Urban activists to put Sutiyoso, Aburizal in the spotlight again

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

Activists plan to report Governor Sutiyoso and Coordinating Minister for the People’s Welfare Aburizal Bakrie to the National Human Rights Commission over the recent deadly flooding in the capital.

Jakarta Resident’s Forum (Fakta) chairman Azas Tigor Nainggolan said Saturday that the incident that claimed 48 lives was a human rights violation.

“Negligence in failing to anticipate the floods caused people to die. It is categorized as a violation of human rights,” he said in a press conference at the Indonesia Consumers’ Foundation’s office.

Fakta earlier reported Sutiyoso to the House of Representatives’ Commission VII overseeing the environmental affairs.

In the meeting, Fakta asked the commission to summon Sutiyoso and urged the administration to stop converting much-depleted green space into commercial premises in the capital.

They also called on the administration to demolish high-rise buildings located in water catchment areas, including Pluit Mall in East Jakarta, Taman Anggrek Mall in West Jakarta and the Cibubur Junction mall.

Fakta also requested Sutiyoso apologize to the public and resign from his post over the administration’s failure to prevent the flood.

“Firing Sutiyoso might not resolve the problems surrounding the floods, but it would be a starting point to make the Jakarta governor take responsibility for the incident,” Tigor said.

Fakta also called on President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono to sack Aburizal over his controversial statement that the flood was not a major issue as displaced residents could still laugh.

Sutiyoso has repeatedly said that last week’s flooding was part of a natural five-year cycle.

However, environmentalists insisted that the flood were man-made, caused by the city’s massive constructions on water catchment areas.

The government estimated that the floods caused at least Rp 4.1 trillion in financial losses.

Meanwhile, the Indonesian Forum for Budget Transparency (Fitra) lamented the Jakarta administration’s late response in anticipating the floods.

It said that, although the administration had increased its flood budget by 250 percent over the past five years, the flooding was still far worse than in 2002.

The forum said the administration upped the budget to Rp 375 billion this year, from Rp 150 billion in 2002.

“The budget for this year’s flood rose sharply, but the flood impacts are worse than in 2002,” Roy Slam of Fitra said Saturday as quoted by the Tempointeraktif.com news website.

Fitra asked the Supreme Audit Agency to audit the budget set aside for flooding to promote transparency and accountability.

submer: http://www.thejakartapost.com/detailcity.asp?fileid=20070212.C02&irec=1, February 12, 2007