[QODLink]
Asia-Pacific
Indonesia leader delays Dutch visit
Decision blamed on legal move by Holland-based pro-Moluccan group to have Yudhoyono arrested.
Last Modified: 05 Oct 2010 14:17 GMT
Yudhoyono said his decision to cancel the Holland visit was linked to Indonesia's 'pride and honour as a nation' [AFP]

Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, the Indonesian president, has postponed his visit to the Netherlands after pro-Moluccan human-rights activists asked a Dutch court to order his arrest.

He was at the airport on Tuesday in Jakarta preparing to leave when he suddenly called a news conference to announce that the visit was off.

Yudhoyono was scheduled to arrive in the Netherlands on Wednesday for a three-day state visit.

"In recent days, a group has filed a request to the court to make an issue out of human rights in Indonesia and request the court to arrest me during the state visit. It concerns our pride and honour as a nation, therefore I decided to postpone this visit," Yudhoyono said.

The news is unlikely to cause long-term damage to Indonesia's relationship with Holland, but could be an attempt to put pressure on the Dutch government to address Dutch-based Moluccan separatists and their sympathisers.

Indigenous groups in the southern Moluccas, particularly on Ambon island, have long agitated for the creation of an independent Republic of the Southern Moluccas (RMS).

Some were jailed in the past couple of years for performing a war dance associated with the movement.

Indonesian police were recently accused of torturing several activists associated with the movement who were arrested after they were found with banned flags and books.

A spokesman for the Dutch prime minister's office said Indonesian authorities had not yet given a clear response on Yudhoyono's visit. "We are still in contact," he said.

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
At least 25 tax collectors have been killed since 2012 in Mogadishu, a city awash in weapons and abject poverty.
Tokyo government claims its homeless population has hit a record low, but analysts - and the homeless - beg to differ.
3D printers can cheaply construct homes and could soon be deployed to help victims of catastrophe rebuild their lives.
Lack of child protection laws means abandoned and orphaned kids rely heavily on the care of strangers.
Featured
Booming global trade in 50-million-year-old amber stones is lucrative, controversial, and extremely dangerous.
Legendary Native-American High Bird was trained in ancient warrior traditions, which he employed in World War II.
Hounded opposition figure says he's hoping for the best at sodomy appeal but prepared to return to prison.
Fears of rising Islamophobia and racial profiling after two soldiers killed in separate incidents.
Group's culture of summary justice is back in Northern Ireland's spotlight after new sexual assault accusations.