Saturday, May 30, 2009

Supreme Court Dismisses Lawsuit against Lapindo

The Supreme Court has rejected an appeal from the Indonesian Legal Aid Foundation (YLBHI) against Lapindo Brantas Inc. for what the plaintiff claims as neglect of the rights of thousands of mudflow victims in Sidoarjo, East Java.

The Supreme Court's spokesman Nurhadi told Antara state news agency Thursday that the court's panel of judges, led by Paulus Lotulung, Ahmad Sukardja and Imam Subekti, handed down the verdict on April 3.

Supreme Court's verdicts are not readily available to the public.

The YLBHI sued the government and Lapindo Brantas for what it claimed was their violation against the rights of the mudflow victims. The YLBHI demanded that the court declare the government and Lapindo guilty of neglecting the victims’ economic, social and cultural rights.

Lapindo is at the center of the mudflow crisis. The mudflow, a result of Lapindo's drilling activities, submerged more than a dozen villages and displaced tens of thousands of people.

The Central Jakarta District Court argued that the government and Lapindo had taken enough measures and spent enough resources to take care of the victims.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

RI-China Trade Sparks Bright Prospect

Indonesian ambassador to China Sudrajat said trade between Indonesia and China had continued to develop at various levels and in several dimensions. "Development of trade and economic cooperation between the two countries is one of the factors that have made the relations between the two countries more mature," he said at a seminar at the ministry of foreign affairs.

The trade between the two countries in 2010 is expected to reach USD 30 billion and in 2008 it had already reached USD 31.5 billion with the country’s exports totalling USD 14.2 billion and imports USD 17.3 billion. He said Indonesia suffered a deficit of USD 2.9 billion in the trade because it had imported a lot of capital goods and machinery.

"In the future while continuing increasing the volume of trade committment to balancing the trade must be strengthened," he said. "This is not easy as has been reflected by figures in the first month of 2009 which had even dropped 33 percent as a result of global financial crisis."

Indonesia and China each have their own superiorities and therefore are complementary. Chinese exports to Indonesia include machinery, electronic goods, textiles, garments, shoes, chemical and plastic materials.

Indonesia’s exports to that country meanwhile are among others crude oil, natural gas, palmoil, rubber, wood, cacao and fruits. The deputy head of the advisory board of the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Kadin), Sofyan Wanandi, meanwhile said that the government needed to encourage investors to not only export raw materials.

He said "raw materials such as from plantations have so far been exported while they could be processed at home and the result of it could later be exported in the form of finished products." The government must encourage the development of factories or industries to process raw materials into finished products for exports.

"A government policy is needed in that regard to encourage investors to set up raw material processing factories at home," he said.


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