BELOW is a short message from a friend’s daily record who prefers to be unnamed. Recently he visited communities around the marble mining operation in Mollo village in the province of East Nusa Tenggara of Indonesia. Local people are now divided and ready for deplorable clashes as they sharpen their traditional weapons ..
“Good morning. Happy new year. I’m sorry for the internet mess-up here, apparently still for the earthquake in Taiwan, that I could only send you this message. To tell you the truth I do not want to be involved in the mining controversy in Mollo village in South Timor Tengah of East Nusa Tenggara. I see cristal clearly how local vice regent, local council’s head and the regent are fiercely competing for the regent position in this presence race for regent election. The vice regent is former military officer targets to grab the marble mining. And therefore he is more than ready to weaken local NGOs’ effort to fight against mining operation licence that actually has been given to the company without clear local people’s consent in 2000. They are scheduled to operate in 2006.
Local people are now divided into those who are against the mining and those already given large amount of money. Each have sharpened their machetes, spears, arrows. Who will be able to reconcile these conflicting groups? I do not agree if the government officials, councilors, military officers, NGOs or whoever would later be involved in violent conflicts. My problem of course is not whether the mining be licenced, this is not my business .. but if people are already threatening one against the other, who then would be able to stop this seem-to-be imminent violent clash? I saw the other day when I visited the area how local people have been segregated one block from the other. I would prefer a low-profile presence if anyone would like to help the people, among whom many suffer from hunger and food scarcity and almost famine.”
Hope any of you could help resolve the conflict.
Some links to the story:
Hak Ulayat: Izin Penambangan Marmet (Dec 16, 2006)
Masyarakat Adat Mollo Tolak Tambang Marmer (April 14, 2006)
Forsomol Demo Ke Polda NTT Dan Pemprov Soal Tambang Marmer (April 7, 2006)
Polisi Tahan 50 Orang Warga Mollo (April 3, 2006)
Aksi Perlawanan Rakyat Mollo (Blog)
Seruan Aksi: Tuntutan bupati TTS cabut semua ijin penambangan di Pegunungan Molo (NGO link’s news story)
Indigenous people fight for sacred mountains in E Nusa Tenggara (Aug 9, 1999)