Politics & democracy

Down to Earth No 55  November 2002


Human rights abuses connected to the logging industry will increase in West Papua as more forests are destroyed and the Indonesian security forces continue their business activities in a climate of impunity.

In July 2002, West Papuan human rights group ELSHAM reported a series of logging-related human rights abuses committed between February and June 2002 by members of the Indonesian armed forces stationed in sub-districts around Jayapura.

Down to Earth No 53-54  August 2002


NGOs in Manokwari, West Papua, have called for activities at BP's Tangguh gas project to be suspended, following a day-long occupation of the project's base-camp in May. The question of security and military or police intervention at the project site remains a major concern.

Around 50 villagers from Saengga village blockaded BP's Tangguh project base-camp in May, forcing the suspension of activities.

Down to Earth No 51 November 2001


The new president, Megawati Soekarnoputri, and her ministers face many tough challenges in coming months.

As the newly elected Megawati Soekarnoputri - Indonesia's first woman president - chose her new cabinet, there was intense speculation as to what kind of government she would form. The resulting "Gotong Royong" 32-member cabinet was hailed by the mainstream media as a good combination of professionals and experienced politicians.

Down to Earth No 50 August 2001


Please note: this editorial was prepared before the change of president. To see our statement on this change please click here.

Indonesia today faces an uncertain future. President Wahid is expected to be forced out of power any day and, under a future President Megawati Soekarnoputri, democratic reform could be stopped in its tracks.

Down to Earth No 50 August 2001


Preparations for BP's giant Tangguh gas project are moving ahead at a time of heightened tension in West Papua as the Indonesian military toughens its stance against 'threats to security' in the disputed territory.

The killing of five mobile brigade (Brimob) police officers and a logging company employee on 13th June, has sparked a brutal response by the Indonesian security forces in Wasior subdistrict, to the east of BP's Tangguh project in Bintuni Bay.

Down to Earth No 49 May 2001


The shooting of demonstrators, killings in police detention and increased military presence are making the prospects for peace in West Papua even more remote.

Down to Earth No 49 May 2001


The Wahid government is making last-minute efforts to comply with demands for forest reform agreed last year with its international creditors. Many NGOs feel these efforts will not be enough to stop the rampant destruction in Indonesia's forests. They suspect that the reform process is being driven by the priorities of the creditors who want conservation and "sustainable" management, but also debt repayment.