Tuesday, 1 December 1998
Dáil Éireann Debate
85. Mr. Gormley asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs his views on the unrest in the street protesting in Indonesia which has resulted in many deaths; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [25580/98]
Minister for Foreign Affairs (Mr. Andrews): I am greatly disturbed by the recent unrest in many parts of Indonesia, especially the excessive use of force by the security forces against demonstrators on 13 November which resulted in several deaths. I also deplore the fact that some elements among the rioters in Jakarta last month appear to have targeted Christian churches as well as property belonging to the ethnic Chinese community. All sides must exercise the utmost restraint in order to avoid further violence.
The recent decisions taken by the People's Consultative Assembly in Jakarta represent a step in the direction of political and economic reform. Further such steps will need to be taken, however, and it is clearly of the greatest importance that the democratic elections scheduled to take place by June 1999 are held in an open, free and fair manner.
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