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Fears of Unrest

Indonesia Prepares for Demonstrations and Possible Unrest as April Fuel Prices Increase Approaches

(3/25/2012) Indonesia is preparing for the possibility of widespread public protest in connection with plans to increase gasoline prices by 33% on April 1, 2012.

Large public protests are already taking place in major cities across Indonesia in the period leading up to the incease as opposition grows to the hike in fuel costs.

The central government has issued instructions, effective from March 8 until April 30, 2012, discouraging foreign travel during that period by governors, regents and mayors.

The instructions issued by the Ministry of the Interior are seen as linked to concerns over public unrest and the need to have key government posts fully manned to handle and developing situations during the price transition.

In a similar vein, the State oil and gas company Pertamina has declared its intention to empty some of their filling stations across the country on April 1st in anticipation of possible attacks by protestors opposing the fuel price hike.

The gas stations to be shut down are in major city centers, located along routes to be used by protestors. Plans are also afoot to place security detachments around selected gas stations to prevent possible damage to the facilities by protestors.