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Sacked Freeport workers camp out opposite State Palace

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For exactly four days scores of former PT Freeport Indonesia employees have been camped out opposite the State Palace in Central Jakarta. -CNN Indonesia

Jakarta, Jubi – For exactly four days scores of former PT Freeport Indonesia employees have been camped out opposite the State Palace in Central Jakarta. Sleeping under tents made from tarpaulin, the employees who were sacked by the Freeport gold-and-copper mine in 2017 are sleeping over with whatever equipment they have available.

One of the former employees, Jerry Yerangga, admitted that he had intentionally chosen to stay overnight opposite the Palace along with his colleagues so that they could meet with President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo.

“We are calling in [his] promise because we have already met with a majority of senior state officials. We feel that we have not obtained justice because of being sacked by Freeport”, said Yerangga when speaking with CNN Indonesia on Saturday February 9.

Yerangga said that the dismissals began during the polemic over the divestment of Freeport shares to the Indonesian government prior to an agreement being reach in late 2018.

The former Freeport dump truck operator said that Freeport sacked around 8,300 employees. “They felt they had suffered financial losses because of problems over the share divestment with the government at the time”, he said.

Yerangga said that they have already held a number of actions in Papua however their protests have been opposed by security forces. In July last year he and his colleagues finally decided to take a ship to Jakarta to continue their protests.

In August 2018 Yerangga managed to meet with Chief of Presidential Staff Moeldoko to convey their complaints. At the time, Moeldoko pledged to immediately follow up on their complaints.

“But to this day there has been no clarity, the only parties which have been able to respond to our problem were the Ombudsman and Komnas HAM [National Human Rights Commission]”, said Yerangga.

In the end, Yerangga decided to camp out in tents in order to find a quick resolution to the problem. Over the last four days, he and 50 other colleagues have slept under tents.

They have been bathing at public toilets at the National Monument (Monas) in front of the State Palace. He is grateful because government officials and police have not prohibited the protest.

“We are grateful because here official have allowed [the protest]. We can freely convey our wishes here”, he said.

Yerangga hopes that the government will immediately follow up on their complaints although he does not know how long they will have to keep living under the tents.

“Until we get a response. Have pity on our children who can’t go to school, [or those] who have had to sell their homes to cover daily living costs”, said Yerangga.

Freeport spokesperson Riza Pratama said earlier that the thousands of former employees had been deemed to have resigned because they were absent from work.

“We followed procedures, summoned them. There as a total of around 3,500 [employees] who went on strike and failed to meet their obligations. Then, there were around 200 of them who obeyed our summons, the rest didn’t. So we deemed that they had resigned. In accordance with regulations, they were given one month’s wages [severance pay] which was transferred to their individual accounts”, said Pratama in March 2018.

The dispute with the employees however was not resolved there. It was only on December 21, 2017 that the company, the trade union and former employees, witnessed by related parties from the Ministry of Labour, were offered a new solution. (*)

 

Source: CNN Indonesia, translated by James Balowski, pmc.aut.ac.nz

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Economy

Papua Bangkit Stadium will ready in March 2019

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Papua Bangkit Stadium. – Jubi/Alex

Jayapura, Jubi – Sports Department of Papua Province is targeting the construction of Papua Bangkit Stadium which meets the FIFA standard located in Kampung Harapan, Jayapura Regency will finish in March 2019

Meanwhile, the Department Head of infrastructure management of Sports and Youth Provincial Office Bernard Sitorus claimed the construction has 97 per cent finished. It only needs small finishing works.

We continue to push our works, so it would be ready when President Widodo come for its launching,” Sitorus told reporters in Jayapura on Thursday (24/1/2019).

This 45,000-capacity stadium that spent approximately IDR 1.3 trillion of Papua Provincial Budget would be one of the biggest stadiums built in the eastern Indonesia region.

Separately, Dolly Abu Zain, the Site Engineering Manager of PT PP Tbk, added to accelerate the construction, approximately 900 workers were involved in this project, and some facilities including LED and electronic scoreboard have already been installed.

Meanwhile, the instalment of paving blocks for road access to the stadium has 100 per cent completed, as well as the roof installation. Now the homework left is to finish the instalment of the synthetic track.

“Meanwhile, it only needs small finishing works for the inside of the stadium. All chairs (for the audience) already installed,” said Dolly. (*)

 

Reporter: Alexander Loen

Editor: Pipit Maizer

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Governor’s objection to Freeport not be regarded as a political decision

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The illustration of Freeport Indonesia’s mining area.- Jubi/IST

Jayapura, Jubi – Papuan Parliament member of Commission I Yonas Nusy expect people do not regard the Papuan governor’s decision to object the letter of the Environment and Forestry Ministry on the recommendation of 1000 hectares of lands to Freeport for mining exploration from the political perspective.

“The governor’s decision should not be regarded as a political objection, but it’s more to his attempt to protect the protected forest area and Lorentz National Park,” said Nusy on Wednesday (23/1/2019).

Besides, according to him, the expansion of Freeport’s mining exploration areas should be further discussed with the customary landowners. “Even though Papua is part of Indonesia, this land (Papua) is the land of indigenous. Therefore, its customary law should be respected,” he said.

Meanwhile, Papuan Regional Secretary Herry Dosinaen said about Papuan Governor’s response on the ministry’s letter to permit 1000 hectares of land for Freeport’s mining area concession.

“Last time they asked for 2800 hectares, and now more 1000 hectares. But the governor refused it,” said Dosinaen.

He said the reason behind this objection is because the area is part of the forest conservation area and Lorentz National Park that is protected by the government. (*)

 

Reporter: Arjuna Pademme

Editor: Pipit Maizier

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Economy

Freeport’s tax debt affects Papuan Regional Budget 2019

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The illustration of tax payment. -Jubi/IST

Jayapura, Jubi – Papuan Primary Regional Budget (APBD) 2019 reportedly decreased to IDR 13.9 trillion from IDR 14.142 trillion last year due to Freeport’s tax debt on the water surface.

Papuan Provincial Secretary Hery Dosinaen said the tax debt affected the decline of provincial income that then droved to the decrease of the total revenue of the main provincial budget.

“Provincial revenue has decreased because we cannot meet our target due to the delayed tax payment by Freeport,” said Dosinaen in Jayapura.

However, the provincial government said they would not negotiate with the company about this late payment. Further, the governor refused Freeport to pay their tax based on goodwill but their income and profits. “This has caused the out-target payment. Even the plenary to discuss the water surface tax 2017-2018 is still running until now,” he said.

Meanwhile, the First Vice Chairman of Papua Parliament Edoardus Kaize said Papua Provincial Budget 2019 consists more than IDR 895.8 billion in local incomes, more than IDR 4.4 trillion in a balanced fund, and IDR 8.6 trillion in net revenue.

“However, the regional expenditures were more than IDR 13.8 trillion consisted of IDR 6.6 trillion of indirect expenditures, IDR 7.2 trillion of direct expenditures and IDR 50 billion of budget surplus,” said Kaize. (*)

 

Reporter: Alexander Loen

Editor: Pipit Maizier

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