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Jakarta Post

Violence begets violence

  • The Jakarta Post

  /   Thu, May 23 2019   /  01:11 am

There must be déjà vu among the many Jakartans who witnessed and endured the horror of the May 1998 riots, after seeing the wave of acts of violence that shrouded the city since Tuesday evening. What happened in the past two days could hardly rival the tragedy 21 years ago, but the two events have much in common, particularly in spreading fear.The schools that closed, employees who were told to go home very early and the Tanah Abang wholesale market, one of the capital’s busiest trade centers, that ceased operations mirrored the sense of anxiety, despite the heavy presence of police and military personnel. Circulating news and graphics related to the unrest, substantiated or not, exacerbated the bewilderment, forcing the government to restrict public access to popular social media platforms with the view to protect people from hoaxes. Clashes did erupt between security personnel and ...