Witnessing Injustice: Edinburgh

3 06 2008

Wednesday evening, 28th May.  Ardi spoke at Augustine United Church, along with Adriana Sri Adhiati, and David Lunan, the Moderator of the Church of Scotland.  “Evil debts” – so David Lunan called the vast sums which function to enslave the developing world.

We were there to discuss the effects of debt on Indonesia.  A vast country, tremendously rich in natural resources: “The greatest prize in Asia”, Richard Nixon called it, quoted in John Pilger’s film “The New Rulers of the World.”  Adriana showed us a map of “Indonesia Incorporated”, compiled by Friends of the Earth Indonesia.  Vast swathes of the country were blocked out in red for mining, brown for logging, and the like –  vast swathes: and this in a country longer by far than the breath of the USA (Indonesia is the fourth most populated country, after China, India and the US.

Ardi, James and Adriana at the Edinburgh Witness to Injustice event.

In theory, foreign loans are a good way for a country to develop.  If a neighbour has a surplus, why not invest that surplus and take a return from the proceeds of their augmented labours?  But Ardi underlined, through multiple examples, the difference between the theory and the reality.  The reality is that loans come under certain economic conditions, that they entrench the power of certain elites, and that the financial mechanisms that underpin them serve to pipe wealth out of the country.  A comfortable recitation of the theory, it seems, will never give us the whole story of the political economy of debt.

Ardi speaks with David Lunan, Moderator of the Church of Scotland 2008.


Witness to Injustice: Inverurie & Kilmarnock

29 05 2008

Here’s an update on our speaker tour with Kusfiardi:

Inverurie 26th May – The Acorn Centre, West Church

Our first stop on the speaker tour was Inverurie and what an opener! A packed hall gave their full attention to Ardi’s presentation and there followed a good discussion afterwards on the issue of Indonesia’s huge odious debt. The audience were also keen to take action and find out what they could do to support justice for Indonesia so the Jubilee Scotland campaign received lots of petition signatures as well as support for lobbying the local MP Malcolm Bruce.

For Ardi, the evening was a sign that Scotland was prepared to do what it could to support his movement in Indonesia and a real encouragement for the rest of the speaker tour.

A thousand thanks go to the organisers at the Acorn Centre who fed, hosted and gave us a bed for the night. Special thanks goes to Ian Groves and good luck to all at West Church!

Lifting the lid on Indonesia

Kilmarnock 27th May – St. Kentigerns Church
After travelling down from Inverurie and stopping off for a couple of hours in Edinburgh the speaker tour was on the road again, this time to the western town of Kilmarnock. It is amazing to see how people engage with both Kusfiardi and the John Pilger documentary film we show, this combination really translates well the injustice that Indonesia continues to face under the mountain of debt. The discussion continued after the event on a whole range of issues to do with food security, sovereignty and positive conditionality. Thanks to Grant Barclay for all his help on the evening.

Edinburgh 28th May – Scottish Parliament
Kusfiardi had the opportunity to address the International Development Group (IDG) at the Scottish Parliament with Patricia Ferguson MSP and impress upon them the issue of Indonesia’s debt. A small meeting, but helpfully arranged by Patricia at short notice to give Ardi the chance to speak to the IDG. There was a good discussion, displaying the depth of knowledge that many of the Group members bring, and Patricia called for the group to review the situation with Indonesia’s debt and to return to it later in the year. This Parliamentary group is one of the most important forums for development and politics in Scotland, and it was great to be invited to it (the photo shows Ardi with Patricia Ferguson MSP, convener of the Group, and former Minister with responsibility for international development in Scotland – plus Adriana Sri Adhiati of Down to Earth, and other members of the Group).

Witness to Injustice Speaker Tour

29 05 2008

25 May 2008

Kusfiardi –
Indonesian Anti-Debt Campaigner arrives in Scotland!

On Friday 23rd May the Jubilee Scotland team waited excitedly at Edinburgh airport for Kusfiardi the anti-debt campaigner from Indonesia to arrive. After introductions and a drive into Edinburgh the work immediately began with a initial briefing by Kusfiardi on Indonesia’s debt situation. It quickly became  clear that Kusfiardi was both an eloquent and passionate advocate for debt justice for Indonesia and we in the Jubilee Scotland team were immediately engrossed. We can’t wait to tour with him around Scotland!

Our discussions about Indonesia continued well into the evening with Kusfiardi remarkably showing no signs of jet lag (considering the flight from Jakarta had taken 15 hours to get to Scotland) and we looked forward to showing him a little of Edinburgh the next day as an introduction to Scotland.

Straight to work - Kusfiardi briefs Jubilee

The next morning our first visit was to show Kusfiardi the best view of Edinburgh, from Arthur’s Seat and the Crags, then we drove to East Lothian to North Berwick to walk on the beach and talk more about debt and the Jubilee Scotland campaign to cancel Indonesia’s arms debt owed to the UK.
Kusfiardi in front of Scottish Parliament

Time and again Kusfiardi impressed upon us just how devastating the impact of debt was having in Indonesia not just by taking resources away from the government’s budget but also because of the lack of disbursement of loans in the first place. Not only is Indonesia having to repay the debts but it has never received the full amount that was owed to them in the first place!

It is Kusfiardi’s belief that is this that makes the issue of debt an issue of political control, with the creditors and multinational corporations having the power to control the destiny of Indonesia.

Kusfiardi also told us about the current political situation in Indonesia where the government that day were about to increase fuel prices, a development that was being driven by the oil multinational corporations based in Indonesia and the impact this would have on everyday life.

But he remains hopeful that by coming to Scotland and campaigning with Jubilee he can show the Indonesian government that there is concern for Indonesia’s debt issue in the international community and that the people of Scotland are determined not to continue to be party to the injustice of the arms debt owed to the UK government.

Tomorrow, the tour begins in Inverurie where Kusfiardi will be talking  with local campaigners and the public on Indonesia’s debt and encouraging them to take part in the Jubilee Scotland campaign. There will also be a screening of John Pilger’s ‘New Rulers of the World’ .

The dates and venues of the tour are:

Monday 26th May  – Inverurie
Tuesday 27th May – Kilmarnock
Wednesday 28th May – Edinburgh
Thursday 29th May – Dumbarton
Friday 30th May – Kirkcaldy


22 05 2008

Departemen Keuangan mulai serius menjajaki sumber pinjaman baru yang ditawarkan pemerintah Jepang dalam bentuk skema Shibosai untuk menyerap utang sebesar Rp 6,51 triliun (Kompas, 22/05/08).

Depkeu menganggap ini menjadi sumber alternatif menarik karena Shibosai ditawarkan dengan suku bunga yang relatif rendah. Direktur Jenderal Pengelolaan Utang Depkeu Rahmat Waluyanto di Jakarta, Rabu (21/5) mengatakan bahwa jumlah pinjaman yang bisa diperoleh sangat tergantung dari nilai proyek yang akan menjadi jaminan. Pada umumnya, nilai transaksi awal dalam penerbitan Shibosai berkisar 500 juta dollar 700 juta dollar AS (setara Rp 4,65 triliun hingga Rp 6,51 triliun pada posisi nilai tukar Rp 9.300 per dollar AS).

Shibosai merupakan surat utang yang diterbitkan dalam mata uang yen dan dilelang di pasar Jepang. Lelang dilakukan dengan menggunakan skema penempatan langsung dan terbatas kepada investor tertentu, bukan melalui penawaran umum.

Syarat utama penerbitan Shibosai adalah adanya proyek yang akan dibiayai oleh dana obligasi itu. Oleh karena itu, sebelum menerbitkan Shibosai, Pemerintah Indonesia harus menentukan terlebih dahulu proyek-proyek yang akan dibiayai dana dari penerbitan surat utang ini.

Menurut Rahmat, jumlah investor yang akan ditawari Shibosai dibatasi maksimal 49 institusi. Penerbitan Shibosai yang dilakukan Pemerintah Indonesia akan dijamin Bank Jepang untuk Kerja Sama Internasional (Japan Bank for International Cooperation/ JBIC). Artinya, JBIC akan menjamin pembayaran kewajiban jika pemerintah gagal bayar. Sebagai gantinya, pemerintah akan membayar ongkos penjaminan kepada JBIC.

Sementara,sebagai investor utama dalam ADB (Asian Bank Development) Jepang akan mengabulkan pinjaman dengan kisaran 800 juta s.d 900 juta USD sebelum akhir tahun ini untuk pinjaman program yang diajukan oleh pemerintah RI.

ADB menjelaskan bahwa dana tersebut digunakan untuk membantu menutup defisit anggaran pemerintah RI dan diberikan dalam bentuk pinjaman reguler dengan basis tingkat suku bunga sama dengan LIBOR.

Bappenas menyatakan baru-baru ini bahwa ADB hanya dapat memenuhi permintaan pinjaman pemerintah sebesar 650 juta USD dari total permintaan 1,1 miliar USD. Lebih jauh lagi Bappenas menyatakan bahwa pinjaman itu diperuntukkan untuk mendanai tiga program:

  1. Development Policy Support Program (DPSP) yang merupakan hasil kerja sama dengan Bank Dunia. Dalam program ini ADB akan mengucurkan pinjaman 200 juta USD. Bila dikabulkan, pinjaman ini merupakan yang keempat kalinya sejak tahun 2005
  2. Local Government Financing and Governance Reform senilai senilai 300 juta USD. Bila terealisasi, ini akan menjadi pinjaman program tahun kedua.
  3. IBFRA (International Boreal Forest Research Association) Reform. Ini akan menjadi yang keduakalinya (Binis Indonesia 22/05/08).

Negara Maju Harus Didesak Tekan Kegiatan Industri

21 11 2007

JAKARTA (Suara Karya): Gerakan Rakyat Lawan Neokolonialisme dan Imperialisme (Gerak Lawan) menilai upaya menangani dampak perubahan iklim tidak cukup hanya dengan penyediaan dana kompensasi oleh negara-negara kaya.

“Tanggung jawab mereka tidaklah cukup dengan menyediakan dana kompensasi bagi upaya rehabilitasi dan mitigasi perubahan iklim,” kata juru bicara Gerak Lawan, Dani Setiawan.

Puluhan orang yang bergabung dalam Gerak Lawan pada Rabu (21/11) ini menggelar aksi di depan Gedung Departemen Keuangan, Lapangan Banteng Jakarta.

Mereka antara lain menuntut perubahan dan perbaikan model pembangunan yang mengedepankan prinsip keadilan, kesetaraan, pelestarian lingkungan, dan penghormatan prinsip hak asasi manusia.

Para pemimpin dunia akan bertemu di Bali untuk melahirkan ‘Bali Mandate’, pertengahan Desember 2007.

Gerak Lawan memperkirakan negara-negara industri maju akan mendominasi pertemuan itu sehingga negara maju akan mengambil keuntungan. Sementara negara dunia ketiga akan menjadi ‘buntung’ sehingga terjadilah kondisi ketidakadilan iklim.

Menurut Dani, ketidakadilan iklim bisa diakhiri dengan asas tanggung jawab dan pengakuan atas praktik yang salah di masa lalu oleh negara-negara industri maju.

“Tanggung jawab itu tidak cukup hanya dengan menyediakan dana kompensasi seperti yang ditawarkan melalui program ‘the reductions emission from deforestation in developing countries’ (REDD),” katanya.

Menurut dia, negara-negara industri maju harus memberikan penghapusan utang luar negeri bagi negara miskin dan berkembang tanpa syarat.

Dampak pemanasan global mengakibatkan semakin intensifnya kerusakan alam dan ancaman bagi kemanusiaan.

Di negara miskin dan berkembang, perubahan iklim yang drastis menyebabkan terjadinya kekeringan, banjir, dan badai yang menghancurkan lahan pertanian, peternakan, dan rumah.

Petani harus menyesuaikan penggunaan benih dan sistem produksi untuk menghadapi perubahan iklim. Lebih lanjut banjir dan kekeringan menyebabkan kegagalan panen, yang pada akhirnya berdampak pada meningkatnya angka kelaparan dunia.

Menteri-menteri Keuangan dunia direncanakan juga akan mengadakan pertemuan di Bali untuk membahas masalah perubahan iklim dari sisi fiskal dan keuangan, 10-11 Desember 2007 di Jimbaran, Bali.

Hasil pertemuan para menteri keuangan ini akan disampaikan pada plenary session ‘United Nation Framework of Conventions on Climate Change’ (UNFCCC), 13 Desember 2007 di Nusa DuaBali. (Antara)

Suara Karya, 21 November 2007