Indonesia's Coordinating Minister for the Economic Affairs, Mr. Dorodjatun Kuntjoro-Jakti, told a meeting of tourism industry leaders that part of the funds collected from the unpopular pay-for-visa system to be introduced on February 1, 2004, would be used to help fund the Nation's battle on terrorism.
Quoted in the English-language Jakarta Post, the Minister also assured the tourism players that the visa program was only a temporary measure and would be dropped "when the situation is back to normal." According to the press report "normal" is defined by when terrorists cease to be a threat to national security.
Responding to the Minister's comments, Mr. Ben Sukma, Chairman of the Association of Indonesian Tour and Travel Agencies (ASITA) insisted that funding the war on terror should not be the burden of the tourism sector and should, instead, be funded from the state budget.
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