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Religious leaders to keep tabs on government

Indonesian authorities must stop telling lies, they say

Bedjo Sujanto, rector of Jakarta State University 
(Photo from UNJ website) Bedjo Sujanto, rector of Jakarta State University (Photo from UNJ website)
  • Konradus Epa, Jakarta
  • Indonesia
  • February 7, 2011
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Rectors of both the state-run and private universities and several religious leaders met yesterday to discuss progress on a movement recently launched to ask the Indonesian government to stop lying.

“We (rectors) and religious leaders have similar concerns. We also issued in mid-January a statement criticizing the government’s failure in political, economic, social and legal fields,” said Badia Perizade, who heads the forum.

The Forum of Rectors drew 28 university heads to the State University of Jakarta (UNJ) to follow up the Movement against Lies initiative that was launched by the Buddhist, Catholic, Hindu, Muslim and Protestant leaders last month to criticize the government’s failure to keep its word in dealing with various national issues including poverty and education.

Perizade said the call was also made by about 400 out of 3,500 scholars across the country as “This is our attention to this nation.”

Bedjo Sujanto, rector of UNJ, acknowledged that both scholars and interreligious leaders play a significant role in improving the nation. “We want a concrete action so as to prevent the gap from becoming wider,” he said.

Din Syamsuddin from Muhammadiyah, the country’s second largest Islamic organization, said the government misinterpreted the interreligious leaders’ “moral message” to be a political one.

The government stands to face a moral degradation if it remains unresponsive, said Jesuit Father Franz Magnis-Suseno, a lecturer at Driyarkara School of Philosophy in Jakarta.

The forum and interreligious leaders “want to encourage the government to work better instead of falling down,” Father Antonius Benny Susetyo, executive secretary of the bishops’ Commission for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs, told ucanews.com. He said the group will continue to monitor the national issues.

Related reports
Indonesian government should stop lying
Indonesian president to discuss ‘lies’ issue
President and religious leaders talk to settle tiff

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