Thousands of Muslims in Asia protest against Trump’s Jerusalem plan

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Protesters waves Palestine flags during a protest outside the US Embassy in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Friday, Dec. 8, 2017. Malaysian Muslims, including members of the ruling party, were protesting outside the US Embassy over Washington’s controversial move to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian)
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Muslim groups protest to condemn Washington’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital outside the US embassy in Jakarta, Indonesia Dec. 8, 2017. (Reuters/Darren Whiteside)
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People hold up the Palestinian flag during a protest by Muslim groups to condemn Washington’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital outside the US embassy in Jakarta, Indonesia Dec. 8, 2017. (Reuters/Darren Whiteside)
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Muslims crumple a portrait of US President Donald Trumpduring a protest outside the US Embassy in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Friday, Dec. 8, 2017. Malaysian Muslims, including members of the ruling party, hold protest outside US Embassy over Washington’s controversial move to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. (AP Photo/Sadiq Asyraf)
Updated 08 December 2017
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Thousands of Muslims in Asia protest against Trump’s Jerusalem plan

JAKARTA/KUALA LUMPUR: Thousands of protesters in Muslim-majority Indonesia and Malaysia joined rallies on Friday to condemn Washington’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, as authorities tightened security outside US embassies.
Leaders in both Asian countries have joined a global chorus of voices condemning US President Donald Trump’s move.
Several thousand protesters, some shouting anti-US slogans and burning an effigy of Trump, gathered in front of the American embassy in the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur.
In Indonesia, hundreds of protesters mostly clad in white were arriving outside the US embassy in Jakarta, capital of the world’s biggest Muslim-majority country. Some wore checkered scarves and waved Palestinian flags, while others shouted “Allahu Akbar” (God is greatest).
“We have prepared personnel and patrols to secure the US embassy. We are expecting between 500 and 1,000 demonstrators,” said Jakarta police spokesman Argo Yuwono.
The US embassy in Jakarta advised its citizens to avoid areas where there were demonstrations and said its consulate in Indonesia’s second-biggest city Surabaya had suspended public services on Friday.
Indonesia has been a long-running supporter of the two-state solution in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and there have been public demonstrations in support of Palestine in recent years.
Indonesian President Joko Widodo on Thursday urged the United States to reconsider its decision and instructed his foreign minister to summon the US ambassador for an explanation.
In Malaysia, leaders from the ruling party United Malay National Organization (UMNO) and the popular right wing Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party (PAS), both of which represent the majority ethnic Malay-Muslims, led the rally and representatives of the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas are expected to join.
Protests are also expected in South Asia. Pakistan’s major Islamist party Jamaat-e-Islami has announced rallies in all major cities after Friday prayers.
President Trump said on Wednesday that the United States would move its embassy to Jerusalem in the coming years.
Protests have already broken out in the West Bank and the Gaza strip as the Islamist group Hamas urged Palestinians to launch a fresh uprising against Israel.
The status of Jerusalem is one of the thorniest barriers to a lasting Israeli-Palestinian peace. Its eastern sector was captured by Israel in a 1967 war and annexed in a move not recognized internationally. Palestinians claim East Jerusalem for the capital of an independent state they seek.


Death toll rises from Sri Lanka hotel, church blasts: police

Updated 4 min 5 sec ago
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Death toll rises from Sri Lanka hotel, church blasts: police

  • The churches hit were in the north of the capital, and the town of Negombo, just outside Colombo
  • At least 52 people were killed in the blasts

COLOMBO: Two Sri Lankan churches and two hotels were hit by explosions on Easter Sunday, killing more than 50 and wounding several people, police sources said.
The hotels and one of the churches are in the nation’s capital Colombo. The other church is in Negombo, north of Colombo.
A source in the police bomb squad said that one of the explosions was at St. Anthony’s Church in Kochcikade, Colombo. “Our people are engaged in evacuating the casualties,” the source said.
Sources from two leading tourist hotels in Colombo also confirmed the explosions but did not give any details.
Colombo National hospital said several wounded had been brought in for treatment.
St. Sebastian’s church at Katuwapitiya in Negombo posted pictures of destruction inside the church on its Facebook page, showing blood on pews and the floor, and requested help from the public.
There were no immediate claims of responsibility.