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Jayapura's university threatens closure over student protests

Jakarta Post - April 11, 2001

Jakarta – Rector of the Jayapura Institute of Science and Technology (ISTJ) Tuesday threatened to close down the school following student protests demanding his resignation.

Rector Moh. Ali Kastella said the school might be closed if students continued their protests and threat to kill the lecturers.

According to Kastella, the students began their protests on November 27 last year, demanding that he resign and also relinquish his post at Irian Jaya's Regional Environmental Impact Management Agency.

The students also accused him of embezzling scholarship funds and that his magisterial degree in technology management was faked, Kastella said as quoted by Antara.

He said the Irian Jaya's Inspectorate had investigated the charges but had found any proof of embezzlement. He also said his magisterial degree was authentic and had been verified by the Directorate General of Higher and Middle Learning and, therector of the Surabaya Institute of Technology.

"If they continue making all that noises without having any proof, all campus activities will be halted," Kastella said, adding that the protesting students would have to face thousands of students and their parents who did not join their protest. ISTJ has 2,800 students studying at its six departments.

On Tuesday around 50 students rallied at the governor's office to renew their demand for Kastella's resignation. The students were joined in by the secretary of the students senate, Engelbert Toto and two former lecturers, Pieter Baltimuri and Dorus Wakum,Antara said.

The two lecturers were among the three lecturers fired by the Bhineka Tunggal Ika Foundation which runs the institute. The third lecturer was Yusuf Saba. The three were charged of committing acts of anarchy in campus during their tenure. The university has also suspended 22 students for involvement in the rallies.