Papua student rally calls for closure of Freeport gold mines
Tuesday, August 29th 2006
At least 50 Papua students grouped in the Makassar Solidarity for Papua (SMup) staged a rally in front of the South Sulawesi legislative council building here on Monday to urge the government to close down PT Freeport gold mines in Papua.
The protesters also expressed their solidarity with their fellows who suffered from alleged violence when they staged rallies respectively in Abepura on March 16, 2006, and in Plaza Kuningan, Jakarta, recently.
The injured protesters were victims of security personnel who always protected the interest of PT Freeport, a US gold and copper mining company operating in Timika, Papua Province, they said.
They also regretted that the government had so far ignored the fate of Papua people who had been affected by the impact of the gold mining activities.
The protesters accused PT.Freeport of having damaged and contaminated the Amugme Tribe`s sacred places, Yet Segel Ongop, Segel Grasberg hills and Wagon Lake.
They urged the Papua Legislative Council to hold an extraordinary session to call for the closure of PT Freeport.
Several local legislators from the Golkar Party and the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) received the protesters.
Marzuki, a legislator from Golkar, said that the he would pass on the Papua students` demands to the President and the House of Representatives (DPR).(*)
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