13 August 2010

Indonesia: National Movement Against Electricity and Basic Needs' Price Hike 7th August 2010

'Protesters reject electricity rate hikes, deadly 'LPG bombs'

Detik.com - August 7, 2010

Bagus Kurniawan, Yogyakarta -- Scores of people held a protest action opposition
the recent increases in basic electricity rates (TDL) and the price of LPG gas
canisters in the Central Java city of Yogyakarta on Saturday August 7. They also
called on the government to cancel the price hikes and opposed the use of 3kg
LPG gas canisters.

The protesters came from several different groups including the Perempuan
Mahardhika (Free Women) National Network (JNPM) and the National Movement for
Prices Reductions and Cancellation of TDL Hikes (GNBKTTH). Earlier, Perempuan
Mahardhika held an action at the Gramedia intersection on Jl. Sudirman then
moved off to the Yogyakarta Monument where the protesters joined into one group.

The demonstrators brought various kitchen utensils such as pans, woks, electric
irons and 3kg LPG gas canisters. The electric irons were wound around the bodies
of two women demonstrators who also carried empty gas canisters. The kitchen
utensils meanwhile were used as musical instruments.

The protesters also brought a huge replica LPG gas canister made of paper and
bamboo as well as placards and banners with messages such as “Reject the TDL
hikes”, “Replace LPG canisters with Kerosene”, “Watch out for LPG bombs” and
“Reduce the price of basic commodities”.

One of the participants, Ny Sutinah, called on the government to immediately
cancel the electricity price increases. The resident of Mancingan, Parangtritis
Bantul, said the electricity hikes only added to the burden of the people’s
suffering because it causes price increases and high inflation.

"Not to mention cases of gas canister exploding and the many casualties. The
public has been terrorised by these LPG bombs", said Sutinah in a speech at the
Yogyakarta Monument on Saturday.

According to Sutinah, the prices of basic commodities has already risen because
of the impact of the electricity price hike on companies. She added however that
the concrete impact of the government's policies has been on women who have to
manage household affairs and the family.

"There is no other word except bring down prices. Reject the TDL hikes and
replace LPG with kerosene stoves", shouted the woman who is also a victims of a
recent land eviction.

After taking turns in giving speeches for around 30 minutes at the Yogyakarta
Monument, the protesters then continued the action at the Yogyakarta Regional
House of Representatives building on Jl. Malioboro.

The peaceful action was watched over by Yogyakarta municipal police officers to
ensure that the flow of traffic would not become congested. (djo/djo)________

Workers say price hikes a 'plot to privatise electricity industry'

Tribunnews.com - August 7, 2010

Iwan, Jakarta -- The evil conspiracy to increase the basic electricity rate (TDL) will impact on the price of basic commodities, particularly food, further burdening the lives of the poor.

This was stated by Workers Challenge Alliance (ABM) public relations officer Budi Wardoyo during a speech in front of the State Palace in Central Jakarta on Saturday August 7.

"The capitalist system provides opportunities to the private sector to control food in order to reap bigger profits and the poor become the victims. This is also happening with the TDL hikes. Electricity is a vital public necessity, it should be controlled by the state so that the people can enjoy the facilities", he said.

The ABM is accusing the administration of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and Vice President Boediono (SBY-Boediono) of producing energy policies merely to benefit a handful of capitalists.

Earlier, the demonstrators demanded that the government cancel the electricity rate increases during a long-march towards the State Palace after earlier holding speeches at the nearby Horse Statue traffic circle.

Although shivering with cold after more than hour's heavy rain, even more protesters began arriving and moving off to the Palace after closing Jl. Medan Merdeka Utara. The joint protest alliance involved more than 50 labour, student and non-government organisations (NGOs).


East Java protesters say electricity hike will only burden people further

Antara News - August 7, 2010

Surabaya -- As many as 180 students, workers and urban poor activists from 12 organisations in the East Java cities of Surabaya, Mojokerto and Madiun held a protest action in Surabaya on Saturday August 7 opposing the recent increase in basic electricity rates (TDL).

During the action, which was held in front of the Negara Grahadi Building on Jl. Gubernur Suryo, Surabaya, activists from the Indonesian Labour Movement Union (PPBI), the Indonesian Cultural Society Union (SeBUMI), the Political Union of the Poor (PPRM), the SKMR, the Indonesian Student Union (SMI) and other organisations also demanded that the government bring down the price of basic goods, rice and other staples (sembako).

The protesters also brought posters and banners with demands such as "Reject the TDL hike" and "Government... don’t increase electricity prices".

In addition to giving speeches and shouting slogans against the electricity price hikes along with demands to reduce basic commodity prices, the activists also held a theatrical action depicting three people being further impoverished by the electricity price hikes.

"We ask and demand that the government cancel the TDL increase, because high TDL are already strangling the Indonesian people", said action coordinator Andri Setiawan. Because of this therefore, similar actions are also being held in other cities such as Medan (North Sumatra), Lampung (South Sumatra), Jakarta, Yogyakarta (Central Java), Semarang (Central Java), Bali and Mataram (Lombok).

"We demand that the TDL increase be canceled and sembako prices brought down, because the ordinary people are already suffering deeply. If these demands are not met, we will continue to hold actions and they will get even larger again", said Setiawan.

According to Setiawan, the electricity rate hike has also increased production costs, so employers will sacrifice the ordinary people because they will not want to suffer financial losses, so dismissals will occur everywhere, the price of sembako will continue to rise and holiday bonuses will not be paid.

"The government's reasons for increasing TDL in order to save energy makes no sense, because they have sold off the energy sector to the private sector. That is the error that must be evaluated instead of burdening the people", he said.

The action resulted in traffic in the heart of Surabaya city coming to a stand still because although protesters only used the sidewalk and not the road, the action caused many drivers to slow down to watch the demonstration.

"The TDL hikes will trigger an increase in inflation as a result of products in the form or raw materials as well as finished good experiencing price increase compared with earlier prices. Not to mention the increasingly tight competition with the implementation of the ASEAN China Free Trade Area Agreement", said Setiawan.

No comments: