MAC/20: Mines and Communities

Yosepha Alomang: "PT Freeport must be shutdown immediately"

Published by MAC on 2003-12-04


Yosepha Alomang: "PT Freeport must be shutdown immediately"

Elsham News Service, received from Joyo Indonesia News

4 December 2003

Yosepha Alomang (54) the Director of the Foundation Against Violence and for Human Rights (Yahamak) based in the regency of Timika, has spoken out against the Giant PT Freeport McMoran before, now she is speaking out against them again and she is saying they must be shut down immediately, this month.

"I say Freeport must close this month (December) because many people have died, Freeport must be held responsible for these casualties, including the large scale, and wide spread, destruction of the environment.

Freeport must close until James Moffet, the President of Freeport in New Orleans, comes to sit together with the Papuan people to discuss the conduct of this company that brought disaster on the Papuan people in January 2004. Once more I want to stress that if my request is not heard, tomorrow thousands more will die," declared Alomang loudly while speaking at the ELSHAM Papua, Yahamak, and WALHI Papua's joint press conference in the office of ELSHAM, on Wednesday (3/12) 11.00 WP.

During the press conference question and answer session the following was discussed:

Elsham News Service: - Earlier Mama, you mentioned that thousands of people could die in the future, what is Mama Yosepha's comment on the presence of Eurico Guiterres, SE leader of the Red and White Militia that slaughtered thousands of people in East Timor while Timbul Silaen, who was Chief of Police in East Timor during the 1999 referendum and is now scheduled to replace Dr. Budi Utomo as Chief of Police in Papua, looked on? Erico Guiterres' recent presence in Timika for the occasion of the establishment of his post there has raised many questions, for example why has Guiterres chosen Timika where Freeport operates?

Alomang: - Yes possibly Guiterres chose the regency of Timika for his post because Freeport operates in Timika and it has more money than other areas in Papua. When the Jihad Paramilitary Troops where in Timika certain circles in Freeport were involved in their activity, we promoted dialogue, we met in the Estuary of gold, now the Jihad Paramilitary Troops are not active. But here emerges the Red and White Militia, indeed the names are different but the aim of these two organizations is not; namely they want to destroy the Papuan people to insure the cohesiveness of NKRI (The Republic of Indonesia).

When the inter-group killing happened over disagreement on the division of Papua into three provinces last August, an official from Freeport with the initials LL, who has a close relationship with Andereas Anggaibak, most of whose supporters are from the Red and White Militia, was very angry and telephoned Arnold Ronsumbre the Vice Director of Yahamak. This gives a strong indication that people associated with Freeport, who previously supported the Jihad Paramilitary Troops, currently support the presence of the Red and White Militia, and that has became part of my concern with Freeport.

Background

Yosepha Alomang is Amungin, the Amungsa are the indigenous people of the Freeport Mining area. Since 1974 she has vigilantly opposed PT. Freeport, the largest gold mining operation in world; Freeport's reputation for human rights abuses and environmental degradation is well known and well documented. For Mama Yosepha Alomang's unrelenting struggle against PT. Freeport she received one of the worlds most prestigious awards, The Goldman Sachs Environmental Prize, in 2000 in San Francisco, USA.

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