President urged to intervene in Timika shooting incidents handling

Timika, Papua (ANTARA News) - Workers of PT Freeport Indonesia have urged President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono to intervene in the handling of a series of shooting incidents that have happened in Timika since 2009.

Freeport employees were tired, fed up, and stressed, and they also felt intimidated due to the unsolved shootings by unidentified armed men, Solichin, one of the gold and copper mining company workers, said here Tuesday.

"We have not seen any concrete efforts by the security agencies to be transparent in this problem. Please Mr. President SBY pay attention to this problem," he said.

He also asked the security authorities to open the road at Mile 27 and Mile 28 in Timika which have been blocked by demonstrators.

Around 12,000 people consisting of the company`s employees and their family members, live in Tembagapura and they are facing food and medicine shortages due to the blocked road.

Syamsudin Manja, another worker, said eight people had been killed and around 40 others injured since the shootings began in 2009.

"Many of our colleagues died but until now there is no attention. We urge the President, the Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs, the National Defense Forces (TNI) Chief, the National Police Chief, and the Papua Regional Police Chief, to pay serious attention to this problem," he said.

"We are not second-class citizens who have no freedom to live," Syamsudin said.

He regretted that the security authorities seemed helpless in dealing with the problems, including the road blocks in PT Freeport Indonesia`s area.

"We want this problem to be settled as soon as possible, it must not be allowed to drag on. Does the government want to see us all living in Tembagapura killed, and only then the government will open its eyes?" he said.(*)