Minister discusses demonstrating students’ sentiments with Jokowi

Jakarta (ANTARA) - Research, Technology, and Higher Education Minister Mohamad Nasir met President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) to discuss the critical outburst of university students and a positive manner in which their views could have otherwise been expressed.

"Yes, to invite university students to dialog in a good approach and to not head to the streets but instead return to their respective campuses," Nasir informed the press in the front yard of the State Palace, here on Thursday.

The minister opined that students can echo their criticism without having to resort to anarchic acts and disturbing public order.

The minister also pointed out that the government was open to constructive criticism and proposals.

Nasir expressed concern over irresponsible parties manipulating the university students' rallies through provocation.

"University students can express their criticism. I allow them. However, it should be conducted in a positive manner, as they are academicians, good intellectuals," he added.

The rallies in Jakarta, Makassar, Medan, and several other regions on Tuesday (Sept 24) turned chaotic, as police personnel resorted to water cannon and fired tear gas to disperse the demonstrating students. Some of them chased the students and battered them with clubs, thereby causing injuries to several of them.

The Jakarta Police deployed some 18 thousand police officers to guard the Parliament building in Jakarta on Tuesday.

Chief of the Jakarta Police Inspector General Eddy Pramono stated that 39 police officers and 265 students were injured in the clashes, and 11 of the students required hospital treatment on September 24, 2019.

On Sept 25, senior high school and vocational school students had demonstrated to express their solidarity with the university students in Jakarta and several other cities.

On Sept 26, university students from various universities in several regions, such as Surabaya, Aceh, Garut and Magelang, yet again held rallies.

Source: ANTARA News

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