Indonesia: Bangka Islanders Seize Mining Company’s Ship

Hidup Biasa, translated from Negasi: PT Mikro Metal Perdana’s iron ore mining activities continue to be met with resistance from the Bangka islanders of Likupang District, North Minahasa Regency, North Sulawesi. Their latest act of resistance was to sequester a ship belonging to the company, which has loaded with machines which would be used for mining. The action commenced on August 4th and was still continuing when this article was written on August 12th. The people are resolute that they will not end their action until mining activities are decisively halted.

Mining on Bangka island has met with strong popular resistance, even though the North Minahasa government has given it the go ahead, with the Bupati (regency leader) issuing a permit. PT Mikro Metal Perdana’s exploration permit has even recently been extended for one more year. The Bupati has accused the people who took over the ship of acting illegally because that boat had a permit to be there. He has even claimed that the action is the result of provocation by groups who are against progress for North Minahasa.

Bangka Islanders’ plans to resist mining activities are an attempt to defend their livelihoods and environment. They fear the pollution that comes with mining, which they know caused such severe problems for the people of Buyat, not far away in Ratatatok, Southeast Minahasa, when PT Newmont Minahasa Raya were operating there. Because of this, the people are unshakeable, and let it be known that their actions will continue.

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