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Students to halt protest during Ramadan

Agence France Presse - December 21, 1998

Jakarta – Two major Indonesian student groups have said they plan to halt their almost-daily street protests during the Moslem fasting month that began Sunday, a report said here Monday.

The City Forum (Forkot) and the Jakarta Student Senates Communication Forum (FKSMJ) were considering other forms of protests during the fasting month, the Indonesian Observer said.

The two groups were among those in the forefront of the daily student demonstrations that have rocked the capital in the past months, mainly to demand the trial of former president Suharto and the scrapping of the military's role in politics.

"We will instead conduct compassionate actions, such as distributing essential goods," FKSMJ activist Fauzan was quoted as telling broadcaster Surya Citra Televisi. "We will keep moving, but in a calm atmosphere. We are still thinking about the form of the actions," Forkot activist Ridwan said.

The comments came after Indonesian leaders, mostly Moslems, called on students to ease up on street protests in the Moslem fasting month. Moslems account for more than 90 percent of Indonesia's 202 million people.