Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Hundreds of Freeport workers from the Freeport Care Solidarity Movement rallied in front of the Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry (KESDM) in Jakarta, Tuesday, to voice their aspirations and demands to Indonesian President Joko Widodo.

The demonstrators constituted Freeport Indonesias workforce including private workers, contractors, and sub-contractors from Timika, Jayapura, and Jakarta.

The masses gathered at the Medan Merdeka Selatan Street in Jakarta since 10 a.m. local time that led to slight traffic congestion towards MH. Thamrin Street.

The demonstrators were demanding that the government should solve the prolonged polemic with Freeport Indonesia Ltd, as the jobs of around 32 thousand workers were at stake.

The second demand put forth to the president was to resolve the problems related to the business permit and to pay greater attention to the people in Papua.

The last demand made to the government was to find a solution for the seven tribes in Mimika living around the mining area and facing several problems.

Through the street demonstration, the masses voiced fears that the polemic can have a negative impact on budget allocation for the Mimika area, as around 90 percent of it is sourced from Freeport.

Other related concerns were the reduction in free health services for the people from the seven related tribes and the possibility of the cost for inland teachers and transportation being nullified.

The demonstrators brought along banners bearing the message "We only want Freeport" and hung them on the KESDM buildings fences.

Although they expressed their opposition to Widodos decision that triggered the polemic, some banners also carried messages supporting the president.

Ari Mandesi, the protest coordinator, said Freeports workers and people of Papua support the president in upholding the unity of Indonesia.(*)

Editor: Heru Purwanto
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