Actions, demos, protests...

Indonesia Roundup #37 - October 16-29, 2006

, by INDOLEFT News Service, PRD

Rattan factory employees strike, demand holiday
bonuses

Some 1,400 employees from the rattan manufacturing
company PT Mutiara Habemindo Rotan in the West Java
city of Cirebon went on strike on October 16
demanding that the company pay them holiday bonuses
equivalent to one month’s pay.

Sumarni, one of the employees, said that in the
company had earlier promised to pay bonuses equal to
one month’s wage as it did last year but because of
the company’s financial situation they had decided
to pay only 50 percent. "In a situation where goods
are as expensive as this, how can a holiday bonus of
250,000 rupiah be enough", said Sumarni.

Timber and Forestry Trade Union (SPKahut) Secretary
Sanija said that strike action was taken as a last
resort after efforts at negotiation had failed.
"Financial difficulties are a classic excuse. The
reason, when the company reaps high profits,
employees still don’t get any bonuses", said Sanija.
The treasurer of SPKahut added that if the company
is having financial difficulties they should show
them the results of an audit, adding that they will
remain on strike until a new agreement is reached.
(Kompas Cyber Media, 16/10/2006)

Presidential visit to Samarinda marred by clash

Security personnel and students were involved in two
separate clashes in the Samarinda city of East
Kalimantan on October 16 when President Yudhoyono
was traveling from Balikpapan to Samarinda on a
“Ramadan Safari”.

The first clash occurred when students from the East
Kalimantan Challenge Movement (GKM) were
demonstrating in front of the Bumi Senyiur Hotel. As
a result the students decided to return to the State
College of Islamic Religious Studies (STAIN) campus
and continue the protests there. Although the
reasons are unclear, another clash broke out on
campus with civil service police resulting in
several students being seriously injured.

The deputy chief of the Samarinda police said the
clash was unavoidable but promised to question those
officers and security personnel involved in the
incident. (Kompas Cyber Media, 16/10/2006)

Residents ask for release of land for gold mining

Around 6,000 people from the Dumoga Communication
Forum went to the Bolaang Mongondow Regional House
of Representatives (DPRD) in North Sumatra on
October 15 asking for the release of 350 hectares of
the land in the Bogani Nani Wartabone National Park
so they can mine for gold.

Forum secretary Ramli Mamonto said that the DPRD had
promised to support them and fight for the release
of the land adding that "We have been conveying our
request since 2000". Gold was first discovered in
1985 and has resulted in a protracted dispute over
the land and the murder of a local miner. (Tempo
Interactive, 16/10/2006)

Residents in Southern Aceh complain about cash
subsidies

Hundreds of poor people from a number of sub-
districts in Southern Aceh went to the DPRD on
October 16 seeking an explanation over delays in the
disbursement of direct cash subsidies (BLT) to
compensate for last year’s fuel price increases.

Upon arriving at the DPRD the representatives of the
residents were received the head of Commission A,
Azmir SH and the head of the South Aceh National
Statistics Agency (BPS) M Nasir. The residents told
Nasir that that they had yet to receive the
subsidies and that there were irregularities in the
disbursement of the funds.

"When we ask officials why the funds have not been
released, they often just passed the buck", said
Mufrizal from the village of Duriankawan. According
to another resident, Karim, there are six people in
Duriankawan that should have received BLT but they
had not been issued with BLT cards and were not
therefore eligible. "The six people have now got
cards, but at the sub-district they disappeared, and
the official, Asril, also vanished", said Karim.

In response to the residents’ complaints, Nasir
promise to take action against the officials
distributing BLT and asked the residents to make an
official report against the officials concerned.
(Aceh Kita, 16/10/2006)

Demonstrators set fire to PT Freeport Indonesia
paraphernalia

Scores of Timika residents along with the families
of the seven suspects charged for the shootings at
Mile 62-63 in August 2002, West Papua protested on
October 16 saying that they suspect that PT Freeport
Indonesia is the brains behind the arrests. They
also called for the seven not to be tried in Jakarta
as the incident occurred in West Papua.

The demonstration began with a march around Timika
city followed by a sit-in on the road. They then
pelted Freeport paraphernalia with rotten eggs then
set it alight.

Last week around 300 Timika residents demonstrated
in front of the Timika District Court also saying
that because the shootings occurred in West Papua
and the suspects are Papuans that they should be
tried in Timika. (Liputan 6, 17/10/2006)

Tuban residents demand jobs from local company

Hundreds of residents from the Sumber Arum village
in the Kerek sub-district of Tuban regency, East
Java, demonstrated in front of the offices of PT
Swabina Gatra on October 17 demanding to be given
jobs saying that the appointment of employees was
unfair and lacked transparency.

A scuffle broke out between protesters and security
personnel when demonstrators tried to enter the
company grounds to find shade. A number of
representatives were eventually invited to discuss
their grievances with the office manager who
promised to try to their concerns to the management.
(Liputan 6, 17/10/2006)

Andi Rudianto Asapa supporters protest over
appointment

Hundreds of supporters of Andi Rudianto Asapa went
to the Regional Leadership Board (DPD) of the
Indonesian of the Indonesian Democratic Party of
Struggle (PDI-P) in the South Sulawesi regional
capital of Makassar on October 18 where they set
fire to PDI-P paraphernalia in protest over the
Central Leadership Board’s intervention in the
election of the Makassar DPD chairperson.

The protesters said they were disappointed because
the central leadership directly appointed former
South Sulawesi governor Zainal Basril Palaguna as
the regional PDI-P chairperson whereas the majority
of branch representatives had opposed this. (Liputan
6, 18/10/2006)

Workers protest deductions to compensation for mud
disaster

Around 160 workers from CV Sari Inti Pratama, a
company has been inundated by mud from the PT
Lapindo Brantas drill site, demonstrated at the
Labour Offices in the East Java regency of Sidoarjo
on October 18. They were demanding that the Labour
Office intervene to resolve threats of arbitrary
dismissals by the company.

The workers were also protesting the company’s
management for making deductions to compensation
funds of 700,000 rupiah per month that are being
provided by Lapindo saying that they are only
receiving 300,000 rupiah. The company has said that
they will only get the full amount if they resign.

The head of the Sidoarjo labour office, Bambang
Widagdo, denied that they had been slow in dealing
with the workers’ complains and promised to fine the
company if it is proved they committed a violation.
(Liputan 6, 18/10/2006)

Garment workers demand outstanding wages, holiday
bonuses

Scores of workers from the Singapore owned company
PT Jagu International Garments in the Berikat
Nusantara Cakung industrial zones of North Jakarta
demonstrated on October 18 demanding holiday bonuses
and the payment of two months outstanding wages.

The workers, the majority of whom were women,
presented two demands to the management: the
immediate payment of wages for September and October
and a holiday bonus equivalent to one months wage.

"Up until now monthly wages keep being paid on the
25th of the following month, or even as late as the
4th the second month after. Wages for August for
example, were paid on September 25", said one of the
workers, Ohan Rohana. Rohan added that it is unclear
when wages for September will be paid even though
the Lebaran holidays are already close. (Kompas
Cyber Media, 18/10/2006)

Public transport drivers demonstrate in Kupang

Hundreds of city public transport drivers and
conductors demonstrated at the Kupang DPRD in East
Nusa Tenggara on October 19 calling on the Kupang
municipal transport office to fulfil its promise to
withdraw the operating license for the Oebufu
designated transport route. A number of protesters
were later involved in scuffle with police who were
guarding the DPRD building. (Liputan 6, 19/10/2006)

Andi Rudianto Asapa supporters protest again

Hundreds of supporters of Andi Rudianto Asapa
protested again in Makassar on October 19. This time
round they set fire to a bier in a symbolic protest
over Zainal Basri Palaguna’s appointment as the
regional chairperson of PDI-P. (Liputan 6,
19/10/2006)

Residents oppose construction of permanent mud
containment dam

Residents from the Jatirejo village in the Porong
sub-district of Sidoarjo attempted to hold a
demonstration on October 18 against the Lapindo Mud
National Relief Team’s plan to build a permanent mud
containment dam at their village. The residents
oppose the plan because there has yet to be any
clear decision on compensation for their homes and
land that will be covered for the dam.

Troops from the East Java regional Mobile Brigade
however drove the residents away so the protesters,
who had planned to blockade the dam, could only look
on from a distance. The residents, who said that
that the compensation offered was inadequate and
that local people had been lied to, threatened to
hold a larger action if the compensation issue is
not clarified. (Liputan 6, 19/10/2006)

Youths, activists demand police solve Kongkoli
shooting

At least one hundreds youths and activists from non-
government organisations demonstrated at the Palu
regional police headquarters in Central Sulawesi on
October 18 demanding that police investigate the
fatal shooting of Reverand Irianto Kongkoli.

The protesters, who came from the Anti-Violence
Community, marched to the police headquarters where
they gave speeches calling for an investigation into
the assassination. After meeting with the head of
the pubic relations section the protesters
disbanded.

Kongkoli was shot dead while buying construction
materials at a shop in Palu on October 16. It is
believed that his assignation is linked with efforts
to resolve the conflict in the province. (Liputan 6,
19/10/2006)

Teachers, civil servants demand holiday bonuses

Teachers and civil servants from the Kendal regional
government in Central Java held a protest on October
18 against Kendal Regent Hendy Budoro who they said
had reneged on a promise by canceling the
disbursement of holiday bonuses to Kendal government
officials. (Liputan 6, 19/10/2006)

’Black’ protesters rock US Embassy

Some 200 people dressed entirely in black
demonstrated at the US Embassy in Central Jakarta on
October 20 demanding an end to US interference in
Palestine. "America and its allies represent the
principle supporters in the occupation in Palestine
by Israel", said action coordinator Teddy in a
speech.

The protesters, who came from Indonesian Muslim
Solidarity for Al-quds (Palestine), said they held
the action today because it was the last Friday of
the Ramadan fasting month that is commemorated
across the world as a day of liberation for
Palestine. "So it is not just us that are holding an
action here, but also other Muslims throughout the
world", said Teddy. (Detik.com, 20/10/2006)

Protesters commemorate Palestine Solidarity Day in
Surabaya

Hundreds of people from the Palestine Concern
Society demonstrated at the US Consulate General in
the East Java provincial capital of Surabaya on
October 21. The action was held to commemorate
Palestine Solidarity Day that falls on the last
Friday of Ramadan. During the action they called on
the US government and Israel to acknowledge the
rights of the Palestine people. (Liputan 6,
21/10/2006)

Youth Pledge day in Yogyakarta commemorated by
demonstration

Activists in the Central Java city of Yogyakarta
held a demonstration on October 28 to commemorate
the 1948 Youth Pledge. Wearing traditional clothing
in order not to loose the sprit of the Youth Pledge,
they said that the action was also a protest against
colonialism that is causing poverty and suffering
for those hit by the recent earthquake in Central
Java. (Liputan 6, 28/10/2006)

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