Indonesian soldiers entered the Parliament building Friday and ordered student protesters to end their six-day occupation of the seat of government.
After dark, dozens of military trucks arrived loaded with soldiers, who leapt out and started beating the students with sticks.The students had taken over Parliament to press their demands for political reform.
"Disperse, disperse!" shouted military police carrying M-16 rifles, truncheons and tear gas canisters. Some students, many holding sticks, formed a barrier as the security forces approached.
The students had decided to stay at Parliament even though their main demand was realized Thursday, when President Suharto resigned after 32 years in power. However, students said they did not trust his successor, B.J. Habibie, a long-time aide to Suharto.
Earlier Friday, Habibie dumped ex-President Suharto's daughter and his golfing buddy from the Cabinet but kept several key ministers, angering students whose street protests had led to Indonesia's first leadership change in 32 years.
Habibie named his 36-member Cabinet today just 24 hours after the autocratic Suharto resigned, ending his reign as Asia's longest-serving leader.
The Cabinet reshuffling followed weeks of protests and riots, which culminated Thursday with the resignation of Suharto and the swearing-in of Habibie.
Among those kept in office by Habibie, Suharto's former deputy, were Defense Minister Gen. Wiranto, Foreign Minister Ali Alatas and Finance and Industry Minister Ginanjar Kartasasmita.
"It is the same old game. It is still made up of people who have been closely associated with President Suharto," said Syahrir, a former student activist turned economist.
Several senior army commanders, including Suharto's son-in-law Lt. Gen. Prabowo Subianto, have been fired, military sources confirmed Friday. Prabowo had led the army's elite strategic command and had been regarded as a rival to Wiranto.
Wiranto's armed forces - perhaps the most powerful institution in the country - have pledged support for Habibie and were out in force in the streets of Jakarta.