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Cablegate: Key Anti-Corruption Officals Reinstated As

VZCZCXRO0325
OO RUEHDT RUEHPB
DE RUEHJA #2015 3421106
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 081106Z DEC 09
FM AMEMBASSY JAKARTA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 4063
INFO RUCNARF/ASEAN REGIONAL FORUM COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC

UNCLAS JAKARTA 002015

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

DEPT FOR EAP, EAP/MTS, EAP/MLS, EAP/RSP, DS
NSC FOR D. WALTON

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV KDEM ASEC ID
SUBJECT: KEY ANTI-CORRUPTION OFFICALS REINSTATED AS
ACTIVISTS GEAR UP FOR MORE RALLIES

REF: JAKARTA 1967 AND PREVIOUS

1. (U) This message is Sensitive but Unclassified --
Please handle accordingly.

2. (SBU) SUMMARY: The GOI has issued an order reinstating
two key officials to their leadership positions on
Indonesia's national anti-corruption commission. The move
comes after the Attorney General's office--in a marked climb
down--announced last week that it will not pursue abuse of
power-related charges against the two. While cheering on
these moves, activists are gearing up for major
demonstrations marking December 9, International
Anti-Corruption Day. On the political defensive, the GOI has
appealed for calm. END SUMMARY.

GOI REINSTATES KPK COMMISSIONERS

3. (SBU) There is some good news on Indonesia's volatile
anti-corruption front--Corruption Eradication Commission
(KPK) Deputies Chandra Hamzah and Bibit Samad Rianto went
back to work December 8. A December 7 presidential decree
reinstated them on the heels of the Attorney General's
announcement that the GOI will not pursue charges against
them. Chandra and Bibit were suspended from duty September
21 and arrested after they were declared suspects in an
alleged bribery and abuse of power scheme. This sparked a
public uproar amid accusations that the charges may have been
fabricated (see reftels). (Note: Former KPK chief Antassari
remains on trial on murder charges. As reviewed in reftels,
the most prominent potentially-corruption related matter in
Indonesia continues to be the Bank Century scandal which
involves the alleged use of bank funds for political
purposes.)

ACTIVISTS PLAN PROTESTS

4. (SBU) Civil society has cheered on these moves.
Activists, however, are far from satisfied with Indonesia's
progress in combating graft. In advance of December 9,
International Anti-Corruption Day, NGOs are planning a series
of rallies across the country to urge President Yudhoyono and
his administration to fulfill his campaign promises to tackle
corruption head on. The major December 9 rally is slated to
take place in downtown Jakarta. Police do not envision
mammoth rally attendance, but it does not take much of a
crowd to precipitate a large-scale traffic tie-up in Jakarta,
especially during monsoon season with its floods.

5. (SBU) Labor and student demonstrators gathered on
December 8 in Jakarta to protest Yudhoyono's participation in
the Asian Parliamentary Assembly in Bandung, West Java,
saying that he should concentrate on cracking down on
corruption. There have been other relatively small rallies
at sites across the country in recent days. In a sign that
Islamic groups are getting more engaged, the small, but
influential Islamist organization Hizbut Tahrir (HTI) also
held a rally on December 6 in Jakarta to call for stronger
anti-corruption efforts and the implementation of sharia law.
A couple of thousand HTI supporters turned out for this
rally. Activists of all political stripes also continue to
bombard social networking sites with anti-corruption messages
(see reftels).

GOI APPEALS FOR CALM

6. (SBU) The GOI and NGOs alike have urged civil society
to conduct the demonstrations planned for December 9 and
throughout the week in a peaceful mode. To ensure security,
the government has deployed some 14,000 police officers,
nearly half of Jakarta's police force. Governor Fauzi Bowo
has announced that he will not allow protesters to stage
demonstrations in certain locations which may spark serious
traffic meltdowns. President Yudhoyono--who has been on the
political defensive over the anti-corruption issue--has
publicly appealed to Indonesians to avoid allowing "political
interests" to "hijack" international anti-corruption day.
HUME

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