26 November 2010

Indonesia government plans to finalize land reform law by end of year

Jakarta Globe - November 24, 2010

Shirley Christie, Jakarta -- A draft bill to regulate land acquisition for public projects was sent to the president last week and would reach the legislature before the end of the year, the head of the National Land Agency said on Wednesday.

The assurance came during a luncheon hosted by the Jakarta Foreign Correspondents Club, where Joyo Winoto, the head of the agency, also known as the BPN, was a guest speaker.

According to Joyo, the government plans to conduct "peaceful and lawful" agrarian reform to accelerate the country's infrastructure development and correct land ownership imbalances.

Former McDonald's workers stage rally

Jakarta Post - November 25, 2010

Jakarta -- More than 100 former employees of the McDonald's fast food restaurant chain held a rally in front of the Jakarta Police on Jl. Gatot Subroto, South Jakarta.

The employees demanded the police arrest the owners of Indonesia's McDonald's franchises because they did not pay the employees' salaries when ownership was handed over to Toni Jack's Indonesia.

"The welfare benefit money has been embezzled, the last six months' salaries remains unpaid, savings and cooperative money has also been defrauded, the workers have been neglected," one of the protesters, Guntur, said in a statement.

Indonesia survey says early marriages lead girls into lives of desperation

Jakarta Globe - November 24, 2010

Nurfika Osman, Jakarta -- A new study has found that Indonesian girls aged 10 to 18 who were forced into early marriage struggled to secure good futures for themselves or their children due to higher health risks and less access to education.

The Health Ministry study, which collected data from over 20,000 respondents from across the country, showed that 68.5 percent, a little over 13,700, came from villages, many of them from far-flung regions, forcing them to rely upon substandard health care.

Human rights violations increasing

Jakarta Post - November 23, 2010

Makassar -- Over the past ten years since Indonesia's reformation, human rights violations have been escalating, said the National Commission for Human Rights (Komnas HAM).

Commission member Hesti Armiwulan said at a media conference in Makassar on Monday that during the period between 2008 and 2010 the number of complaints filed to the commission showed an increase. "We received 4,000 complaints in 2008 and 5,000 in 2009. This year, up to October, we had more than 5,000 complaints," Hesti said.

21 November 2010

Transgenders battle for license to live a decent life

Jakarta Globe - November 18, 2010

Nurfika Osman, Jakarta -- Many transgenders are finding little sympathy from the government as they struggle to obtain vitally important ID cards.

The national ID card, known as the KTP, is required for everything from getting a driver's license and applying for a loan to enrolling at a school and registering to vote. It is also required when seeking medical treatment 
at state and private hospitals.

Many transgenders are denied a KTP because ward officials refuse to register them under the gender they choose to identify with.

16 November 2010

Workers mark Obama visit with protest against labour law revisions

Reject Labor Law No.13 2003 Revision, SBY-Boediono Regime Capitalist

Metrotvnews.com - November 10, 2010

Jakarta -- Several moments before the arrival of US President Barack Obama in Jakarta on the afternoon of Wednesday November 10, thousands of workers held a protest action demanding the cancellation of planned revisions to Law Number 13/2003 on Labour, which they say will harm workers.

During the action, the workers "occupied" Jl. Medan Merdeka Barat in Central Jakarta and as a consequence, traffic heading north from the Hotel Indonesia traffic circle to Harmoni was brought to a complete standstill.

Several demonstrators also forced Transjakarta busses coming from Harmoni in the direction of Sudirman to stop in order to attract the attention of officials, so police would open access to the road in front of the State Palace. This created tensions between the workers and police.

15 November 2010

"People-to-People Movement" emerging in absence of state assistance in Merapi disaster

One of the houses which the Alliance of Peoples' Struggles (ARM)--
a coalition of womens', students', labour and peasant organisations--
is providing emergency relief to.

SITUATION ANALYSIS by Team News Jalin Merapi- Friday, November 12, 2010 (translated and abridged by Zoe Kenny)

Merapi disaster refugees are suffering physical and mental fatigue due to having to constantly move between the refugee camps. Changes in conditions, especially after the large eruption on November 5, have caused thousands of residents of Mount Merapi to exodus to locations as far and as safe as possible. Areas exposed to the disaster which was originally concentrated in certain areas, has expanded to cause more people to be displaced in places previously unimaginable. Thousands of refugees are being forced to take care of themselves independently as the government’s efforts are slow and de-centralised.

According to the records of the National Agency for Disaster Management (BNPB) the number of refugees reached 136,562 people in Yogyakarta and Central Java reached 233,466 people. The victims of the eruption of Mount Merapi are spread over 635 points in camps in various districts of Yogyakarta Special Region and Central Java.

12 November 2010

Papuan students reject Obama visit, demand closure of Freeport

Tribunnews.com - November 9, 2010

Alie Usman, Jakarta -- Scores of Papuan students from the Papuan Student 
Alliance (AMP) have again protested against the visit by US President Barrack 
Obama who is scheduled to arrive this afternoon. They are urging and calling on 
Obama to cancel his visit to Indonesia.

The protesters, who gathered in front of the Freeport office in the Kuningan 
area of South Jakarta, plan to continue holding actions by closing off one lane 
of Jl. Rasuna Said. In addition to rejecting Obama's visit, the protesters also 
demanded that the PT Freeport Mc Moran Gold & Cooper mine in Papua be closed 

11 November 2010

Update on MERAPI Disaster: Government failing to coordinate aid efforts

ARM members coordinating relief efforts in one of the shelters
Statement by Alliance of Peoples’ Struggles (ARM)
* The ARM is a coalition of womens', students, labour and peasant organisations that is centrally involved in many struggles in Yogyakarta. 

By Christina Yulita, Tuesday November 9

Starting from November 5 2010, the national SBY-Budiono government decided that the Merapi volcano eruption disaster would be led by the National Disaster Management Agency (BNPB). The BNPB Chief will also be helped by the Governor of Yogyakarta (DIY ), the Governor of Central Java (Central Java), Commander IV / Diponegoro, Central Java Police Chief, and Police Chief DIY (source: detik.com). The establishment of this new coordinating structure is symptomatic of the failure of disaster management by the Indonesian government; action is only taken once problem emerge rather than anticipating and preventing those problems in the first place.

For example, the evacuation process was not executed well in advance although the volcano authorities had already informed the government that Merapi was on high alert status. As a result the evacuation of residents only took place about 3-5 days before Merapi erupted, not to mention the situation of residents who did not want to be evacuated. Even if they have already been evacuated, they go back home to check on their cattle and their homes. This situation should have been anticipated from the beginning by the government. Even the government's promise that it has set aside Rp 100 billion (approx AUD$100,000) to buy new livestock was announced after the disaster had occurred.

6 November 2010


Merapi disaster appeal!
When the government fails, the people must act

The Alliance of People’s Struggle (ARM), a coalition of womens’, students’, labour and peasant organisations, based in Yogyakarta is appealing for emergency aid to help people affected by the eruptions from Mount Merapi which is having its most violent eruptions in more than one hundred years. The most recent eruption on the morning of November 5 has already killed 58 people, injured dozens more and completely incinerated the village of Argomulya.

A spokesperson from the  ARM Yayak Aslihul said “The situation in Yogyakarta is quickly becoming a humanitarian disaster. As well as the death of toll of more than 100 people, more than 75,000 people have been evacuated from their homes with more than 30,000 people taking shelter in the Maguwoharip Soccer Stadium and thousands more are sheltering in universities throughout Yogyakarta. As well as the trauma of being evacuated from their homes the refugees are suffering from shortages of food, water and sanitary facilities and the local government’s emergency funds are quickly running out”.

2 November 2010

Call for solidarity with striking PT. Kanefusa Indonesia workers

By Zely Ariane*

If there was an easier way to struggle for their rights, the workers from the PT. Kanefusa Indonesia Federation of Indonesian Metal Workers Union (FSPMI) would probably have tried it.

The workers have now been on strike for four months; have camped overnight for three days at the Department of Labour and Transmigration and its regional offices; waylaid Labour Minister Muhaimin Iskandar during a visit to a Toshiba company in Bekasi calling on him to make good his promise to protect workers' rights; waged an ongoing solidarity protest actions against the regional Industrial Relation Settlement office in West Java; and setup a camp in front of PT. Kanefusa Indonesia's factory.

1 November 2010

Labour law revisions will herald 'new kind of slavery': Labour activists

Berita Jogja - October 8, 2010

Labour activists from the Workers Challenge Alliance (ABM), the Yogyakarta Labour Alliance (ABY), the Greater Jakarta Labour Federation of Struggle (FBPJ) and the United Indonesian Labour Movement-Security Employees Union (SPK-PPBI) explicitly opposed further labour liberalisation.

This was conveyed during a public discussion titled "The Fate of Workers under Revisions to Law Number 13/2003 and Solutions for the Indonesian Labour Movement", which was held at the Atmajaya University faculty of law conference room in Jakarta on Tuesday afternoon, October 5.

During the discussion, the representatives from the respective labour groups explained their perspectives in relation to proposed revisions to Law Number 13/2003 on Labour. The ABM, ABY, FBPJ and SPK-PPBI are concerned that these revisions will harm workers bearing in mind that the existing labour law already favours investors.