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Friday, May 15, 1998 Published at 07:59 GMT 08:59 UK


Sounds of anger




Crowds are swarming into shops and dragging out everything they can carry (0'26")
Crowds have been rioting through the Indonesian capital, Jakarta, demanding that President Suharto stands down. Correspondents describe the situation as close to anarchy. People appear to have lost their fear of the authorities and have been looting at will.


Hear the chants and slogans of a pro-democracy rally (0'35")
Over the past few weeks a tide of protests has been sweeping across Indonesia's universities. Crowds of students chanting anti-government slogans have found themselves facing ranks of heavily armed troops and riot police.


Students spell out demands for change: "We have to fight"('26")
The demonstrations remained peaceful until May 12 when troops and riot police opened fire and beat the students with clubs. Six people died. It was the the worst violence to take place during the three-month campaign of protest for political reform.

Official reaction


Ali Alatas: "We very much regret whatever casualties there have been" (1'12")
The country's Foreign Minister, Ali Alatas, spoke about the unrest on Wednesday while attending a conference in Cairo. He said the government regretted the loss of life but said security forces had to restore order.


General Wiranto: "We support economic and political reform" (0'12")
The head of Indonesia's armed forces, General Wiranto, has appealed for an end to protests by students. Speaking on May 7th, he said the military would soon be putting forward its own proposals for reform. But he said these would have to be implemented gradually and constitutionally.


Helmy Fauzy: "Students want an end to nepotism" (1'24")
A Jakarta based human rights campaigner, echoed the calls of students in calling for President Suharto to stand down, after 30 years. He spoke to BBC Radio's World at One programme on May 13th.


Amien Rais: "Revolution may take place" (0'13")
Amien Rais, a leading Muslim intellectual, used to side with the government, but has now become one of its principal foes. But in a society which normally believes in compromise and not confrontation, he is a reluctant revolutionary.


Subagyo Anan: 'The feeling of the Indonesian opposition has now reached the point of no return' (0'43")
A spoksman for the Indonesian opposition figure Megawati Sukarnoputri said on Wednesday 13 May that the opposition's resolve had been hardened by the shootings on the streets and that immediate reforms were now essential.





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In this section

End of an epoch: The day in audio

Years of living dangerously

Sounds of anger

The mood in Suharto's home town