Suharto army warns student rioters

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The Independent Online
INDONESIAN students fought with police in further campus demonstrations against President Suharto yesterday, while the commander of the armed forces warned that the army would act against protesters who engage in "destructive acts".

"Abri [the Indonesian armed forces] clearly insists that such activities should be controlled and not be directed to unhealthy and disorderly acts," General Wiranto told reporters at the defence department in Jakarta. "If their actions are destructive, then ... they have to face the legal apparatus, which includes the armed forces."

Campus demonstrations have taken place all over Indonesia throughout the 11-day meeting of the People's Consultative Assembly (MPR) which re- elected President Suharto for a seventh consecutive term on Wednesday.

Yesterday, small and peaceful protests took place for the second day running in Jakarta and Yogyakarta in Java. But in Surabaya, Indonesia's second city, a dozen students were injured in fights with police, four of them seriously.

Indonesia is suffering from drought and an economic crisis which has seen the value of the rupiah drop by more than two-thirds. "We are in a monetary, economic and confidence crisis that will be difficult to get out of," President Suharto admitted yesterday. "It is no exaggeration to say that the development success we have achieved in the past 30 years seems to have been destroyed suddenly by this crisis."

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