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Indonesia President Calls for Disbanding of ‘Violent’ Groups
February 09, 2011
In his strongest comments since the killing of three members of an Islamic sect and anti-Christian unrest, Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono on Wednesday called on authorities to disband any organization that urged its members to resort to violence.
“If there is an official public group or mass organization that has repeatedly conducted or even suggested violence, legal authorities must disband the organization, according to the rule of law and democratic ethics,” Yudhoyono said in Kupang, West Timor, on Wednesday.
“Even though a democratic country upholds freedom of expression and the right to assemble, we must not give any space and tolerance to public speech or calls to carry out violence or murder on anyone.”
He said the anti-Ahmadiyah attacks in Pandeglang, Banten, and unrest in Temanggung, Central Java, in which two churches and a Christian school were targeted, could have been prevented if authorities had been proactive and swifter in their responses.
“In this country, there are no villages or districts that do not have leaders and security officers,” Yudhoyono said.
He also asked the press to support the government in maintaining harmony among different religions “as well as to prevent violence done by a group or a community that could damage the harmony,” he said.