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Yogyakarta officials ‘black out’ critical street art ahead of Jokowi’s visit

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Asia-Pacific Report Press Office

A mural on the east side of the Wirobrajan intersection in the central Java city of Yogyakarta was covered in black paint ahead of President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s weekend visit.

But officials denied it was censorship, CNN Indonesia reports.

It was known that President Widodo would pass through this stretch of road during a working visit to Yogyakarta on Saturday. The fresco was repainted on Friday.

The mural criticized Indonesian censorship under the Widodo administration.

Yogyakarta Mayor Haryadi Suyuti asked people not to prejudge the removal of the mural, saying it was done as part of a routine weekly cleaning – not just because of the mural.

“We were doing routine cleaning, not [just] clean the mural, ”he told reporters.

Quoting from Call Gejayan Instagram account, which immortalized the mural before it was repainted, the photo was of a character whose eyes were covered with the Internet tab “404 Not Found” with the message “The regime is afraid of pictures “.

During his working visit to Yogyakarta on Friday, Widodo called on Yogyakarta Governor Sri Sultan Hamengku Buwono X to speed up the covid-19 vaccination program for the region.

The request was made during an internal meeting with the coordination forum of regional and provincial leaders of the regency at the Pracimasono building of the Kepatihan complex in Danurejan.

“[We are] accelerate vaccinations in concert with the gradual reopening (of public places), ”said the Sultan after the meeting, although he clarified that Widodo had not given any specific vaccine target for Yogyakarta.

“Vaccinations should be done as widely as possible even if it is only the first dose,” he added.

James Balowski’s abridged translation for IndoLeft News. The second part of the article which has not been translated details the covid-19 situation in Yogyakarta, vaccination rates and Widodo’s comments. The original title of the article was “Jokowi wants to pass, the critical scribbles in Yogya have been removed”.

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