Goodbye to romance: Indonesian cities ban Valentine’s Day

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JAKARTA: Valentine`s Day was banned in some Indonesian cities Wednesday as police rounded up amorous couples, giving the official kiss-off to a tradition which critics say doesn`t deserve any love in the Muslim-majority nation.

The prohibitions come amid concerns that traditionally tolerant Indonesia is taking a sharp fundamentalist turn, by pushing to make pre-marital sex — including gay sex — illegal and punishable with jail time.

On Wednesday authorities in the country`s second-biggest city, Surabaya briefly detained about two dozen couples during a raid to sniff out any sign of Valentine`s Day celebrations. They were expected to be released with a reprimand.

Mataram city on the tourist island of Lombok issued its own Valentine`s Day ban and ordered police to raid schools in the hunt for passionate students unable to keep their hands off each other.

Romantic parties at hotels and cafes were left alone, according to authorities.

Syamsu Rizal, the deputy mayor of Makassar on the…

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