Indonesian migrants in HK and Macau condemn arrest of oil price hike protesters
“The arrest and violence against protesters of the oil price hike in Indonesian has exposed the real face of the Indonesian government under Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono as a repressive and anti-people regime”
This was declared by Eni Lestari, chairperson of the Asosiasi Tenaga Kerja Indonesia (Association of Indonesian Migrant workers) or ATKI, in reaction to the arrest of 26 protesters from Front Perjuangan Rakyat/FPR (Front for People Struggle) this morning, May 24, at 01:00 am, who gathered in front of the Central Government Office in Jakarta to protest the 28% oil hike announced by President SBY few hours before.
Lestari relayed that the arrested protesters were also beaten up by the police forces. Among those arrested was a member of the ATKI.
“The government has intentionally taken the people by surprise and announced the increase at night so that the people will have no time to launch actions,” Lestari said.
She reported that the protesters were charged of illegal gathering since public rally and protest actions after 18:00 pm are prohibited by Indonesian government law. The notice of announcement was released by the government only after 18:00 , on 23 May 2008 , and the decision itself was announced formally at 21:00 by the President SBY.
“It was right for the people to protest. With this new round of increase, Indonesian migrant workers will surely also have a harder time making ends meet as it will jack up prices of basic commodities. This will also definitely worsen the poverty in Indonesia and force more of our people to migrate abroad for their survival,” Lestari added.
Last Wednesday, millions of Indonesians in 26 provinces in Indonesia held public rallies against the then planned increase. Indonesian migrants under the ATKI also held a protest action in Hong Kong .
“Indonesian people including the migrant workers in Hong Kong and Macau will not sit down and accept the decision of government. We will continue to protest and rally the Indonesian government and embassies because our lives and the lives of our family back home have been put at stake by the SBY regime” Eni said.
Eni said that thousands of the Indonesian migrant workers in Hong Kong will gather in Victoria Park tomorrow, 25 May 2008, and will march to Indonesian Consulate in Hong Kong to protest the oil hike decision and demand for better protection to Indonesian migrant workers abroad.#