the barricade of security personnel at the main gate, to get on the street. But this was unsuccessful.

In Ujungpandang, during the last few weeks, the hall of the second floor of the South Sulawesi regional parliament has become a free forum "stage" for the students. On Thursday about 1,000 students of the Paulus Indonesian Christian University (UKIP) came to the regional parliament building to stage an action of concern. They came using three buses, three open trucks, hundreds of motorbikes and dozens of private cars, from the UKIP campus some eight kilometers distant. The group was escorted by security. On the parliament grounds they staged a free forum, castigating the parliament's role which had not yet reacted to the protracted crisis.

In Solo, the Grand Student Family of the Muhammadiyah University of some 500 members staged a demonstration outside the campus. They intended a long march of some 7 kilometers to Solo. But this intention was thwarted by the police.