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.
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Association Versus Intervention Studies<p>Many studies on the vitamin are association or observational studies. "By definition, these studies cannot prove the causal relationship, but only point to mere correlations," said Fassnacht. The physician tries to illustrate this with an example:</p><p>"Imagine two groups of 80-year-olds. One group is spry, active and does sports. If you compare them with another group living in nursing homes, the difference in vitamin D levels will be dramatic. Life expectancy would also be extremely different."</p><p>But to try to explain the difference in fitness by vitamin D status alone is far too simplistic. "Vitamin D levels are a good measure of how sick someone is. But not more," says Fassnacht. </p><p>According to Fassnacht, none of the intervention studies carried out to date -- that specifically examined the effect of vitamin D on various diseases -- has been able to confirm the previous association and laboratory studies or the presumed positive effect of vitamin D.</p>
Further Research Is Needed<p>"If a coronavirus infection is suspected, it is therefore absolutely necessary to check the vitamin D status and quickly correct any possible deficit," said the recommendation of the paper published by the University of Hohenheim.</p><p>"Studies are underway to see whether vitamin D helps in COVID-19 infection, but I personally do not believe that this is really the case," says endocrinologist Fassnacht. Nevertheless, he says it is of course useful to carry out these studies.<br></p><p>"I don't want to rule out that there are actually subgroups of people who benefit from an additional vitamin D dose," he says. After all, this has been proven to be the case with a severe deficit.</p><p>In view of the study situation, Fassnacht does not think much of preventive, nationwide vitamin D substitutes. "My belief that the vitamin helps somewhere is very low. But, of course, I can be wrong."</p>
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