The Jakarta Post
The Indonesian Military (TNI) has confirmed the cancellation of the 212 reunion rally as stipulated in a statement issued by the Islamic Defenders Front (FPI), Jakarta Military Command (Kodam) Jaya commander Maj. Gen. Dudung Abdurachman has said.
The reunion’s cancellation was also supported by a circular from Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan citing Regional Law No. 88/2020 on large-scale social restrictions (PSBB).
Dudung said the TNI and the National Police were ready to deploy their personnel if any attempt was made to stage the reunion.
“If they [FPI] violate the agreement, we will take strict action against them,” Dudung said as quoted by kompas.com on Wednesday.
Previously, the FPI had announced that the reunion, which was originally scheduled to take place at the National Monument in Central Jakarta on Dec. 2, had been canceled as the monument management had refused permission.
The FPI then decided to organize a national dialogue on Dec. 2 that is set to be attended by leader Rizieq Shihab, as well as 100 public figures and ulema in place of the canceled reunion.
Separately, head of Monas management Isa Sarnuri said that the monument location had been closed to the public since March 14. No public activities have been allowed to take place there.
“We are following the Jakarta governor’s instruction to forbid any kind of activities that could see large crowds gathering in order to reduce COVID-19 transmission,” Isa said on Tuesday.
Isa had also sent a rejection letter to the 212 Alumnae Council Head on Nov. 13, which listed four reasons why the event would not be permitted at the monument.
Gajah Mada University’s epidemiologist, Riris Andono Ahmad, suggested the government continue to prohibit large scale public activities like the 212 reunion since they could potentially increase the number of COVID-19 cases.
According to Riris, it would be difficult to control COVID-19 transmission if there were many public activities. The public’s increasing mobility rate would lead to the spike in COVID-19 transmission.
He also hoped that everyone could refrain from organizing activities that could potentially attract large crowds, and advised people to organize virtual events instead.
On Wednesday, Indonesia broke another record in daily coronavirus infections as the COVID-19 task force recorded 5,534 new cases within 24 hours.
The new cases brought the overall tally to 511,836 cases nationwide. The task force also announced 114 new deaths alongside 4,494 new recoveries.
Previously, the national COVID-19 task force had traced nearly 240 confirmed cases to 17 clusters that emerged in May-November from large public gatherings at religious events and places of worship in Jakarta.
The task force last week received data showing that seven out of 15 people who took swab tests in Petamburan, Central Jakarta, had tested positive for the disease, while 20 out of 559 people who attended a gathering in Megamendung district, Bogor regency, West Java, returned positive results for antigen swab tests. The gatherings were linked to the return of the FPI’s Rizieq from self-exile in Saudi Arabia.
A separate report revealed that 50 people had also contracted the coronavirus in Tebet, South Jakarta.
Task force chief Doni Monardo called on community unit (RT) and neighborhood unit (RW) heads to cooperate with the health authorities and to urge residents to self-report if they had taken part in any activities related to Rizieq’s return to the country. (dpk)
Editor’s note: This article is part of a public campaign by the COVID-19 task force to raise people’s awareness about the pandemic.