While his police battled student protesters demanding economic and political change, President Suharto Friday ruled out any political reform before his latest five-year term ends - in 2003.

In a warning to increasingly confrontational protesters, Suharto also urged the military to act quickly against all threats to public order as Indonesia weathers the worst economic crisis of his three-decade rule.Prices of basic commodities have soared and the government has said it will raise fuel and electricity costs by June, increasing the economic burden on Indonesia's 200 million people.

In the Sumatra Island city of Medan, riot police fired water cannons, rubber bullets and tear gas at rock-throwing students who tried to march off campus in defiance of a ban on street protests.

Several students were injured, said Fauzi Harul, a human rights lawyer in the city. At least six protesters were detained for questioning.

"Bring down prices, bring down Suharto," students shouted, pushing back rows of police at another rally, in Jakarta, the capital.

Suharto, Asia's longest-serving leader, rejected a political overhaul in a rare meeting with government ministers, party leaders and parliament members at the presidential palace.

It was the clearest sign yet in the economic crisis that the 76-year-old Suharto has no plans to ease his authoritarian grip on the nation.