Sunday, 3 May 2009

Kalimantan, the latest proof it is business as usual in Indonesia

Kalimantan, the latest proof it is business as usual in Indonesia
By Dayak Benuaq
Aug 5, 2007, 06:46

Dayak people - lucky ones, they live in Malaysia
Kalimantan is the Indonesian part of Borneo inhabited by mainly Non-Muslim Dayaks; the province accounts for 2/3 of the large island. In the 50’s and 60’s as part of Indonesia’s bloody conquest of its own non-Muslim people, Muslim Madurese from miles and miles away in Java were relocated in Kalimantan to ensure local “elections” were and still are Jakarta friendly. “Resettlement” as it is and was called has been used throughout Indonesia including where Javanese and pro-Jakarta Timorese have been encouraged to turn up in Bali and claim Balinese people’s land by simply clearing an area and threatening anyone who opposed them with violence. Dyaks and Madurese are now sworn enemies and in 2001 the Dayaks rose against Madurese occupation killing hundreds and chasing thousands more off their island. But now the risk to the Dayaks comes from corporate Jakarta; the greed machine owned by politicians and senior officers of the TNI (Indonesian military).

Smog from Kalimantan and Sumatra hangs over the region X = Bali
Recently much figurative and little literal light has been made about the massive smog clouds that hang over Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia and elsewhere in South East Asia, courtesy of the illegal logging and rain forest clearance which goes on wholesale with impunity in Indonesia. Basically wealthy Jakarta based families who own the large Indonesian companies stand accused of illegally felling trees for wood and burning everything else in the wake to clear the area for palm trees, yes palm trees; palm oil is big business now with Indonesia just about to overtake Malaysia as the world’s largest supplier. Palm oil is the hub of the west’s superficial green biofuel initiatives yet is being produced at the significant expense of the environment by greedy, illegal businessmen and women with western collusion. First the removal of the carbon absorbing rain forest increases global carbon levels; then the burning of what is left adds salt to the environmental wound. Sometimes the smog is so thick over Indonesia that air traffic control, stretched at best on a good day, can not cope and western airlines end up having to bypass the area for safety reasons, which adds yet more carbon to the atmosphere.

Bali and Australia suffer: Due in great part to the smog emanating from burning rainforest in Sumatra and Kalimantan, both Bali and Australia have been suffering environmentally. Bali's air quality is now so bad the Sanglah Public Hospital said 1,271 people were admitted to hospital because of respiratory diseases in the first half of this year. The province’s largest hospital has recorded three deaths from respiratory diseases in the last three months. “A polluted environment is of course to blame for such diseases,” the official said. While Australians need no reminder of the drought-flood condition of their own environment these days.

Retreating rainforest, smog from illegal clearing, palm oil trees just planted
Now Kalimantan is the latest and greatest target of around 10 incredibly wealthy Indonesian palm oil manufacturers, all basking in the light of the west’s support and praise, robbing people of their land, destroying the environment and making masses of yet more money. You see, in Kalimantan land is owned by historical knowledge and verbal agreement; a system of honour in a country that has none. So the palm oil companies can grab land from the Dayaks and pay them peanuts for compensation without their consent. Dayak communities wake up to the sound of heavy machinery felling their precious environment, protected of course by the heavy machine guns of the Indonesian military renowned for oppression, not national security. They try to fight but are heavily outnumbered. Jakarta says because the Dayaks do not have documentation to show the land is theirs, they can not fully claim it; of course the fact that the Dayaks have used their honour system for hundreds of years with no problem should be enough for any decent government, but there is nothing decent about Jakarta.

While environmental and human rights groups around the world protest as much as they can, Jakarta just carries on; fueled by greed and western political BS yet again. Of course Jakarta plays the same old “We are a responsible and caring government” game, signing treaties without real guarantees here and international accords there. But like everything Indonesia signs, look at the exclusions and what penalties they face if they break their word; none. It is the same game as they play with their human rights agreements, which they have never adjudicated a single complaint on; everything is “pending”. The destruction of Kalimantan is now in overdrive, just look around. Human Rights and Conservation Groups are currently petitioning the UN's Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination to intervene on behalf of the Dayak people regarding a proposed 1.8 million hectares (4.4 million acres) land grab for the palm oil companies of Indonesia which will see the people we do not want to support get incredibly wealthy, the people who need our support become homeless.

Slowly but surely and to the tune of Washington’s biofuel fiddle, Kalimantan is being deforested, the non-Muslim Dayaks are being burnt out of existence, the local environment is being wiped out and the lungs of the world destroyed. There is no reasoning with Jakarta, they respond only to action. They do not have the foresight to understand that they are destroying their own heritage and the future of all our children, so we all need to send Bush’s “green” initiative and Indonesia’s greed a message by boycotting Indonesia, including Bali, and especially by boycotting Indonesian palm oil products. Please do not condone Jakarta’s illegal human rights abusing environment destroying acts, please boycott the hate state of Indonesia until they have a real government.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I completely agree with your comments. However I don't think its beneficial to keep blaming the west. Let's blame the entire world,be it east, west, and any other location that is ignorant of how the mis-use f "environmentally friendly" biofuels is more harmful than beneficial.

There is a right way and a wrong way, and the destruction of rainforests, in any country or location, relocation of populations and the use of food products, whether it be from palm oil, corn, rapeseed or soy, is totally and completely wrong.

Biofuels can be a good thing. Reforestation IS a good thing, but the destruction of centuries old forests to plant anything, especially biofuels, is totally irresponsible!