Thursday, August 30, 2007
Karate-ka Protest In Jakarta
Indonesian karate athletes stage rally in front of Malaysian Embassy
Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Hundreds of Indonesian karate athletes staged a demonstration in front of the Malaysian embassy here on Wednesday, demanding a transparent legal process over a recent physical assault by four Malaysian police against Indonesian karate referee Donald Luther Kolopita in Kuala Lumpur.
The demonstrators were members of the Indonesian Karate Federation (FORKI), Inkai (Indonesian karate-do Institute), Inkado (Institude of Karate-do) and Wadokai Institute.
Some protesters carried a banner demanding Malaysia to apologize for the brutality conducted by its security personnel.
Secretary General of Inkai Hermawan Sulistyo, who is also known as a political observer, in the rally said the Malaysian Government must apologize officially to the Indonesian Government.
A number of Indonesian youths also joined the rally. A similar rally was also held in front of the Malaysian Consulate, in Pontianak, West Kalimantan.
In Friday night`s incident in Kuala Lumpur, karate referee Donald Luther Kalapita was physically assaulted by four Malaysian police officers without cause and later he had to be taken to a hospital for the injuries he had suffered.
Kolopita, an Indonesian referee who was in the neighboring country for a karate competition, said he was beaten up and kicked in a police car even while he was handcuffed. "I was helpless as I was hit and kicked in the pit of my stomach, chest and abdomen," he said upon his arrival at Soekarno Hatta airport on Monday.
On Tuesday, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said nobody could force Malaysia to apologize for the incident in which the Malaysian police brutalized the Indonesian referee.
"About why they don`t apologize to Indonesia, you (journalists) can, of course, not force the Malaysian government or police to offer an apology in a case like this. Because, in my view, the readiness to apologize (for a wrong one has done) is really part of one`s personality," the President said after receiving Malaysian Foreign Minister Dato Syed Hamid Albar, Malaysian Police Chief Tan Sri Musa Hasan and Malaysian Ambassador to Indonesia Zainal Abidin.
In protest against the brutality, Indonesia withdrew from the scheduled karate event.
The President said the Indonesian government appreciated the Malaysian government`s responsibility and commitment to legally process the case in the sense that sanctions would be imposed on whoever was guilty of wrongdoing.
"I certainly appreciate (Malaysia`s) commitment because, after all, it is a quite serious case, an inappropriate and excessive thing has happened. Therefore, I want the law and justice upheld. This is what I conveyed to the Malaysian foreign minister and police chief," he told the press after the meeting.