Singapore, 7 other nations issue alert on Jakarta unrest

Indonesian riot fire tear gas at protesters demonstrating against the re-election of Indonesian president in Jakarta, on May 22, 2019.
Indonesian riot fire tear gas at protesters demonstrating against the re-election of Indonesian president in Jakarta, on May 22, 2019. ST PHOTO: ARIFFIN JAMAR

JAKARTA • Concerns about violent unrest prompted Singapore and seven other countries to issue travel advisories for their citizens travelling or living in Indonesia ahead of a rally in Jakarta on Wednesday that erupted into riots, an Indonesian Tourism Ministry official has revealed.

The United States, Canada, Britain, Australia, Malaysia, Thailand and the Philippines had issued travel advisories, Indonesian Tourism Ministry spokesman Guntur Sakti told Tempo.

The Singapore Ministry of Foreign Affairs travel advisory dated May 22 took note of media reports of demonstrations in the vicinity of the General Elections Commission (KPU) in Jalan Imam Bonjol and the Election Supervisory Board (Bawaslu) in Jalan Thamrin in Jakarta.

It also warned Singaporeans of reports of disturbances at Tanah Abang and other parts of Central Jakarta, advising them to avoid the areas with these mass gatherings and to monitor the local media closely for updates and developments. The other countries that issued travel advisories also urged their citizens to exercise caution in Indonesia.

A travel advisory or travel alert does not imply that a country has banned its citizens from visiting a destination country. Rather, it provides relevant information to citizens about how best to ensure their safety while travelling.

Mr Guntur Sakti told Tempo that such advisories were routine and did not pose a threat to Indonesia's tourism sector.

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 25, 2019, with the headline 'S'pore, seven other nations issued alert on Jakarta unrest'. Print Edition | Subscribe