Actions, demos, protests...

Indonesia Roundup #19 - June 12-18, 2006

Victims of Ambon riots demand compensation funds

Thousands of displaced people who were victims of
the Ambon riots became angered during a protest at
the Maluku Public Works Office on June 13. They
accused the office of fooling them over delays in
the payment of compensation funds valued at 1.8
million rupiah. The public works office had earlier
promised to immediately disburse the compensation
funds for repairs to the resident’s houses. (Liputan
6, 13/6/2006)

South Kalimantan truck drivers strike

Fifty drivers of trucks transporting basic goods and
construction materials bound from the East Java
provincial capital of Surabaya went on strike at the
Trisakti Banjarmasin Port in South Kalimantan on
June 13. The strike only ended after the state-own
port management company Pelindo placed a temporary
cancellation on government fees. According to
Pelindo the fees were based on a decision issue by
the director of PT Pelindo. (Liputan 6, 13/6/2006)

Victims of river abrasion protest in Cirebon

Hundreds of residents from the village of Rawa Urip
in the Kalibangka Block demonstrated at the Pangenan
sub-district in the West Java regency of Cirebon on
June 13. The protesters were demanding that the
government pay attention to their problems they are
facing as they had already lost a number of homes as
a result of abrasion to the Cimanis River. As a
result of the abrasion, which has now been going on
since 1998, seventeen of resident’s homes have been
damaged and dozens of others are under threat.
(Liputan 6, 13/6/2006)

Lebak residents demand connection to electricity
grid

Residents in the Lebak regency of Banten provinces
blockaded a road in protest over the Banten
provincial government’s sluggishness in providing
electricity to four villages in the Penggarangan
sub-district of Lebak. The protesters said they had
repeatedly submitted requests for connection to the
electrical grid but to this day, some 700 families
living in the villages have yet to receive
electricity. (Liputan 6, 13/6/2006)

Pulo Aceh residents protest Catholic Relief Services

Hundreds of tsunami victims from the Lampuyang
village in the Pulo Aceh sub-district of Greater
Aceh protested at the representative offices of the
Catholic Relief Services in Banda Aceh on June 13.

The head of Lampuyang village, Muhammad Ismi, said
that they had come to the CRS office in Banda Aceh
to demand that CRS fulfil its commitment to build
some 300 houses in their village. "We want to know
if the CRS will build the houses or not", said
Abubakar, one of the residents. "Don’t just make
promises", he said.

In response to the resident’s complaints, CRS Aceh
director Scott T. Chambell admitted that there had
been delays in the construction of the houses but
this was because the CRS was looking for a new
contractor to do the work. Chambell added that the
CRS is still committed to constructing the houses.
(Aceh Kita, 13/6/2006)

Tanah Karo residents protest plans to slaughter
livestock

Hundreds of Tanah Karo residents in the North
Sumatra provincial capital of Medan protested by
drinking chicken blood in front of the offices of
the North Sumatra governor on June 13. The action
was in protest over plans to destroy livestock in
Tanah Karo after the spread of Avian Flu resulted in
the death of seven residents in May.

The residents said that the order to destroy all
livestock in Tanah Karo would cause significant
financial losses to traders and breeders. Moreover
they said, the health department and the World
Health Organisation had yet to prove the origin of
the Avian Flue virus that killed the seven residents
of Kubu Simbelang village.

A representative of the governor said that the
destruction of the birds was the only alternative in
order to contain the spread of the virus. He also
added that they would be given compensation. The
protesters however refused to accept his offer and
in addition to drinking the chicken blood also fried
dozens of chickens, which were then offered to
government officials to eat. (Liputan 6, 14/6/2006)

Aceh students protest over corruption

Around 100 students from the South Aceh Social
Concern Alliance (AMPAS) held a protest at the
offices of the governor and the Aceh chief public
prosecutor in Banda Aceh on June 15. The were
demanding that an investigation be conducted into
the growing number of corruption cases in South
Aceh.

Arriving at the governor’s office at 9.30am, the
students took turns in giving speeches saying that
although corruption has been going on in South Aceh
for some time now, not one case has been solved or
brought before the courts.

"We hope that the governor’s commitment to wipe out
corruption will really be carried out. Don’t just
talk about it in the mass media, we want evidence
from you. If not we will return with even more
demonstrators", said action coordinator Zulfikar.

The demonstrators did not come empty handed. "We
have brought strong evidence of the regent’s
involvement in a number of corruption cases in South
Aceh. We hope that you will immediately investigate
these cases", said one of the speakers.

Following this, Zulfikar and the chairperson of the
South Aceh Students Association Sudirjo, handed over
a dossier of evidence including corruption cases
involving deductions to block grant funds and mark
ups in infrastructure improvement projects. After
meeting with regional secretary Husni Bahri TOB,
Bahri said that they would send a team from the
Regional Monitoring Agency to South Aceh to
investigate the students’ report. (Aceh Kita,
15/6/2006)

Anti-Debt Coalition protests CGI meeting

The Anti-Debt Coalition has continued its protests
against the government’s plan to submit a request
for new loans from the Consultative Group on
Indonesia (CGI). During an action on June 13 the
protesters warned the government that over the
decades the foreign debt burden on the state has
continued to accumulate.

Demonstrations by the coalition have been becoming
more frequent in the lead up to a meeting between
the government and foreign lending institutions that
will take place on June 15. Over the last three
years, total government loans from the CGI have
reached US$ billion made of US$3.3 billion in
bilateral loans and US$5.7 billion in multilateral
loans. (Liputan 6, 14/6/2006)

Anti-CGI protesters demonstrate in Jakarta

Dozens of protesters from the People’s Alliance
Against the CGI demonstrated in front of the Bank
Indonesia Building on Jl. Thamrin in Central Jakarta
on June 15. They were demanding that the government
rejects new loans, cancel the existing debt and
dissolves the CGI because foreign loans have not
improved the welfare of ordinary people.

The protest was held in conjunction with a meeting
between 21 donor countries and eight international
financial institutions in Jakarta. The government
plans to submit a request for new loads valued at
US$2.53 billion that is made up of US$1.53 billion
for project loans and US1 billion for loans
programs. (Liputan 6, 15/6/2006)

Demonstrators demand government stops accepting new
loans

Demonstrations against accepting new loans from the
CGI also took place in Medan on June 15. Actions
were held at the Majestik roundabout and the
Regional House of Representatives (DPRD). The
protesters were urging President Susilo Bambang
Yudhoyono and Vice President Jusuf Kalla to resolve
the long-term debt and to stop accepting new loans.
(Liputan 6, 16/06/2006)

Transmigrants demand repatriation

Hundreds of transmigrants from the village of
Pusanggula in the South Konawe regency ran riot
during a dialogue at the South Sulawesi Provincial
Labour and Transmigration Office in the city of
Kendari on June 17. The protesters kicked over desks
and attacked transmigration officials.

The incident was trigged by a transmigration
official who suggested that they return to their
transmigration site, whereas the protesters were
demanding to be repatriated to Java because the
transmigration site has been inundated by one metre
floods since early June.

The 140 transmigrants are currently staying at the
West Sulawesi DPRD building and say they will remain
there as they are determined not to return to the
transmigration site. (Liputan 6, 17/6/2006)

Students clash with police in Bone

Dozens of students from the Indonesian Islamic
Students Movement (PMII) in South Sulawesi clashed
with police in Bone on June 16. The incident
occurred when the students were protesting on the
grounds of the Bone municipal police headquarters.

The demonstration was triggered by an incident that
occurred the day before when a student was given a
ticket for a traffic violation. The students
condemned the actions by police who they said had
harassed the student.

Police were unable to contain their emotions when
students forced their way into the grounds of the
police headquarters and raised their organisation’s
flag. A clash was unavoidable. A number of students
were injured during the incident. Fortunately, the
clash was diffused when one of the police officers
was able to pursuade his colleges to fall back.
(Liputan 6, 17/6/2006)

Workers blockade PT Arnott Indonesia

Around 1,000 PT Arnott Indonesia workers from the
All Indonesia Workers Union (SPSI) have been
protesting since yesterday against the dismissal of
a union leader and 14 other workers. PT Arnott
Indonesia is currently restructuring the company in
order to improve efficiency.

Sutopo, a worker from the production section, said
that the worker protest turned into a massive
demonstration after a SPSI union official from the
advocacy division, Petrus Sarian, was also sacked.
Since then negotiations with the company have
stalled. (Tempo Interactive, 17/6/2006)

No specific license (default rights)