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Students launch hunger strike at State Palace

Detik.com - April 11, 2006

Jakarta – Protesting government policy, around 200 students are planning a hunger strike in front of the State Palace – although they will not be doing anything dramatic like sewing their mouths shut.

The students from the National Student League for Democracy (LMND) started the action at 1pm on April 11 at Radio Indonesia 1, which is located on Jl. Medan Merdeka Utara in Central Jakarta.

“This action is to criticise government polices that are regarded as damaging and only deplete out natural energy resources for the interest of a small fraction of people”, said LMND chairperson Iwan Dwie Laksono when contacted by Detik.com.

Laksono gave as an example PT Freeport Indonesia that operates in Papua, which should be able to provide free education for all Papuan people. “Not only that, they (Freeport) should be able to provide free healthcare to all Papuans”, he asserted.

During the action later, LMND will not be sleeping in front of the palace but will take advantage of the trees in the vicinity of the palace for cover.

Laksono explained that the hunger strike would not be like those by victims of high-voltage transmission lines that sowed their mouths shut. “We will not be using heroic or dramatic methods like that, just a normal [hunger strike]”, he added. (kem)

[Translated by James Balowski.]

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