Wed, 02 Apr 2003

40 NGOs fight for peace in Aceh

BANDA ACEH, Aceh: Some 40 non-governmental organizations launched a coalition at the office of the Joint Security Committee (JSC) in the city to fight for peace in the province.

Before the declaration, a number of activists gave speeches opposing violence and calling for rebels and security personnel to comply with the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement signed last December.

After the declaration, the activists pledged to conduct activities during the month to support the establishment of peace in the province.

The chairman of the Coalition for Acehnese Civilians, Risman A. Rachman, said the Acehnese people considered the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement as a victory for human values in the province.

The military and the Free Aceh Movement should comply with the agreement to end the conflict in order to give time and space for civilians to create a better future, he said. --Antara

;JP;APRIADI; ANPAa..r.. Blasts-Medan Another bomb blasts in Medan JP/5/Across

Another blast in Medan

MEDAN, North Sumatra: Following a bomb blast that damaged three cars at Medan mayor's office on Monday, another homemade bomb exploded in Labuhan Deli, more than 20 kilometers north of the city early on Tuesday, near a gas pipeline.

Another bomb planted directly below a liquefied gas pipeline did not explode.

The spokesman for the North Sumatra Police, Adj. Sr. Comr. Amrin Karim, said the bomb blast that could be heard at a radius of two kilometers caused minor damage to the pipeline and several houses near the blast site.

No casualties were reported in the blast. But if the pipeline had been damaged it would have caused a major fire. The pipeline, built by state-owned Pertamina, is quite prone to fire since it has no special security provisions.

The bomb squad took the unexploded bomb to be examined at the police laboratory.

The police have detained 10 people in connection with further investigation into the blast. -- JP

Caltex workers threaten to strike

PEKANBARU, Riau: Thousands of field workers of American mining company PT Caltex Pacific Indonesia (CPI) threatened on Tuesday to go strike if the management went ahead with its decision to cut the days off in the company.

The spokesman for the CPI workers union (SPNC), Kusno Teguh, said the workers employed in oil wells would go strike as of Wednesday until the management reviewed the decision.

The management has changed the working days by cutting the days off from five days to two days for every five working days. The current ruling in the company stipulates that workers employed in oil wells are allowed to take five days off for every five working days.

"We cannot imagine what will happen if all the workers employed in oil wells, go on strike for a long period," said Kusno.

He said SPNC had filed a complaint with the local chapter of the Labor Dispute Settlement (P4D) to reject CPI's request for the new policy on the revised working days.

"It is better for the workers' health to work for five days and take a rest for five days," he said. -- JP

Kendari mayor, deputy sworn in

KENDARI, Southeast Sulawesi: Southeast Sulawesi Governor Ali Mazi swore in Lukman Abunawas as the new mayor of Kendari and Tony Herbiansyah as his deputy despite allegations of bribery.

Many city's residents have opposed the installment because they alleged the two were involved in money politics during the recent elections.

Abdul Rasyid Tahir who is now under police detention had confessed to accepting Rp 25 million as a bribe to vote in favor of the two during the election held by the municipal legislative council.

According to the law, Lukman and Tony will be suspended if proven guilty.

The governor called on city residents to end the polemic on the mayoralty election to allow them to make progress.

"The development program in the city will stagnate if the people continue to oppose the new city leadership," he said during the swearing-in ceremony.

Ali who was sworn in as governor last December may also stand trial as the government prosecutor's office in the city has grilled several legislators who allegedly accepted bribes from him during the gubernatorial election. -- JP