The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
Three Killed in Aussie Mine Protest
With three dead and nine critically injured, questions are being raised about the role of Australian owned company Arc Exploration after protesters over a planned goldmine, on the island of Sumbawa in eastern Indonesia, were attacked by Indonesian police.
The victims were among nearly 1,000 people in Lambu village in West Nusatenggara province trying to stop the goldmining project by Arc Exploration and its Indonesian partner, PT Sumber Mineral Nusantara. The villagers fear the project will destroy their land and threaten forests and water resources.
“The shooting of peaceful protestors is completely unacceptable anywhere in the world, but with an Australian company involved because of its mining operation, it is imperative that the Australian Government step-in immediately to help calm the situation and ensure no more people are killed,” said Derec Davies of Friends of the Earth Australia.
“Foreign Minister Rudd must respond and investigate the role of Arc Exploration and its dealings with the Indonesian National Police, which has responded so violently against the peaceful protest at the Sape Harbor over the Bima Gold Mine project.”
“Indonesian police attacked on Christmas Eve, and three days later, questions and concerns from locals go unanswered.”
It is unfortunate that after the police shootings, protestors responded by taking up weapons and petrol bombs. Sadly however the video footage by local media shows unarmed protestors being shot by security forces. While the Indonesian Government has said it will ‘evaluate’ the police response, it is clear that the police exceeded the use of necessary force to calm the situation. Their actions have inflamed the situation.
“Friends of the Earth is a global organization and we work with local communities to support their peaceful non violent environmental struggles. We are appalled by the response of the Indonesian police,” said Davies. “The community was protesting against environmental damage caused by the mine. No Australian company should be complicit in any way in this level of violence. It is unacceptable in Australia and shouldn’t be acceptable in Indonesia.”
“Many tourists to Bali visit the island of Sumbawa. The company has been a trusted partner of locals. But with the problems of the Bima gold mine that trust has turned to outrage. The locals of Bima demand more, and so should Australians of our companies operating in the area."
"Foreign Minister Rudd must step in now and call a halt to Australian operations of Arc Exploration in the Bima area. Halting the mine operations will allow police to pull out and calm to settle. Foreign Minister Rudd is responsible for calling on Chairman Mr Bruce Watson to explain his companies involvement. Australian shareholders have the right to know what is going on.”
“The first killings were on Christmas eve, yet the ‘battle of Bima’ continues. The current violent response is at Pelabuhan Sape Bima. The community is outnumbered by heavily armed national police, which is being supported by the military.”
“During this time of holiday peace, we call upon Arc Exploration to halt operations and the Australian Government to intervene to halt the unnecessary and forceful action,” continued Davies.
For more information, click here.
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By Bijal Trivedi
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a report on Nov. 13 that describes a list of microorganisms that have become resistant to antibiotics and pose a serious threat to public health. Each year these so-called superbugs cause more than 2.8 million infections in the U.S. and kill more than 35,000 people.
By Joe Vukovich
Under the guise of responding to consumer complaints that today's energy- and water-efficient dishwashers take too long, the Department of Energy has proposed creating a new class of dishwashers that wouldn't be subject to any water or energy efficiency standards at all. The move would not only undermine three decades of progress for consumers and the environment, it is based on serious distortions of fact regarding today's dishwashers.
By Emily Moran
If you have oak trees in your neighborhood, perhaps you've noticed that some years the ground is carpeted with their acorns, and some years there are hardly any. Biologists call this pattern, in which all the oak trees for miles around make either lots of acorns or almost none, "masting."
By Catherine Davidson
Tashi Yudon peeks out from behind a net curtain at the rooftops below and lets out a sigh, her breath frosting on the windowpane in front of her.
Some 700 kilometers away in the capital city Delhi, temperatures have yet to dip below 25 degrees Celsius, but in Spiti there is already an atmosphere of impatient expectation as winter settles over the valley.