500 demonstrators to call for Indonesia to leave the WTO

Detik.com – December 18, 2005
Protest against World Trade Organisation in Jakarta (Satu Harapan)
Protest against World Trade Organisation in Jakarta (Satu Harapan)

Ahmad Dani, Jakarta – Actions opposing the World Trade Organisation (WTO) will also been held in Indonesia. The Indonesian People’s Anti-Imperialist Union (Perisai) will hold a demonstration demanding that Indonesia leave the WTO.

“There are 500 people that will demonstrate at the State Palace. They are from labour organisations, representatives of farmers, non-government organisations and student”, said Perisai public relations officer Dani Setiawan when contacted by Detik.com on Sunday December 18.

According to Setiawan, the action will be held in front of the State Palace in Jakarta where they will be demanding that Indonesia leave the WTO. “There is no benefit from being part of the WTO. It only makes things difficult for the people”, he explained.

In addition to this, process of liberalisation carried out by the WTO causes the people great suffering. Setiawan even believes that this process of liberalisation represents the colonialism of new capital. “The liberalisation process in trade, agriculture, oil and gas and so forth represents an agenda by the foreign companies to embed its claws in Indonesia”, asserted Setiawan.

Setiawan gave as an example Indonesia’s foreign debt that has reached more than 140 trillion rupiah. In order to pay this the government must economise on the state budget. “Just imagine if were weren’t in debt, we could save 150 trillion rupiah annually. But unfortunately we are already caught in their [debt] trap”, he explained.

Setiawan even believes that the production of debt that is rolled over by the advanced countries cannot be separated from the ideological and exploitative interests that confront the countries that accept loans. “Thus foreign companies can open up their markets in Indonesia as well as producing a surplus for their home countries”, asserted Setiawan. (ahm)

[Translated by James Balowski.]