Actions, demos, protests...

Indonesia Roundup #29 - August 21-27, 2006

, by INDOLEFT News Service, PRD

- Residents close off waste disposal ducts
- Land eviction victims protest Kodo Panjang dam
project
- Papuan workers demand outstanding wages, severance
pay
- Mud disaster victims demand Lapindo buy their
houses
- Mud disaster victims condemn deputy-regent for
siding with Lapindo
- Sheraton Hotel employees demand payment of wages
- Residents clash with public order officials in
Cipinang
- Residents oppose construction of power plant
- Chicken traders strike in Tasikmalaya
- Students protest against ’superfluous’ projects
- Thousands of farmers demand right to work land
- Street traders setup shop at Medan parliament
building
- Makassar high school students hold second strike
action
- Thousands of farmers demonstrate in Central Java
- Pelindo accused of appropriating land
- Residents demand foreign NGO be dissolved
- Sugar factor workers demand bonuses
- Worker demonstration in Cimahi end in chaos
- Urban poor activists demand free education,
healthcare


Residents close off waste disposal ducts

Residents from the village of Tangkahan in the Medan
Belawan sub-distinct of Medan, North Sumatra, closed
off eight waste disposal ducts from the company PT
Kawasan Industri Medan (PT KIM) on August 20. The
action was in protest over the disposal of waste
that flows past the area in which they live.

"We have long been patient. Several times we have
complained to PT KIM over the waste. They have not
responded. We have even met with the relevant people
in the company", said 61-year-old Tangkahan resident
Ngadi adding that they have been asking the company
to improve waste management since 2002.

According to Ngadi, the waste has caused well water
to turn black and smelly and as a result residents
have had to purchase water to fulfil their drinking
needs. "A number of residents have also suffered
from skin irritations", said Ngadi.

The residents, who voluntarily donated funds and
worked collectively to block off the waste disposal
ducts, said they were no longer willing to be
patient and if there is no response from PT KIM, the
ducts would remain closed permanently. (Kompas Cyber
Media, 21/8/2006)

Land eviction victims protest Kodo Dam project

Around 1,000 residents representing 23,000 people
who were evicted to make way for the Koto Panjang
hydroelectric dam project supplying power to the
Kampar regency in Riau province and part of West
Sumatra, demonstrated in the provincial capital of
Pekanbaru on August 21. The protest was held to
coincide with a visit by five Japanese parliamentary
representatives. The Japan Bank for International
Corporation (JBIC) provided loans for the
construction of the dam.

"They have come from Kampar and West Sumatra. They
originate from 10 villages that in 1997 were flooded
[to make way] for the dam construction. A promise to
relocate their settlements and provide reasonable
employment has still not been fulfilled", said the
executive director of the Riau chapter of the
Indonesian Environment Forum (Walhi), Johny S
Mundung.

The protesters are demanding that Japan be held
liable for the funds given to Indonesia for the dam,
much of which was embezzled, as well as assisting
them to rebuild their lives. They also called on the
Japanese government not stop providing assistance to
Indonesia if the result only brings suffering to the
people. (Kompas Cyber Media, 21/8/2006)

Papuan workers demand outstanding wages, severance
pay

Dozens of former employees from the plywood company
PT Prabu Alaska in the West Papua regency of Fak Fak
demonstrated at the State Palace in Jakarta on
August 22 demanding the payment of outstanding
severance pay and wages.

In speeches the workers said they were arbitrarily
dismissed by the company two years ago but have
still not received any severance pay. "We have been
neglected for a year. During this time none of us
have been paid our wages", said action coordinator
Hermanus. The protesters also called on President
Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono to order the police to
arrest PT Prabu Alaska boss Po Suwandi, who is
already on the wanted list.

Hermanus said that the former employees, who have
been in Jakarta since last year, have been occupying
Po Suwandi’s home at the Millenium Gardens in the
Jakarta satellite city of Tangerang. "Just in order
to live, we have been forced to do casual jobs such
as washing cars and the like. Some assistance has
also been provided by the church", he said.
(Detik.com, 22/8/2006)

Mud disaster victims demand Lapindo buy their houses

Thousands of residents from the village of
Kedungbendo and the Tanggulangin Anggun Sejahtera
housing estate in the East Java city of Sidoarjo
demonstrated at the governor’s audience hall on
August 22 demanding the PT Lapindo Brantas purchase
their houses that have been inundated by mud.

In speeches the protesters demanded that Lapindo
immediately fulfil its promise to compensate them
for the cost of renting houses and transport. They
also said that they no longer trusted the Sidoarjo
regency Joint Disaster Relief Team because it is
taking too long to deal with the disaster and has
failed to keep its promises. (Liputan 6, (22/8/2006)

Mud disaster victims condemn deputy-regent for
siding with Lapindo

Around 2,000 residents of the Tanggulangin Anggun
Sejahtera housing estate and the village of
Kedungbendo demonstrated at the governor’s audience
hall in the East Java city of Sidoarjo on August 22.
The protesters were condemning Sidoarjo deputy
regent Syaiful Illah, who is also the head of the
Sidoarjo regency Joint Disaster Relief Team, which
they said is siding with PT Lapindo Brantas.

The protesters, who came from the Relief
Coordination Forum for Victims of Mud and Gas
(FKPKLG), also brought a number of posters and
banners with messages such as "The rulers are free,
the people suffer“,”Syaiful is Lapindo’s lackey“and”Lapindo and Syaiful must buy our houses". They
also brought posters illustrating their homes being
inundated with mud and a bier that was placed in
front of the audience hall with the names of the
Lapindo mud disaster victims. (Detik.com, 22/8/2006)

Sheraton Hotel employees demand payment of wages

Dozens of employees from the Yogyakarta Sheraton
Mustika Hotel demonstrated at the Hotel Indonesia
roundabout in Central Jakarta on August 22. They
were demanding the full payment of wages as they had
only been receiving 125,000 rupiah per month since
the earthquake hit Yogyakarta and Central Java in
May.

The demonstrators’ disappointment with the hotel
owner Mooryati Soedibyo was added to by the holding
of the Miss Indonesia 2006 pageant that reaped
hundreds of millions of rupiah. The protesters also
held a happening art action or street theater that
made fun of Soedibyo and Miss Indonesia 2005
finalist Nadine Chandrawinata.

The employees are threatening to continue protesting
until their demands are met and also plan to target
the House of Representatives (DPR), the Sheraton
Hotel and the Ombudsman’s office. The climax will be
a demonstration at the Miss Indonesia 2006 pageant
finals on August 25 that will be held at the
Beautiful Indonesia in Miniature Park in East
Jakarta. (Liputan 6, 23/8/2006)

Residents clash with public order officials in
Cipinang

Dozens of city public order officials (Tramtib) were
involved in a clash with residents living alongside
the Cipinang River in East Java when they tried
forcibly evicting them on August 23. A number of
residents and officials were injured in the
incident. The 7,200 square area of land has long
been the subject of a dispute after the courts
declared that Budiman Santoso owned the land. Police
were forced to fire warning shots in order to
restore order. (Liputan 6, 24/8/2006)

Residents oppose construction of power plant

Residents in the Central Java regency of Jepara
demonstrated on August 23 against the planned
construction of the PLTU Kartini coal-fired power
plant.

“We oppose the PTLU being built at this location”,
said Forum for Environmental Concerns (FPL)
chairperson Warkoyo adding that they had
demonstrated repeatedly at the construction site
located at the Karanggondang village on the edge of
the Dukuh Empu Rancak beach.

The Kartini power plant, which will cover 60
hectares and cost 5 trillion rupiah, is being built
by a consortium of 14 overseas contractors from
China, South Korea, Japan, India and Malaysia.
(Tempo Interactive, 23/8/2006)

Chicken traders strike in Tasikmalaya

Around 200 chicken meat traders in the West Java
city of Tasikmalaya went on strike on August 24 over
the price chickens which has jumping from 11,000 to
20,000 rupiah per bird over the last month. As a
result consumers are no longer willing to by from
them.

"All of the traders are on strike because the cost
of chickens is unreasonable", said one of the
traders adding that prices are even higher than
during Lebaran celebrations following the fasting
month. (Tempo Interactive, 24/8/2006)

Students protest against ’superfluous’ projects

Students from a number of tertiary education
institutions in the province of Bengkulu in South
Sumatra protested on August 25 calling on the
Bengkulu Regional House of Representatives (DPRD) to
refuse to endorse a 538.7 billion rupiah budget for
a public utilities and tourism project. The students
said that the project, which was initiated by the
Bengkulu governor Agusrin M. Najamudin, was
superfluous and a waste of the regional budget.
(Liputan 6, 25/8/2006)

Thousands of farmers demand right to work land

Around 5,000 farmers from the regencies of Batang,
Pekalongan and Temanggung demonstrated in the
Central Java provincial of Semarang recently
demanding protection of their right to work land
controlled by the state-owned forestry firm
Perhutani. They also called on Perhutani to release
a part of the land for the farmers’ use.

The farmers said they could no longer tolerate
intimidation by Perhutani officials who tried to
force them to replace their rice and dry season
crops with cloves and coffee. The farmers said that
they had rejected this because they need food crops
in to live.

A number of representatives of the farms were
invited to meet with Perhutani officials but because
Perhutani would only promise to hold further
discussions over the government owned land the
protesters left the meeting and continued the action
at the Central Java DPRD. (Liputan 6, 25/8/2006)

Street traders setup shop at Medan parliament
building

Dozens of street traders setup shop on the ground of
the Medan DPRD building on August 23 in protest
against civil service police officers who recently
overturned their carts and evicted them from their
place of trade. The traders threatened to remain at
the DPRD until legislators could guarantee that they
would not be evicted again. (Liputan 6, 25/8/2006)

Makassar high school students hold second strike
action

Hundreds of students and teachers from the State
High School 9 in the South Sulawesi provincial
capital of Makassar went on strike for the second
time on August 25. The second action was held
because the school principle, Jamaluddin, was still
refusing to resign. On Monday last week, students
and teachers demanded that Jamaluddin resign over
accusations of causing financial losses to students
and the inflation of funds when new students were
accepted by the school. (Liputan 6, 25/8/2006)

Thousands of farmers demonstrate in Central Java

Thousands of farmers from the Batang Pekalongan
Farmers and Fishers Forum for Struggle (FP2NBP)
demonstrated at the forestry office in Semarang on
August 24. They were demanding a that a resolution
be found to a number of land disputes involving
concessions owned by the PT Pagelaran Batang, PT
Tratak and a land case in Banjar Negara.

The protesters, who arrived at the forestry office
in hundreds of trucks adorned with effigies made of
straw, immediately held speeches detailing the
dozens of unresolved land disputes. The large number
of demonstrators forced police to close of Jl.
Pahlawan and redirect traffic. Following the action
at the forestry offices, the protesters that
included women, children and elderly people, plan to
demonstrate at the East Java DPRD. (Detik.com,
25/8/2006)

Pelindo accused of appropriating land

Around 100 residents demonstrated at the office of
the state-owned port management company Pelindo II
in city of Cilegon in the West Java regency of
Banten on August 24. The protesters accused the
company of appropriating 2.3 hectares of land owned
by the residents without providing any compensation.
The action was held in conjunction with a Cilegon
District Court hearing over the land dispute.
(Liputan 6, 25/8/2006)

Residents demand foreign NGO be dissolved

Around 100 residents in Medan demonstrated at the
offices of the Samaritans Purse Foundation on August
24. They were demanding that the non-government
organisation (NGO) be dissolved because it was
causing cause uneasiness and nervousness among
residents. The protesters accused the US based NGO
of carrying out activities who’s real goal was to
get people to change their religion by enticing them
with financial assistance. (Liputan 6, 25/8/2006)

Sugar factor workers demand bonuses

Hundreds of employees from the Takalar Sugar Factory
in Makassar went on strike on August 25 demanding
bonuses that the management has promised to pay on
several occasions. The workers were also
disappointed with the company because it had been
making big profits from the high price of sugar
while it paid no attention to their welfare.
(Liputan 6, 25/8/2006)

Worker demonstration in Cimahi end in chaos

Hundreds of workers from the company PT Korin
Garmentama in the Cimahi city of West Java
demonstrated recently at the municipal government
officers. The protesters, the majority of whom were
women, accused the mayor of Cimahi, Itoch Tohija, of
siding with the company, which failed to pay them
severance pay after the company went bankrupt on
August 1.

The demonstration became chaotic when protesters
battered down the front gates and tried to force
their way onto the company offices in order meet
with Tohija. A number of protesters were trampled on
and injured during the incident. Although they
succeeded in breaking down the gate they were unable
to enter the offices that were tightly guarded by
dozens of civil service police. (Liputan 6,
26/8/2006)

Urban poor activists demand free education,
healthcare

Hundreds of protester from the Urban Poor Union
(SMRK) held simultaneous protest actions across
eight sub-districts in West Java on August 24
demanding free education and healthcare and the fair
distribution of rice to the poor.

The coordinator of SMRK, Marlo, said that the
demonstrations were part of preparations for a
larger action in November. "During this action we
are calling on the sub-district heads, the village
administrative heads and State Logistic Agency
(Bulog) to be fair in the distribution of rice for
the poor", he said. The protesters also called for
free education up to the university level, free
health care, and for firm action to be taken against
schools that still collect payments from students.
(SRMK News, 26/8/2006)

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