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Cablegate: C-D18-00223: Indonesia Reacts Calmly to Release

VZCZCXRO0893
OO RUEHAG RUEHBC RUEHCHI RUEHCN RUEHDA RUEHDE RUEHDF RUEHDT RUEHGI
RUEHHM RUEHIK RUEHJS RUEHKUK RUEHLH RUEHLZ RUEHPW RUEHROV
DE RUEHJA #0655 0930716
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 020716Z APR 08
FM AMEMBASSY JAKARTA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 8529
INFO RUEHZS/ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS PRIORITY
RUCNMEM/EU MEMBER STATES
RUCNISL/ISLAMIC COLLECTIVE
RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 2246
RUEHNE/AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI 1701
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 1737
RUEHWL/AMEMBASSY WELLINGTON 2477
RUEHHK/AMCONSUL HONG KONG 2538
RUEHPT/AMCONSUL PERTH 0671
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC
RHHJJPI/USPACOM HONOLULU HI

UNCLAS JAKARTA 000655

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

DEPT FOR EAP, EAP/MTS, EAP/MLS, DS/IP/EAP, DS/ATA, CA/OCS
NSC FOR E.PHU

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL ASEC ID
SUBJECT: C-D18-00223: INDONESIA REACTS CALMLY TO RELEASE
OF ANTI-ISLAMIC VIDEO

REF: A. JAKARTA 459

B. STATE 20822

1. (U) This message was coordinated with Consulate General
Surabaya and Consulate Medan. It is Sensitive but
Unclassified.

SIPDIS

2. (SBU) SUMMARY: Indonesians are beginning to react to the
release of the Dutch M.P.'s anti-Islamic video. President
Yudhoyono condemned the film and said the GOI had "banned"
it, while one Minister said he had requested YouTube to take
steps to prevent its broadcast. There have been some small
rallies in Jakarta, but the situation has been peaceful, with
government and religious authorities stressing the need for a
"mature" reaction. Mission does not plan to issue a Warden
Message or Security Notice at this time. END SUMMARY.

3. (SBU) GOI BANS VIDEO: Indonesians are beginning to react
to the release of the anti-Islamic video produced by Dutch
parliamentarian Gert Wilders. On March 31, Indonesian
President Yudhoyono held a press conference (mainly dealing
with other issues) where he stated that the GOI had "banned"
the showing of the video, which is called "Fitna." Yudhoyono
also barred Wilders from entering Indonesia in any capacity.


4. (SBU) Meanwhile, there are media reports that the
Minister of Communications sent a letter to YouTube demanding
that broadcasts of any "anti-Muslim videos" (including
"Fitna") within Indonesia be blocked by April 4. The
Minister basically seemed to be threatening to make YouTube
unavailable to Internet subscribers in Indonesia if YouTube's
management did not take certain steps. Indonesian
parliamentarians and religious authorities have also
denounced the video. That said, virtually everyone in
positions of authority, including Muslim religious leaders,
have called for a calm and a "mature" reaction.

5. (SBU) SMALL RALLIES: There have been some small rallies,
including in front of the Dutch Embassy in Jakarta. The
rallies were led by the Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) and
Hizbut Tahrir Indonesia (HTI), two hard-line groups. The
demonstrators demanded that the Dutch Ambassador be recalled
to the Netherlands and intimated that they might harass Dutch
citizens living in Indonesia. The protesters also threw a
few eggs and bottled water at the Dutch Embassy, but no
arrests or injuries were reported. Dutch Embassy security
officer Peter Nuyten told RSO that approximately 250
Indonesian National Police (INP) were maintaining tight
security around the premises. That security presence, so
far, has heavily outnumbered the number of rally-goers.

6. (SBU) NO WARDEN MESSAGE AT THIS TIME: There have not
been rallies held outside USG interests as of this point.
There are reports that a rally may occur in the vicinity of
Consulate General Surabaya, however. Embassy Jakarta,
Consulate General Surabaya and Consulate Medan have not
received threats against employees or facilities, or received
any reports of threats directed against Americans. Mission
has decided that a Warden Message is unnecessary at this
time. If the situation shows signs of turbulence, Mission
will consider further action to warn citizens and staff. So
far, however, the reaction in Indonesia is a restrained one.

HUME

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