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News :: Media
Looming Fuel Prices Spark Protests in Indonesia
29 Sep 2005
Looming Fuel Prices Spark Protests in Indonesia
Jakarta, Sep 29 (Prensa Latina) Thousands of demonstrators rallied across Indonesia on Thursday against looming fuel price hikes, local official sources reported.

Most of Thursday's protests appeared to be peaceful, though some people burned tires and blocked roads on the island of Borneo, witnesses said.

The government┬┤s decision to cut fuel subsidies, which have helped protect Indonesia┬┤s poorest from escalating global prices, could result in a 60 per cent rise in the price of gasoline, diesel fuel and kerosene when it takes effect Saturday, local ministers said.

The move is also expected to push up the prices of everyday goods and services in the sprawling country of 220 million people, half of whom live on less than $2 US dollars a day.

The largest rallies were in Makassar on Sulawesi island, where Indonesian Vice-President Yusuf Kalla has a home. Around 1,000 students marched on his residence, some throwing bricks at police officers who blocked their path. There were no immediate reports of injuries.

In the capital Jakarta, around 500 protesters winded through the streets toward the presidential palace, carrying banners.

This is the second time Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has been forced to raise the cost of fuel since his election in 2004.

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