Actions, demos, protests...

Indonesia Roundup #36 - October 9-15, 2006

, by INDOLEFT News Service, PRD

Fish processing company workers demand holiday
bonuses

As many as 500 workers from the fish processing
company Dharma Samudra Fishing Indonesia went on
strike in the South East Sulawesi city of Kendari on
October 9 demanding the payment of reasonable
holiday bonuses.

The workers said they were disappointed by the
management for using a technical issue to renege on
a promise to pay allowances. "The technical details
for the payment of holiday bonuses are regulated in
the contract", said Miling, an employee from the
fillet production section adding that each employee
has the right to receive bonuses in accordance with
their period of employment.

While conceding that that there was an agreement
between the management and workers on bonuses,
production manager M. Marbun said, "But right now it
is very difficult for us to fulfil it". Marbun added
that as a result of the strike the company had
suffered losses of hundreds of millions of rupiah.
(Tempo Interactive, 9/10/2006)

Protesters demand Awaludin be named suspect

Around 70 people from the Student Action Front (KAM)
and Anti-Corruption Youth (PAK) demonstrated at the
offices of the Corruption Eradication Commission
(KPK) in Jakarta on October 11 demanding that
General Election Commission (KPU) member Hamid
Awaludin be named as a suspect in a corruption case
involving the procurement of ballot box seals in the
2004 presidential elections.

According to the protesters, Awaludin, who is also
the Minister of Justice and Human Rights, had given
a false testimony during the trial of KPU member
Daan Dimara. "The charges by the prosecution and the
judges’ verdict said he had been present when the
price was determined", said action coordinator Cupli
Risman. The protesters also called on President
Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono to suspect Awaludin to
demonstrate his government’s commitment to
eradicating corruption. "Hamid has legal immunity
because there are powers that are protecting him",
said Risman. (Tempo Interactive, 11/10/2006)

Students protest Danish trade offices in Medan

Hundreds of members of the North Sumatra Indonesian
Muslim Student Action Front (KAMMI) demonstrated at
the Danish Trade Representative Offices in the
provincial capital of Medan on October 10. The
demonstrators were protesting a cartoon drawing
contest of the Profit Muhammad that was organised by
Denmark youth organisations and demanded that the
Danish government sanction its citizens if they
offend the Islamic community. (Liputan 6,
11/10/2006)

Garment workers demand wages, holiday bonuses

Hundreds of workers from the garment company PT
Golden Kangaroo Internusa in Cibinong, West Java,
demonstrated at the Bogor Regional House of
Representatives (DPRD) on October 11. The workers
were demanded that the company pay holiday bonuses
and outstanding wages owing form July. (Liputan 6,
11/10/2006)

Demonstrators call for Tommy’s unconditional release

Demonstrators calling themselves the Coalition of
Social Organisations went to the offices of Hamid
Awaludin in the Kuningan area of South Jakarta on
October 11 demanding that the minister immediately
release Tommy Suharto who is serving 10 years for
ordering the murder of a judge.

The reason being they said was that Tommy’s release
would help overcome unemployment. "We feel that
Hutomo Mandala Putra would be much use in the
future. Hutomo Mandala Putra is concerned about the
little people, like unemployment", said action
coordinator Aziz Subekti.

The youths, who said they came from a number of non-
government organisations, said Awaludin’s reasons
for refusing to release Tommy made no sense. They
added that they came voluntarily to ask Awaludin to
release Tommy. "There was no money for
transportation, we were only provided with vehicles,
only that", said Subekti. (Liputan 6, 11,10/2006)

Semarang residents protest waste from poultry
slaughterhouse

Hundreds of residents living in the area of the
Kobong Market in the Central Java provincial capital
of Semarang went on strike today protesting against
waste being produced by poultry slaughterhouse. The
protesters, who said the waste was polluting the
local environment, are also concerned that they will
contract avian flu. (Liputan 6, 12/10/2006)

Makassar students protest unfair policies on campus

Hundreds of students from the Makassar State
University in South Sulawesi demonstrated on October
12 against the policies of the university rector who
has threatened to expel nine leaders of a campus
based student organisation who have been protesting
against education fee increases.

The protesters also said that the rector had been
treating the nine students unfairly by giving them a
mark of zero in all of their exams. As a result they
are in danger of dropping out or being unable to
continue their studies. (Liputan 6, 12/10/2006)

Manado residents protest rotating blackouts

Scores of residents from the North Sulawesi Peoples
Electricity Concern Alliance (ARPL) demonstrated at
the offices of the Sulutenggo state-owned
electricity company PLN in Manado on October 12.
They were protesting because of PLN’s policy of
daily rotating blackouts that have been taking place
over the last two months. (Liputan 6, 12/10/2006)

Chaos breaks out during worker protest in Mojokerto

Chaos broke out during a demonstration by hundreds
of former workers from the paper factory PT Euro Aba
in Mojosari in the East Java city of Mojokerto on
October 12 who were demanding the payment
outstanding wages and severance pay.

During a dialogue between worker representatives and
the company management, three paid thugs barred
other protesters from entering the factory grounds.
Angry, the workers then broke down the front gate
and forced their way inside. Concerned that that
workers would mob the thugs, police who had been on
guard at the location eventually detained the three
and took them away. (Liputan 6, 12/10/2006)

Bekasi students demand corruption case be
investigated

Hundreds of students in the West Java city of Bekasi
demonstrated at state prosecutor’s offices on
October 12 demanding that a corruption case
involving the regional state budget be investigated
immediately. The students said that the prosecutor’s
office has been slow in investigating the case
because it involved officials from the municipal
government and members of the Bekasi DPRD. (Liputan
6, 12/10/2006)

Bandung workers demand outstanding wages, holiday
bonuses

Some 100 workers from the company PT Tiga Negeri
Raya demonstrated again at the Bandung DPRD in West
Java on October 12 demanding the payment of
outstanding wages and holiday bonuses.

The workers, who came from the Independent Trade
Union (SBM) and the Indonesian Trade Union Congress
Alliance (Kasbi), condemned the company for fleeing
from its responsibilities saying they felt that they
had been tricked by their employer who closed down
the factory without informing them first.

After giving speeches for around an hour, worker
representatives met with the head of the DPRD
Commission D, Kadar Slamet, who promised to contact
representatives of Jamsostek (social security
program), the Department of Labour and the company
management in order to resolve the issue. (Kompas
Cyber Media, 12/10/2006)

Police breakup environmental protest Pekanbaru

A protest by 34 environmental groups including the
Indonesian Environmental Forum (Walhi), the World
Wildlife Fund, Jikakahari, the Sumatra Nature
Foundation (YAS) and the Hutan Tesso Nilo Society
was forcibly broken by police up during a
demonstration at the ASIAN Ministerial Level meeting
in the Riau provincial capital of Pekanbaru on
October 14.

The protesters, who were demonstrating in front of
the Pekanbaru Aryaduta Hotel where delegates from
the five ASIAN countries were staying, were
demanding to meet directly with the ministers in
order to express their views and hand over
investigative data on the companies that are
starting fires to clear land.

When Environment Minister Rahmat Witoelar, who it
was reported had earlier promised to meet with the
protesters, failed to do so following Friday
prayers, the protesters again began demanded to be
able to participate in the ministerial meeting.

Riau Police Chief Brigadier General Ito Sumardi then
asked the demonstrators to disband saying they only
had a permit allowing them to protest until 1pm.
Ignoring the request, the demonstrators continued
giving speeches and Sumardi ordered his officers to
forcibly disband the protest. Several of the more
determined demonstrators were dragged away and
kicked by police. (Kompas Cyber Media, 13/10/2006)

Hundreds of Great River workers damage factory

Angered over the company’s refusal to meet their
demands, some 460 PT Great River International
workers damaged the gates and a number of buildings
at the company’s Campaka complex in Purwakarta
regency, West Java, on October 13.

Among other things, the workers were demanding the
payment of outstanding wages from July to September,
holiday bonuses, wage increases in accordance with
the regional minimum wage and the payment of
contributions to the Jamsostek social security
program.

The angry workers also ripped up a wire fence
surrounding the main building, broke down doors and
smashed chairs, tables and other equipment inside
the buidlings, which they then throw outside.
Campaka sectoral police officers that were present
were unable to control the situation.

“This is an accumulation of friend’s disappointment
because on several occasion their rights have not
been fulfilled by the company. In the lead up to the
Lebaran [holidays], they have pressing needs so it
is natural if they are angry”, said the secretary of
the Purwakarta National Workers Union (SPN), Apip
Sahrial.

The protest follows several others that were
organised in January and July. As of September 13,
activities at the factory have come to a complete
stop. (Kompas Cyber Media, 13/10/2006)

Kupang residents oppose additional budgetary
allocations

Hundreds of residents in the city of Kupang, East
Nusa Tenggara, demonstrated at the Kupang DPRD this
morning demanding the cancellation of additional
budgetary allocations for the construction of an
office for the mayor and the procurement of nine
cars for members of the DPRD.

The protesters, who came from the Kupang City
Alliance of Peoples Concern (ARPKK), said in
speeches that the additional budget allocations have
only added to the people’s pain. A scuffle almost
broke out with police guarding the front gate when
the protesters tried to force their way in to meet
with the speaker of the DPRD who was in the middle
of a chairing a plenary meeting. (Liputan 6,
13/10/2006)

ASEAN meeting in Riau marred by protest

A Ministerial Level Meeting of five ASEAN countries
in Pekanbaru held to discuss the haze from forest
fires in Sumatra and Kalimantan was marred by a
demonstration and an incident in which protesters
ended up in a heated argument with security
personnel who tried to chase the demonstrators away.

The protests, who came from various non-government
organisations (NGO), also brought a number of
banners with messages such as “[Forestry Minister]
M.S. Kaban must resign”, “Malaysian companies are
also burning land in Riau”, “Arrest Pulp Tycoon
Sukamto Tanoto”, “Close Indah Kiat Pulp & Paper” and
“Try the perpetrators of illegal logging”. “They are
the ringleaders of the haze”, said the director of
the Walhi Jhoni S. Mundung in front of the Pekanbaru
Arya Duta Hotel on October 13.

Mundung said that in general it was large-scale
plantation companies that are lighting fires to
clear land and that they continue to evade the law.
“The evidence is that not one of the heads of
plantation companies has been tried”, he said.
(Tempo Interactive, 13/10/2006)

NGOs in Jambi condemn lack of action on forest fires

Scores of environmental activist from a number of
NGOs in the province of Jambi held a demonstration
at the Jambi Governor’s office on October 14
condemning the central and regional governments for
their handling of the haze from forest fires.

The protesters, who said that the government was not
serious about overcoming the problem, said that the
haze would not be like it is now if firm action had
been taken against those lighting the fires. They
also called on the Jambi regional government to
declare a state of alert as thick smoke was still
billowing from the fires in the regencies of Bungo,
Tanjung Jabung Timur and Batang Hari. (Liputan 6,
14/10/2006)

Islamic Community Forum protests drawing contest

Members of the Islamic Community Forum (FUI)
demonstrated at the Danish Embassy in Jakarta on
October 13 in protest against a contest to draw a
caricature of the Profit Mohammed that is to be held
in Denmark in August.

The protesters, who said that the contest was an
insult to Muhammad, called on the Danish government
to apologies to the Islamic community and take legal
action against the organisers of the event. In
response to the protest, an embassy representative
promised to arrange a meeting between FUI and the
Danish Ambassador Niels Erik Andersen the following
Monday. (Liputan 6, 14/10/2006)

Protesters call for national exam system to be
abolished

Around 100 people demonstrated at the offices of the
governor of Lampung on October 14 calling on the
National Education Minister, Bambang Sudibyo, who
was currently attending a meeting in Lampung to
abolish the national exam system. (Liputan 6,
14/10/2006)

Earthquake victims demand new verification process

Victims of the Central Java earthquake from the
Wijirejo village in Bantul, Yogyakarta, demonstrated
on October 14 demanding that a verification process
be repeated because many earthquake victims have
been unable to obtain reconstruction funds even
though their homes were badly damaged. The action
was marred by an uproar when the protesters forced
the village head to come out of his office to meet
with them. The demonstrators accused the village
head of being responsible for the errors in the
verification that should have been carried out by a
technical team from the Bantul regional government.
(Liputan 6, 14/10/2006)

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