Two Years And Counting.-----In a rotten society, the élite are the source of the rot.
------ Vladimir BukovskyTwo years ago
today the Sidoarjo Vocanic Mudflow
started.50 Olympic-size swimming pools
could be filled with the daily ooze of mud.Three metres
is the depth of collapses of the mud volcano as the rock strata below are emptied of the mud, and the exuded mud presses downwards. The resulting caldera, a large basin-shaped volcanic depression, could be as much as 146 metres
deepToo many excuses
Lapindo Brantas Inc. was drilling for oil on land allocated for agriculture but failed to sheath the drill. They say the catastrophe was a natural disaster, connected with the Yogyakarta earthquake that had taken place a few days previously. However, if true, then their geologists had not prepared adequately.Three weeks later
SBY orders Lapindo Brantas Inc to compensate the victimsThree months later
The area within a two-kilometre radius
is declared off limits by the Indonesian Geological Association.Four villages
were initially inundated.2,000 'refugees'
are 'housed' in Pasar Baru market, Sidoarjo. They have received no food allowance since May 1st.
If the victims could provide complete documentation of their losses - house and land title deeds etc. - they were to be paid 20% compensation
immediately. Some have, most haven't.
The remaining 80%
was to be paid by the end of last month
.(Update: According to the Presidential Spokesman, Andi Mallarangeng, as of Wednesday 11 families have been paid the remaining 80%)Eleven more villages
have been inundated.
Residents are not
(yet?) entitled to compensation. They have set up temporary camps on an abandoned toll road.About 12,000 families have been displacedHow many
beggars are there in Sidoarjo?How long
must they wait?(Update: The two largest political parties in the House of Representatives, Golkar and PDI-P which control 244 of the 550 seats, say that they have no plans to expedite action on behalf of the dispossessed of Sidoarjo.
Political expert Indra J. Piliang from the Centre for Strategic and International Studies said he was worried by their silence and thought it was possible the issue would be brought to the forefront during next year's general election.)The Jakarta Post
, which published the photo below by Indra Harsaputra, has this story as today's lead on the front page. They report that the National Commission on Human Rights has labelled this man-made disaster a "gross violation of human rights".
On the back page, Lapindo Brantas Inc. has a half-page colour advertorial, in Indonesian, saying what a wonderful job they've been doing on behalf of the refugees. And look at the nice houses they're building which the victims can buy with the 80% compensation money they're owed.(Update: Andi Darussalam Tabusalla, Lapindo vice president, said his company had offered the victims new homes if they had valid property documents for the homes they had lost.
Those without valid property documents were offered empty land instead. They were given the option of selling this land to developer PT Wahana Arta Raya.)$9.2 billion
That is the current wealth of Indonesia's richest man, Abdurizal Bakrie, the Minister of Welfare. His family are the majority shareholders in Lapindo Brantas Inc.
There are demonstrations in Jakarta today. Motorists are asked to honk their horns as they pass the Bakrie HQ in Jl. Rasuna Said.
I hope this Ibu, still 'temporarily' housed in Pasar Baru market, Sidorajo, appreciates the irony of honking at those fat capitalist pigs.