Bogor HTI to stage rally against Obama visit
Sun, May 30 2010 08:21 | 655 Views
Bogor, W Java (ANTARA News) - Hizbut Tahrir Indonesia (HTI)-Bogor chapter, plans to stage a rally against President Barack Obama`s planned visit to Indonesia in June.
The rally would be staged at Bogor city`s Kujang monument on Sunday from 08.00 to 11.00 local time, a spokesman for the rally`s organizers told ANTARA here Saturday.
HTI`s national executive board had first voiced its opposition to President Obama`s planned visit to Indonesia last March.
At the time, the White House had once organized Obama`s a three-day state visit on March 23, the date, which had been rescheduled from March 18.
Obama eventually delayed his visit to Indonesia and Australia from March to June mainly due to his country`s internal politics because at that time the US Congress had yet to approve his proposed healthcare reform bill.
During the Bogor rally, the HTI activists would deliver public speeches and distribute leaflets to motorists and passers-by.
HTI claimed that Obama`s visit was only aimed at boosting America`s economic interests in Indonesia.
HTI`s stance did not represent the voice of mainstream moderate Indonesian Muslims who welcome Obama.
According to Sapto Waluyo, executive director of the Center for Indonesia Reform, Obama`s visit could be used by human rights activists to submit a petition for returning terror suspect Hambali.
"The petition needs to be made so that Hambali can be tried in Indonesia. Through an open trial here the roots of terrorism in Indonesia can be retraced," he said.
Sapto Waluyo said if Hambali was repatriated the Indonesian authorities would be greatly helped in revealing the roots of terrorism.
Regarding President Obama`s planned visit in June, National Defense Forces (TNI) Chief General (TNI) Djoko Santoso said the military had made the needed preparation in accordance with existing procedures.
According to Foreign Ministry spokesman Teuku Faizasyah, the Indonesian government was prepared for Obama`s visit in mid June.
Obama himself is popular enough in Indonesia because his step father was an Indonesian, and he had spent part of his childhood in Jakarta.
During his stay in the Indonesian capital for a couple of years, he attended local elementary schools.
Media reports said President Obama still remembered such foods as Indonesian fried rice (nasi goreng) and meat balls. (*)
Editor: B Kunto Wibisono
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