Indonesia to stop protest against Myanmar at Borobudur

Indonesian activists at an anti-Myanmar protest in Surabaya yesterday. Similar protests have taken place in Jakarta and Malaysia's Kuala Lumpur.
Indonesian activists at an anti-Myanmar protest in Surabaya yesterday. Similar protests have taken place in Jakarta and Malaysia's Kuala Lumpur.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

JAKARTA • Indonesian police have pledged to bar Islamist groups from staging a rally on Friday at the Borobudur Buddhist temple in Central Java to protest against the persecution of Myanmar's Rohingya Muslims.

Islamist groups say they plan to hold the demonstration close to the stupa-topped Borobudur temple, which dates from the ninth century and is a popular tourist site, to call for an end to violence against the religious and ethnic minority in Myanmar.

Indonesia has the world's largest population of Muslims and there have been a number of anti-Myanmar protests in the capital Jakarta and the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur over the treatment of Buddhist-majority Myanmar's roughly 1.1 million Rohingya.

"The action at Borobudur temple will be prohibited," National Police chief Tito Karnavian told reporters.

"This is not just part of the heritage of Indonesia, but that of the world. There is no need for protests in response to the Rohingya conflict because the Indonesian government is taking action on it already."

An organiser of Friday's planned protest said the groups wanted to protest peacefully near the Borobodur temple which he described as "an extraordinary symbol of tolerance".

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 06, 2017, with the headline 'Indonesia to stop protest against Myanmar at Borobudur'. Print Edition | Subscribe