|JATAM - Mining Advocacy Network|
|Stop Mining On Bangka Island, North Minahasa, For Environmental Safety and People Welfare|
Press Release, 4 May 2014
Legal efforts that have been done by the people of Bangka Island, North Minahasa, to stop iron ore mining of PT Mikgro Metal Perdana (PT. MMP) has produced a result. Since the Supreme Court Verdict (MA) 291 K/TUN/2013 received by the Manado Administrative Court (PTUN Manado) in 20 March 2014, it is a must for the Regent of North Minahasa, mr. Sompie S. F. Singal, to pull all the permits that related to Bangka Island mining.
However, what had happened this time was the opposite, heavy equipment hauling to Bangka Island become more intensive, done by PT MMP and escorted by a fully equipped of Mobile Brigade Unit (Brimob) of North Sulawesi Regional Police (Polda). Police officers who supposed to be functioning as a law enforcement agency, public protector, keeper, and servants (Article 2 of Law of Indonesia National Police year 2002), even conduct an omission and protection against a congregational unlawful action by PT MMP and the Regent Sompie S. F. Singai.
Many lobbies and audiences has done by the community, ranging from audience with Deputy Chief of Indonesia Police (Wakapolri) on 25 April 2014 to an audience with Deputy Chief of North Sulawesi Regional Police on 30 April 2014. Even Wakapolri gave a command directly to the Chief of North Sulawesi Regional Police to be neutral and resolve the conflict in Bangka Island. Strangely, while audience with the Deputy Chief of North Sulawesi Regional Police, he seems not knew about the case that happened in Bangka Island, in fact the Chief has been involved in escorting heavy equipment and even the Deputy Chief had coordinated with the Chief via telephone, in front of the community.
Instead of stopping the operation, three days after community’s audience with Deputy Chief of National Police, PT MMP even add some heavy equipments without reluctance into Bangka Island. Until now, at least five dump trucks, seven excavators, and two drill machines has been operating for exploration.
The event of World Coral and Reef Conference year 2014 which will be held in Manado on upcoming 14-17 May looks ironic considering that mining activities still occur in Bangka Island, which is only a three hours trip from Manado Port. Mining in small islands such as Bangka island should be a slap for this event which is advocated as a marine ecosystem protection event.
Even in article 35 of Law no. 27 year 2007 that has been amended to become Law no.1 year 2014, has banned the mining activities in small islands. An Island of + 3.319 hectares ought to be forbidden to mining operations.
What others law policies could be used by Bangka Island community to pull out PT MMP, if a Supreme Court decision also ignored by the head of the region. What others law enforcement institution must be approached by the community, if the Indonesia National Police (Polri) is still solidly protecting PT. MMP.
Jakarta, 4 May 2014
Coalition of Bangka Island Savior:
JATAM, WALHI, Greenpeace Indonesia, LMND, YLBHI, Change.org
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