An essay written by a young high-school student from Banyuwangi, East Java, on Tuesday (16/05), in which she addressed the issue of diversity and harmony in Indonesia, garnered attention and praise from social media users. (Antara Photo)

Groups and Political Parties to Gather on Car-Free Day in Support of Diversity


DECEMBER 02, 2016

Jakarta. The Alliance of the Nation of Indonesia, which consists of various groups and political parties, said thousands of people are expected to attend a gathering in Central Jakarta on Sunday (04/12) to create awareness of the need to guard the country's diversity, following an upsurge in political tension over blasphemy allegations against incumbent Governor Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama.

Golkar Party chairman Zainuddin Amali said the series of activities being planned under the theme "We Are Indonesia" has no connection with Friday's anti-Ahok rally in the capital.

Besides Golkar, the National Democratic Party (NasDem), which also supports President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo, will be involved.

Zainuddin did not elaborate on who else will be involved, but highlighted the urgency of an action to counter threats to Indonesia's diversity. He said President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo's administration recently discovered that "political actors" are exploiting anger among some Muslim groups over Ahok's blasphemy case.

Organizing committee head Victor Laiskodat claimed that about half a million people are expected to participate in the event.

"The latest confirmation of attendance we have is 500,000 people. This activity will also serve as a reflection for the end of the year," Victor said. He explained that this will be an opportunity to review the achievements of the current administration.

Various national stakeholders, including Indonesia's biggest Muslim organization Nahdlatul Ulama, have called on their followers to return to Indonesia's Pancasila state ideology, which honors diversity.