Indonesian students and army clash


Indonesian students and army clash

By Max Lane

Sources in Jakarta report that 50 students demonstrated outside parliament on June 2 following a one-day occupation of their campus by the army.

On May 22, 150 soldiers plus police entered the National University campus following demonstrations against a candidate for appointment to the vice-chancellorship. Almost 150 students engaged the military in hand-to-hand fighting. Students fought armed with bamboo sticks against soldiers with fixed bayonets. Fifteen students were wounded, and one is still in hospital with fears that he may be blinded by a bayonet wound.

Students report that considerable damage was also done to buildings by the soldiers, who later started firing their rifles.

Ten students were arrested overnight and later released. Students have been visited in their houses by military intelligence and threatened with being kidnapped.

The campus has been the scene of a long-

running dispute between pro-democratic and conservative students over the appointment of Professor Baquni as the next vice-chancellor. Students say that Baquni, identified with the Indonesian Islamic Intellectual Association, the de facto new political party of President Suharto and his favoured cabinet minister, Habibie, is opposed to political activity on campus.

The occupation became an issue throughout campuses although there were no press reports of the events until after students went to the Parliament on June 2.

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