Saturday, August 3, 2013


    Jakarta, Aug 3, 2013 (Antara) - Various parties in Indonesia - from the president to the ordinary people - have expressed their concern over "dangerous" situation in Egypt, which has so far been considered a very good friend of Indonesia.
         Most of them have prayed for the Egyptian people to be able to go through the transitional period toward democracy peacefully by reaching reconciliations and compromises to avoid further bloodshed.
         "As a good friend of Egypt, we should help the Egyptian people through prayers and our experiences," Muhammad Najib, a legislator, said in Jakarta on August 2, 2013.

         President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono on July 29, 2013, expressed his hope that the conflicting parties in Egypt could exercise self-restraint in order to prevent additional bloodshed.
         Yudhoyono described the conflict in Egypt as dangerous because it is a horizontal conflict that involves hundreds of thousands of people facing off against each other.
         "Hopefully in this situation, both parties could exercise self-restraint to avoid there being more victims. Reconciliation and compromise should be accomplished," President Yudhoyono said.   He additionally called upon the United Nations to help find a solution.    
    Reuters reported that U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon recently condemned the violence following protests in Egypt, calling on security forces to respect the right to free speech and assembly and urging protesters to demonstrate peacefully.
         "The Secretary-General once again calls on the interim authorities to assume full responsibility for the peaceful management of the demonstrations and ensure the protection of all Egyptians," Ban's press office said in a statement.
         Given the fact that thousands of Indonesians, mostly students, are currently in Egypt, Yudhoyono has ordered the Indonesian ambassador to Egypt to protect them.
         "I have been informed that the Indonesians there are under control and our students are also safe," he said.
         Further, he instructed Indonesians in Egypt not to involve themselves in the ongoing conflicts. "Stay away from dangerous places and maintain communications," he said.
         Earlier, when hosting a fast-breaking dinner in Islam's holy month of Ramadan (Fasting) at the State Palace on July 11, 2013,  Yudhoyono said "we pray so that political upheaval in Egypt could end immediately and political transition in that country could run peacefully and democratically based on the will of the Egyptians."
    Indonesian Foreign Affairs Minister Marty Natalegawa issued a statement calling for an end to violence in Egypt recently following the recent bloody violence in the North African nation.
         "All parties must respect human rights and solve the conflict using peaceful and constitutional ways," he said.
         The minister also called on the international community to actively boost and support reconciliation process in Egypt.
         Marty urged Indonesian citizens not to travel to Egypt until the situation there is safe and stable.
         In addition to just issuing statements, Deputy Speaker of the People's Consultative Assembly (MPR) Lukman Hakim Saifuddin urged the government to participate actively in mediation efforts to end crisis in Egypt.
         "As a fellow member of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and historically has a long relationship with Egypt, Indonesia has to be proactive in offering itself to be a mediator for the reconciliation of all parties in Egypt," he said recently.
         The international community should encourage Egyptians to resolve crisis through a peaceful means and dialogs on a negotiation table, he said.
         "We have a big responsibility to maintain peace in Egypt. Egypt is a rich country culturally with its long-past civilization and has contributed to development of world civilization today and in the future," he said.
         Egypt, he said, should not be left trapped in a civil war which would  not only hurt its citizens, but also harm the world's citizens.
         A number of Indonesian NGOs and politicians have also reacted strongly to the unrest and violence in Egypt.
         Din Syamsuddin, the chairman of Muhammadyiah, Indonesia's second largest Muslim organization, condemned the violence and demand restoration of democracy in Egypt by putting ousted President Morsi back to his previous position as the elected president of Egypt.
         Being accompanied by leaders of several other Islamic-based organizations in a press conference in Jakarta, recently, he urged the UN, OIC and international community not to recognize Egypt's military move of ousting President Morsi.
         He was the view that the Egyptian military coup was a reflection of the West's unhappiness with the awakening of Islam. 
         "The election of Muhammad Morsi as the Egyptian President is disliked because it will lead to the rise of Islam," Din Syamsuddin said.
         Sharing Din's view, Secretary General of the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) Bachtiar Nasir said the ouster of Morsi was a scenario of the West.
         "The West (the United States and its allies) is unhappy with the awakening of Islam. So, there is a scenario to unseat Morsi," he said.
         He urged the Indonesian government to play an active role in resolving the political conflict in Egypt. He said Islamic organizations in Indonesia will send a joint statement to the UN and the OIC regarding Egypt's issue.
         A strong reaction also came from Mahfudz Siddiq, the chairman of the House of Representatives (DPR)'s Commission I, who called on Indonesia to criticize the coup in Egypt to prevent such actions from becoming a precedent in the future.
         Indonesia should also urge the military junta to end all violence and release President Morsi, along with the House Speaker, MPs and politicians who are under arrest, as well as reopen TV stations and restore civilian and press freedoms, he said, adding that Indonesia should encourage Egypt to return to a democratic path.
         The politician from the Justice and Prosperous Party (PKS) even suggested that the Indonesian government should freeze bilateral ties if necessary until democracy has been restored in Egypt through general elections.
         In Bandung, West Java Province, tens of university students staged a rally recently denouncing the humanitarian tragedy in Egypt following "a massacre"  by its military.
         The Egyptian military violated the human rights of innocent civilians, Irfan Ahmad Fauzi, the rally's coordinator, said.
         "The military of Egypt has killed hundreds of innocent lives," he said.    He cited a report saying that up to Sunday (July 28), the ongoing conflict in Egypt has claimed 480 lives, and injured around 8,000. Some 1,500 people were arrested.
         "Not only that, they have also shut down nine TV channels so their cruel actions would not be exposed. It's ironic. In this Ramadan holy month, their heart is not moved. Until when the world will remain
silent," he said.
         The Muslim students urged the Indonesian government to
condemn "the massacre" because historically Indonesia owed the people of Egypt because Egypt was the first nation to recognize the Indonesian  independence on August 17, 1945.
         "We also urge the United Nations to take a stern measure and take action to stop the crime against humanity in Egypt. We also urge the Egyptian military to end the coup and return the power to President Morsi who has the constitutional rights," he said.
         A similar rally was also staged by Muslim students in Mataram, West Nusa Tenggara, calling for the restore of order and peace in Egypt.
         In Yogyakarta, Edy Suandi Hamid, the rector of the Indonesian Islamic University (UII) issued a statement condemning the bloodshed in Egypt and urging the military to stop violence against civilians.
         He supported the Indonesian government's stance that called on Egypt to reach compromises, respect human rights and resolve the crisis peacefully and constitutionally.
         "We express our deep concern over the humanitarian crisis being faced by the Egyptian people," he said, appealing the Indonesian people to pray for the Egyptians' safety. ***1***

(T.F001/A/F. Assegaf/Bustanuddin) 03-08-2013 22:35:10

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