Dadan Kuswaraharja, Jakarta – Worker and environment activists demonstrated at the PT Newmont Mining Group Jakarta office following the exposure of pollution in the Gulf of Buyat which has cased Minamata sickness. They were demanding that Newmont take responsibility.
The action was held on the grounds of PT Newmont offices which is located on the 25 floor of the Rajawali Tower in the Mega Kuningan area of Jakarta on Friday July 23. The action started at around 10am and ended at 11.30am.
The activists came from a number of groups including the Indonesian National Front for Labour Struggle (FNPBI), the Indonesian Environment Forum (Walhi), the Mining Network (Jatam), the People’s Democratic Party (PRD) and the National Student League for Democracy (LMND).
According to activists Newmont has caused the Indonesian people a great deal of suffering. They have not only caused illness by polluting the environment but have also acted arbitrarily toward workers. PT Newmont Nusa Tenggara for example suspended 200 workers and has failed to pay them overtime money. “This case proves that Newmont is only interested in profit without safeguarding the rights of the people and its workers”, said Dita Indah Sari from FNPBI.
The activists are demanding that PT Newmont take responsibility for the environmental damage and sickness in the Gulf of Buyat in Minahasa, North Sulawesi and that PT Newmont Nusa Tenggara immediately pay the outstanding overtime wages and cancel the suspensions. They are also demanding that Newmont stop its mining operations. “Go to hell Newmont” and “Newmont but take responsibility” demanded the activists in posters with they carrying. (iy)
[Translated by James Balowski.]