President's Inauguration Marked by Protest Titled "Put An End!"

9:40 PM Posted by National Liberation Party Of Unity (PAPERNAS)

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Report by: Ulfa Ilyas
Thousands of people from various elements of society carried out a protest to mark the inauguration of SBY and Boediono as President and VP around national parliament building Jakarta today (October 20th).

They demanded the president to put an end to neoliberal policies during his second term, because the system has been proven failed and brought suffering to the people of the world, including Indonesia.

The spokeperson of the Street Parliament Alliance (APJ), Lalu Hilman Afriandi, stated the above in Senayan, Jakarta.

"In the last 5 years, the government has been busy seeking foreign loans. Up to August 2009, our debt had reached $160.64 billion and each year it added hundreds of trillion rupiah into the state budget. This policy is not only a burden to the state budget, but also an opening for foreign interest that seek the implementation of neoliberal policies, such as the selling of SOEs, trade liberalization, bank deregulation, liberalization of education, etc." he added.
Lalu Hilman explained that what have been happening is using debt to pay debt, creating vicious circle where debt feed on itself.

Meanwhile, Dominggus Oktavianus, the chairperson of the National Front of Indonesia's Labour Struggle (FNPBI) said that neoliberal policies cause deindustrialisation and bankrupt national industry that supposed to be able to provide jobs and produce goods for people's need. Currently, informal worker sector has reached 70% of the total labour force. Some of them are laid off workers and young workers who are not absorbed by the industry.

"It means that beside intensifying lay-offs, neoliberalism from the outset has shrunken the labour market. This is exacerbated by the spread of contract system, outsourcing, and low wage politics,"

At the same place, the chairperson of the Indonesian Poor Union (SRMI), Marlo Sitompul, hopes that the president would address the rights of the poor. "Especially as his second term was marked by the Bank Century case that was indicated to cause the lost of Rp. 6.7 trillion of public money. The new government should not be too confident, because this case has clearly hurt their credibility among the people, even among their own voters," explained Marlo.

The protest, filled with posters and banners titled "Put An End!" went peacefully despite heavy police presence.

Similar demonstrations occurred in dozens of other areas in Indonesia. In Makassar of South Sulawesi province, more than a thousand mass came to Liberation West Irian memorial monument to declare Stop the neoliberal regime. Demonstrations also occurred in the capital city of other provinces such as East Java, Central Java, West Java, Jambi, Riau, North Sumatra, Aceh, Bali, West Nusa Tenggara and East Nusa Tenggara. The nationwide simultaneous action is coordinated by the People's Democratic Party (PRD).