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PAPERNAS: Retake Sovereignty for the people

Independence is the idea that can unify the Indonesian people.
Independence should be a golden bridge to justice, sovereignty and Welfare.

Indonesia, 10 March 2008

Today in the East Indonesian island-town of Ternate, hundreds of students united as the Coalition for Women's Concerns clashed with police in front of the North Mollucas Regional Assembly (DPRD) during a protest to demand the nationalisation of mining companies operating in the area. Five students were wounded, two of whom were badly injured and had to be taken to the hospital.

The clash started when police prevented some students from meeting with members of North Mollucas Regional Assembly. The situation cooled down after Ternate's Police Chief came to the location. The coalition, initiated by the National Students' League for Democracy (LMND), also
demanded that the government reduce prices of basic goods. At the end of the protest they also demanded that the police Chief resign.

Meanwhile, that same day in the city of Makassar - located at the southern tip of Indonesia's K-shaped island, Sulawesi - dozens of students from LMND carried out a protest in front of PT Inco's office to demand nationalisation of oil, gas, and mining companies in Indonesia. More than sixty percent of PT Inco's shares are owned by the world's second biggest nickel-producer, Canada-based Vale Inco; about 20 percent, owned by several Japanese companies; and the rest, sold in the Stock Exchange. PT Inco's operational plant in Sorowako, South Sulawesi, is notorious for creating land and water pollution, ecosystem damage, carrying out forced eviction, and therefore causing impoverishment and health problems among the local communities.

Students asked permission from security personnel to enter the company's office but were refused. In their statement, they demanded that the government have the courage to nationalise the company or at least to renegotiate the contract of work to bring more benefit to the people of
South Sulawesi that in turn can be used to fund development, particularly education. Three decades since the start of its commercial production, PT Inco has not only given few royalties to the Indonesian government, but has also broken promises of free health care, education,
electricity, clean water services and priority in employment.

Jln. Tebet Dalam IIG No. 1, Jakarta Selatan, 12820.
Email: papernas@yahoo.com

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