Indonesians protest against Bush

Nationwide protests are held ahead of Monday's visit by the US president.

    Protests come before the US president's arrival


    In Jakarta, people marched to the presidential palace carrying posters that read "Punish Bush the war criminal" and "Bush master terrorist".
     
    In a separate protest, the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS), an Islamic political party, rallied thousands of supporters at a Jakarta mosque. In an open letter to Bush, the PKS had said that Bush spread terror through US military actions in Iraq and Afghanistan.
     
    Indonesia will be the final stop in Asia for Bush on his return from the Apec summit.

    "Bush spread terror through US military actions in Iraq and Afghanistan"

    PKS

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    Demonstrations have been reported across Indonesia, including in south Sulawesi province and Yogyakarta.
     
    Security measures criticised
     
    In the town of Bogor, where Bush will be a guest, the Indonesian authorities were criticised over its security measures.
     

    Demonstrators marched through Jakarta
    to the presidential palace

    Lynn Pascoe, the US ambassador to Indonesia, had said the security plans reflected the fact that "there are lots of crazy people in the world out there, [who] will do crazy things".
     
    Indonesia has seen several bomb attacks in recent years, including the Bali bombings in 2002 that killed 202 people, many of whom were foreign tourists.
     
    The country is a regional ally for the US in its "war on terror". Indonesia also has substantial trade and investment links with the US which recently contributed $55m in aid towards anti-corruption and childhood immunisation programmes.
     
    Despite this, Indonesia's government has often criticised US foreign policy.
     
    In their meeting, Bush and Yudhoyono will discuss education, poverty and co-operation on anti-terrorism. However, officials on both sides have played down prospects of major new agreements.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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